The time in Bocas del Toro has been spectacular, I was just thinking of how many questions we have asked that we never could have thought of in a classroom lecture. Seeing everything first hand is incredible. The underwater invertebrate study in the glass bottom boat was really neat. We were able to examine the diversity and richness of species in many different locations. The interesting observation was how quickly the substrate makeup could change. Doing a five minute transect could go from sand to grass to a few coral to dense coral all within meters of each other, and the invertebrates that we were observing also corresponded with the substrate. Starfish and Sea Cucumbers were abundant with urchin less prevalent. It was also interesting to see the similarities and differences of the transects that were run farther off shore, and those done near the mangroves and shore. Of course we saw differences in species in the developed areas where sea stars were more prevalent and coral less dominant. This study was great with the glass bottom boat and also gave us the opportunity to see jellyfish, and other small and large fish species.
The visit to Hospital Point was also great. It got that name when it was the site of the hospital for the yellow fever patients and a grave site is also present for those whose families did not claim the bodies. The tent making bats are on this island and they use the palm trees to make little tents that they hang under during the day. This island was also home to the Dendrobates or poison arrow frogs that are famous for their striking colors.
So watching dolphins, snorkeling, seeing the town and watching a howler monkey in a tree have all been great along with all of the new bats that we were able to see and learn about.