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8:01 p.m. - 2007-04-16
Creatures of Jamaica!
Creatures of Jamaica!

Greetings, me lovlies! I hope you're having a good Monday. We just had a spectacular sunset in Minneapolis. Shout outs to my East Coast friends who might be getting rained on!


As you know, last month R and I went to Negril, Jamaica for our honeymoon. Finding creatures was a priority, of course!

One of the first things we noticed was that dogs and cats on the island were NOT fixed. It was weird to see so many fully-functioning males and nursing mamas. Our hotel hosted a cat family, and the kittens mewed piteously one night as R and I dined at the restaurant. R gave one a piece of chicken, while I dumped a forkful of beans and rice. They liked the chicken better. Here is a picture of the black cat at the restaurant across the street. It had just peed on the roof.


The lady in the picture was from Baltimore and was really nice. She had the same accent as my buddy BE!

Here is a doggy eating the rest of my ackee and saltfish breakfast. Ackee is a fruit that when cooked resembles and tastes like scrambled eggs. The salt fish was a bit fishy though, and bony, and I thought the dog would appreciate it.


Our hotel room had a little porch, bordered by big wooden posts. Almost immediately upon arrival, we spotted little lizards frolicking on the beams.


We tried to pet them. I think this is an Ameivas lizard; there were some with vertical stripes like this one, and others with horizontal black and white stripes and bluish tails.

Here's a lil' dude on a tree:


Upon walking to the village of Negril, we spotted these trees full of what appear to be large and small egrets.


At night, more creatures emerged! The cries of frogs echoed through the tropical dusk. We were shocked to see how small these little frogs were, and how loud they peeped!


The lizards were out at night, too. Check out this one reclining on a leaf!


But he wasn't alone...can you see the froggy AND the lizard?!


Then, I noticed something funny about our light:


This gecko was hiding behind the fixture! Hee hee! A full body shot:


One day we went up to the cliffs and puttered around. This super nice fisherman showed us all of the creatures in a small tide pool. I was worried because he kept stabbing everything with his knife!




Let's learn about the above sea urchins! These guys are members of the Echinoidea family, and the name urchin is based on the Old English practice of calling hedgehogs urchins! These animals are formed with five fold symmetry, or pentamenism. Sea urchins usually eat algae, but will also kill invertebrates. The roe of sea urchins is enjoyed throughout the world, known as uni in Japan and erizo in Chile. It's also eaten in Italy and Greece. The golden-orange roe is actually both the eggs and egg-creating organs (gonads) of the urchin.

Here is R holding a curled up chiton. These mollusks creep along eating algae.


Here are some chitons before our friend scraped one up with his knife:


The rocks on which we were climbing were very sharp and steep. (R's sandal became a casualty!) I'm thinking they are all fossilized sea floor. Here is an imprint in the rock:


The fisherman said he came to fish swordfish every evening. His tools included a spool of fishing line (must have been small swordfish!) and a milkcarton filled with live hermit crabs! Apparently he collected them in the forest, de-shelled them, and used them as bait! But it was too windy to fish that evening, so the guy in this photo was spared for the moment.

jamhermit crab

We also spotted these fishies from one of the cliffs!


Gawd, don't you want to be swimming in that green water right now?!

I can't resist these sunset pictures, either.



I hope you enjoyed these, and that you feel inspired to observe wildlife on your next vacation!



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