The rainforest is one of the most complex and interesting places on earth. It is also full of energy. This energy comes from the plants which are eaten by other organisms known as primary consumers, which in turn are eaten by secondary consumers. The energy continues to travel up the food chain until it reaches the apex predator, at this point there is not much energy left.
As the sun rises, consumers like macaws and harpy eagles begin chirping and screeching. Meanwhile, the jaguar sets out to the swamp in search of caiman, a reptile like the crocodile. However, another predator is already there. The green anaconda. The conflict between the green anaconda and the jaguar is an example of competition. This mighty snake can weigh up to 550 pounds and can swallow a pig easily. When this massive snake comes into conflict with the 3rd largest big cat, who will come out alive? The jaguar tries an ambush attack, but the anaconda shakes the jaguar off and begin wrapping around the jaguars’ chest. The jaguar begins scratching and kicking at the anaconda, drawing blood. The hurt and exhausted snake recoils and tries to flee. However, the jaguar grabs the anaconda and preforms a skull bite killing the snake instantly. Then, it begins to hunt caiman…
Not so far away, a colony of leafcutter ants is gathering leaves from producers like a jackfruit tree. The ants are doing this, so they can obtain some of the energy the leaf got from the sun. In other words, eating it. However, the journey back to their nest is dangerous, as 10 feet, away lies an anteater. The anteater immediately starts trotting to the line of ants. It then proceeds to eat, that is until a harpy eagle begins chasing it. Still the dangers are not over yet. The phorid fly is a tiny insect that attacks the leafcutter ants and lays its eggs on the ant’s head. When the larva matures, the head of the ant detaches. This is an example of parasitism. The ant will soon be consumed by decomposers, such as worms, fungi and bacteria.
It is midday, when a macaw is out searching for food. Suddenly it spies a banana tree. It starts flying toward it when suddenly a puma lunges out. The macaw barely dodges. The puma aims another swipe at the macaw. This time the puma’s paw slightly cut the macaws wing. The puma is about to deliver the killing blow, when suddenly it spots another predator. The jaguar. The jaguar doesn’t normally eat macaws, but it takes opportunities for a chance to eat. These two animals normally stay out of each other’s way. However, both animals are hungry, and they are ready to fight. Perhaps, this will give the macaw a chance to escape from predation. Indeed, it does. While the cats fight the bird escapes. Whatever cat dies shall feed the scavengers such as millipedes and phorid flies although a fight will take place.
The interesting things in a rainforest are not limited to the bugs and animals. The tall trees in a rainforest mean that the other plants can’t get enough sunlight. However, the orchid has evolved to solve this problem. The orchid has evolved so that it can grow on a tree. This helps the orchid get sunlight and the tree does not care at all. This known as commensalism.
As the sun sets, a lone capuchin monkey wonders about looking for bananas or flowering trees. When it spots one the monkey begins climbing toward it. The monkey quickly devours the pollen. In the process the monkey spreads seeds everywhere (annoying a caiman while doing that). The plant gives the monkey food and the monkey spreads its seeds around. Both benefit so this is a mutual relationship. Perhaps, more of the seeds would have been scattered had it not been for a harpy eagle snatching the monkey away.
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