Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My Life as something else: BACALAR

Well, continuing our trip, we stayed in Chetumal, a city whit a beautiful seashore and nothing else. I expected to see a friend there but couldn't reach her. (Bety? tuve allá y no te localicé)

We sampled in Laguna Bacalar, one of the very few permanent surface water systems in the Peninsula. With shallow waters and muddy bottoms, it is supposed to have seven diferent colours, each from a different cenote whose waters fed the lagoon. Place is just great. Period.We also sampled the (one and only) Cenote Azul, whose mouth is communicated with Bacalar. The colour is fantastic and it's more than 40 mts deep.
Some samples of what the team found: aquatic mites (I shall post on them somewhen), this is something like a huge Eylais,
we also found an amplypygii, an order of arachnids also known as "tailless whip scorpions" by anglophonics, and as "heart-spiders" or "tendarapos" by us.

and finally... an onychophor!!! from phylum Onychophora (bearing nails), also knwon as "velvet worms" or "spitting worms" because they secrete a glue from a specialized gland close to their heads. They're very rare to find and extremely poorly studied (nobody would accept a thesis on them here) this is my second most favorite animal in the world... from a time between annelids and arthropods. I'm so excited about this! I'll post a video soon. In the meantime, a link to wikipedia