Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Rain Forest

In one of the most hostile environments on Earth, there are millions of species thriving in a complex natural world. These environments can only develop where every month is wet, with over 100mm of rainfall neccessary to sustain their growth. The trees, which are some of the tallest structures on Earth, actually produce steam themselves, helping ration the water supply to the dark, humid land under the canopy. The wind collects the vapor and redistributes it across the continent. In this way the trees actually produce their own rain, keeping the forest in the constant dripping state from which they derive their name.
Places such as "The Rainforest Cafe" and various exhibits attempt to reproduce this environment on a small scale in order to educate visitors. The first thing one notices in these exhibits is the continous cacophony of Jungle animals. The element of sound for survival of some species is so fundamental some animals are built particularly to enhance their noise makers. It is similar to life in the ocean in that the sound waves must be able to penetrate long distances against thik interference. For this reason Forest Elephants can produce sounds so low that they are largely beyond the range of human hearing. They also have sensory cells on the soles of their feet that pick up seimic vibrations caused by other elephants and tell them how far away the elephant is from the others. Rather than compete for air time, some insects and insectivors use scent to communicate. Most use pheremones to attract mates or mark territory. The male Dermidoff's bushbaby actually urinates on its hands and feet so that as they patrol their territory, they leave a smelly footprint border.
You can read more about the Jungle here.

4 Comments:

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11:58 PM  
Anonymous solid wood said...

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3:42 PM  
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6:57 PM  
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10:18 PM  

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