Have you ever experienced the researcher’s euphoria? You may not have read anything about this feeling elsewhere, but it just happens to people who have developed a passion for discovery. Although unacknowledged, anyone curious enough about unusual things around him, always look forward to experiencing this inexplicable feeling time and again. I attempt to explain this feeling below.
One of those things that excite me are unusual creatures that just come out of nowhere and surprise me with their weird looks. My automatic reaction is to whip up my camera and take quick shots thinking I may not have the same opportunity again. After these quick shots, I follow up with close ups comforted by the fact that I have at least captured on camera what could be a highly elusive creature.
The Two Aliens
I recall that instance when I saw two ugly, weird-looking, slimy frogs that suddenly appeared behind a wall next to our kitchen. They were clambering slowly on a pile of garbage contained in plastic bags that we temporarily hung for easy disposal. Initially, I thought they were snakes slithering their way into the refuse. But seeing they got limbs allayed my apprehension.
As is my usual reaction for encounters like this, I immediately ran inside the house, grabbed my camera and switched it on.
Despite the excitement, I was cautious enough in approaching the pair of intruders. They looked looked like aliens from another world. They do not resemble the common frogs I see prowling our lawn during those rainy days.
Although I normally take pictures of moving creatures at a close distance as much as possible to reveal details for identification later, something warns me to exert extra caution in approaching these slimy creatures. While frogs are not agressive as snakes are, these frogs are of a species quite unfamiliar to me. They appear unfazed despite my camera’s lens closing in on them.
What if these frogs are toxic? I thought of that Brazilian frog known for its highly toxic defensive chemistry – the poison dart frogs. Why are they not afraid just like the animals I encountered before? Do they have a defense mechanism that can help them ward off predators or their enemies in nature?
Common or Uncommon Species?
Questions like this signal the beginning of more detailed examination of the creature for enlightenment. The truth is, I know I am no amphibian expert and could not categorically name these frogs. But I could take some cues and find out using a lot of resources online. The patterns or markings on their skin and their toes might provide clues to their identification.
Alternatively, I could send some of the pictures I took to the National Museum. I did so via email when I found a cobra-like frog several years back, but nobody in the museum responded. I wonder how busy those people are with their affairs. Or are they not keen enough in entertaining reports like this? Are these frogs common or new to science? These questions remain unanswered.
Wikipedia dictionary defines euphoria as “a feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness.” That’s just how I felt each time I had encounters like this one. This feeling keeps researchers going.
Have you had this feeling too?
Milligan, N. (2008). Poison dart frogs: Dendrobates. Retrieved on July 8, 2013 from http://tolweb.org/treehouses/?treehouse_id=4740
© 2013 July 8 P. A. Regoniel