The trees of the Amazon Rainforest are so closely knitted together and are in such abundance, and sending so much oxygen into the atmosphere it’s no wonder it has laid claim to the name "Lungs of the World".
The trees of the Amazon Rainforest are so closely knitted together and are in such abundance, and sending so much oxygen into the atmosphere it’s no wonder it has laid claim to the name “Lungs of the World”.
The Amazon Rainforest has still much of it’s area to be explored. Meaning there may be still species of both plants and animals unbeknown to Man.
The Forest Floor:
Like the Brocket Deer, many of the mammels that live on the rainforest floor are small and shy. The naturally protected niche usually occupied by deer is vastly filled by different species of rodents: this includes the agouti, paca, and capybara. The Capybara being the world’s largest rodent, growing to 1.3 metres long.
It is the Greater Anteater that patrols the swampy areas with the tapir emerging to feed at night. and it is the large reptiles like the caimans, alligaters, and giant anacondas who lurk throughout the watery habitat.
Large cats such as the Ocelot and Jaguarundi hunt their prey among the leaf little along the forest floor. Along with the largest of the cat, the Jaguar which feels very much at home among the shadows.
The Middle Canopy:
Throughout the middle level of the Amazon Rainforest consists of a whole new range of animal species compared to those on the ground level. It is the Bats who come out at night, darting among the branches looking for a tasty insect morsel. It is interesting to know about the Fisherman Bat (also known as the Greater Bulldog Bat). Which skims the water surface – catches a fish in its claws and devours it all in one swift movement as it flies.
Hidden among the branches insects and spiders thrive in abundance. Among them storms the 15cm Hercules-Beetle witht he equally impressive 25cm Bird-Eating Spider.
Of course the branches of a tree wouldn’t look the same without our feathered friends. The barred woodcreeper, with its stong curved bill looks for insects under bark and inside plants that grow on the branches. The spectacular paradise tanager forages in groups for orchids and other flowers, extracting nectar with their long slender beaks.
One of the gaudiest of all birds is the Scarlet Macaw who resides peacefully in the middle canopy. And along beside this is the fruit eating largest of the Toucan at 60cm.
The Upper Canopy:
The different niches in the forest are exploited by birds in resouceful ways. The upper canopy is the home of predators, such as eagles, hawks, and owls. These birds patrol the air and attack pray at nearly every level. White-collared swifts hunt insects above the canopy, but rarely enter the forest itself.
The highest branches are also a regular “highway” for monkeys, such as the squirrel monkey, as they seek out food. Most monkey species have long hairy tails that can be used to grasp branches. Marmosets, their smaller relations, do not swing from branch to branch but rather bound through the trees as squirrels do. The pigmy marmoset is one of the smallest of all primates, growing to a length of only 35mm including its 20cm tail.
Beside these, resides the very slow moving Three-Toed Sloth, who spendes most of its life hanging from high branches.
And to finish off: A study shows that one single hectare of the Amazon Rainforest consists of circa 750 different tree species: this is more than exist in all of North America.