The Most Complex Ecosystem of the World – Daintree Forest

Posted in Australia & Pacific | September 2, 2010 | Comment Now

The Daintree Forest is said to be around 80,000 meters north of the Cairns region in Queensland. It is said to be one of the largest and also the oldest sections of the rainforest that has survived in Australia. What sets this region apart is the fact that it plays home to what could perhaps be called the most diverse variety of animals and plant system in the world. What makes it even more interesting is the fact that all of this takes place within a 1,200,000 square meter radius.

The Daintree forest region is said to be the second largest rainforest in the world, second only to the Amazon in South America. There are said to be around 1000 species of plant species that are found here, and some of these are easily older than the species found even in the Amazon. Some of these plant species date back to around 3000 years old.

Experts have nicknamed the Daintree forests as a ‘museum of plants’.

The Region:

The environment of the Daintree is said to be that of rainforests, coastal beaches and it also houses mangrove swamps. It is best known for its palm trees and various animal species like lizards, fish, frogs, bandicoots, and the rare striped possum.

Australia’s largest butterfly, the spectacular Cairns Birdwing, is found here.

Most of the region is heavily forested and is blessed with coastal ranges and steep mountain slopes.

The Earth’s Evolutionary History Lies Hidden Here:

The rainforests here are said to house examples that could represent around eight major stages that the earth’s evolution has gone through.

The Age of the Pteridophytes:

One of the most significant events in history, when associated with evolution is that of plants adapting to life on land. The first of all land plants were the algae and fungi. These belonged to the Ordovician Period; and can date back to around 500 million years.

The Rainforests of Daintree house what may be excellent examples of flora that are representative of this age and time.

The Age of the Cycads and Conifers:

Terrestrial vegetation is said to have undergone a lot of big changes when the origin of the seed came about. Plants underwent a change and evolved to have harder leaves and they constructed what could be newer reproductive strategies. The plants began using female cones and pollen; which could then be associated into the semi-protected male seeds.

List of some of the birds found here:
  • Barred cuckoo-shrike
  • Blue-faced Butcherbird
  • Azure Kingfisher
  • Graceful Honeyeater
  • Common Koel
  • Dusky Honeyeater
  • Emerald Dove
  • Eastern Yellow Robin
  • Satin Flycatcher
  • Wompoo Fruit Dove
  • Yellow Oriole
  • White-rumped Swiftlet
List of some of the mammals:
  • Platypus
  • Spotted-tail Quoll
  • Striped Possum
  • Swamp Wallaby
  • Little Red Flying Fox
  • Fawn –footed Melomys
  • Brown Antechinus
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