Return to the Amazon

Expeditions:Return to the Amazon Gallery

The Amazon

The Ocean Futures Society Team completed a ten-month-long investigation of the great waterway—navigating upstream some 3,700 kilometres and tracing the river near its very source at a melting glacier 4,900 metres high in the Andes to its mouth in the Atlantic. There, the Pororoca, considered the world’s most dangerous tidal bore, roars into life, careening upstream, wreaking havoc along its path.

By air, water and land—flying by helicopter, float plane, the Ocean Futures Cessna, navigating in numerous inflatable boats and aboard the Ariaú Açu expedition vessel, and hiking for days through the rain forest—the Ocean Futures team explored the heart of the Amazon jungle, bringing back an extraordinary acoustic, visual and literary record of life in, on and along the river.

Please click on the thumbnails to begin the slide show and be sure to visit all four galleries!

JUNIOR: Although he broke camera equipment and was prone to giving friendly nips to everybody, "Junior" was the team’s hands down favourite. Here, he "instructs" Matt Ferraro in the proper use of a Sony HDW-F900/3 high-definition camera. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

CHAVO AND HOLLY: "Chavo," an adult uakari monkey, was brought to the orphanage several years ago. He had a bullet wound in the chest and a broken ankle. At Pilpintuwasi, he is very protective of the other monkeys. Chavo has a particularly strong attachment to OFS marine biologist Holly Lohuis. © Richard Murphy, Ocean Futures Society

YOU SCRATCH MY BACK; I'LL SCRATCH YOURS: Now it’s Chavo’s turn for the spa treatment. Holly happily returns the favour to her favourite resident of Pilpintuwasi. © Richard Murphy Ocean Futures Society

ANACONDA: Richard Murphy keeps a respectful distance as an anaconda glides effortlessly through the water. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

CLOSE UP: Richard Murphy takes a close look at an anaconda that has wrapped itself around a submerged tree trunk. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

UNDERWATER TURTLE: A turtle, as seen from below, swims at the surface of the water. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

STINGRAY: Céline Cousteau cautiously approaches a freshwater stingray. Its eye is left of centre. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

TOAD: The South American Common Toad (Rhinella margaritifera) is typically diurnal. At night, it sleeps on leaves or branches. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

LONG DAY: A spider's work is never done. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

VORACIOUS PREDATOR: The tiger beetle, a type of carabid beetle, has bulging eyes, runs fast and is a formidable hunter. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

HAND-TO-MOUTH EXISTENCE: Squirrel monkeys are insectivorous. They are also highly social, living in groups of up to 500 individuals. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

GREAT EGRET: A Great Egret (Ardea alba) swallows a sábalo cola roja (Brycon cephalus) whole. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

HEAVY LIFTING: Fishermen at the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve pull in pirarucu. And, in grappling with the huge fish, sometimes they themselves get pulled into the drink! © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

ELLEN: Village girl, Ellen Rodrigues Carvalho, also takes a shine to the photographer. Although used to the presence of tourists who come to visit and buy local crafts, the children seem fascinated by Vonderhaar’s camera equipment, and, most likely, her golden locks. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

MIGRATION: This small waterfall is one of the hurdles fish have to overcome in their migration. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

OMINOUS CLOUD: A pillar of smoke reaches towards the sky as yet another section of the Amazon near Manaus burns. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society

EMBERS: Embers glow at the base of a decimated, ash-covered tree. Photographing the scene, Carrie Vonderhaar’s rubber-soled shoes begin to soften from the intense heat of the ground. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

POINT OF COMPARISON: Just how far the river rose during high-water season is made graphically clear by the line separating the darker-toned, water-saturated bark from the lighter-toned section that remained above the water line. Céline Cousteau stands at the base of the tree. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

JUST A PILE OF LEAVES?: Also called "leaf turtle" because underwater it looks like a pile of leaves, the mata mata is a master of disguise. Jean-Michel Cousteau checks the critter out. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

ARMADILLO: This small armadillo turns out to be shy, and it isn’t long before it takes off. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED