Field Frame Friday: Living that island life

Native to Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles, Aldabran Giant Tortoises (Aldabrachelys gigantea) don’t have to deal with predation, and with an abundance of tropical food, warm weather, and environmental protection, they spend their days grazing vegetation in the morning, and snoozing on beaches in the afternoon, taking dips into shallow pools of water to regulate their temperature. These tortoises are one way that local land plants disperse their seeds (Hnatiuk, 1978).

Field Frame Friday: Parasitism in the rainforest

While we often don’t consider them, parasites are a common occurrence in the natural world. Here, it might just look like unidentified snail from Kahuzi-Biéga National Park, D.R. Congo, but if you look closely, you’ll see a minuscule wasp on the snail (circled in frame). It is unclear if this is a parasitoid wasp laying…

Field Frame Friday: Resident sharks

The great hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran) is a seasonal resident of Bimini, Bahamas during the winter months. This is the largest species of hammerhead shark, reaching lengths of up to 20 feet. They are easily identified by their characteristic hammer-shaped heads, or cephalofoils, which may help them search for prey found under the sand (Kajiura, 2001)….

Field Frame Friday: Forest monkeys

Commonly known as the red-tailed monkey, Schmidt’s guenon, or the black-cheeked, white-nosed monkey, this primate species (Cercopithecus ascanius) ranges across much of Central Africa. This male, named Kinky for the bend in the end of his tail, was photographed in the Issa Valley, part of the Ugalla Region, Tanzania. He was one of a couple…

Field Frame Friday: Silent shadow

Mossel Bay, South Africa is a known hotspot for great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias). More mature individuals gather in this area during the winter months in this region, likely drawn by the abundance of pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) that are found on small rocky islands, as seen in the background here. This photograph was taken…

Field Frame Friday: Gelada battles

Herein lies one of the many fights between the dominant leader male of the “D” group, Demon, and his predecessor turned “grandpa”, Devil. The geladas (Theropithecus gelada) of the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia typically live in one-male unit groups, however, the dominant male occasionally allows a predecessor to stay on or a follower to tag…

Field Frame Friday: Beach baboons

A threat display from an olive baboon (Papio anubis) produces a submissive response from a second individual. Dominance (relative rankings of animals) is a major guiding force in many animal societies. In fact, in male olive baboons, more certain dominance hierarchies is associated with lower average levels of cortisol, a hormone that is typically associated…

Field Frame Friday: An oldie but agouti

Agoutis are terrestrial rodents that can be found throughout Central and South America. If you come across these creatures you are most likely to find them traveling in pairs and perusing the forest floor for fruits and seeds. Due to these foraging patterns, these animals are known to have important ecosystem roles as seed dispersers…

Field Frame Friday: Zany zebu

Zebu (Bos indicus or Bos taurus) are a species of domestic cattle that can be seen in many countries throughout Asia and Africa. They can be easily spotted by the fatty deposit atop their backs, and are popular due to their adaptability to hot and arid environments. These animals have many uses for humans including…

Field Frame Friday: Early mornings

Jungle breakfasts are usually creative: most gibbon groups begin singing as the sun rise, so breakfast is always eaten in the dark and often accompanied with a beautiful chorus. Each morning, we did fixed acoustic surveys based off two observers in order to triangulate group locations and estimate gibbons densities within our field site.  Pictured next…