How did S.A. natives survive the dangerous animals?

Tairusiano

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
2,976
Brazil
I hope this is an appropriate question for this sub-forum.

I'm reading The Lost City of Z which describes the wide variety of dangerous plants and animals that Percy Fawcett's expeditions had to deal with.

The various poisonous plants, venomous snakes, and dangerous insects took a severe toll on most of the expedition members.

This makes me wonder how the natives dealt with these biological hazards.

By any chance, can anyone here provide a reference to some information on this topic?

Thank you in advance.
The natives had thousands of years in adaptation you are reading about Fawcett it is probably amazon, people in europe or north america, think that the biggest problems, are big animals in reality the smallers ones are the danger, in amazon there are a certain rule that says if you dont know the water you dont enter why, Piranha, Poraque(electric eel),Anaconda, there are a pretty crazy small fish called Candiru or vampire fish that enters the gills of fishes and can enter some holes in human body.
another survival technique is if a monkey is eating a fruit or plant you can also eat because, the dangerous ones also kill them so they dont eat them.
Not sleeping in the ground because things like giant centipede, fire ants, spiders or dart frogs even the touch of the skin can be dangerous.
Most 19 and 20th century expeditions would not follow the natives way, because peoples tought that they would not follow the savages, so many ended dead, people still end death there, Brazilian army has a special hospital to treat turists and people that think amazon is not especially hostile most of them die from hiperthermia because the place is so humid that the body dont cool in a efficient way and people can overheat in hours.
source: 20 years living there with two cases of malaria, and one of mayaro, and even saw they pulling from water, the half of what was a adult man.
 
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Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,883
Australia
How do you adapt to a spider that can kill you?
Australia has two of the world's deadliest spiders, both of which are extremely common throughout the most densely populated part of the country (I could find half a dozen in different locations just in my front yard). We have had two fatalities in the last 40 years.
 
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zincwarrior

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
5,711
Texas
Australia has the world's deadliest spider, which is extremely common throughout the most densely populated part of the country. We have had one fatality in 37 years.
We had an Aussie spider outbreak in 1943 in New Mexico from a shipment of beer that went to White Sands. We had to resort to extreme measures to deal with them...
 

Tairusiano

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
2,976
Brazil
Australia has two of the world's deadliest spiders, both of which are extremely common throughout the most densely populated part of the country (I could find half a dozen in different locations just in my front yard). We have had two fatalities in the last 40 years.
The wandering spider kills more people in Brazil, on average per year 82 people die from spider bites in Brazil, with the half deaths by the wandering spider.
They only loose to the number of death by snakes accidents with 117 cases per year.
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,883
Australia
We had an Aussie spider outbreak in 1943 in New Mexico from a shipment of beer that went to White Sands. We had to resort to extreme measures to deal with them...
What did you expect? Everyone knows that you don't take beer away from an Aussie. If the spiders were left alone with their beer, there wouldn't have been any problems. :D
 
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Dreamhunter

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
7,486
Malaysia
The tropics are a killer for unfamiliar White adventurers. They'd be acting like the jungle is something to be 'conquered', just like they're always wont to do with a mountain or anything else. When in reality that ain't how it works. At the end of the day, it is the jungle that will end up 'conquering' you, especially if you're the haphazard, hasty,impatient type.

A usual occurrence is someone hacking away at everything in his path with his machete or big jungle knife. You do this in thick verdant tropical jungle, you'll be knackered shhitless in an hour at most. Maybe two hours if you're a superman.

Nope, you don't slash every vine, branch or frond that stands in your way. You save your energy & find a way through them or around them. And you watch out for them big sharp thorns every step of the way.
 

Dreamhunter

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
7,486
Malaysia
As for what or what not to eat, and what to stay away from, that wud be part of childhood education from small, the tuition coming from folks older & more experienced than you. That's how you learn to avoid snake, scorpion, centipede, vicious looking wild spider etc.

For adults wandering through the woods, if a fruit, nut, bean or tuber looks like it is a regular food of some animal, from bite signs on partly eaten fruits, ants or insects feeding on it, actual witnessing etc., that wud be a reasonable indication that it is okay for consumption.

For something completely new & unfamiliar, the safest thing to do is to avoid it altogether. But in a desperate case like when you're lost & starving, you crush some & rub it on your skin, like arm or back of hand. If no reaction after 10 - 15 minutes, you put a minute amount on your tongue. If no reaction after 10 - 15 minutes & still tolerable, you try swallow some, just a tiny bit. If okay after one hour, then only you try taking more. At the slightest sensation of discomfort, stop.

The shoots of plants are normally much less toxic than the older leaves. Many folks in SEA collect & eat them for salad.
 
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zincwarrior

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
5,711
Texas
The tropics are a killer for unfamiliar White adventurers. They'd be acting like the jungle is something to be 'conquered', just like they're always wont to do with a mountain or anything else. When in reality that ain't how it works. At the end of the day, it is the jungle that will end up 'conquering' you, especially if you're the haphazard, hasty,impatient type.

A usual occurrence is someone hacking away at everything in his path with his machete or big jungle knife. You do this in thick verdant tropical jungle, you'll be knackered shhitless in an hour at most. Maybe two hours if you're a superman.

Nope, you don't slash every vine, branch or frond that stands in your way. You save your energy & find a way through them or around them. And you watch out for them big sharp thorns every step of the way.
Thats not correct actually. Lots of swamps and jungles have been conquered. The Harrisburg swamp is now concrete under Houston.