Archive for October, 2007
Boyd”s Forest Dragons Hypsilurus boydii are endemic to the rainforests of Australia’s Wet Tropics. They can reach a total length of 54 cm and may live to thirty years. They prefer the vertical surface of a tree-trunk, particularly one with a slightly larger diameter than their own girth, to hide behind upon the approach of any potential threat. Occupying a territorial distribution of one dragon per 500 square metres of forest, they protect themselves from Amethystine Pythons in another peculiar way.
Pythons (particularly the Amethystine Morelia amethistina) are well equipped with facial heat-receptor pits. They hunt nocturnally and are able to detect minute temperature changes from direct absorption of optical radiation through the thin pit organ membrane.
Any day now, the rainforests of the Daintree will resound of the arrival of the Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher Tanysiptera sylvia. They are very punctual arriving in the last week of October, first week of November, each year. The males industriously excavate upwardly climbing tunnels into terrestrial termite mounds and upon breaching the internal cavity, rely upon the resident colony of termites to congeal the inner wall of the would-be incubating chamber. The female kingfisher will reject the proposal unless the termites have played their part.
The outer-wing coverings (tegmina) of the Snub-nosed Katydid (Mastigaphoides sp.) are remarkably leaf-like, even to the extent of the centrally prominent vein and subordinate branches. They blend splendidly within rainforest foliage and are found most easily at night, after summer rains, when singing.
Such a marvellous design, but to what extent do we over-interpret the convergence of design Read the rest of this entry »