Birds in the Mayan civilization: The Owl

Pulsatrix perspicillata or spectacled owl, La Aurora Zoo, Guatemala (Photo by Sofía Monzón)

Written by. Dr.Nicholas M. Hellmuth, Daniela Da’Costa, Ilena García Birds have played an important part in the life and culture of ancient civilizations. Between A.D. 300 and A.D. 600, owls were occasionally featured in the murals and vase paintings of Teotihuacán, Mexico. Some owl eye rings are good replicas of the round “goggles” of the Teotihuacán deity Tlaloc. Mayan art, […]

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Crocodiles, caimans and alligators in Mayan art & mythology of Guatemala

Crocodiles (photos by Nicholas Hellmuth)

There are two species of crocodiles and one species of alligator in the Mayan regions of Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and Mexico. Caiman crocodilus is a caiman, but considered an alligator (not a crocodile) despite its name “crocodilus.” The pattern of scales on this creature is very distinctive: no spikes or sharp spines but lots of raised bumps in a regular […]

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