Chat Archives
Chat on ""Rainforest Wildlife-Unique adaptations"" dated February 19, 2012
  • Susan Sharma: Welcome Kashmira
  • Kashmira Kakati: Thanks Susan. We start in 5 minutes?
  • Susan Sharma: Yes. at 7.30.
  • Kashmira Kakati: Ok.
  • Susan Sharma: Please remember to keep your messages short one or two sentences at a time.
  • Kashmira Kakati: OK.
  • Susan Sharma: Hi Niranjana
  • niranjana.: Hi susan
  • niranjana.: how can we start
  • Susan Sharma: Todays topic is rainforest wildlife- ask questions to our expert
  • niranjana.: kasmira madom ,rain forests are becoming de-forested.what is your opinion?
  • Kashmira Kakati: Yes - they are. Equatorial rainforests like in Borneo and Sumatra are going the fastest to go - to oil palm, paper, coffee.
  • Kashmira Kakati: Hi Sridhar - thank you for joining.
  • T R Shankar Raman: Hi! 'Evening to all.
  • Kashmira Kakati: And we are seeing the more charimatic mammals go with them too - like the Sumatran rhino, tiger and elephant..
  • niranjana.: I am from kerala near silent valley national park.It is the only typical ecosystem of lion tailed maccaqua,they are in extinct
  • Kashmira Kakati: Are they gone from Silent Valley?
  • niranjana.: no.but in kerala one can only see them in silentvalley
  • niranjana.: What is the condition of rain forests north,north eastern India?
  • T R Shankar Raman: LTM are also seen in some other sanctuaries in Kerala, especially in Agasthyamalai, Anamalai etc.
  • Kashmira Kakati: Yes, rainforest adapted animals like the LTM and gibbons will often be the first to go when the forest goes.
  • Kashmira Kakati: Hello Samrat and Narayan. Thanks for joining in.
  • niranjana.: I am supporting you
  • Kashmira Kakati: We were going to talk about the adaptations of rainforest wildlife. You are right to bring up the LTM.
  • niranjana.: Rain forests are rich in the number of bird species also.........
  • Samrat Sengupta: Hi everbody...me and Monsoon Jyoti Gogoi(Butterfly researcher) from NE India is chatting together due to poor internet access
  • Kashmira Kakati: So fine-tuned is it to itsforest habitat, it may be the first to 'indicate' when something is wrong with its habitat.
  • Susan Sharma: Welcome to all
  • Kashmira Kakati: Hi Monsoon and Jegan - good to see both of you.
  • P Jeganathan : Hello everyone
  • Samrat Sengupta: hi kashmira ba @monsoon
  • niranjana.: An animal can only fittest in its typical habittat
  • Kashmira Kakati: Let's start with plants - many in rainforests have buttress roots (to be stable in what are often shallow soils, trees with shallow roots).
  • Kashmira Kakati: They have drip-tips on their leaves - all the better to shed the rainwater and prevent fungal growths etc.
  • Kashmira Kakati: Lianas and epiphytes are also typical of rainforests. Can you say why?
  • niranjana.: Rain forests have thick canopy ......It is helpfull to making habittat
  • Samrat Sengupta: Kasmira ba....I am planning to carry out a research work on Squirrels ( Specially Flying Squirrels) in upper Brahmaputra landscape
  • niranjana.: Rain forest's charecteristics are helpfull to the growth of lianas and epiphytes
  • Samrat Sengupta: any suggestions kashimra ba and Narayan da?
  • Kashmira Kakati: Lianas and epiphytes grow on trees..the better to catch the sunlight, which is scarce the lower you go.
  • Narayan Sharma: Hi everyone!
  • Kashmira Kakati: Good you mention flying squirrels Samrat. Great idea - another species that requires trees to get from here to there.
  • niranjana.: I think we must change our subject to the biodiversity in rainforest
  • Samrat Sengupta: Rainforests in NE is home of butterfly very rare species like Blue Quaker (described from Margherita), i got in Jeypore(monsoon).
