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By William J. Folan

Coba

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Extra resources for Coba. A Classic Maya Metropolis

Sample text

4 A folk sketch of the sascabera showing the distribution of mining debris. Neither the pillars nor other features are drawn to scale. (Plan by Caamal and May in Folan 1978c:Fig. 4). is a tropical rain forest with leached zonal soils interspersed with calcimorphic and hydromorphic groups as well as Lithosols (young soils whose chemical composition is similar to that of the bedrock from which they are formed). The zonal soils are formed by calcification, laterization, or podsolization. Mollisols In Yucatan and Quintana Roo, Mollisols are the most common soil type.

Over 900 species have been recorded in Mexico by Smith and Taylor (1945, 1950). Sea and land turtles are of considerable economic importance for their shells and as food. Lizards are also well represented, including about 275 species in Mexico (Smith and Taylor 1950). The large iguana and its relatives, the ctenosaurs, are generally distributed throughout the lowlands, both food items prized in many places but not by contemporary Cobaenos. Coba and Middle America have more than their share of snakes (Ophidia).

Although generally docile by nature and reluctant to bite, the coral snake is poisonous. Pit vipers, including the fer-de-lance (Bothrops) and the bushmaster (Lachesis), are both found in Coba and the tropical lowlands. The bushmaster is common in the Yucatan and is the largest of poisonous snakes in the New World, growing 4-5 m in length. No rattlesnakes were sighted by us in Coba. Amphibians Frogs and toads (Anura) comprise the bulk of Middle American amphibian fauna. The family Phinophrynidae (primitive frogs and termite eaters) appears only in the Mexican lowlands, the Yucatan, and northern Guatemala.

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