2012-05-07. It's Not So Lonely at the Top: Ecosystems Thrive High in the Sky

posted May 14, 2012, 4:06 PM by Lisa Ou
| by CARL ZIMMER, The NY Times. An article relevant to GSS Losing Biodiversity chapter 4. Excerpt: Looming over the northern edge of the Amazon rain forest are some of the most remarkable mountains on earth. Known as tepuis, or tabletop mountains, they are typically ringed by sheer cliffs that rise thousands of feet from the surrounding lowland jungles….They are like islands in the sky, covered with low forests and shrublands that support a diversity of animals likes frogs and lizards….Even more intriguing than the tepuis’ long isolation is that many species living atop them are found nowhere else. To many biologists, the only explanation that made sense was that the ancestors of those unique animals and plant species have lived on the tepuis for more than 70 million years. In honor of Conan Doyle, they called this notion the “lost world hypothesis.”…. Read the full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/08/science/its-not-so-lonely-at-the-top-tepui-ecosystems-thrive-up-high.html