  • Kashmira Kakati: Samrat - will make my site suggestions on email to you if that is alright?
  • Samrat Sengupta: Thanks Kasmira Ba...
  • Kashmira Kakati: So tell us Samrat, Monsoon - how are rainforest butterflies uniquely adapted? One example?
  • niranjana.: I am only a ninth standard student .Can you please chat together in simple language
  • Kashmira Kakati: Sure Niranjana, we'll keep it simple.
  • niranjana.: Thankyou
  • Samrat Sengupta: Can you please tell a representative defination of a Rainforest?
  • Kashmira Kakati: Do you know Niranjana that rainforest plants 'use' animals for their selfish ends?
  • niranjana.: I dont understand
  • Kashmira Kakati: There are bright flowers that open in the day to attract birds, and those that open in the night to attract the moths and bats.
  • niranjana.: Oh is it....!
  • niranjana.: Samrat's question is remaining un answered
  • Kashmira Kakati: There are badsmelling flowers (rafflesia) that attract flies.
  • Samrat Sengupta: Rainforest species(Blues,Skippers) are confined to dense forests (monsoon)
  • Kashmira Kakati: There are pretty orchids that provide a 'landing-pad' to their pollinators - an extra long petal.
  • niranjana.: More examples from indian rain forests?
  • Kashmira Kakati: Samrat - we know rainforests mainly from the belt of tropical rainforests. They qualify on rain, no. of rainy days...
  • P Jeganathan : can i tell one interesting adaptation by a group of dragonfly
  • niranjana.: It is an exellent defenition
  • Samrat Sengupta: In the high-mid elevation of himlayas, the Blues, Skippers occur in open patches, but not so in rainforest (monsoon)
  • Kashmira Kakati: ...nature of leaves (usually big or 'mesophyll'), adaptations like buttresses and drip-tips, tiered canopy structure
  • Kashmira Kakati: Yes Jegan - please.
  • P Jeganathan : Gomphids are fast flying dragonflies
  • P Jeganathan : they emerge mainly during monsoon
  • P Jeganathan : many of them lay eggs in decaying wood
  • P Jeganathan : adjacent to water
  • niranjana.: In our area dragon flies are coming back to the fields
  • P Jeganathan : the larvae stays for several months/years
  • Kashmira Kakati: in the wood?
  • P Jeganathan : yes wood submerged in water
  • P Jeganathan : some even on the logs fallen near bank of streams
  • Kashmira Kakati: why do they not hatch for months/years?
  • P Jeganathan : larval period of odonates are generally several years
  • P Jeganathan : no so much like cicadas
  • niranjana.: Kasmira mam,Can we plese return to our main subject?
  • P Jeganathan : but quite a few years around 3-4 years
  • Kashmira Kakati: Yes Niranjana. Jegan is telling us about how a group of dragonflies are adapted to the rainforest. Let's hear him out.
  • P Jeganathan : in the rainforest streams
  • niranjana.: I am sorry jegan sir
  • P Jeganathan : no problem
  • P Jeganathan : water flows under the canopy
  • P Jeganathan : mosly
  • P Jeganathan : mostly
  • P Jeganathan : they lays eggs in the log and some in flowing stream
  • Kashmira Kakati: Excellent - so we have really wet larvae that eventually know how to become fast-flying rainforest dragonflies!
  • P Jeganathan : so the eggs are sometimes sticky in nature
  • P Jeganathan : its quite amazine
  • Kashmira Kakati: Yes it is. Samrat, Monsoon - can you tell us a butterfly 'adaptation'? let's say camouflage?
  • niranjana.: I think it must be included more informations about forests in our sylabus of high school
  • P Jeganathan : blue oak leaf- a good example?
  • Kashmira Kakati: Yes Niranjana, I don't think at the moment we learn enough of our local environments in school. It is important to know.
  • Samrat Sengupta: Coming to camouflage, Orange Oakleaf is a good example
  • Kashmira Kakati: Jegan - it is oak-leaves I was thinking of.
