Arikok National Park contains the most well known of Aruba’s caves. I visited one of them, Fontein Cave, guided by a park ranger.
Arawak indians inhabited Aruba around 1000 AD. They adorned the walls of this cave and others with petroglyphs.
At the park’s visitors center, a display suggested that the following petroglyph might be an ironclad beetle.
My guide quizzed me on a few others. I was asked about this one first.
I guessed honeycomb. My guide smiled and vigorously nodded.
Bees were definitely on my mind though. I had just seen a bee hive in the limestone not far from the cave entrance.
As I stared at the bees coming and going, I started to wonder if I might be watching killer bees, since I was well within their range. As that thought crossed my mind, I was suddenly stung on my arm. Fighting the urge to run, I calmly walked away, without further incident.
Getting back to the cave though, my guide shone his light on another spot. Here, I had no clue what the petroglyph might represent.
I’ll leave that one as a challenge of sorts. Feel free to comment with your guess. I’ll post a comment later on with what my guide told me.
The Striped Anole, Anolis lineatus, was probably the species of lizard I most encountered in Aruba. I assume the common and scientific names refer to those dark broken lateral stripes, but it’s known locally as Waltaka.
Here’s another one, a female perhaps.
My earlier post of the lizard on a tree is also one.
After a good bit of googling, I came across a good free resource on the reptiles and amphibians of Aruba, link below.
While hiking around in Arikok National Park, I spotted from a distance some bats flying around below a small limestone overhang. I approached just close enough to snap a few pictures for possible identification.
I’m not nearly as close as this picture might suggest. I used my 100mm macro with a 1.6x teleconverter. This is also a significant crop from the original photo.
It appears I may have upset them, although I didn’t know that at the time. I’m surprised by their reaction. I didn’t figure my activity would disturb them. They weren’t in a cave, just beneath an overhang where there was plenty of indirect light. They were restlessly flying around even before I approached, perhaps trying to find a dark corner.
Those are some sharp little teeth! I assume they are bared for effect, since they seem to be staring straight in to the camera lens. It was a hot day though, so maybe they’re panting?
I found a couple of possible species for these bats, but I don’t have any confidence in saying which one these might be.
Aruba could easily be called “Lizard Island”. You can’t take a step without seeing a few scurrying away. I don’t think there’s a square inch of sand that doesn’t have a lizard track in it.