Indonesian Biodiversity (01:58)
The Indonesian archipelago in southeast Asia is on the edge of the Ring of Fire and is one of the most biodiverse countries. Some of the species that inhabit the islands have evolved beyond recognition.
Praying Mantis (04:45)
On Borneo, the orchid mantis entices prey with its appearance. A dead leaf mantis lives close to the forest floor and strays into another’s territory. It sways as if a leaf in the wind, but gets caught and killed.
Sugar Gliders and Green Pythons (05:21)
Sugar gliders are territorial marsupials that eat crickets. A green tree python sees a sugar glider as a meal, but the sugar glider detects the snake’s scent and escapes. The nocturnal animals are native to New Guinea and Australia.
Pygmy Elephants (04:15)
Pygmy elephants are native to Borneo. Over time, they have gotten smaller, adapting to island living. They play in the water and mud, which act as a sunscreen, an insect repellent, and provides nutrients.
Cantor Softshell Turtle (02:53)
Borneo’s rivers crisscross the island to create a web of waterways that provide food and shelter for many animals. The cantor softshell turtle buries itself in the sand and waits for fish. Its shell is different than every other turtle and its bite is so strong it can crush bone.
Bornean Gibbons (02:41)
Primates live in the jungle canopy. They have complex family groups but are monogamous. They are agile and swing through the trees with ease, rarely touching the forest floor.
Red Knobbed Hornbill (03:13)
Sulawesi is covered in mountains. The female red-knobbed hornbill stays in a hollow tree raising chicks while the male forages the forest for food.
Magnificent Riflebird (03:08)
On New Guinea’s western edge, birds of paradise have evolved to have extravagant feathers and features. A male riflebird spreads its wings, dances, and flails its head back and forth to attract a female; the female mirrors him.
Indonesian Coral Reef (03:59)
Indonesia has the highest coral diversity on the planet. Parrot fish bite pieces of rock and coral looking for algae, and when they are digested, they turn into the white sand on the beaches of Papua New Guinea. Garden eels keep their bodies buried almost all of the time, feed on organic matter, and can hide in a second.
These herbivores have muscular upper lips with tusks for grazing the ocean floor. They uproot vegetation which attracts other fish that feed on scraps. They are heavy mammals that rise and fall in the water using little energy.
Reef Predator and Prey (04:10)
Parrot fish excrete mucous to create a cocoon that protects them from parasites and traps their scent to hide from nocturnal predators. White tipped reef sharks hunt at night, can squeeze through small spots, and follow scent trails. They also have electroreceptors on their heads.
Deadly Plants (03:58)
The bridal veil fungus looks like white lace but smells like rotten flesh which attracts carrion flies. The pitcher plant catches a moth in its toxic liquid. It has waxy walls and inward curling spines on its rim, which allows it to feed on insects, amphibians, and sometimes a rat.
Insect Transformation (06:09)
A tree nymph caterpillar eats a toxic plant to the point where it does not die uses the toxins as a self-defense mechanism. The caterpillar creates a cocoon and a tree nymph butterfly eventually emerges; it gets caught in a spider web.
Credits: Secret Worlds—Wildest Indonesia (00:36)
Credits: Secret Worlds—Wildest Indonesia
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