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Showing posts from December, 2018

An Ode to the Mountain Fort

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I spent most of the year exploring Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, more-so for the tigers than any other animal, and while the alarm calls of chital and sambar, and the occasional roars and growls of tiger still echo in my ears (thanks so much to my colleague’s ringtone), I witnessed a place that is much more than just about tigers. There are also ants here – yes, ants – I stumbled upon a trap-jaw ant (Anochetus cf madaraszi), a first for central India and a new record for Madhya Pradesh while I was contemplating a few seconds before deploying the last camera trap one summer evening, and observed one of the most adorable behaviour among the ant Brachyponera cf luteipes of tandem-carrying, where a fellow sister-worker carries her companion in her jaws to the site of food – a second for India after I saw it first in Valparai. Fascinating what all is hidden or happens beneath the feet of tigers. I lost count of how many tigers I saw on how-many-an-occasion – yes, tigers are more common here …