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Uploaded:2015-01-07
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Pregnant bats and the world's largest spider; your average evening in the Amazon.

Studying bats allows biologists to make valuable connections between the animals and their environments, as insect eaters thrive in jungles and fruit-eaters act as seed dispersers and plant pollinators. We may not have netted an incredible number that evening, but the two bats documented provide important insights on the biodiversity of their forest home.

This is a segment in a series about The Field Museum's Rapid Inventory No. 27, a journey through the forests between the rivers Tapiche and Blanco in Peru. Every year, the Museum's conservation group [the Action Center!] gathers together leading scientific experts across a number of disciplines (botany, zoology, geology, and anthropology) in order to gain an understanding of little-known areas of the rainforest. They work with local communities and their governments to help inform decisions made for conserving these unique, precious, and threatened parts of the world.

To learn more about the Rapid Inventory program, check out the other Amazon Adventures!

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLL8_5VpX9TxqmGwqyDGzSg0EXLiFo-c7D

Read more about The Field Museum's Rapid Inventory programs: http://www.fieldmuseum.org/science/blog/rapid-inventories

This expedition would not have been possible without the generosity and help of Corine Vriesendorp, Nigel Pitman, Alvaro del Campo, Tyana Wachter, Ernesto Ruelas, and the rest of the Rapid Inventory team. Thank you for allowing us to join you on this journey, and for giving us the trip of a lifetime.

Special thanks to Mario Escobedo for allowing us to film the bats with him!

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Producer, Writer, Creator, Host:
Emily Graslie

Producer, Writer, Editor, Camera:
Tom McNamara

Theme music:
Michael Aranda

Created By:
Hank Green

Production Assistant:
Katie Kirby

This week's song is:
The Danse Macabre, by Camille Saint-Saens
http://youtu.be/YyknBTm_YyM
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Supported by:
The Field Museum in Chicago, IL
(http://www.fieldmuseum.org)

Filmed on location between the rivers Tapiche and Blanco in Peru.

Thanks to our -net-work of transcribers and translators, including runalovegood & others from the Nerdfighteria Wiki, Martina Šafusová, Waris Mohammad, and Tony Chu.

(Intro)

We're looking for bats!

Mario, our mammalogist, has set up a couple of mist nets that kinda traverse the trail that we have here, so there are some running this way and some running cross-ways.

So bats will fly around kinda familiar paths at night, and oftentimes they'll turn off their sonar if it's, like, a "highway" that they've navigated before. It's kind of like flying on autopilot.

So we're hoping to catch some of them in some of these nets here, which will just stop them in flight and then we can look at them and see what's flying around the area.

 The Bat Stakeout (1:06)


Oh! That's big! What kind of bat is it?

(Spanish)

So, Mario, what are you going to do with this?

(Spanish)

So in the span of, like, two minutes they caught two different kinds of species in the same net along the same line. One is an insect-eating bat and then the other one was a fruit-eating bat.

What they're gonna do now is keep them in bags for a minute, and then take them out, photograph them before they release them.

 A Strange Visitor (2:43)


Tom: ***kin' nuts, man. Love it.

Emily: I was sitting over at the lunch table earlier tonight and I saw— the sun was going down and I just saw the leaflitter moving, and I jumped up and I said "What is that?!" and I thought it was either some kind of mammal or a snake, and we put a flashlight— or a headlamp— down a hole and saw this guy's rear end and have kind of been waiting all night for it to come out, and it is, like, the largest tarantula I have ever seen, and it's the largest tarantula that a lot of other people have ever seen here!

We think it's a bird-eating tarantula— the idea that a spider could kill and consume a bird is kind of unfathomable.

And it's also been kicking off its rear-hairs (*urticating hairs) all night, kind of in defense, and I've been told that they have hallucinogenic properties, so I don't really know why I'm standing with my face so close... to its butt...

So Alvaro, the guy who caught this thing, captured it after he had got out of the bath, wearing his towel... It— He only put clothes on—

Alvaro: I couldn't— I couldn't miss the opportunity!

Emily: He only put clothes on to, uh—

Alvaro: Now put your hand— and it's gonna go—
Emily: Oh my gosh. This— He doesn't wanna walk on me.

It's— if it starts freezing again— Woah, alright. Okay. I signed myself up for that. I cannot believe this thing.

Tom: Gotta let it get closer to her face.

Emily: Oh, screw you, Tom!

...Oh, man. Is it gonna comb my hair?

(Outro)

...It still has brains on it.