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Karen Randall wrote:

>I'll tell you, people pick up
>>> their feet REALLY FAST when a small caiman is inadvertently
>>> dropped in the bottom of the canoe!<g>

Dave Gomberg wrote:
>> Birdie was a chick, size from hand for scale.   Caiman was
>> huge, maybe 10 feet. Mouth about 2 feet long.

Christopher Coleman wrote:

>When I first saw your comment, not knowing what a caiman was
>I just assumed it was a small lizard.  After seeing Dave's picture
>( http://www.wcf.com/wcf/25053756.JPG ),  I think if a caiman
>jumped in the boat,  I'd jump out!

Well, the one that got dropped in the boat (and he didn't jump in, we
caught him, and someone let him go by mistake) was probably not more than 2
feet long.  But they still have mighty sharp teeth, and a less than sunny

I missed seeing the big guy, as the Olsons and I had headed off for a
little more dip netting while the others visited the floating store where
the big caiman and some other critters were being kept.  

Our other funny caiman incident was one day early in the trip when we were
collecting in a stream leading into an absolutely idyllic little pond in a
cow pasture.  The "lily people" were getting Victoria tissue smaples, and
Dave, the Olsens, Mary McCaw and I were thigh deep in the stream catching
Apistos and Hoplo cats.  We were in 7th heaven, everyone was laughing and
fooling around.  This lady came out of the nearby farm house and came
running over yelling at us in Portugese.  When one of the guides finally
was able to translate what she was telling us, it turned out that there was
a VERY large caiman in the pond with us.  So large that the lady wouldn't
let her children go outdoors.  

Did that stop us?  Not a chance.<g>  We decided that we'd probably been
making so much noise we'd scared him into hiding anyway.  Still, I'm glad
it was broad daylight I don't think I would have wanted to wade around in
there with him at night.<g> (although we did do a lot of wading around at
night in a couple of other places)