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Posted by RMB on May 12, 2003 at 08:56:06:
I will post a few pics just to whet your appetite.
I just got back from field research in two Ontario sites (which shall remain confidential as is required by the University). For those who do not recall what the research entails you can follow the link at the bottom of the page.
We reached our 100 skink sample (to ensure our results are significant) in under three days of grueling searches in the sweltering heat of the sheer-rock cliffs of the shield. Man, these skinks sure can motor at these temperatures but only two skinks managed to evade our capturing techniques. Anyways, aside from the 100 skinks sampled, I have found countless redback salamanders and spotted salamanders, two ring neck snakes, a lovely female Dekay's snake, two smooth green snakes were found as well as many black rat snakes and garters. The more common frogs and toads were found as well as some peepers and chorus frogs. Surprisingly, many bats were found under the rocks in the morning, in fact one rock contained four sleeping bats, a redback salamander, a wasp's nest, and a large male five-lined skink!
Anyways, here are a few pictures I took:
This big boy was the first adult I found in the same site as the juvenile above, he was a feisty biter!
Here is the same male about to get his measurements taken and his non-destructive tissue sampling for our genetic studies.
This male was captured by me and turned out to be the largest skink captured at this particular site (Eastern Ontario), an SVL (snout to vent length) of 80.34mm!
Finally, just a quick pic of one of the little bats I found under a rock. They didn't like to be forced awake but they weren't very aggressive, they just wanted back under their rock...sooo cute :)
I am off to Northern Michigan on Wednesday to start the research on the disjunct populations of FLS in 13 US states.
Ryan M Bolton