Amazon Flooded Forest
About the Amazon Flooded Forest Exhibit
The Amazon River is one of the longest rivers in the world. Including all of its tributaries, it touches eight different South American countries, flowing East to eventually empty into the Atlantic Ocean. The areas around the river are covered in rainforest, creating one of the most biologically diverse areas on earth. The waterways that make up the Amazon River basin constantly change their pathways, even seasonally flooding the forest. The water is constantly murky from decaying vegetation, which stains the water a yellow-brown color. The rate of flow of the waterways of the Amazon River can range, leaving areas of relative calm water such as pools and flood plains in some areas and swift white water in other areas.
Our Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit depicts the seasonally flooded areas of the rainforest where the flow is low and nutrients are high. Tree trunks, submerged vines and vegetation, as well as a deep bed of leaf litter would provide safe hiding places for the underwater inhabitants, mirroring the forest above the water. Both predator and prey alike take advantage of the camouflage offered in this area, developing spots and blotches in order to mimic dappling patterns of the sunlight through water. Aquatic reptiles such as the mata mata turtle are made at home in an area like this where their camouflage of leaf-shaped heads and ragged skin flaps let them practically disappear.