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KAMORO ECOLOGY - CHAPTER X.

© Kal Muller, 2004. (Bahasa Indonesia)


01. Freshwater crocodile on the banks of the Iwaka River, a short distance upstream from the eponymous village. This species, found on the south coast, could be a new one, different from the Crocodylus novaeguinensis of the north. Crocodiles are sometimes hunted at night by the Kamoro, with torch-lights.

02. See caption 01.

03. A large crocodile, killed in daylight (quite unusual) just inside the East Levee of the Aikwa River. The animal was partially stifled by a huge overflow of sediments from Lake Wanagon in the highlands. While the meat of this specimen was tasty enough, the age of the beast made it extremely tough. Yound crocodile meat is quite tender. This is the estarine or salt water crocodile, Crocodylus porosus.

04. See caption 03.

05. The Bibron's Soft Shell Turtle is a freshwater species, usually found near the sea. This specimen, Pelochelys bibroni, was killed just before I arrived at Atuka Village. According to the literature, the animal should have broad, whitish horizontal bands on its shell. Perhaps these have faded. The Kamoro name for this turtle species is taparo.

06. This unusual customer, appropriately called the Pig-nosed Turtle, also goes by the name of Fly River Turtle and Carettochelys insculpta. For long it was thought endemic to the south coast of New Guinea but recent discovery of the species in the northermost fringe of Australia has extended the specie's range.

07. The Red-bellied Turtle, Emydura subglobossa, is found only inland where the species can be relatively common in rivers. Long ago, this species was thought to have helped the ancestors of Iwaka Village and thus a taboo was placed on eating it. Unfortunately, the taboo no longer applies.

08. The Amethystine Python, Morelia amethistina, is a wide-spread species in New Guinea, adapted to an extensive range of habitats. This specimen was captured near the coastal village of Kekwa where it is said to be common.

09. Brown Cat Snake atau Ular Kucing Cokelat, atau Boiga irregularis, adalah penghuni daerah rawa/paya di hutan bakau. Tetapi dia juga merasa aman hidup di hutan tropis sampai di bagian kaki lembah. Ular ini sangat tertarik pada lingkungan taman-taman yang diolah manusia. Sewaktu-waktu bisa berkelakuan sangat agresif bila diganggu/diusik oleh manusia.

10. The White-bellied Mangrove Snake, Fordonia leucobalia, likes to hang out in crab-made holes, after eating its occupants. It is an esturine species and has all the adaptations necessary for survival in fully marine life.

11. For the coastal Kamoro, the most common large lizard is the Mangrove Monitor, Varanus indicus. Its meat is much appreciated and the skin is used for the playing surface of drums. Several other varanids exist in the area, including the rare Varanus salvador, said to be the world's longest lizard.

12. For the coastal Kamoro, the most common large lizard is the Mangrove Monitor, Varanus indicus. Its meat is much appreciated and the skin is used for the playing surface of drums. Several other varanids exist in the area, including the rare Varanus salvador, said to be the world's longest lizard. The several lizards in the photo were tied up prior to being eaten.

13. Related to Australian agamids, Hypsilurus auritus is relatively common in southern Papua. The Kamoro say they catch this lizard on full-moon nights and eat them.

14. A saltwater crocodile was caught in a Kamoro fisherman's net in the Aikwa River estuary. Large animals of this size are quite unusual but will become more frequent in the next decade or two as hunting them commercially is prohibited and there is practically no local market for the skins.

15. see caption 14.




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