Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Future Is Wild –Episode Four Prairies of Amazonia

The Carakiller

Today on Far Future  Horizons we are going to take a voyage five million years into the future and visit South America where the Amazon forest once existed.

This episode features three species: (1) Carakiller, a descendant of the caracara which has evolved to replace land predators; (2) Babookari, a descendant of the uakari which lives like baboons and has discovered how to catch fish; (3) Rattleback, a descendant of the agouti which has developed tough armour and can live through quickly-passing grass fires.

The Babookari

This episode shows that due to the cooling of the planet, the Amazon rainforest has vanished and has been replaced by grassland. Most primates have died out but the Babookari has evolved to live on the plains. They have also become much cleverer and can now make nets out of twigs to catch fish. There is also the Rattleback, a heavily defended rodent which is somewhat fireproof and birdproof and lives on a diet of Carakiller eggs and grass stems and tubers. The episode also shows the biggest danger to these animals - fire. This also shows how Carakillers hunt in packs.

The narrator explains that the Amazon died out because the annual rains failed to fall because of the second ice age. All monkeys died out there except the uakari, A social monkey that goes on the ground and on the trees. It has evolved into the babookar, a complete ground monkey. It catches fish by weaving a basket of twigs and dipping it into the water. They teach the next generation this like chimpanzees. They are eaten by cara killers, descendants of the ground falcon the caracara. They hunt in packs. They lay eggs in one nest. The rattleback, descendant of the agouti eats these eggs. The carakillers powerful beak can't destroy the rattlebacks armor. A prairie fire sends the babookari's running, which the carakillers take advantage of. They chase down and kill them. Rhe rains come down and end the fire.

The Future Is Wild –Episode Four Prairies of Amazonia

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