gatorboys_chris

Christopher Gillette

UNDERWATER GATOR TOURS! Photographer Gators/Crocs/Snakes/Sharks Wildlife Biologist Conservationist Email me for tours ChrisGilletteWildlife@gmail.com

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Caribbean reef shark giving me that sideways glance in the Bahamas a few years ago. The reefies are usually the smallest shark we get at this spot but they make up for it with attitude! Photographed with a Canon 70D, 10-22mm wide angle lens, Aquatica housing and Inon strobes. If you enjoy my photos I always read and appreciate comments, also feel free to share and see more at my website www.ChrisGillette.com #aquaticadigital #underwaterphotography #uwphotography #bahamas #wildlifephotography #shark #sharkconservation #respect #reefshark #caribbeanreefshark #coexist #adventure
A short little video of hanging out with Bill the crocodile monitor at the Crutchfield reptile farm yesterday. The other photos are from just about a year ago when we had to move Bill and the other monitors inside from the cold and they were trying to kill us, fast forward to now and he’s a very well behaved and curious monitor. They’re amazingly intelligent creatures, very observant and quick learners. The blood on the box in the video is from a rat he was just fed, and even with the rat blood there and the smell on hands he is still calm and gentle, not trying to bite at all. This drastic change is all through proper training and behavior. Croc monitors are NO JOKE, they’re potentially an extremely dangerous species to work with, they can deliver a DEVASTATING bite that easily cuts through muscle, tendons and nerves. Some of the pics I’ve seen of croc monitor bites are worse than most alligator bites I’ve seen. They’re not aggressive, but if you’re trying to catch or restrain one it can be extremely dangerous. #crocmonitor #crocodilemonitor #lizard #varanus #varanussalvadorii
An everglades rat snake I photographed recently in Everglades National Park. Rat snakes are nonvenomous constrictors that love to eat -you guessed it- rats, but will also feed on birds and frogs. They’re arboreal and often found in trees, and in areas without many trees but ample prey I’ve found half a dozen in just one tree! Trees like this are often the lone tree on the edge of a marsh and pretty obvious with numerous shed skins hanging off like streamers. This individual was in a tropical hardwood hammock. Photographed with a Sony A7riii with a Metabones mark V adapter and Tokina 10-17mm fisheye lens. If you enjoy my photos I always read and appreciate comments, also feel free to share and see more at my website www.ChrisGillette.com #everglades #florida #southflorida #herping #fieldherping #ratsnake #evergladesratsnake
Home sweet home. I photographed this beautiful sunset over a lake at the Santa Cruz field station in the Peruvian Amazon, on the left side you can see the thatch rooftops of the little cabins we were staying in. Such an amazing place, the trees around the lake were full of Phyllomedusa bicolor and other frogs, a spectacled caiman in the lake, tons of snakes, so much life. If you want to join me on one of my amazon trips with @mtamazontours , keep an eye out as I may be running an early summer trip and another fall trip. Photographed with a Sony A7riii with a Metabones mark V adapter and Tokina 10-17mm fisheye lens. If you enjoy my photos I always read and appreciate comments, also feel free to share and see more at my website www.ChrisGillette.com #bushmaster #lachesis #peru #amazon #peruvianamazon #herping #fieldherping #rainforest #amazonrainforest #sunset
A few interesting invertebrate shots from the Peruvian Amazon. The first photo is the side of an armored millipede marching along. Watching the legs ripple as it walks is pretty mesmerizing! It also has a red mite on it, even these guys get bugged by other bugs! The second photo is a large robber fly that landed on my hand. I was already photographing a frog and had the macro lens equipped and was able to get one shot before it took off. Robber flies are voracious predators that regularly take down bees and wasps, quite impressive! The third photo is a beautifully colored grasshopper, there is so much diversity! Photographed with a Sony A7riii with a Metabones mark V adapter and Canon 100mm macro lens. If you enjoy my photos I always read and appreciate comments, also feel free to share and see more at my website www.ChrisGillette.com #peru #amazon #peruvianamazon #herping #fieldherping #rainforest #amazonrainforest #millipede #robberfly #grasshopper #fieldherping #exploretheamazon #herptrip
