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

By Samuel Bridgewater

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

Belize's Chiquibul woodland is without doubt one of the greatest ultimate expanses of tropical wet woodland in imperative the US. It varieties a part of what's popularly often called the Maya woodland. Battered through hurricanes over thousands of years, occupied through the Maya for millions of years, and logged for centuries, this environment has tested its amazing ecological resilience via its persisted lifestyles into the twenty-first century. regardless of its heritage of disturbance, or perhaps partly due to it, the Maya woodland is ranked as an enormous nearby biodiversity sizzling spot and gives the various final nearby habitats for endangered species similar to the jaguar, the scarlet macaw, Baird's tapir, and Morelet's crocodile.

A normal historical past of Belize offers 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 favored viewers. it's dependent partially at the study findings of scientists learning at Las Cuevas examine Station within the Chiquibul wooded area. The booklet is exclusive in demystifying the various immense clinical debates relating to 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 booklet illustrates how technological know-how has solved a few of the riddles that after puzzled the likes of Charles Darwin, and likewise exhibits the way it can help us in handling our planet and woodland assets properly within the future.

Published in organization with the usual historical past Museum, London.
99 colour photographs, 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)

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The Devonian is known as one of the key time periods for plant evolution, and this dramatic expansion in the variety of plant life occurred over a period of about fifty million years—unfathomably long by our own perception but, geologically speaking, relatively brief. One of the most recognizable and graceful groups of plants existing today are the ferns. 28 Although they evolved after the club mosses and horsetails, fernlike fossils are present by the end of the Devonian (ca. 360 MYA). Among the evolved characteristics that helped ferns to be hugely successful were their leaves, which were broad and feathery, presenting a large surface area to the sun and thereby maximizing their ability to photosynthesize.

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).

Represented by over thirty-one species in Belize, this is one of the defining tree groups of the Chiquibul Forest. With their jointed stems, spikelike inflorescence, and often peppery-smelling leaves, the Piperaceae are also an important component of the Chiquibul’s vegetation, although most species are shrubs or herbs. Some angiosperm plant groups started to appear in the fossil record only relatively recently in the Paleogene period (66–23 MYA). One good example is provided by the families belonging to the order Zingiberales.

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