West of the Fields

A tropical ecologist reporting from the field. Musings on life and art, botfly extractions, tropical plant identification, beer, parrots, machetes. Etc.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Something Fun

It’s good to count some herpetologists among your friends—far better, at any rate, than counting them among your enemies! At lunch today, Dennis said to me and Maike, “hey, I’ve got something fun back at the lab. You should come take a look.”

We exchanged glances. Here at La Selva, “something fun” can be anything from a giant harlequin beetle to an unidentified scrap of dead animal. (There’s one of those preserved in ethanol on a shelf in the new lab. It’s been there for months now, and there is still no consensus on whether it’s a nose or a sphincter.)

“I found it out by the swamp,” he said, to pique our curiosity. “It really stank up my backpack on the way home.”

“Dead or alive?” Maike asked him.

He flashed the Dennis Smile, the one that has gotten him the nickname “Ojos Dulces.”

“You’ll just have to come and see.”

Well, a picture is worth a thousand words. I still have no idea how he got the thing into his backpack.


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