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Incredible evolutionary adaptations to make a living in the Amazon Rainforest


June 12, 2017

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In this blog, we will introduce you to three species that have undergone incredible adaptations to survive in the highly competitive amazon rainforest.

First of all, I would like to give you some background into interspecific competition, and the population dynamics of the Amazon. We often hear about how biodiverse the Amazon Rainforest is, but this might be misleading. You will find more species than anywhere else in the world, but you will find less individuals of each species. This is because species are competing not only against members of their own species, but also against members of different species.

Long-billed Woodcreeper

This bird, which belongs to the Furnariidae family, is the only one which such a long beak. This allow this bird –which spends most of its time hunting for insects in the branches of big, old trees- to be able to reach the darkest and longest crevices, which gives it a competitive advantage over other birds that hunt for the same type of prey, in the same conditions.

The best place to see this bird is in our Canopy Tower the tallest in the Amazon basin, and situated in the Camungo Oxbow lake of the Tambo Blanquillo Private Reserve, where it is usually seen hunting for arachnids and insects on the branches of the supporting tree.

Wattled Jacana

Wattled Jacana - Photo: Jess Findlay

Wattled Jacana – Photo: Jess Findlay

The Wattled Jacana, a very common bird which is easy to find in all three of our Oxbow Lakes, has evolved extremely long toes, which allow them to distribute their weight over a bigger area, and reach places other birds will sink on.

Thanks to this adaptation, these birds can reach for flies and other aquatic animals, where no other bird can. Thank to this adaptation, they are extremely abundant, and therefore easy to see in our Blanco, Camungo, and Blanquillo Oxbow Lakes. All of them within the Tambo Blanquillo private reserve.

Spider Monkey

Spider Monkey - Photo: Bertie Gregory

Spider Monkey – Photo: Bertie Gregory

Spider Monkeys –which happen to be the largest monkeys in the Peruvian Amazon- have the longest, and most evolved prehensile tail. This tail functions literally like a fifth extremity and give these monkeys and mobility advantage, allowing them to travel further and make longer jumps.

The best place to see these monkeys within the premises of the Tambo Blanquillo Private Reserve is on our Canopy Tower situated in the Camungo Oxbow lake as mentioned before. Every afternoon, a group a up to 15 individuals feeds on the trees surrounding our tower, allowing for eye-level shots of this endangered monkey, like the one pictured above, which was taking by our once volunteer, Bertie Gregory.

Please, if you have any comments or questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

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