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Tiere der Strauchschicht....


Peru Rainforest Amazon Pachitea Llullapichis Panguana Species Diversity : Tiere der Strauchschicht

On our search for frogs spawn we had something constantly humming over our heads. We discovered a hummingbird that was whirring around in a zig-zag forwards, backwards, sideways, up and down, yet seemed to be interested in a certain spot in the branches. Around five meters up we saw a beautiful red flower. Here, where sunlight penetrated unfiltered to the ground, magnificently colored flowers seemed to attract the shimmering hummingbirds as if by magic. Their colors that can really only be seen at best advantage in the light of the shrubbery level, or of course in the treetops, plays an important role in the fight over territory. 1000 heartbeats and 250 breaths per minute as well as 100 beats of their wings per second require a constant intake of energy. With their beaks that have been specialized to certain species of flowers, the little birds draw nectar out of the luminous glowers by either inserting their beaks into the flower from the side or deep into the flower. The sugar in nectar is the source of energy for these extremely active little creatures. Since they can only have a certain body weight for aerodynamic reasons, they cannot afford to take large amounts of nourishment at one time. This means that they have to take small amounts every few minutes. What happens at night though? Even a sleeping hummingbird needs energy, but since it can't take a large meal for the evening, it would starve overnight if it couldn't hugely reduce its energy needs overnight. Hummingbirds have a body temperature of 40 degrees Celsius by day, which sinks dramatically at night. In order to not fall victim to their predators in this state they spend the night on the very thinnest branches of the forest, which could never support the weight of a brown boa (Corallus hortulanus). The climbing blunt-headed tree snake (Imantodes cenchoa) can move around the fastest in the dark forest, as well as where the sunlight has allowed a thick vegetation to develop. They surprise anoles (Anolis) mostly, which are little iguanas that let their legs hang down while the sleep on the lichen-covered leaves of trees.

Text und Fotos © Andreas Schlüter 2003-2004