Wildlife

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The Northern horned screamer is a large bird that doesn’t quite fit in with other species…in fact; there are only three species in their family Anhimidae. Northern horned screamers live in aquatic areas with lots of emergent vegetation and when walking on water lettuce or hyacinth, look like a very large goose.  Their feet, however are not webbed, but they have fairly heavy long toes that support their weight on the floating mats of vegetation. 

June 07, 2013

Island Life: Española

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This week IE’s president Van Perry has been checking-in via satellite phone from his Galapagos Islands cruise. (Be sure to see the highlights here). During the journey, Van learned that Española, the archipelago’s southernmost island, is our naturalist Boli’s favorite island. Here are just a few things you’ll find on Española.

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The white-faced capuchin is a medium sized primate with a white or sometimes yellowish head neck and lower shoulders and a black body and tail. Occasionally, the face may be bright yellow, reddish or any other color depending on the color of the flowers and pollen that the monkey may have been feeding on. 

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Having grandchildren and watching the movie Finding Nemo more times than I have counted, always brings to mind the numerous animated sea turtles riding the Gulf Stream, at a tremendous rate of speed.  In watching this, I can’t help but think of the tremendous distances that some species of sea turtles travel in the course of a year — even more astounding the distance traveled over their life time. 

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It is Endangered Species Day and we’re turning our focus to some of the critically engendered wildlife that you may spot on International Expeditions’ nature-focused journeys. We hope that by seeing wildlife in its precious habitat, you’ll be inspired to protect and improve the world we share.

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The Galapagos fur seal is the smallest fur seal, with six other fur seals in other areas of the world being larger. The scientific name, Arctocephalus, translates to “bear head” as its face and head are small with fairly large ears and a very pointed snout. The Galapagos fur seal has very large eyes which aid in their foraging strategies of being nocturnal. Through long term studies, it appears that fur seals prefer small moon phases for feeding at sea and during full or big moon nights, the fur seals remain ashore. This may be a self-preservation tactic.

May 06, 2013

Beware of the Boto?

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The enigmatic pink river dolphin, aka Boto, of the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers is an aquatic creature that many guests to the region can’t wait to observe. Most guests on IE’s Amazon River cruises do not come away disappointed as these lovely creatures are fairly abundant in many areas of the Peruvian Amazon.

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Warthogs are certainly one of Africa’s most bizarre creatures. At first glance, the warthog looks somewhat like a pig of “some sort.” However, when viewed closely or through binoculars, they are actually much stranger than just a type of pig. 

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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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