At the 1)Equator the sun rises over the greatest rain forest on Earth. 2)Amazonia is unified by over a thousand rivers of the sun. They flow like blood through its body. They are its life force. Sunlight and water create the energy to sustain life on a vast scale. But all that life, all that richness, comes from the miracle of the leaf. This one vast rain forest may contain half of all the world’s 3)species.
There is also a rich and remarkable water forest. Much of Amazonia floods for half of each year. When the forest floods, strange sounds are heard. It’s the sound of trees and fruit. These exploding nuts are from rubber trees, one of Amazonia’s most famous. As they ripen under the heat of the glaring sun, their surface skins 4)shrivel, releasing the nuts. Nuts are spread far and wide by floodwaters. Even when soaked in water for a long time, the nuts’ waterproof shell prevents rot and protects from 5)predators.
It has been two months since the waters began to rise and the forest trees became 6)submerged. They will remain submerged for months to come. Normally trees would die after just a few weeks of flooding because their roots cannot receive 7)oxygen. But the roots of these Amazonian trees can survive being submerged for much longer due to a special 8)adaptation. When their roots become water 9)logged, a 10)membrane forms on the outside of the root. But inside there is partial cell death and that creates air spaces. These spaces act as air holes to transfer oxygen and remove 11)toxins. This strategy allows the trees to succeed in two very different worlds. Amazingly, there is greater 12)diversity of trees where the forests are submerged than anywhere else in Amazonia. ......