Entries in #animals (12)

Wednesday
Feb072018

Shark and Ray  Alley

This was one of my first experiences in the water with both Nurse Sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum) and (Dasyatidae) Rays. It was extraordinary to watch each species entwining between the next as though they were the same.

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Wednesday
Feb072018

Crocodiles of the North  Island

Although there are freshwater species of Crocodile residing in Belize, The American or Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is the most common species of Crocodile that can be found in its surrounding Cayes and Mangrove communities.

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Tuesday
Jan302018

The Issue with  Lionfish

While there are a number of both exotic and endangered species of fish within the neighbouring waters of Caye Caulker. The Pterois Volitans do not receive half the same compassion. Due to their destructive nature of local species, avid fisherman seek to cull local population of Lionfish every March during the now two year running ‘Lionfish Derby’.

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Tuesday
Jan232018

The Island of  Dogs

You’re never further than ten feet from a dog on Caye Caulker, which makes it hard for tourists to get down Middle Street.

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Wednesday
Oct042017

Dogs of Caye  Caulker

Caye Caulker is home to a wide variety of our favourite companions. Every volunteer who’s joined us has had a favourite dog that they met here. They are the real mascots of the island and always there to cheer up tourists and locals.

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Tuesday
Aug222017

My Top 5 Marine Creatures Of  Belize

I have been in Belize for 3 weeks now and have loved every moment of it – from the exciting nights out with everyone on the South island to the more chilled nights at camp playing cards on the North island. However the amazing marine life that I’ve been lucky enough to encounter is what I know will stick with me forever.

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Wednesday
May312017

Meeting The Gentle  Giants

I have been in Caye Caulker for 3 months now and I had the opportunity to encounter numerous amazing creatures already. From the quiet nurse sharks, the curious stingrays, the shy turtles or even playful dolphins, every animal has its own behaviour and reacts differently to human presence.

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Tuesday
Jan312017

Time Flies When You're Counting Manatees

When I first arrived I was told by nearly everyone I came across that here on the island life is all about learning to “go slow”, a lifestyle that is highly contagious! Despite this, I feel like I arrived, blinked and suddenly 1 month has past.

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Thursday
May122016

Diving At The Blue Hole 

Whoooaaaa, what a great day! Last week the dive instructor told Tori and I that they needed 2 more people to do the blue hole trip the next day, so.. Tori and I decided to go!

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Monday
Apr182016

Jumping Eagle Rays...Everywhere!

So this morning I was sitting at the end of the dock on basecamp enjoying my morning coffee when I heard an almighty splash about 10m away. Whatever just jumped out the water was big and I watched intently to see if I could glimpse whatever did it, moments later I spotted (no pun intended) the culprit; it was a huge spotted eagle ray. It jumped out of the water again - as if flying - just not very successfully… But got some serious air.

The spotted eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari) is one of my all-time favourite aquatic animals. They are relatively abundant here in Belize, so you can often see them gliding effortlessly through the shallows. Fortunately, they are not currently a threatened species but are caught as a bycatch from unsustainable fishing practices (i.e. longlining and trawling). They tend to swim solo but are known to form loose aggregations of many individuals on occasion. They feed predominantly on crustaceans such as crabs and shrimps which they ‘dig’ for in the sand using their snouts. Just like sharks, rays are equipped with a unique sensory organ (known as Ampullae of Lorenzini) which can sense weak electric signals emitted by their prey. Having this sensory organ allows rays to sense their prey without seeing or smelling it first; which is ideal, especially when you have to dig for your din-dins!

But why do they jump? Unfortunately, scientists still do not know the exact reason for this energetic and seemingly random behaviour. However some speculate that female rays may jump to avoid unwanted male attention; or both males and females do it in order to attempt to dislodge parasites or remoras (suckerfish) which have become attached to their body, and have become a general nuisance. Or simply they just do it just for fun.

By Alex Sullivan - Assistant Research Officer

Find out more about the Belize Manatee Conservation project 

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