People ask me all the time about how aggressive crocs are, how aggressive sharks are, how aggressive this kind of snake is. Sure, these animals can be dangerous in certain situations, but NONE of them fit the word aggressive in my mind. To me aggressive means an unprovoked attack with the only motivation being to cause injury(not defense or predatory motivation). Any croc/snake/shark bite is completely dependent on the situation and how the person acted, and the animal will have a clear motivation. I really hate the term aggressive, typically the only aggressive animal I can think of is man. But then there are these A-holes in the picture, nocturnal wasps. I photographed this nest in Peru and these things are gnarly, you can see the one flying at me out of focus in the photo(which is defense, but just wait). Being nocturnal, they’re active at night and are attracted to lights. Now in the US I love bees and wasps and will let them land on me and crawl around and hold them, I have NEVER had one sting me without motivation. These nocturnal wasps on the other hand come flying in out of nowhere from the black void of darkness that is the Amazon night and sting the ever-loving-bejesus out of you! I was nowhere near a nest, not bothering the wasp in any way, and have had multiples come in and deliver a very painful sting wherever they make contact. I was on a boat at night in the river, nowhere near a nest or food source or anything, and had one nail me. They’re attracted to the light, but what was the motivation to sting? Demon spawn, it’s the only reasonable explanation. They’re also very painful, decent sized, and since it’s at night you don’t have a chance of seeing them coming! So maybe these things fit the bill for aggressive! Photographed with a Sony A7riii with a Metabones mark V adapter and Canon 100mm macro lens. If you enjoy my photos I always read and appreciate comments, also feel free to share and see more at my website www.ChrisGillette.com #peru #amazon #peruvianamazon #herping #fieldherping #rainforest #amazonrainforest #venomous #wasp #nocturnalwasp ##fieldherping #exploretheamazon #herptrip
I photographed an underwater view of the tail of a dragon sliding through the aquatic vegetation at night in the everglades. As much as I love photos of the teeth, I also love the mystery of just showing a bit of prehistoric tail, I think it really lends to the imagination. I love seeing these modern dinosaurs in their wild habitat, such impressive creatures. Photographed a few years ago with a Canon 70D, 10-22mm wide angle lens, Aquatica housing and Inon strobes. If you enjoy my photos I always read and appreciate comments, also feel free to share and see more at my website www.ChrisGillette.com #aquaticadigital #underwaterphotography #uwphotography #florida #therealflorida #gator #reptile #alligator #everglades
A lemon shark gliding over the sand and patch reef in the beautifully clear waters of the Bahamas. Although sharks are often feared, they’re so very misunderstood. They’re powerful apex predators that deserve our respect, but when approached correctly they’re actually incredibly calm and nothing like how public perception paints them. Photographed yep years ago with a Canon 70D, 10-22mm wide angle lens, Aquatica housing and Inon strobes. If you enjoy my photos I always read and appreciate comments, also feel free to share and see more at my website www.ChrisGillette.com #aquaticadigital #underwaterphotography #uwphotography #bahamas #reefshark #shark #sharkconservation #respect #coexist #adventure @aquaticadigital
A shot of the face of a bushmaster, in situ, in the Peruvian Amazon. Checkout the size of the head on this snake, it was like a dinosaur! Most snakes have very sleek and relatively slim heads, this bushmaster’s was much more thick and blocky, coupled with their unique scalation, it really reminded me of what I would imagine a dinosaur would look like. It was coiled on the edge of the trail in an ambush position, awaiting any small mammals using the trail. Such an impressive snake, it was like a garbage can lid coiled on the edge of the trail. This one was 8ft+. Bushmasters are the longest venomous snake in the Western Hemisphere, adults can reach nearly 12ft long. In my opinion, the pinnacle of snakes in the Americas. They are large, rare, venomous and elusive. I can’t describe how excited I was to find one in the wild! I had