NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
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Union Choco
Darién, Panama
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Latitude and Longitude 8.1381, -77.6157 Map

Age and Sex
; People;


Habitat: River. Equipment Notes: Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo; Sennheiser MKH40 Cardioid Mid Mic and MKH30 Bidirectional Side Mic. PANAMA - Darien Logs DAT #2 - Union Choco - Day Hike - Stereo pair, MS, Sennheiser 40 and a 30 Day 2 - #1Preparing for the Day's hike #2 - 0:02:29-FX Crossing the stream..... boot steps on the rocks ..... (mic handling A right channel NG) 03:35 - just stream ambi - plus steam crossing chatter 04:57 - FX - stream plus birds - (right still seems murky - NG ) 05:33 - FX - stream plus birds (G) - 7:27 08:05 - (G) FX - crossing the river - splashing through. plunks til 8:30 (when Tony starts to talk and interrupts the recording.) 9: 19 - ambience going down the hill - then river ambi and still for forest ambi plus stream on the right, plus some birds 11:02 (G) FX - Bird; stops at 12:40 [Good river forest ambi 9:19- 12:40] 12:50 More forest river ambi - bug flies by at the beginning.... scientists digging in the background- [GI general Ambi for forest river, scientists at work. faint talking...... then some walking in the river .... Embera kids laughing - ends at 15: 16 [Good river ambi with scientists at work -1250 - 15:16] Interview with Biff in the forest: 15:23 -AC: How did you catch this thing Biff? BB - We have this cheap little Radio Shack amplifier which we put leads from in the water, and I go around and listen ...... FX .... the fish is making that sound....and these fish hunt at night, and they come out and make use that electrical field to find prey and also to find one another in courtship--like a bat does? -- Similar, but they're using an electrical signal and waiting for that field to be broken as opposed to active sonar which is pinging off and on...... hear that, (FX -16:08) isn't that wild.... off in.... so we just go around when we're looking for these guys. with this little detector and when we hear 'em. we scoop with the net, and 50% of the time we pick one up ... AC - That fish is 8" long. a little brown narrow fish. Do you recognize that fish? BB Ya, it's a knife fish called hypeopomis. And actually you can recognize it just by the noise it makes...there are about four of these in this area.... and by the electrical signal, you can classify it to species, just the way Elizabeth does with bats without ever seeing it .......... AC: hope he's going to filet it ... BB - In the Amazon they eat these things ..... This guy is interesting because it his a distribution in Panama that if you were just to look at the species you would say it was not interesting .... it's widespread and typically in biogeography, or biodiversity, when you look at a widespread species that crosses areas of endemism, you're like ho-hum, kind of boring, but genetically when you look at this, it's very different in different regions of Panama and in fact, between here and Bocas del Toro, the divergence is very, very large, and suggests a very early colonization event that would have happened prior to the rise of the Isthmus, so it's got this idiosyncratic distribution which opens all sorts of speculation about how animals moved in this area at about the time the Isthmus was rising or slightly beforehand. AC: Do you find this on both sides of the Isthmus? BB: You do find it on both sides of the Isthmus. AC: And are they different species? BB: No, they're t he same species, which until genetics was applied to it, it was just sort of a boring no-hum species that had this widespread distribution, it's only genetics that's told us it's really quite different in different places. AC: Why hasn't it radiated into different species? BB: That's a good question; it's kind of the perennial question as to why some things diverge morphologically and some don't, and it's usually those things that diverge morphologically that we recognize as species. Be... (Notes truncated)

Technical Information

Sennheiser MKH 30; Sennheiser ME 40

Archival Information

8 Feb 2005 by Ben Brotman
8 Feb 2005 by Ben Brotman
8 Feb 2005 by Ben Brotman