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Howlers, Toucans and Kinkajous, Oh My!

July 24, 2013

Originally posted on Tropical Ecology Institute:

Jason explaining Leaf hoppers and ants

Jason explaining the relationship between leaf hoppers and ants

Arriving at the Raleigh-Durham airport at 5am, we did not know the spectacular day that awaited us. Two short flights later we arrived in Belize, and after meeting our Belizean teachers Yolanda and Consuelo, and our guide Nathan Forbes and bus driver Bruce, we hit the ground running.

First stop was the Community Baboon Sanctuary. This one-of-a-kind  area was created by landowners voluntarily leaving forested areas for habitat and specific food plants for the Black Howler Monkeys. We were treated to an excellent lunch before heading down the trail. Our Guide, Ger, was amazing. There did not appear to be a plant that she could not name and identify its medicinal qualities. From sensitive Mimosas to Split-leaf Philodrendron to Cohune Palms to tattoo ferns, our  minds were racing to absorb all  the information. We enjoyed watching the leaf cutter ants…

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