Tiger rat snake in the Amazon rain forest

...... and other reptiles and amphibians

Photography by Paul Gale

It had been raining heavily during the morning, clearing after lunch. Walking round the back of the jungle lodge on the banks of the River Amazon, I noticed some agitated silver-beaked tanagers. They were easy to photograph - then I saw why. They were mobbing a huge snake draped across a low-lying branch at the side of the path. I was still 5-6 yards away from it, and with my telephoto lens I got some good photographs. I would estimate it was some 9 feet long. I ran back to the lodge to tell everyone, but it had gone by the time we got back. Victor identified it from my pictures as an Iguana snake. It is called this because it sits up in trees like Iguanas (see Costa Rica) where it catches birds and animals using its sheer speed. The black-and-yellow pattern gives it camouflage in the foliage with the sunlight scattering through the leaves. It is not venomous, swallowing its prey whole. The English name is Tiger Rat Snake. It can grow up to 10 feet long, and varies in its patterning.

Some lizards in the Amazon

... and a tree frog of some sort

Lizard at Machu Picchu

Frog at Lake Titicaca

Green Anaconda, Amazon

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