Since I have a big passion for the outdoors and nature, the Amazon has always been a mecca to me of adventure and wildlife. This is with a good reason too, because the Amazon rainforest is the most abundant place on earth for wildlife. It’s said that in a typical area smaller than one square mile, there can be over 75,000 species of trees and 150,000 plants alone. The amazon spreads over 8 countries and holds 20% of all bird species, many unique reptiles, mammals, and fish, plus millions of species of insects. The biggest threat to the Amazon is the destruction by man who clear out the Amazon for ranches and farms with most of the deforestation taking place in Brazil. Already 20% of the Amazon has been destroyed and the destruction is not stopping anytime soon. At the current rate of destruction the entire Amazon will no longer exist in less than 50 years.
Above you can see some strange plants found in the Amazon. On the left are some roots of a tree called aerial roots since they are above the ground. There are even some types of trees in rainforests that actually walk. The roots will grow out in one direction and the rear roots will die off, so in time the tree actually moves across terrain and goes towards the sunlight. The rose you seem on the upper right was actually found pretty high up in the trees growing by itself on some small branches.
The first photo above is of a tree that had some spikes growing off the side of it, I’m not sure if this is part of the tree itself or some weird type of external growth that was occurring. On the right is the sunset in the Amazon Basin after a brief rain storm.
Here are some pictures of both welcome and unwelcome guests in the lodge I stayed at. On the left is a wild parrot that has gotten used to humans and usually pays a visit during the day time. On the right is a huge tarantula I saw one night on the ceiling of our lodge. The good thing about the lodge is that it was over an hour away from the nearest town by boat. Once in the lodge you basically get around by hiking and paddling in canoes. There is electricity from a generator so you only have power and hot water a few hours a day. In the night it’s pitch black and you can hear all kinds of insects and strange animal noises.
The huge evil ant you see above is called a conga ant. It’s about the size of a large roach and has a very painful and poisonous bite. On the right are leaf cutter ants that are bringing pieces of cut up leaves into their nests. The ants collect the leaves and feed them to a special type of fungus that grows deep inside their nest, which the ants themselves feed off of. On the bottom left is a huge centipede we saw walking around the forest floor. The small spider on the right is one that I almost walked into while hiking in the forest.
The next pictures are of a small butterfly and a very small frog I found. For some reason the butterfly had no fear whatsoever of me and would walk around my hand and not fly away even when I brought it close to my face to get a better look at it. The tiny frog on the right was hopping around and froze when it saw me. It is pretty well camouflaged but it is standing on two legs with one arm on the green stem holding itself up.
The things you see hanging off the trees above are actually nests of the crested oropendola birds. These birds build their nests high up in the trees and as you can see it must take some talent. On the upper right photo you can see one of the birds getting ready to land and two others already sitting in the trees. On the bottom left is a close up view of the crested oropendola. I’m not sure but the bottom right picture could be of another oropendola species because I saw it in the same area.
The last bird you see above is another one that I saw but I have no idea what species it is yet. On the right though is a bad picture of a pygmy monkey. The pygmy monkey is the smallest in the world and only grows to just over a dozen centimeters. The monkey on the left was very high up and was just staring down at me while I passed by. I have a 12 times zoom on my camera, and I didn’t even realize it was a monkey until after I took a picture and then looked at it on my camera. On the right is a cuyabeno monkey that were passing through the forests. I saw about a dozen of them and they traveled one after another through the canopy.
These last two photos above are of the reptiles I saw while in the Amazon. Whatever species of turtle that is on the left seems to be very common in the area I was at. I passed by a pond that was near my lodge and you can easily spot plenty of turtles there. One of the nights at the lodge we took some canoes and went around a small lake that was about a mile or two from our lodge. The edge of the lake has many eggs from fireflies that glow in the dark, so it’s possible to use them to navigate while you’re in the canoe and without any other light. The rest of the time while you’re using your flashlight, every once in a while you’ll see some red as the light reflects off the eyes of a caiman. On the right is a caiman that we spotted while we were looking for wildlife at night.