Download A Natural History of Belize: Inside the Maya Forest (Corrie by Samuel Bridgewater PDF

By Samuel Bridgewater

ISBN-10: 0292726716

ISBN-13: 9780292726710

Written for a well-liked viewers and richly illustrated, this booklet offers the 1st certain portrait of the habitats, biodiversity, and ecology of Belize, one of many earth's such a lot biologically profuse places.

Belize's Chiquibul wooded area is among the biggest final expanses of tropical wet woodland in valuable the US. It varieties a part of what's popularly often called the Maya wooded area. Battered via hurricanes over thousands of years, occupied by way of the Maya for millions of years, and logged for centuries, this environment has proven its amazing ecological resilience via its persevered lifestyles into the twenty-first century. regardless of its background of disturbance, or even partly due to it, the Maya wooded area is ranked as a major nearby biodiversity sizzling spot and gives many of the final nearby habitats for endangered species corresponding to the jaguar, the scarlet macaw, Baird's tapir, and Morelet's crocodile.

A typical historical past of Belize provides for the 1st time a close portrait of the habitats, biodiversity, and ecology of the Maya woodland, and Belize extra largely, in a structure available to a well-liked viewers. it truly is dependent partially at the study findings of scientists learning at Las Cuevas learn Station within the Chiquibul woodland. The publication is exclusive in demystifying some of the substantial clinical debates regarding rainforests. those contain "Why are tropical forests so diverse?"; "How do natural world evolve?"; and "How do species interact?" by way of concentrating on the ecotourism paradise of Belize, this e-book illustrates how technology has solved a number of the riddles that after confused the likes of Charles Darwin, and in addition exhibits the way it may also help us in handling our planet and wooded area assets correctly within the future.

Published in organization with the usual historical past Museum, London.
99 colour images, 6 illustrations, three maps.

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Additional resources for A Natural History of Belize: Inside the Maya Forest (Corrie Herring Hooks Series, Book 67)

Sample text

Club mosses and ferns: l and pl ants of ancient e volutionary line age Seven species of club moss (Lycopodiopsida) are recorded for Belize,25 of which three (Huperzia dichaeoides, H. 26 Club mosses are an ancient group of plants that evolved just before the start of the Devonian era over 400 MYA, and despite their ancient origin, direct descendants of this group still exist, with 1,500 species known worldwide. Although comprising less that one percent of the world’s current flora, in the Devonian and Carboniferous periods club mosses were one of the dominant groups of plants.

However, like club mosses and horsetails, reproduction was still dependent on spores and required two distinct independent but mutually dependent life cycles. Although not found in Belize, one fossil from the late Devonian that has revealed much about plant evolution is Archaeopteris. Although its leaves are fernlike in form and, like ferns, it produces spores to reproduce, unlike ferns, Archaeopteris produces a woody trunk akin to those usually associated with coniferous trees, which are known to have evolved later during the Carboniferous period (359–299 MYA).

19 Within its network of passages, underground canals, chambers, and sumps lies the magnificent Belize Chamber. 20 The presence of artifacts within the accessible areas of the cave proves that the ancient Maya once used it as a source of water and as a sacred place for conducting rituals. The cave was rediscovered only as late as 1984, and since that time it has been the focus of numerous caving and scientific expeditions. Biologists, for example, have discovered the skeletons of extinct animals within it, including a species of vampire bat (Desmodus draculae) and a female cub of a species of bear (Tremarctos floridanus).

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