Jungle Techniques | Crafty Frog Lab


Caught another early ride out with Ummat to Pipeline. Victoria, a noctural bat person, surprisingly shows up to join along at this early hour. She’s leaving soon and is trying to get as much different Panama experience in before her time is up. After years here, this is apparently her first time down pipeline road (the main jungle research access point) during the day.

Whatever it is that makes me like all the other animals is missing from birds for me. Just don’t care about em that much.

Monkey Stole My Lens Cap

Hiked back down the Frijole to recheck Ummat’s new sites. Found a tiny group of wasps building a nest under a broad herbal leaf. The nest is quite tiny and unfortunately 3D.  Filming scenes like these are difficult. The jungle is much darker than one ever realizes. At least the lighting is controlled. Realized the leaf was swaying slightly, and my plamp came in handy to anchor it in place. Will have to remember this trick for filming the ants on the Cecropia trees.




Went to the Summit Zoo to meet with the frog biologists. Got a terrific tour from Angie.

All their various housings for the adults, polywogs and eggs were beautifully handmade.  I was most impressed by the amount of work they put in raising food for the frogs. They keep incredibly rare (one frog was the only known specimen of its species), and sometimes sick frogs. Thus, they strive to keep a broad variety of mealworms, springtails, crickets and other insects to keep the frogs in the best health. The variety is also useful when they find a new species and aren’t even sure what they eat.

Saw anteaters and jaguars, but Peter refused to come along so as to not  “ruin his eyes” with captive versions of the creatures he hopes to spot in the wild. Of course, next to the Jaguar cage a 6 foot viper came out that Ummat and I chased around  a bit trying to collect pictures. After that sprung the largest Iguana I had seen.

Each tank had a little card deck giving mugshots of the inhabitants

One point in the day I accidentally reached back to scratch my back and realized that it’s all just falling off. Put sunscreen on back before snorkeling next time.



Ate second dinner with Susie, Emilie and Ummat after fixing up broken equipment and building a cast for Ummat’s potentially broken foot.