The diversity of Nature has always left us astounded. No one has ever expected to see a caiman wearing a crown made of butterflies. When we talk about Nature or wildlife, we look at the aggression that it portrays. Lions eating deer, wolves eating sheep, and so on. When these quirky incidents are observed, people often lose their minds. The pictures become a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will always be cherished by the photographer.
The image becomes funny but in a respectful way. Imagine looking at a lion that laughs after scaring a photographer or a Humpback whale that breaches water in front of a tiny fishing boat. These might be some of the sweetest experiences one can have, after sharing so much time with Nature.
What Is a Caiman?
Caiman is a reptile that belongs to the family of Alligators. It is usually found in parts of Mexico, Central and South America where the soil is swampy and full of lakes or mangrove trees. The swamps help them disguise themselves as well as provide them with the basic food for sustenance.
They basically look like crocodiles that are small in stature and weigh around 13 to 88 pounds. Caimans are quite ferocious so they do not face any natural predators in their territory except humans. Humans are the only predators of caimans in their natural habitats as they hunt them down for their meat and skin.
The Reptile With a Crown Made Of Butterflies
Wildlife photographer, Mark Cowan planned to study the lives of reptiles and other amphibians in the Amazon forest and was traveling through its rivers. He was working in tandem with the Herpetology Division at Michigan University. He was on his way when he saw a beautiful sight- A caiman posing with a “butterfly crown” was sunbathing on a small log. He was shocked as well as amazed to see this view and wasted no time clicking a picture.
Mark Cowan was not surprised to see the butterflies perched on the reptile’s head but by how they were color-coordinated. Butterflies usually sit on their heads and drink from their tears as they are rich in water and salts but they were organized into three groups based on their species. The butterflies perched on the reptile’s snout and its tiny little head.
That was pretty cool to see in such a dark and dense forest as it provided the surroundings with something bright. The caiman does not gain anything from such a relationship with the butterflies but its expression shows that he does not mind the attention given to him at all. The caiman rolled its eyes to the side as if it was purposely posing for Mark Cowan to click a picture.
Mark clicked a photograph of the awesome view and enlisted for the 2016 Royal Society Publishing competition in photography. The Royal Society is basically a scientific Journal that shares its exclusive contents for free. It publishes high-impact and peer-reviewed journals that include Philosophical Transactions. He received special commendation for this brilliant picture. He got this commendation under the Ecology and Environmental Science category.
The overall winner of the competition was Imre Potyo, who clicked a picture of the courtship dance of mayflies near the Raba River in Hungary. The Mayflies might have won the competition but the Caiman with a crown of butterflies has won our hearts.