Saturday, April 28, 2012

Amazon Flooded Forest at the Zoo

As part of our Amazon Rainforest study we visited the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit at the Oregon Zoo. This is a section we don't generally spend a lot of time exploring. So, this was a great excuse to look a little closer. I had Capt. N answer a few questions such as Which animal is the most colorful? Why? Which animal is the hardest to find? Why? Can you find all the colors of the rainbow in this exhibit? Mr. T had a piece of paper & a few crayons. He drew the animals. We spent a good 30-45 minutes examining this small exhibit. I would give this field trip an "A."

I'm not sure about you, but I never realized how high the waters get in the Amazon. I guess I never thought about it. The seasons in the Amazon are marked by the rain. During the rainy season the Amazon basin will flood, the waters getting extremely high. Eventually the water will recede showing off the forest floor. Some how the plants & animals have figured out how to adapt to these changes every year.

Red-handed Tamarin
Emerald tree boa in the background. It appears as though these two are in the same area, but really they are separated by glass.

Emerald Tree Boa

Green Anaconda

The exhibit has an area with little fish.

Also in the exhibit are these big fish called pacu. We learned that pacu in the wild eat the fruit from trees when the water is high, then poop out the seeds. When the water level recedes the seeds grow into new trees. Apparently these fish are an important part of the system.

Arrau Turtle
They are an endangered species.

Arrau Turtle. Look at her two little "whiskers." I wonder what they are.

Arrau Turtle. Scaly webbed feet and claws.

Dwarf Caiman. Not exactly the prettiest set of teeth.

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