Los Llanos

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October 11, 2002

1400 - 1600

Los llanos, Barinas, Venezuela


Tropical savannah flatlands

    Mostly grass and water, and flat as far as the eye can see. There are, apparently, only small ponds of water, although much of the grass around the ponds is actually growing on, or in, the water.

    I guess most of Venezuela is flat, although we haven't really been to much of it. Along the northern and western coasts of, actually, all of South America are the Andes. Most places inland of that are flatlands, and at a much lower altitude, so they have a completely different climate. A hot climate.


Adaptations - All animals down in the flatlands have to be able to swim, because it floods about every 6 years.

 - "Jesus bird" - probably not the only type of bird that can do this, but it can walk across the weedy water, picking for food.


Dominant species -

 - Capybaras

 - Iguanas

 - Caimans (alligator)

 - Vultures (Black, turkey, yellow-headed)

 - Piranha (red-bellied)

 - Hawks

 - Egrets

 - Herons

 - Thorny legume trees

 - Ceiba

 - Domesticated water buffalo

Other identified species

 - Red fox

 - Anaconda

 - Emerald boa

 - Rainbow boa

 - Jabiru stork

Stuff we didn't see, but it's there -

 - Peccary

 - Mice, voles, moles

 - Giant anteaters

 - Jaguar, ocelot

October 11, 12, 2002

1900 - 2230 , 0600 - 1030

Apure / Paguey Rivers, Los llanos


River/boundary forest

    Inside the savannah is the Apure River, the next-to-largest river in the Orinoco River Basin. Surrounding it is a forest, called a boundary forest. In this boundary forest there is lots of life, possibly more than in the open savannah. The river rises and shrinks with the wet/dry seasons, so it always looks different.

    My guess as to why the forest is there would be that around the river there is more constant water. However, I've seen pictures of the river in the dry season, and it can get pretty small.


Adaptations -

 - Tree boas - unlike several other types of snake, they can hold themselves up vertical, and sense for another branch to climb onto.

 - Brown tree boa - looks almost identical to a fer-de-lance except for two things: They live in trees, as no poisonous snake north of the Orinoco does, and their eyes glow in a flashlight beam at night. This disguise usually stops other animals, and humans, from bothering them.


Dominant species -

 - Red howler monkey

 - Tree boas

 - Hoatzin

 - Egrets

 - Kingfisher

 - Spider monkey

 - Osprey

 - Sandpipers

 - Caimans

 - Piranha (25 species, only 3 eat meat)

 - Iguanas

 - Macaws

 - Pink river dolphin

 - Capuchin

 - Skimmers

 - Herons

Didn't see - 

 - Jaguar, ocelot


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