Think that science is as easy as dragg
|Kathy sifts through leaf litter to |
ing kitchen utensils into your backyard? Well, you're right! Every one of us on the RAP team hauled baggage bursting with assorted measuring tapes, baggies, scales, vials, fishnets, snake-catchers, bat-nets and mammal traps from our home countries through customs at the border and then out to the middle of the Guyana wilderness. Dragging overweight luggage is not exactly the highlight of the RAP experience.
So why do we do it? Even though good science can be done using household items, every team has a trick of the trade tool they use to make the sampling go more RAPidly.
Here is how we study insects.
|Justin counts and sorts |
I notice that I don't have a problem finding ants in the tropics. Ants are usually crawling up my pant leg, in my food, or trying to carry away my tent. And they announce their presence with a series of vicious bites that swell up like a bee sting.
LEARN MORE: Meet some of the insects found on this expedition.
However, the most obvious is not always the most desirable, so RAP team member Kathy dumps leaves and dirt from the forest into this sifter to make sure we take note of even the friendly, non-biting ants. This "litter" then goes into a very fancy contraption known as a Winkler. The ants naturally fall to the bottom during the night – right into the scientist's grasp. Here Justin is counting and sorting the ants.
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