National Geographic : 2003 Nov
I n eastern Cuba, up a mountain of exposed rock so razor sharp it shreds boots, there's a cave hot and rank with the smell of bats. Some four million bats of 12 different species live in this cave, including Nataluslepidus (above), one of the world's smallest. At 7:30 every night bats begin to emerge, the smallest spe cies first, then larger ones, hour after hour, a living wave of fluttering bodies in search of insects and fruits. Outside the cave Cuban boas dangle from trees (left) waiting patiently for a passing meal. A boa will curl back, strike like a spring to grasp a bat in its mouth, See flamingos soar and then suffocate the prey in muscular coils (below) join our forum-Has the U.S. before gulping it down. After five nights of trying I embargo affected Cuba's environmental practices? was able to capture these rarely seen behaviors, part Sof r online at natlonalgeograph of what makes Cuba a naturalist's unspoiled Eden. ic.com/ngm/0311.