THE CARIBBEAN: FINS, FEATHERS, AND FUR
Because the Caribbean Islands are all surrounded by water and many have coral reefs which protect marine species, there is a multitude of sea life. People can see firsthand the colorful aquatic life by diving, snorkeling, or sitting back and relaxing in a glass bottomed boat. There are bottle nose dolphins, humpback whales, hammerhead sharks, and manatees to name a few. Fishermen seek the conch, crawfish, grouper, waho, snapper, and marlin which are all island favorites.
The islands abound with hundreds of speicies of birds and animals. Among these are pelicans, flamingoes, ducks, parrots, toucans, bullfinches, mongoose, and the green monkey. The mongoose is about 16 iches long and was imported to the Dominican Republic to control rodents. They are quick, fierce, agile, and can easily kill rats and snakes. Because they multiply quickly and also eat birds, eggs, and small animals, they have upset the ecological balance of nature and are considered pests. Today there are between 5,000 and 10,000 green monkeys. They eat 1/3 of the bananas, mangoes, and papaya crop. To try to stop the damage, a bounty was offered in 1975 for every green monkey tail brought in. The person would be paid $5. This, of course, meant that the animal had to be killed. Now a $50 bounty has been offered for every monkey dlivered alive and unharmed to the Barbados Primate Research Center. This, of course, is a much more humane solution.
1. In the Bahamas, a conch cracking contest is held on Discovery Day.
Conch cracking requires dexterity in removing the meat. First you
hit the shell with a heavy implement to break it. Then there is "jewking"
to get the meat out of the shell.
2. Felipe and Moises are friends who are sport fishing. They are trying to catch bonefish which are 5-10 lbs. and about a foot long. They are very hard to catch because they never stay in one place. Felipe spends 6 hours fishing and catches fish that weigh 7 - 9 - 6 - 8 - 9 - 5 - 6 and 10 pounds. Moises fishes for 5 hours and catches fish that weigh 7 - 8 - 5 - 5 - 8 - 7 - 6 and 9 lbs. Who averages more pounds per hour?
3. On a nature hike in Barbados, a group of tourists were keeping track of the flamingoes, parrots, pelicans, and toucans that they saw. They saw 16 times more flamingoes than toucans. (They only saw 5 toucans.) They saw 1/2 as many parrots as flamingoes and 1/4 as many pelicans as parrots. How many of each did they see?
4. If the average mongoose eats 450 birds' eggs a year, how many eggs would 5000 mongooses eat? Using this same ratio, if 1,800,000 eggs are eaten, how many mongooses would be responsible?
5. If 756 green monkeys are delivered alive and unharmed to the Primate Center, how much bounty is paid out? How much more is that than would have been paid in 1975?
6. The manatee or sea cow eats about 100 lbs. of plants a day. How many days would it take one manatee to eat 5 tons of plant life? About how many tons does one manatee eat in a year?