Water in the Tropical Forest

Over time, aquatic animals like capybaras, caimans and piranhas have developed different skills and features to help them move about, feed and detect their surroundings.

Biodôme de Montréal

© Biodôme de Montréal, 2005. All rights reserved


Yacare caiman

A caiman’s teeth, just like those of alligators and crocodiles, fall out and grow back throughout its lifetime. Since they normally have approximately 80 teeth, caimans go through about 2,000 to 3,000 teeth in the course of their lives.

Biodôme de Montréal

© Biodôme de Montréal, 2005. All rights reserved


Yacare caiman

Although their jaws are very strong, yacare caimans cannot move them from side to side or chew. They have to swallow their prey whole.

Biodôme de Montréal

© Biodôme de Montréal, 2005. All rights reserved


Arowana

Arowanas are prehistoric fish. Because their mouths angle upwards, they have to feed mainly at the surface. They can leap more that one metre out of the water to catch the insects they eat in the wild. At the Biodôme we feed them mainly fish and shrimp.

Biodôme de Montréal

© Biodôme de Montréal, 2005. All rights reserved


Sunbittern

Sunbitterns have quite a varied diet: invertebrates, crabs, fish and frogs. When they hunt, they move very slowly, their heads held back, and then strike at their prey with lightning speed.

Biodôme de Montréal

© Biodôme de Montréal, 2005. All rights reserved


Sunbittern

They often rinse their food in water before eating it. At the Biodôme we feed them mice, smelt and insects.

Biodôme de Montréal

© Biodôme de Montréal, 2005. All rights reserved


Ibis and Spoonbill

Scarlet ibises and roseate spoonbills feed on aquatic insects, molluscs, crustaceans and minnows. Scarlet ibises have long down-curved bills. They nod their heads up and down as they search for food in the mud, as if they were saying “yes.”

Biodôme de Montréal

© Biodôme de Montréal, 2005. All rights reserved


Ibis and Spoonbill

When feeding, roseate spoonbills sweep their flat bills across the surface from side to side, as if they were saying “no.”

Biodôme de Montréal

© Biodôme de Montréal, 2005. All rights reserved


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Learn more about the ecosystems in the Americas;
  • Observe the diversity that each ecosystem offers regarding the flora, fauna as well as climate;
  • Identify the elements that shape different ecosystems, such as vegetation, wildlife, soil, etc.;
  • Develop different causes and consequences of human actions on ecosystems (from grade 4);
  • Formulate and justify possible solutions on issues, such as global warming, in order to preserve our ecosystems and biodiversity on Earth (from grade 6).

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