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The Succession Rhapsody: from sand to Amazon rainforest

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 10, 2017 9:40:35 AM / by Varun Swamy posted in Amazon, rainforest, Tambopata, Cecropia, beaches, succession, diversity, Cedro, dispersal

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I step off a boat and set foot onto a beach, my feet sinking slightly into the soft, fine sand. I pause for a second and contemplate the smooth, featureless terrain in front of me...and then I look further beyond and notice the almost solid green wall of lush vegetation, reminding me that I'm far from the coast and the ocean, in the middle of the Amazon rainforest.


Ground zero: rivers beaches in the Amazon basin are the blank canvas on which primary succession begins.. (Photo: Varun Swamy)
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Why First Time Travelers to Peru Should Consider the Amazon on Their Itinerary

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 26, 2017 2:51:34 PM / by Pat ODonnell posted in Amazon, Peru, Posada Amazonas

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Thinking of going to Peru? Congratulations on picking one of the most exciting and interesting destinations on the planet! But where to go? Most people put Machu Picchu at the top of their bucket Peru list and with good reason; it's probably the most intact, scenic, and accessible of Incan sites. It's also easy to include a tour or two of Lima, a trip to Paracas, and a visit to the Nazca area but what about the other side of the mountains?

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Strangler figs: Silent assassins, diversity engines, rainforest timekeepers

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 19, 2017 12:50:06 PM / by Varun Swamy posted in Tambopata Research Center, Amazon, Peru, rainforest, Tambopata, rainforest fruits, keystone species, frugivores, Buttresses, Canopy, Megaflora, Strangler fig, Ficus

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(Borrowing from a J&B whisky commercial from the 1990s…)

Tradition says: "A tree must begin its life from the forest floor".

Tradition says:  "A tree shall form a relatively cylindrical trunk".

Tradition says: "A tree shalt not kill another tree".

Well, strangler fig trees clearly did not receive these edicts...or perhaps they did, and decided "To Hell with tradition!" - much to the delight of aficionados of bizarre, spectacular tropical nature of the floral kind. 

Ficus ypsilophlebia, a spectacular and emblematic strangler fig species of the Amazon rainforest (Photo: Varun Swamy) 

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Can I Travel to the Jungle Alone?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 12, 2017 12:26:32 PM / by Pat ODonnell posted in Amazon

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The jungle! According to popular culture, tropical rainforests are deep, dark woods that hide countless perils. Enter at your own risk and expect deadly snakes, spiders, and other ferocious creatures at every turn! While such frightening descriptions are an easy means of formulating fiction, such tall tales about Amazonia are only encountered in the realm of books and movies. The truth about this famous rainforest is that it's actually much safer than most cities, and animals of all sizes are a lot more afraid of people than they are of them. But, that said, can you really travel to the Peruvian Amazon alone?

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Five Bizarre Birds from Posada Amazonas

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 15, 2017 2:28:20 PM / by Pat ODonnell posted in Rainforest animals, Amazon, rainforest wildlife, birds

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The rainforests of Tambopata, Peru harbor more bird species than most places on this planet. With that in mind, it's always a challenge to say which species are the most colorful, which ten birds are the most common, and which birds happen to be the oddest ones in the jungle. Since we have more than 600 species to choose from, there's a lot of rare and bizarre to birds we could talk about. However, today, we might as well begin the conversation with five exotic and bizarre species found on the trails of Posada Amazonas.

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Beautiful River Birds of Tambopata Peru

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 28, 2017 5:53:14 PM / by Pat ODonnell posted in Amazon

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Literally hundreds of bird species live in the rich rainforest habitats of south-eastern Peru. However, the irony of that avian abundance is that many of those bird species are naturally rare and/or just hard to see. Our canopy towers and trained guides help in seeing more birds but the places where we look for them also play important roles.

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