Amazon or South American manatee (Trichechus inunguis) is commonly hunted for meat and oil along the Amazon River. I don’t know how people manage to find them, but they do, and it is common that little ones are left without their mothers. They also get hurt by the boats. There are programs to help manatee populations recover and to reintroduce them in some areas with support of the local people. Researchers at INPA are also working on this. This photograph was taken at the Bosque da Ciencia where some manatees are brought in for recovery.
Last year, on my birthday, I went on a boat trip on the Amazon. We made a stop at a floating restaurant, and nearby we saw a group of brown pale-fronted capuchins (Cebus albifrons (Humboldt, 1812)).
Two weeks ago I saw a couple of Guan on the mango tree in our garden. We’ve identified them as Spix’s guan (Jacu-de-spix)
Penelope jacquacu. The one on the left was cutting leaves of maracuya and giving them to the one on the right. After a while they each rested on separate branches of the tree. It was the first time I saw them, and I haven’t seen them back since.
This long-horn beetle (Cerambycidae) was near one of the room doors of the Arawak hostel in Praia do Açutuba, Iranduba, Amazonas. The hostel was the meeting point for the Grupo de Fotografia Manaus March trip. Every month, on the first Sunday, a trip is organized, to a park, a special event or a nearby site like the beach where we went two weeks ago.
A beautiful flower from our patio.
I went to spend a couple of days out in the field, that is the Amazon forest, as there was going to be a good churrasco and fishing the next day. Both were delicious meals! This beetle was floating on a little stream, we took it out and I took some pictures of it. It was complicated because of the color and it was so bright out. Different light conditions provide with a challenge when taking pictures. It was a good practice, I think it came out very nice.
O Encontro das Águas.
The meeting of the waters, is where the Rio Negro flows into the Rio Solimões to form the Amazon River.
The Solimões comes from the Brazilian-Peruvian border, down from the Andes. It is light brown in color. The Rio Negro originates in eastern Colombia, and then joins the Orinoco in Venezuela, and when it enters Brazil it receives the name Rio Negro. It is colder, heavier, slower-moving and very acidic compared to the Solimões. It is due to these differences that they flow side by side without mixing for several kilometers, and thus the meeting of the waters occurs. This is a must for tourists that come to Manaus.
And traveling on a boat down the river admiring this phenomenon is how I celebrated my birthday this year.
One of the reasons I was so excited to come live here in Manaus was for all the insects I could encounter here. However, there are some that have given us trouble, and I’m thinking about ants. There are many species of ants in the garden and house, some are eating one of the bedroom doors, others decided that they like the dog food and sometimes the plate is covered with ants and other little ones just like sweet stuff, but those don’t bother me that much, except when my juice glass gets covered by them. Then there are many others in the garden. Those that like dog food, seem to like everything, I have seen them taking chicken feathers into their nest. but the worst are leaf-cutter ants! They have cut leaves of so many of our plants, just in one night the hibiscus were without leaves, and then they went for the nonis, and they have also gone up the mango tree. However, with so many of them I had the chance to practice taking photographs of moving insects. It has been complicated as they move so fast and so much. It’s the first time I try using a white background thanks to some macrophotography tips shared by my friend The Bug Geek.
This is a leaf-cutter ant of the Atta genus, (Hymenoptera, Myrmicinae, Attini).
Since I’ve moved to the tropics, I’ve learned that there are two-toed sloths and three-toed sloths. I just recently found out that they each belong to a separate family, Megalonychidae (two-toed sloths) and Bradypodidae (three-toed sloths) and they are not closely related.
Sloths are arboreal mammals, the live up in the trees and their limbs are adpated to hang from trunks and branches where they sleep or rest for about 20 hours a day. I find it very interesting that they have to go down from the trees to poo about once a week. It’s also quite interesting that they have algae living on their fur.
There are four species within Bradypus, two of which can be found in this area, Bradypus tridactylus (pale-throated sloth) and Bradypus variegatus (brown-throated sloth). The pale-throated sloth (Bradypus tridactylus) has a more resticted range east of the Andes and south of the Orinoco River, occuring in the Guyana Shield region including northern Brazil south to the Rio Negro-Rio Solimoes region (where Manaus is located). The brown-throated sloth (Bradypus variegatus), on the other hand, can be found all the way from Honduras to northern Argentina.
A week ago, we went for a walk at Bosque da Ciencia, and we saw a sloth eating young leaves up on a tree. I’m still not sure which species we saw, the pale-throated sloth or the brown-thrated sloth. Can you help me identify it?
I’ve started sketching insects from the garden, here are a few.
We have a few floating plants in the garden pond. The flowers only last for a day; they are pretty purple with a yellow spot in the middle (I will try to do a sketch with color next time there is a flower).