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Origin of Species

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Flooded Forest
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There Goes The Neighborhood...Or Not

Student Exploration

What again?

Floods caused by hurricanes or monsoons or typhoons cause problems for people every year around the world, but it is rare that the same area will be affected every year. What if you lived in a place that flooded every year? And what if these flood waters didn't recede right away but hung around for months? Year in, year out, your home was flooded. Well, there is a place like that in South America. Go here to find out more:

Go here to find out even more about the unique adaptations which this ecosystem has driven: http://www.colley.org/images/Flooded%20Forests%20of%20the%20Amazon.pdf

Extension Investigation

Use the resources below to answer the following questions:

  1. What causes the flooded forest to flood? How does geography play a role in this flooding?
  2. Why do scientists believe that the Amazon river once flowed into the Pacific ocean? Do you find their evidence convincing? Can you think of another explanation?
  3. How do Amazonian river dolphins differ from their oceanic cousins?
  4. Explain how flooded forests are thought to provide better protection for nesting birds than non-flooded forests? Do you think this has the potential to affect the diversity of birds? Explain your reasoning.
  5. What is one explanation proposed for the red face of the Uakari monkey? If this explanation is correct, what kind of selection would this represent? Can you think of alternative explanations?

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