read about them in books since I was kid and have had a few brief opportunities to work with them in captivity, but finding one in the wild in its natural habitat has always been a dream of mine. Right at about midnight we happened upon this ~8ft bushmaster coiled on the edge of the trail. The best word I can use to describe its behavior is calculating. It did not seem afraid of us, but instead stood it’s ground for about 15 minutes, maintaining its original coil, but turning its head very clearly to inspect each of us as we took photos. After a few minutes it then went off into the brush, where I was able to catch and handle it back for a few more photos. I’ll be posting a ton of photos! So amazing, one of the reptile highlights of my life. If you want to join me on one of my amazon trips with @mtamazontours , keep an eye out as I may be running an early summer trip and another fall trip. Photographed with a Sony A7riii with a Metabones mark V adapter and Canon 100mm macro lens. If you enjoy my photos I always read and appreciate comments, also feel free to share and see more at my website www.ChrisGillette.com #bushmaster #lachesis #peru #amazon #peruvianamazon #herping #fieldherping #rainforest #amazonrainforest #lachesismuta #venomous #venomoussnake #viper
A wild veiled chameleon I found in Florida. Native to Yemen and surrounding areas, they are common in the pet trade and have been introduced to many areas in Florida, resulting in huge breeding colonies that are spreading. People intentionally release chameleons to create colonies that they can later come back to collect and sell, almost like a crop. This practice is illegal. Although fascinating and adorable little critters, they do not belong here and can negatively impact native animals. Chameleons have not been seen to cause major damage so far, but the food web is incredibly complex and it could take decades to see the effects or connect the dots to understand the effects. They could hypothetically prey on insects needed for an endangered bird population or provide a food source themselves for a predatory bird, causing an unnatural increase in that species that then allows it to affect others. Because of this complexity we should always err on the side of caution and treat any new invasive species as a potential ecological threat and prevent introductions and spreads. This chameleon was collected in Hendry county and given to an environmental education program. Photographed last year with a Canon 80D, 100mm macro lens. If you enjoy my photos I always read and appreciate comments, also feel free to share and see more at my website www.ChrisGillette.com #chameleon #veiledchameleon #florida #invasive #invasivespecies #lizard #reptile #cham
Softshell turtle spaceship navigating the void. Diving at night is always an incredible experience, floating nearly weightless through the inky black emptiness is a magical feeling, then add in crazy alien looking creatures like this to top it off! This softshell came swimming right up to me to curiously check me out. These turtles have a few interesting adaptations for a stealthy aquatic lifestyle such as an elongated snorkel nose and extremely long neck so they can reach the surface to breathe without leaving the bottom. The shell is also leathery and flexible, very different from the rigid hard shelled turtles most people are used to. Their feet are strongly webbed with thick claws, they swim quickly and dog well. Photographed last year with a Canon 80D, 10-22mm wide angle lens, Aquatica housing and Inon strobes. If you enjoy my photos I always read and appreciate comments, also feel free to share and see more at my website www.ChrisGillette.com #aquaticadigital #underwaterphotography #uwphotography #turtle #softshellturtle #softshell #everglades #florida #southflorida #adventure #coexist #respect #reptile #adventure #floridalife #southflorida #miami #evergladesnationalpark @hecsaquatic @aquaticadigital
An oldie but a goodie, a juvenile mud snake photo from way back in 2012! Mud snakes are a gorgeous aquatic species of nonvenomous snake native in the Everglades. They feed on amphiuma and sirens and are definitely one of my favorite snakes to find. Not sure what camera I was using for this shot, also funny it came up in my FB memories considering @josef_borski @tim_borski_ were just talking about juvenile mud snakes yesterday. #mudsnake #snake #reptile #florida #everglades #herping #fieldherping
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