Dave's Photo & Travelblogue

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Otters, Monkeys, and Spiders

My full day in the Amazon rainforest at Explorer’s Inn started early, with a 5am wakeup (May 15th) just as the howler monkeys started their calls. We wanted to be on the trail by 6am to spot jungle animals on our way to Cocococha, an oxbow lake formed by a cut-off bend of a river in the Tambopata reserve.

Our guide’s strategy worked! Along the way we met a group of Saddleback Tamarin Monkeys (also known as the kissing monkey, because of the noise they make). They were quite curious and posed for us until we headed on our way. Can you see the bug in this picture?

Saddleback Tamarin Monkeys

Apparently in this species the fathers take care of the babies, who often ride on their backs.

Saddleback Tamarin Monkeys - Dad and Baby

Along the trail we spotted a lot more fauna than this, but I just can’t show everything now. There is too much for one post. At Cocococha Lake, we took to the canoes and saw a family of Giant River Otters. One of them caught a tasty meal:

Giant River Otter dining on a meal of fish

Then, we were lucky enough to see a very rare sight: another kind of otter that is almost never spotted in this area. Our guide identified it from my photo as a Neo-Tropical Otter:


Can I just say that I love my Nikon D90 and 18-200mm VR lens? Okay, an expensive 70-200 f/2.8 would be better for nature photography, but just look at this guy. Beautiful.

Here’s another interesting denizen of the jungle, the Hoatzin. It’s known locally as the “Stinky Bird,” though we weren’t quite close enough to smell it:

Hoatzin, the stinky bird

I’ve got dozens more great pictures of frogs, ants, lizards, and plants. But here’s one more for today: the Pink-Toed Tarantula. What would you do if this were waiting in your shower in the afternoon? That’s exactly what happened to one of our group!

Pink-Toed Tarantula in the shower

I’ll stop here for now, though I might do another post about this day, just to throw in a few of the amazing insects and spiders we saw on our night walk. Thanks again to Noemi for her excellent guiding and fauna spotting!

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Posted in Around the World 12 years, 1 month ago at 4:17 pm.


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6 Replies

  1. I love the pictures of the Monkeys and Otter! The spider, not so much! Boy is he big!
    .-= B´s last blog ..Sunday Funday @ Navy Pier =-.

  2. Hi B, yeah my favorite is the baby monkey who’s looking at the flying bug. I can’t believe how lucky I was to get that… (total coincidence)… stuff flies fast in the jungle :-)

  3. I love the monkey pics!

    What an extraordinary time you’re having. I’m delighted to be part of the ride, if only through your blog.

    Good stuff :)

  4. Glad you’re enjoying :-) You definitely will be part of the ride once I get to Auckland… I still have to figure out what to do there, I think it will be “plan on the fly” because now I’m busy figuring out Kauai… hehe.

  5. Great photos. Love the monkeys.

  6. Thanks passport-in-my-pocket! I was so lucky with some of those monkey pics… when the baby is looking at the bug :-)

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