Sunday, October 09, 2005

Belize Reports from Mrs. C. Parker's Class

Tarantula by Ryan
Tarantulas live worldwide including America. The ones that live in America live in the south and southwestern states. They also live in the dry and warmer parts of California. The desert tarantula grows two to three inches long. Most tarantulas are brown or gray, but some of them are different colors. The Mexican red legged tarantula has of course, bright red legs. The colbalt blue tarantula has legs colored deep blue. The goliath tarantula, which lives in South America, grows to five inches long and has a leg span of twelve inches. This fact, I think, is very wierd, tarantulas are harmless to humans and can be trained as pets. Tarantulas are quite common in Belize. You better check out your shoes each day before sticking your foot inside - just in case there is a tarantula there! This is my report on tarantulas.

Armadillo by Jordan
The three-banded armadillo is able to roll up into a ball to escape predators. The other 20 types of armadillo's can not roll up into a ball to escape. The other types of armadillo's use their hard shells to protect themselves. While the hard shell is doing its job, the armadillo is busy digging a hole in the ground or it runs away to the nearest bush to protect itself. Armadillo's have very bad eyesight, but they are not blind. They depend on their sense of hearing and smell to track their food and predators. Armadillo's are good at swimming. They dog paddle with a strong stroke. Armadillo's don't have enamel on their teeth. They have small teeth because they only eat bugs. They have sharp claws. They live in warm climates. Armadillo's are a main food source for jaguars in Belize.

Gray Four-eyed Possum by Hannah
The gray four-eyed opossum is a small opossum with a gray back and lighter colored throat, chest and belly. They have a black face mask, black top of head, and a white mark above each eye. They also have a hairless tail. Gray four-eyed opossums live in the lowa and middle elevation forests, plantations, and other agricultureal areas. They prefer dense vegetation near water. Gray four-eyed opossums are nocturnal, and are found in trees and on the ground.

Coati by Kalli
The Coati is often called a hog-nosed coon because it has a very long snout. Their claws are really strong tand they use them to dig with. The coati lives in grasslands, dense forests, or bushy areas. Coati live from the southwestern United States through northern Argentina, which includes Belize. They wander through tropical forests and you can sometimes here them rustling through the leaves. Each female and it’s young have a home area where it searches for it’s food. Every male Coati has it’s very own territory. Coati’s that live in the southwestern area often rest in caves and rock piles instead of the usual branches. Coati’s eat snails, insects, rodents, small reptiles, nuts and fruits. As a member of the racoon family, the coati is a very social creature. Around 4-20 female coati’s travel with their young in something called a “band.” A band spends most of its day searching for food. When they groom each other, they nibble on each other’s fur. The male coati’s live alone until mating season. After they mate, the females go back to the band with the new young.

Gibnut by Aubrey
A gibnut is a type of rodent. Another name for the gibnut is paca. The paca is nocturnal and it feeds on fallen fruits, leaves, and tubers. One of its favorite foods is the shell of a cohune tree nut. The gibnut can be found in Belize, Mexico and Southern Brazil. Gibnuts are the most prized game or thing to hunt in Belize and the neo-tropics. The gibnut is up to 2 feet long and its maximum weight is 22 pounds. The habitat is widespread and the lifespan is unknown. It makes a lot of noise while in the forest. When the gibnut is disturbed, it will make a deep hoarse bark or rumbling sound.

Mottled Owl by Ariana
The Mottled Owl is a common owl along much of Central and South America. It can be quite bold and will not only respond to imitations and playbacks of it’s own call, but will also come to these calls. The Mottled Owl is frequently found in Belize. Their eyesight is best in moonlight; they are nocturnal and have excellent hearing. They live in forests, clearings, fields, grasslands, marshes, and mountains. They eat small animals, reptiles, birds, insects, and earthworms. They regurgitate bones, feathers, and fur in what is called “owl pellets.”

Fer-de-lance by Rebecca
The Fer de lance is a rare snake, but it is very vicious. It can live up to 20 years old and can have up to 80 young at one time. It can inject upto 105 mg of venom . It is also a pit viper. The pit viper can sense body heat and know when other animals or people are around them. This pit viper lives in Central and South America. The Fer de lance will actually come after you and normally are gray, reddish color with dark triangular markings. Fer de lance is French for “iron of a lance.” This snake is very, very dangerous and is found in the rainforest region of Belize.

Vampire Bats by Dylan
Vampire bats are blood-suckers from Belize. This bat has short hairy legs. They are mid-sized with a snout like a pig. They have fleshy skin folds and large middle incisor and canine teeth. Unlike the fruit bat, vampire bats have a short muzzle. Vampire bats are carriers of deadly rabies. Bats are mammals. They are the only mammal to fly. They are sometimes thought of as rats with wings. There are 980 species of bats.

Harpy Eagle by Victoria
The harpy eagle lives in Central America in forests near the equator. It likes to eat any kind of ground beef or rabbits. They use their enormous claws to rip apart their prey. The back of the harpy eagle is pale black and the stomach is white. The head is pale gray and is crowned with a double crest, which gives it a menacing look to match it’s reputation. The harpy eagle is one of the largest eagles. It can grow to be 36 to 40 inches long. It can weigh up to 20 pounds. In flight, the harpy eagle can reach speeds above 50. That’s what makes them excellent hunters.

Fishing Bat by John
A fishing bat is a very large bat. Fishing bats stay in hollow trees and on buildings in town. The fishing bat flies right above water. They use solar rays to find the fish that are like two inches under the water or right on top of the water. They also eat other things like insects. They grab the prey with their claws, but they move it to their mouth to carry it. They eat the fish or insect they caught upside down.