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This Butterfly-topped Caiman Looks Fabulous Like A Fairytale Character

The Amazon rainforest, the largest green area on earth, represents over half of the planet’s remaining rainforest. With unparalleled biodiversity, you can never know what you can find out when venturing into the Amazonia. And in 2016, photographer Mark Cowan was lucky to capture a special sight of a caiman donning a crown of butterflies.

Image Credit: Mark Cowan

This amazing scene was spotted while Mark and several researchers were on an expedition in the Amazon. The expedition was aimed to study the amphibian and reptile diversity for the University of Michigan’s Herpetology Division. And here, the caiman with its flapping crown has totally caught the attention of the crew.

We can clearly see in the picture a caiman with so many butterflies on its head. Those colorful insects perched atop the resting caiman, carefully collecting the salt on its brows. Meanwhile, the reptile looks totally unbothered and lays down composedly on a log. Because some minerals are scarce resources in the forest, butterflies and other invertebrates share this behavior as access to salt, which is vital to their lives.

Image Credit: Mark Cowan

Although the same phenomena have been documented, this time, it is way more astonishing because of the number of butterfly species present and the way each species organizes into a group. Therefore, it is absolutely a fortune to witness such incredible sight like this. This picture of Mark Cowan received a Special Commendation in the Ecology and Environmental Science Category of the 2016 Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition.

H/T: colossal

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