  • Samrat Sengupta: yes kashmira ba(monsoon)
  • niranjana.: Where are them seen?
  • Kashmira Kakati: Yes, folded they look like a brown leaf. Impossible to know it is a living thing if you are a predator.
  • Kashmira Kakati: Until they open their beautiful wings.
  • Samrat Sengupta: Yes , you are right Kashmira ba(monsoon)
  • Kashmira Kakati: So these are some animal adaptations - camouflage, bright colours (often warning colours..telling predators they may be toxic),
  • P Jeganathan : have you guys seen a perfectly camouflaged stick insect on a moss covered tree branch?
  • niranjana.: Yes we had.it is common here
  • Samrat Sengupta: Narayan Da...please share your experiances here
  • Kashmira Kakati: nocturnality (to avoid to great heat of day, to hunt more effectively).
  • P Jeganathan : even their body pattern resembles moss and lichens
  • niranjana.: yes.it is favourable to their fittest
  • Kashmira Kakati: Yes, it is amazing how much life in the rainforest lies so still and hidden. Then they flush from under your feet and give you a fright (quails and partridges!)
  • Samrat Sengupta: They are very Cryptic in Nature
  • T R Shankar Raman: One of the strangest adaptations we've seen here is that of this fungus (called Cordyceps)...
  • Kashmira Kakati: It is amazing that even rainforest elephants are so silent. When they rumble somewhere near you, your whole body vibrates!!
  • T R Shankar Raman: It infects little insects, ultimately 'eating' them up from the inside... but before the insect dies...
  • niranjana.: If it is not, we the human will destroy them
  • T R Shankar Raman: the fungus infects its 'brain' in a way to make it go die in a leaf from where the fungus body can sprout
  • T R Shankar Raman: ... and then release its spores!
  • niranjana.: Sir,i hadn't understood
  • Kashmira Kakati: Right - eat or be eaten! Amazing - Cordyceps in the Himalaya is collected and sold as 'Yarshagumba' - a medicine.
  • T R Shankar Raman: Well, the fungus in a sense influences the insect's behaviour and makes it go to a good spot from
  • niranjana.: I had recently read a book by Jim corbett .He says about the silent nature of tigers in rain forests
  • T R Shankar Raman: where the fungus' spores can disperse well... and by that time the insect is badly infected and dies there.
  • niranjana.: What about tigers behaviour in rain forests?
  • abhishek meshram: hello everyone my self abhishek from nagpur indias 'tigers capital'.
  • niranjana.: So i think you can answer me
  • abhishek meshram: yes i think so
  • niranjana.: Then please........
  • abhishek meshram: there are 5 tigers reserve around nagpur
  • Kashmira Kakati: Yes Sridhar, and now parasites from cats are apparently making us 'crazy'.
  • Kashmira Kakati: Niranjana, tigers occur in very low densities in rainforests.
  • niranjana.: What are the causes?
  • Kashmira Kakati: that is low numbers per unit area. That is because the food/forage is off the forest floor and ...
  • Samrat Sengupta: Tiger presence depends on prey base
  • Kashmira Kakati: does not help support big numbers of prey (like deer, gaur) that grasslands do.
  • niranjana.: Yes.really!
  • Samrat Sengupta: Yes Exactly Kasmira ba..........
  • Kashmira Kakati: They are naturally elusive (except in a few reserves in India), and with low numbers even more so in rainforests.
  • niranjana.: Here in kerala it is seen more in Periyar,parambikulam-semi ever green forests
  • abhishek meshram: vidharba in india is the one of last place u can view tigers in their natural habitate.
  • Kashmira Kakati: So don't count on seeing one in Silent Valley:) If you did, you would be a very lucky girl indeed.
  • Kashmira Kakati: Abhishek, Vidharba - is it rainforest, or drier?
  • abhishek meshram: our whole india comes under rainforest ma'am
  • Samrat Sengupta: What are the growing threats to this critical ecosystem Kashmira Ba??
