TRENT'S WALK IN THE BELIZEAN JUNGLE (Part Two)
Is brought to you by "Grand Belizean Estates" the next place to call home.
Hey, I didn't get to finish my blog the other day, so wanted to give you the rest of it now. I still have more to come, this is just what I have for the moment.
I will have several more of these posts on "walk in the Belizean jungle", because I am discovering that there are a lot of really cool, animals not to far from my house. Some of the residents here on the island - believe it or not, live with crocodiles under their houses, which are built on stilts. The owner feeds them, and the crocodile seems to guard the house like a watch dog. Not really mom's cup of tea, but I thought it was cool.
We see these in and around the shore lines in Belize (late afternoon) all the time. In fact, some of the locals started taking a rope and putting a raw chicken on it and tried to lure the crocodiles from the waters edge as a show for tourists. The government soon got wind of it and a sign was posted up, stating that it was illegal to feed the crocodiles now.
I will tell you flat out, DO NOT swim in any lakes or lagoon down here. Swimming pools and ocean front are your best bet for swimming. Crocodiles don't like crystal clear blue water - being agitated by waves. They like calm, murky water - so stay out of the local lakes, rivers, and lagoons in this country. Having said that, now let's talk CROCS!
In Belize we say "alligator" in reference to our largest reptile, when it fact we mean crocodile. That's how it is down here, we call things by all different names, other than what their real name is. As a matter of fact, it is their teeth, that make the difference between whether its a crocodile or an alligator. When the reptile closes its mouth, the elongated tooth on each side of its huge lower jaw fits into a notch on the outside of the upper jaw - it's front teeth also hang out, over its chin; when the reptile closes its mouth. If you see this, then it's a crocodile, not an alligator. Can you see in the picture above, how the crocodiles front teeth are hanging over his lower jaw? We'll that's a characteristic of a crocodile.
These animals move by the temptation of the flesh, ANYONE'S FLESH! For hours on end, they will lie in wait - in excellent imitation of a log, their ears, eyes and nostrils aligned upon the water, with their powerful tails executing secret maneuvers beneath the surface. Their skin is as tough as their outlook on life, and because of this, they have the tendency to endure and survive.
Crocodiles will continue to grow throughout their lives. Salt-water crocodiles are the largest, some measuring 23 feet and weighing over a ton. Our Morelet's crocodile, is one of the smallest, attaining a length of only 8 feet, but our other species, the American crocodile, grows decidedly longer.
These beasts like to hang out near creeks, ponds, streams, rivers, lagoons. They like to hide in mangrove swamps or stormtide lowlands. Believe it or not, the male actually goes acourting, first staking out and patrolling a chosen aquatic territory. All alligators and crocodiles are egg layers, and have a high reproduction rate - necessary to counteract their propensity for eating their own young. Between 20 and 70 eggs are produced and either left above ground or plastered up in security vault made of mud and grasses, near a water source. It conditions, temperature and humidity remain stable within the chamber, it will take about 74 days for these eggs to incubate.
When they are ready to attack the world, these little hatchlings begin to squeal to attract the attention of the adults to come and let them out (or eat them!). They are tended by their parents for up to four months, and the young may stay in the vicinity of the nest for as long as eighteen months. Initially they feed on water bugs, then on fish and frogs, and carrion. In turn storks, egrets, and herons, raccoons and foxes feed on them, and the degree of mortality is acute. However, if they do manage to survive, only men and anacondas are enemies of the adult crocodile.
That's it for now, I have several more of these walks in the jungle that we will do - but I only have time to do a little here and there. This week I'm taking an American Sign Language class. We are having great fun and I am learning alot. In the next few posts, I want you to meet some of my deaf friends.
Hi, my name is Trenton S. Turley. I've been living in Belize now for 11 years. Hope you enjoy reading my many blog posts. I write about things, that are passionate to me.
SNAKES OF BELIZE!
Check out, my my current blog series on Snakes of Belize.