Monday, April 18, 2011

Bushwacking on the Way to the Internet Cafe

The internet is super slow so you only get a few photos today. I've made friends with the lizards and am still having boat loads of fun....
my friend, Rafael, hanging out between trials
helping Nate with tying the noose

a male I've named Rafael wearing a harness...he has no toes on his front, left foot
The experiment we've been mainly working on the most for the past couple days is taking males that we've previously captured and presenting them to wild males using harnesses and fishing poles. The lizards are introduced by literally dangling them on a fishing pool and placing them down near the wild male. We video record the reaction of the wild male to the intruder so we can measure the time it takes for a reaction. If we present a male in Trucadores with a male that we captured in Trucadores, both of which are brown, it usually ends in a fight with the wild male winning (because he was guarding his own territory and had the advantage). If we present the wild, brown, male with a larger, blue male from Cap de Barbaria (all the blue males are larger), the brown male will usually run away in terror. These trials actually take A LONG time and we have to deal with some males that are scared of us, the camera we bring in, or the fact that there is a flying lizard attached to a fishing pole entering his territory, but all the while we are having fun together and I am gaining a huge amount of understanding for field science which I am enjoying a lot (the experience, behavioral biology I'm still not certain about). Tomorrow= more of the same. More trials=better data! I also made the decision today to learn Spanish. I've been practicing over the past 3 months in the Galapagos and will continue in Spain, but I've set a deadline. Even if it kills me, I will be near fluent by the end of the fall semester. December 14th. If not, I will buy Rosetta Stone and learn it that way. At this point, I have no excuse when I've been in Spanish speaking countries for 6 months. My only setback is that I'm around Americans all the time in the Galapagos and here, but I WILL learn Spanish.

If you want to see more scientific stuff from this trip you can follow Nate's blog at:
The posts by him clearly say his name, but his friend posts some pretty awesome stuff also. We've recorded a few videos and I have a line or two in one of them :) You can also check out his more than amazing photography here:

I'm starting a new part of my blog post for the time I'm in Spain. Every once in a while we have to catch lizards for experiments using a noose and a long fishing pole, which I am terrible at. It's horrifying. I end up hitting the lizards in the face with the tip of the pole instead of getting the noose around their heads, but I am slowly getting better. So here it is...
My Lizard Catch Count: 5


  1. Hannah- If you're at your parents up in MA this summer when we're in the area- I will speak Spanish with you. I'm rusty and could use the chance to speak with someone! It would be great to practice with you! I can't wait to read more of your adventures in Espana! Enjoy Semana Santa there!!

  2. When are you going to be in the area!?!? I'll be in MA for the whole month of June.

  3. I'm so far behind on this. Your adventures look like so much fun!