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What a Wonderful World… of Parasites!!!!

helenstomachCollecting population census data and finding parasites on Caye Caulker was an absolute success!!!!  Although we didn’t catch any crocs that were a perfect size for stomach flushing, we did perform a population survey with the Fisheries Dept.  The Fisheries Dept on Caye Caulker, particularly Aldo, was amazingly helpful, and super supportive of my research.  It is nice to feel the local support for my research and make such a strong connection.

The most exciting part of last night was finding the parasite Paratrichosoma!!!!!  This particular parasite can be found on the underside of the crocodiles and it makes these squiggly lines.  These parasites do not do any harm, but crocodile farmers hate this parasite because it ruins the crocodile hides.  No one knows how this parasite infects crocodiles, but know after years of research I think I figured it out.  However, I can’t say anything yet ;D  Anyways, we got some great samples/individuals that were infected with this parasite, and some were even fresh infections.  It was amazing!  Apparently this parasite has been found on some of the other islands around here…. except for Ambergris Caye.  Again, this is going with my theory that Ambergris Caye may be so polluted, that not even parasites can paratrichosomasurvive.  We will see what the final data says.

All in all, we collected some great data and had a wonderful time on Caye Caulker!!!!  If you ever go to this island, definitely check out:

-Aladdin’s mediteranean food

– Ice N’ Beans:  coffee that you could die for, and the guys working there are great fun!!!!

– Pause Hostel:  all proceeds go to the rescued dogs and cats, and Maddie is absolutely wonderful and helpful!

– El Cubano Coffee House:  coffee is out of this world, and food is decently priced!

Anyways, I hope this winning streak and fun continues.  But with this group, it definitely will!!!!!

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