the amazon rain forest

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Lycaenid butterfly (Arcas imperialis) by Geoff Gallice
Via Flickr:
Lycaenidae Los Amigos Biological Station, Madre de Dios, Peru

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Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) is one of the most common owls in the Americas. They are highly adaptable hunters that are able to thrive in environments ranging from arctic tundra to harsh desert and are only absent in the Amazon rain-forest and southern part of South America. Great Horned Owls are one of the few predators that regularly feed on skunks and were described by early naturalists as “Tigers of the Sky”.

Zombie Ant Fungus

The Zombie Ant Fungus (Ophiocordyceps unilateralis) is an entomopathogen, or an insect-pathogenising fungus. The fungus uses its spores to infect Carpenter ants. Infected ants leave their canopy nests and foraging trails for the forest floor, an area with a temperature and humidity suitable for fungal growth; they then use their mandibles to affix themselves to a major vein on the underside of a leaf, where the ant will remain until its eventual death. The process leading to mortality takes 4–10 days, and includes a reproductive stage where fruiting bodies grow from the ant’s head, rupturing to release the fungus’s spores.

❤  Because we have today, “International Women’s Day” - I wanted to wish all the Sisters in the world the blessings of virtues, graces and the opportunities which give us the Bright Lady (divine Female Principle):   ❤

“When the first chakra is disconnected from the feminine Earth, we can feel orphaned and motherless. The masculine principle predominates, and we look for security from material things. Individuality prevails over relationship, and selfish drives triumph over family, social and global responsibility. The more separated we become from the Earth, the more hostile we become to the feminine. We disown our passion, our creativity, and our sexuality. Eventually the Earth itself becomes a baneful place. I remember being told by a medicine woman in the Amazon, ‘Do you know why they are really cutting down the rain forest? Because it is wet and dark and tangled and feminine.”


~ Alberto Villoldo (art work by Luis Tamani)

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First look at Ainbo, an animated film by José Zelada at Tunche Film (Peru).

Ainbo is a girl born in the Amazon rain forest. She is protected by Motelo Mama, a gigantic turtle and the most powerful spirit of the forest. Her life changes when Yacurunu, an ancient demon, threatens her home.  

The project will be presented in Berlin for international sales, but the delivery date is still unknown. 

freja was waiting - waiting like she had for the past 850 years. her consultant said they’d call her if there were any sign of her siblings, a simple whisper of them being in the middle of the amazon rain forest and she’d be there in a flash. she just needed them back in her life. hanging up her phone she threw her phone with all her strength away from her. “i can’t do this anymore.” she pulled her legs up to her body as she sat on a wooden bench in the middle of town, resting her head on her knees. 

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The Brain Scoop:
How to Protect the Rainforest

Wherein I interviewed expedition leader and rockstar Corine Vriesendorp about what it means to conserve and protect the Amazon rainforest, in light of the overwhelming global demands for natural resources. 

This is the final installment in our Amazon Adventures series. We set out with the goal to share some of the fantastic conservation work of The Field Museum’s Action Center, and I hope we came even remotely close to spreading their complex and dynamic mission. If I never get to visit the rainforest again, this trip and all of the untold opportunities it held for me – as a communicator, passionate science enthusiast, and lover of the natural world – will forever be a highlight of my life. 

Places I’d Like to Be in the Rain
  • A ship at sea
  • London, with a black umbrella, on my way to meet a stranger in a dark, little pub where we will plot a revolution.
  • A garden in April. Everything smells fresh and damp. 
  • The middle of the Amazon rain forest, joyfully diving into a river, the call of howler monkeys and green parrots accompany the pouring rain.
  • A moor. In Scotland. Preferably riding a horse.
  • A great library. The kind with sliding ladders, floor to ceiling shelves, and maps on the wall. And maybe a fireplace. Ancient tomes are stacked around me. I’m so immersed in the book in front of me that I barely hear the rain on the rooftop.
  • Kissing someone

We’ve all had that moment where we’re looking at an infomercial on TV and we think, “A blender that’s also a hat? I thought of that first! I should have gotten a patent.” It takes a special kind of person to proclaim the same thing while visiting a zoo, though.

It turns out that a fair few people have not only taken natural selection to court, but also walked out with a patent for a living organism.

In the case of the ayahuasca vine, a medicinal plant native to the Amazon rain forest, an American corporation patented it on the grounds that they’d managed to reproduce it asexually, so now there’s a patent that lists some guy as a plant’s “inventor.” Meanwhile, the indigenous peoples who had known of its healing properties for centuries had to stand by and watch while others made millions off a plant that they considered sacred. If you don’t think that’s offensive, imagine if someone had patented the sacramental bread if you’re Christian, or Steve Jobs’ sweater if you’re a Mac user.

5 Everyday Things You Won’t Believe Are Copyrighted