  • Kashmira Kakati: No Abhishek. I wish:) Rainforests in India are limited to northeast India and the Western Ghats.
  • abhishek meshram: south asia more specifically.
  • niranjana.: Western ghats are a good example
  • Kashmira Kakati: It is a very small area of India that is rainforest.
  • Samrat Sengupta: To be Specific....NE Jeypore?
  • Samrat Sengupta: Threats?
  • Kashmira Kakati: Samrat..forest fragmentation, unplanned development projects, changes in climate..just plain outright conversion.
  • Samrat Sengupta: may be generalised Management practices also?????
  • Susan Sharma: Shall we keep the threats to rainforests in the next chat?
  • niranjana.: Global warming effects our rain forests very well.Isnt it?
  • Kashmira Kakati: In AMazon and southeast Asia, it is easy to see. In India, the changes creep up.
  • Kashmira Kakati: Ok, Susan. Yes, this chat was to be about adaptations.
  • niranjana.: What is dieback process?
  • P Jeganathan : i think we covered examples such as butterfly, odonate, fungus, tiger
  • abhishek meshram: animal-human conflicts are getting more inour area.
  • P Jeganathan : stick insect
  • Samrat Sengupta: these are broad topics which will need more chat sessions
  • P Jeganathan : what else we can think of?
  • Kashmira Kakati: Have we gone over our allotted time Susan?
  • Susan Sharma: Normally the chat is for one hour-but we can extend by a few mins
  • niranjana.: I am very lucky to chat together with great persons like you all
  • Susan Sharma: So when you are ready tell me I will close the chat room
  • abhishek meshram: learned new things 2day. thnks
  • niranjana.: Ok....good night
  • P Jeganathan : Any unique adaptation for birds TRSR?
  • P Jeganathan : some interesting examples?
  • Kashmira Kakati: We left out those great rainforest group - frugivores! Sridhar?
  • P Jeganathan : Calls and songs can be one - other than that?
  • T R Shankar Raman: Well, hornbills are well adapted to eat fruits... large beaks, but interesting also are the imperial pigeons
  • T R Shankar Raman: which can sort of expand their (lower) beak to swallow fruits that appear larger than their mouth!
  • Kashmira Kakati: Macaquey!
  • T R Shankar Raman: An interesting hornbill adaptation are their 'eyelashes'... very rare in birds... but may act as a 'sunshade'!
  • Samrat Sengupta: interestingSir
  • T R Shankar Raman: Hornbills beaks are huge, but their eyes are positioned such that the tip of their beak are in binocular focus...
  • T R Shankar Raman: helps to pick the right fruit!
  • Kashmira Kakati: and look into the right lady's eyes, presumably:)
  • T R Shankar Raman: One wonders whether the birds are adapted to eat fruit or the fruit are adapted to make birds eat them! Both!
  • Kashmira Kakati: It is also interesting that plants will produce fruits that are attractive to hornbills and other frugivores.
  • T R Shankar Raman: Yes... and thanks for the interesting chat, folks!
  • Kashmira Kakati: Yes - just what I was going to say. I attended a seminar once about red-green color recognition in primates.
  • Kashmira Kakati: That the trees evolved to turn their fruit red-yellow ..at the same time as the primates got their cones & rods in alignment to see thm.
  • Kashmira Kakati: We don't know ...that's what makes rainforests so attractive to researchers! Thanks Susan, thanks all for joining in.
  • P Jeganathan : these are very interesting facts know is there any specific books on this particular subject
  • P Jeganathan : hanks
  • P Jeganathan : Thanks every one!
  • Kashmira Kakati: Jegan..start with Whitmore's 'An introduction to tropical rainforests' if you haven't seen it already. Bye and goodnight. Thanks again.
  • Susan Sharma: Thanks all and esply Kashmira
  • Kashmira Kakati: You are welcome Susan, thanks for inviting me.
  • Susan Sharma: Shall I close the room, kashmira?
  • Samrat Sengupta: bye
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