Naturalist Greg Greer

 

A lifelong naturalist, Greg Greer is one of IE's guest-favorite guides, having spent 11 years on-staff as an expedition leaders and photographer. Over the 20 years that he has been guiding tours, Greg has gained a reputation for his friendliness and good humor, along with his incomparable knowledge of natural history. Greg’s travels have taken him to 50 countries to see the most remarkable wildlife areas in the world, including Antarctica, Australia, India, Indonesia, Africa and of course, the Peruvian Amazon.naturalist guide greg greer

 


 

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The green iguana is one of the iconic species of the neotropical rainforest. This species has an extensive range stretching from Northern Central America southward throughout the Amazon Basin. They’ve also been introduced in South Florida, as well as the lower Rio Grande area of South Texas. Green iguanas are the largest lizard in the Amazon Basin, including the Peruvian Amazon, and large males may reach six feet in length. Females are considerably smaller, reaching about four feet in length. 

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The Sally Lightfoot crab is one of the world’s most beautiful crabs. Wow, how often does one hear the two words “beautiful” and “crab” in the same sentence? Well, this is certainly deserved as this hand-sized crab is ornately colored with red, orange, purple and blue coloration. These gorgeous creatures abound throughout the Galapagos Islands, and their typical niche is right at the tide’s edge on lava rocks. It does not matter if it is high tide, low tide, daylight or dark these crabs are at work feeding on algae.

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Leaf-mimic katydids are one of the marvelous designs of nature that IE guests typically observe during nocturnal walks on Amazon rainforest trails. These insects, which are comprised of a number of at least 13 different genera and over 100 species, have been described from Central and South America.

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March 21, 2013

Piranha Do Not Eat People

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The piranha conjures up all sorts of thoughts, many of which are based on movies, where piranhas consume anything that enters or falls into the water. Fortunately, this is not a usual circumstance and typically in the Amazon Basin, “People eat piranhas, piranhas do not eat people!” 

In free-flowing rivers and streams, piranha are incredibly abundant fishes, and although the red-breasted piranha appears to be the most abundant, there are also black piranha, white piranha and even the big fruit-eating pacu is a type of piranha. 

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An amazing fact in regards to the great egret, also known as the common egret: Not only is this a common bird in the Peruvian Amazon, but it is also a common resident over much of the United States.  Often, however, on ecotours, guests seem to be quite enamored by the 3 ½ foot tall birds not realizing that it’s the same bird they may have seen in their own home state!

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The monk saki is an unusual primate for many reasons. At first glance, they may appear to be an arboreal termite mound or a burl on a branch, but what gives them away as being a monkey is their very long tail, usually hanging straight down below the branch upon which they sit.

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If you've seen the movie “The Ghost and the Darkness,” you’ll know the strength and ferocity of the African lion when they are so inclined to harm people. This movie is based on a true historical event that took place in the Tsavo area during the late 1800’s. Two male lions killed 130 people over a period of nine months. Of course, with modern transportation and weapons, this type of long-term killing of people by an animal predator is a thing of the past. Today, there certainly are many human deaths caused by lions in Africa and tigers in India, but they are isolated instances.

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The giant Amazon water lily is the world’s largest water lily of the family Nymphaeaceae. Its massive leaves may exceed seven feet in diameter and visitors to the Peruvian Amazon are always greatly impressed by these absolutely amazing plants. There are a number of characteristics of this huge lily that most people are not aware of. For example, the leaves are extremely durable and the underside veins are lined with very large spines. The spines are strong enough to prevent their being food for aquatic and semi-aquatic animals like manatees and capybara. 

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At least once a day, International Expeditions’ travel planners field the question “When is the best time for a Galapagos cruise?” So, our favorite naturalist Greg Greer sat down to tackle this popular question.

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