From the Delfin II in the Amazon
Jan 24, 2013 - Delfin II
Belluda Caño & El Dorado River
Today we had an early morning outing visiting one of the many small tributaries to the main Ucayali River, Belluda Caño. The water level is rising little by little every day and in just a few weeks time is going to reach its highest point changing the whole Amazonas ecosystem. Most of the vegetation is already covered with water, therefore the plants need special adaptations to be able to get oxygen under this condition. Some other creatures like insects and reptiles are climbing trees looking for shelter and food sources.
This scenario lasts for a few months until the water level start decreasing and the same animals start behaving in a different way depending on the conditions they are facing. It is a great time of the year to be here in the upper Amazon rain forest.
This morning we went exploring by skiff for approximately two-and-a-half hours following one of the small river branches looking for wildlife, which is very active in early hours of the day. We were very lucky because we spotted three different species of primates and one species of bat. One of the main attractions was the nocturnal monkey known as the owl monkey, for its nocturnal feeding adaptation. This primate is the only nocturnal one in the primate’s family and probably this nocturnal behavior was developed to avoid competing during daylight hours with other monkeys and diurnal animals.
The morning was still far from being over, and we had to return to the ship for breakfast and later to continue our jungle exploration. As we were returning we wondered how much farther we could go without seeing land, probably for hours or maybe even for days.
Before lunch we learned about medicinal plants with one of the experts from the region and then we had a well-deserved Peruvian lunch and siesta time.
For the afternoon we explored the Dorado River and its surroundings for about three hours. During this expedition we had a lot of amazing sightings, but the main ones were some Spectacled Caimans, Howler monkeys, and the impressive giant Amazon water lilies.
Once the sun was gone, it was time to start heading back to the ship with a clear sky dotted with stars. It was very special to end our day with great memories and unique Amazonian encounters.