Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday shennanigans

            This morning, on the way into the field, I kept my camera out to take some photos of the Galápagos tortoises. They are massive animals that make this snorting sound as their mating call. There is a sanctuary right by our field station and so we keep hearing them. They are active in the morning when they are fed.

There are tortoises from several islands, though I am about one year to late to catch Lonesome George, the last known tortoise from the island, Pinta. He died in May last year. Each island’s tortoise species has their own unique adaptations to suit themselves on the island. For instance, this tortoise, has a high shell opening and long neck allowing for it to reach up higher to get at succulent food items.

            Today, we caught a pair of large ground finches, so we took photos of them together. It’s interesting to see the sexual dimorphism between the beaks.

Male and female large ground finches

 Joost listens to the finch's whispering

            Tomorrow, we head to our other field site which means a 4.30 am wake up. So, we got the afternoon off to do data entry and be tourists, so we all went snorkling. 

 Puffer or boxfish of some type.

 Damselfish of some type (I don't have a fish book!)

The conditions were better, and while Owen and Col saw some eagle rays (I didn’t), I managed to catch some photos of a very hungry wrasse snap up a brittle starfish.

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