Hi blog followers! I guess you could say that today was a hopping success. It started bright and early with twenty students gathered around a cucura toad. If you aren’t sure what that is, the cucura toad is a large, dappled creature typically found by rivers and waterways. Surprisingly, we found our new warty friend near the garbage bins last night. The cucura is larger than most amphibians endemic to the area, and all parties were absolutely thrilled to see this novelty. The discovery of this amazing creature opened up the opportunity for Darcey M. to present her species account and teach us all about it. She was very excited to tell us about the origin of this toad’s name, which comes from the indigenous word for “ugly man”, but we’ll let you be the judge of that. Besides this exciting species encounter, the day was mostly dedicated towards the students’ data collection for their major projects.

The students have managed to come up with interesting project designs, which were perfected last night during an in-depth class discussion. Many students started collecting data early this morning, trying to avoid the unpredictable weather that Sao Paulo State is known for. Throughout the day, Kristen, Hayden, Amelie and Arjun group continued to explore the habitat preferences of the endemic toadlets. Meghan, Heather, Sou and Emily P. spent the day measuring the surface area of leaves and forest coverage along the forest trail. Rylie, Emily L., Kayleigh, Ani continued to examine bulb density in Bromeliad epiphytes. Maleeka, Sean, Cheyenne and Sierra focused on pollinator preference on one of the flowering trees near the station. Finally, Allen, Emma, Alex and Darcey spent the day looking at variations in Bromeliad water quality according to location and disturbance. Unfortunately, around noon, a thunderstorm hit, and students had to press pause on their data collection. Luckily, the rain let up around 3, and students trucked through the muck to continue their research to collect data and fun times.

After a long day of collecting data, students took some time to input their data and take a look at some of their initial results. After a hearty dinner, some of the students treated themselves to a movie night and watched Parasite. Tomorrow – more data collection!