Showing posts from January, 2019

The bullet ants, the anteater, and the scaredy-cat

Rainforests are brimming with life. Big, small, and smaller still. Camouflaged coats and colourful garbs. Picky specialists and opportunistic generalists. Dedicated architects and cumbersome foragers. Despite this, most of their most famous inhabitants are very hard to see, in truly untamed forest. Take it from someone who lived in the Amazon for a year   and has been going back for shorter periods for over six years. I am yet again back in San José de Payamino at the moment, this time for a couple of very brief visits between getting through some lab work in Quito. Although it will be great to get this lab work done and it will hopefully lead to more future collaborations with the Universidad de Las Américas, who are kindly offering me the use of their laboratory facilities, I can’t help but think about this time last year. In January and February 2018 I spent five weeks in Payamino, kicking off the first lot of field work for my PhD, which led to acquiring some of the sampl