Happy World Snake Day! 🌎🐍
Here's why you should be celebrating:
Snakes help reduce tick born illnesses by dieting on rodents that carry these parasites - a great example being timber rattlesnakes. A study conducted by Edward Kabay, estimated that one timber rattlesnake can consume 2500 - 4500 ticks annually.
Snakes play a huge role in balancing the food web, not only do they control populations of certain species, but they also provide food for other animals. This basically includes all the animal groups: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates eat these bad bois!
Venomous snakes are helping out the medical community. Venom has provided blue prints and proteins for scientists to create medicine. Treatments to prevent strokes and heart attacks are being modeled off of pygmy rattlesnake venom and a protein in copperhead venom is being utilized to treat breast cancer.
Snakes are awesome for you, for me, and the environment. They do a lot for society - they deserve some respect!
I've definitely posted this photo before, but this gray ratsnake was probably one of my favorite snake finds. It was on my birthday and he was soo docile.
1,3951817 July, 2019
It may seem strange to imagine seals hanging out on the beaches of Florida, but not so long ago, they once did.
The Caribbean monk seal was officially listed as extinct in 2008, after an exhaustive 5-year search. However, they were likely gone from this earth decades earlier.
These seals were long and robust, growing up to 8 ft in length, with a distinctive round head; large, wide-spaced eyes; big whisker pads and smooth, light-colored whiskers. Compared to their body, they had short foreflippers with little claws and slender hindflippers. They were brownish-gray in color with a light underside and sometimes grew algae, giving them a greenish appearance. They were very social and like many seals “hauled out” onto beaches in the hundreds.
The last monk seal to be seen in Florida waters was killed in Key West in 1922. They had been hunted to extinction for the oil from their blubber, which was used to fuel lamps and lubricate machinery. As early as the 1600’s, there are records of plantation owners sending hunters out at night to slaughter these docile animals by the hundreds.
The monk seal’s demise would tragically be due to its friendly and trusting nature. Their curiosity and lack of fear towards humans made them easy to kill. By 1850, so many seals had been killed that there were no longer sufficient numbers for them to be commercially hunted. Seals that were not killed by hunters died of starvation or could not reproduce due to overfishing of the reefs that sustained them.
The last confirmed monk seal was spotted in the waters between Jamaica and Nicaragua in 1952. It was likely already extinct by the time it was put on the endangered species list in 1967. There have been unconfirmed sightings in modern day, but scientists warn not to get one’s hopes up for a miraculous return—they are likely just wandering hooded seals, and due to the ignorance of man, Florida’s shores will never again see hauls of friendly, sunbathing seals.
I leave tomorrow on an adventure that has been in the works for a year and a half, with seven great friends and photographers :) . I hope to share with you as much as I can as we arrive in Brazil and follow the Pantanal highway south out of Cuiaba to the Pantanal, which encompasses the worlds largest wetland area and sprawls between about 54,000 to 75,000 square miles. Among all the birds, the Pantanal has the highest density of jaguars anywhere the world, obviously one of our target species to photograph. I leave you with one of my other images of a female snail kite, this time in flight from my trip to Lake Kissimmee right here in Florida. Captured with the Nikon D850 and Nikon 500 f/4E, FL, ED, VR lens with the Nikon 1.4E III TC, iso 1000, f/7.1, 1/2500, handheld. Join me on one of my journeys to learn not only about the species we photograph, but just how to get that perfect shot!! Check out my website for more details www.naturesportal.net. #nikonprofessional#nikonusa#Nikond850#nuts_about_birds#floridawildlife#marvelshots#marvel_animals#worldshotz#birdsofinstagram#your_best_birds#birdsofprey
[EN 🇺🇸🇬🇧] MANATEE in beautiful CAPTIVA ISLAND ❤️ Did you know these friendly, but shy sea mammals
* are complete vegans and keep a strong seagrass diet 😋 * are super lazy and sleep half of the day 😴 *just want it cozy and warm (like shallow Florida waters) 🌞 *are related to elephants 🐘 and have absolutely no relation to other marine animal * are the true MERMAIDS 🧜♀️ - Christopher Columbus complained, when he saw mermaids in 1493: „They are not so beautiful as they are said to be, for their faces had masculine traits.“ 🙈
But I think they are! And: They are endangered, because they face threats including boat collisions! 😢So please safe the Manatees and drive your boat with care! 👍😊⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀💫💫💫 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ [DE 🇩🇪] MANATEE im wunderschönen CAPTIVA ISLAND ❤️
Wusstest Du, dass diese gemütlichen, aber schüchternen Meeressäuger
* komplette Veganer sind und eine starke Seegrasdiät einhalten 😋
* super faul sind und den halben Tag schlafen 😴
* es einfach nur gemütlich warm haben möchten (wie in den flachen Florida-Gewässern gegeben) 🌞
* mit Elefanten verwandt sind 🐘 und keine Beziehung zu anderen Meerestieren haben * die wahren MEERJUNGFRAUEN 🧜♀️ sind -
Christoph Kolumbus beklagte sich, als er 1493 drei „Meerjungfrauen“ sah: „Sie sind nicht so schön, wie man sagt, denn ihre Gesichter hatten männliche Züge.“ 🙈
Ich aber finde sie sind es! Und: Sie sind vom Aussterben bedroht, weil sie unter anderem durch Zusammenstöße mit Booten gefährdet sind! 😢Bitte rettet die Seekühe und fahrt vorsichtig mit Euren Booten! 👍😊 .
Florida is home to two predatory big cats: the bobcat and the panther. The bobcat, sometimes called the Florida lynx or wildcat, is the smaller of the two, and you're much more likely to spot it in the wild – or even in your own backyard! In fact, the bobcat is the most abundant wildcat in the U.S. and has the greatest range of all wildcats native to North America. The bobcat has excellent eyesight and hearing and can swim and climb trees, which helps protect them from other animal enemies. Bobcats can live for up to 14 years, and coexist with the panther because they do not target the same prey.
Unlike the bobcat, the Florida panther is protected under the Endangered Species Act. Panthers are seldomly spotted in the wild in Florida, fewer than 200 of them exist across the state, with the majority living in south Florida.
Another difference between the bobcat and the panther is that the panther is much larger – up to four times larger than the bobcat. Panthers also have much longer tails than bobcats.
If you come across a bobcat, panther, or any other wildlife, be sure to keep a safe distance, and remember, wildlife should never be fed, in order to preserve natural instincts.
Wild Gojiras are everywhere here in south Florida! Of course, I'm referring to my curly tail lizard, Gojira. This is a young one and we've seen tons of them around our hotel!
Another very cool, but very invasive species!
A little bit of herping in south Florida before seeing Iron Maiden in concert! 🤘
This little brown basilisk was the only one of three that didn't bolt at the sight of us! This little one let me get within a few feet to get this shot. They get quite a bit bigger than this little guy and can run on their hind legs. A very awesome little creature, but one that doesn't belong in Florida. They are native to South America and are one of our many invasive reptile species.