Rainforest food chain: top predators
The relationships among species in an ecosystem have often been described as a At the very center of the rain forest food web sit the top, or apex, predators. and jaguars—the big snakes, the big crocodilians and the largest birds of prey. Symbiotic relationships are the connection that different animals have with parasitism- one animal benefits at the expense of another;the other animal suffers The algae in turn camouflages the sloth and hides it from predators. have to live on the floor, making much them much easier prey to catch for. The symbiotic relationships in the rainforest are complicated webs of mutually beneficial birds, reptiles and insects may interact with plants and with each other to help with food, reproduction or to protect against predators.
Also, scientists have thought that the snowshoe hare and lynx story of changing numbers is typical of species in the cold, wintry north, but not in the tropics where the climate is relatively stable.
However, the results of the mammal census have shown us that the numbers of only some species stay the same, while many others do show sharp changes. This has coincided with a time when the number of ocelots on the island has remained high at 26 individuals. So did the ocelots eat lots of these agoutis?
How many agoutis do ocelots actually eat? We just don't know. Even with all 30 of our cameras working, we rarely get photos showing ocelots with prey. In hundreds of ocelot still photos we have just two cases of predation-- one ocelot catching an opossum, and one carrying a spiny rat.
The opossum photo is interesting because it's part of a story.
Predator-Prey Relationships - College of Science and Mathematics
We have a photo first of a small "common Opossum" of the type called "Didelphis. This prevents the camera from using up an entire roll of film on one animal that stands in front of the camera.
The next photo shows the male ocelot "Colmillo" which means"Tooth" grasping something dark and furry in his toothy jaws and using his paw to hold it, in the exact same location as where the opossum stood.
Then Colmillo is gone and hours later that night a big opossum stands in the same spot, with his fur sticking up and his eyes wide open in alarm. I went to the location after I developed the film, and found tufts of opossum fur at the exact spot where the small opossum stood.
I imagine that the big opossum was very frightened by the evidence of violence on that spot and the bright flash from the camera. People on BCI rarely see ocelots, and hardly ever observe predators in action. Yet, two remarkable observations occurred in the last few months.
The cat climbed into a low tree, following the monkey upwards. The cat caught the monkey by the throat, and they tumbled to the ground, where the ocelot killed the monkey with a neck bite, and dragged it away into the forest. The other howler monkeys kept screaming for a long time.
These are very special sightings. We also know from the agouti radio-tracking work of Enzo Aliaga-Rosell that agoutis are often eaten by predators. Our video camera-trap allowed us to capture one more case of predation by ocelots, this time on an agouti. Sciencing Video Vault Examples of Mutualism in Tropical Rainforest Ecosystems The complex web of interactions among the species of the rain forest often involves insects, plants and primitive organisms such as fungi.
Ants are especially likely to form various symbiotic relationships. For example, the leaf cutter ant has symbiotic relationships with fungi that they grow as food. The leaf cutter ants cut small pieces off leaves in the jungle and take them underground into their tunnels.
They create small chambers where they store the leaf cuttings.
Fungus grows on the leaves and the ants use bits of the fungus to feed their young. Through the symbiotic relationship, both the fungus and the young ants get fed. A chocolate tree has a much more complicated series of symbiotic relationships with a variety of other species, providing a complex example of mutualism in the tropical rainforest. To ensure pollination, the chocolate tree produces tiny buds that die and rot. These are ideal homes for the midges that it needs to pollinate its flowers.
Once the flowers are pollinated, they grow into large, brightly-colored seed pods. The seed pods are filled with a delicious, fleshy pulp and bitter seeds. With these pods, the chocolate tree attracts monkeys and squirrels that eat the pods but spit out the bitter seeds, in another symbiotic relationship.
The hairless, jellybean-sized creature makes its way to its mother's pouch, where it develops into a real kangaroo—and the first time it jumps from the pouch is almost like a second birth. The fish knocks bugs off of overhanging vegetation by blasting them with a powerful stream of water from its mouth.
Once the insect falls into the water it's helpless, and the archer fish can eat it at its leisure. These amazing fish can spit water up to two meters six feetand they almost always hit their mark.
One species of ant making slaves of another. The slave-makers are known as Polyergus ants, and they are native to North America.
Periodically, Polyergus will raid the colonies of another species, where they use an array of deceptive chemical signals to overcome the other ants. They then carry eggs of the conquered species back to their own colony, where they they raise them and put them to work.
One of the most interesting aspects of this slaving behavior is that, not only does the Polyegus queen participate in the raid, but she is key to its success. The queens of all other species of ants never leave the nest.
Ecosystems - Daintree Rainforest by Sophia Dawson on Prezi
Deep sea anglerfish live so far down in the ocean that there is very little light in their environment. Creatures at that depth are drawn to any illumination, and the anglerfish takes advantage of that fact by using its natural headlamp to attract prey.
But that's not the weirdest thing about the anglerfish: Wait till you see how they mate! In Central and South America, vampire bats emerge at night to sneak up on mammals such as cattle, shave a little skin off of them while they sleep, and drink their blood.
RAIN FOREST FOOD WEB: TOP PREDATORS
In fact, vampire bats at the only mammal species that subsists entirely on a blood diet. Although few vampire victims die of blood loss, some do get rabies from these furry parasites. But no creature puts more effort or artistry into courtship than the male bowerbird of New Guinea. Not only does this amazing avian acquire hundreds of objects of art in order to impress the female of his species, but he builds an entire structure in which to house his collection.