Saturday, May 5, 2012

the Tikal fauna

The other reason why you move about Tikal very slowly is that it's also filled with various exotic and exciting fauna. And there was enough of said fauna, that I felt it deserved a whole separate post of its own. Jumping right it - we begin with a rather sizable tarantula, just hanging out on a nearby tree:

Apparently, tarantulas aren't all that dangerous really... or at least can be safely handled - our guide was picking him up and setting him for photo shoots...

More exciting animals followed, starting with a coatimundi, which is some sort of an American cousin to the anteater. (who also lives in the Americas, but let's move on!) Or something along those lines. There was definitely a lot of them here - at one point, we stumbled across a pack of 15 or so of these guys in the bushes.

Actually, the first two we saw were chasing each other. Apparently, part of the mating season - winner gets the girl; loser gets ... to be dead

The monkeys are pretty much all over the place in the trees above the temples. Both of these guys seem to actually be holding on to the branches with their tails, which seems a pretty cool (and very monkey-like) thing to see!

these guys were the fairly common spider monkeys. There's also howler monkeys, who, believe it or not, howl like crazy! But are much less frequently seen... They also really enjoy howling awfully early in the morning.

The star attraction were the Tukans, whom we'd go hunting after, cameras at the ready, through the jungle.

They remain incredibly funny birds - with that giant beak, they look like they're barely able to keep their balance while flying. But they did just fine hiding from us trying to snap a good picture! Also, apparently, there's different kinds of tukans in the world - the Brazilian ones have a very fruit-loopy orange beak, while the ones here have a much easier-to-blend-with yellow beak... That'll be our zoology lesson of the day!

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