Importance of Natural Resources

What’s Hiding Deep Within The Rainforest?


As I sit here wrapped up in blankets by the
fire, drinking hot cocoa, my mind wanders to warmer, greener places — tropical lands
with rainforests and oceans filled with incredible creatures. We’ve already talked about what’s lurking
deep in the sea, but what’s hiding in the rainforest? Rainforests cover 6% of the planet and are
home to animals like sloths, toucans and jaguars. You know about those but what about the others? 50% of the world’s species live in rainforests
and there are some weird creatures out there. This is the Potoo bird. These Central and South American rainforest
birds have huge mouths and bulging yellow eyes. Yes, they really look like this. How could something this attention grabbing
survive in the rainforest? Oh, that’s how. These nocturnal birds seemingly transform
themselves into tree stumps and branches during the day. They blend right in! Their predators, like monkeys and falcons,
mistake the birds grey, brown and black feathers for tree bark and leave them alone. Ok, that little guy was cute, but some other
creatures in the rainforest could haunt your worst nightmares. Meet the Candiru fish. This Amazonian fish may only be a few centimeters
long but it can do some serious damage. This parasitic little sucker is known to prey
on larger fish, forcing itself into their gills. Then, the Candiru’s spine opens like an
umbrella, locking the fish inside, allowing it to feast on blood from the hosts arteries. Apparently, it doesn’t stop there. Legend says that these fish swim up the urethra
of unsuspecting people bathing in the Amazon River. Once it’s up there… well, I think you
get the idea. Yeesh! On to something less horrifying, the Rhinoceros
Hornbill! This incredible bird is found mostly in Southeast
Asian rainforests. That second-beak looking thing is actually
hollow and used to attract mates. Rhinoceros hornbills are monogamous, so when
they find a partner, they mate for life. After finding their sweetheart, the female
lays her eggs in a big hole inside a tree. The two lovebirds then seal the mom and the
eggs inside by covering the hole with a paste made of feces and fruit. Yuck. About 75 days later, the mom and chicks burst
through the seal ready to explore the real world. Talk about an entrance. Last up are the decoy-building spiders in
the Peruvian and Philippine rainforests. These tiny spiders can be smaller than your
pinky nail but they’re capable of some pretty creepy stuff. They craft huge replicas of themselves in
webs using leaves, dead insects and even their own skin. Then the real spider hides and shakes the
webs to make it look like the decoy spider is moving when something comes along! It’s thought to be a defense mechanism used
to scare away predators. The rainforest is filled with amazing living
things but experts say we’re losing 137 species every day. You heard that right. The rainforests need our help, and humans
need theirs too. The Amazon alone produces 20% of our oxygen
and forests around the world absorb nearly 40% of the CO2 humans produce every year. Sooo, yeah. We better figure this out or we’re gonna
have a lot more CO2 and a lot less oxygen and also a lot less fun animals like this
little guy. I’m gonna name you Sqwako. What cool animals have you seen in the rainforest? Let us
know in the comments.


Reader Comments

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