Saturday, August 13, 2011

Going Batty!

And it's Thursday.....and our departure date is fast approaching. My plan was to go into the lab, but I didn't make it. But our evening activity made up for it!! We met with Dr. Rachel Page at 5:15 and she drove us back out to Gamboa. Rachel works with bats!! She has been doing research on how a certain species of bat has adapted to be able  to locate Tungara frogs by their mating call and also to use that call to differentiate between edible and non-edible species of frogs. She dropped us off in the twilight of the evening with her student, Teague. He was in the process of setting up the mist nets, 3 of them...the bats would fly into them and then either get tangled or drop into the pouch. We waited for about 30 minutes for it to get completely dark. Oh, and he had the mating call of the frogs on cd and played that loudly. About 45 minute wait later, with 10 minute intervals of checking all three nets...score! We had caught a bat! Now, let me stop here and explain gets EXTREMELY DARK in the rainforest! I'm talking not being able to see your hand in front of your face dark. And I made it....I survived!!! And we had headlamps too....but anyhoo....Teague freed the bat and let us examine it up close. Pretty awesome! This little bat was in good shape and already had a transponder in it. Her name was Patty and had been caught a year earlier.
 Her wings and fur were very soft...yup, I touched her! Rachel had felt bags specially made for them. See me holding Patty the bat!! lol...

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