21 Apr 2011

Day 15

Research Log
Taped up my foot and went on a tour of the Cerro with Ross, an ex-station manager. He's a very knowledgeable botanist with a very refreshing perspective. He views relationships between species as absolute not symbiotic.

Life in the rainforest is harder than expected. Plants must compete for nutrients in the soil and sunlight from above. So many of them have evolved different strategies.

This plant grows in spiral so that none of its leaves are cast in the shade of any of the others.

This plant exploits green chlorophyl on top, perfect for bright light, and red chlorophyl under its leaves, which is more effective in low light.

Walking palms like this can grow a new root in 4 days, and roots grow in direction of the light. Old roots in the shade die off, so the tree effectively walks into the sunlight.

Animal of the Day
Four-lined Whiptail - Ameiva quadrilineata.
These whiptails are very brave. They often wander around the camp kitchen. We saw this one on a tour, courting with another.

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