The Billingsley family had planned their vacation for months. The children were all excited about their father hiring a guide to take them on a trip to the rainforest. They had bought all sorts of clothing and special boots for the hike. The tourist company was in charge of providing all the necessary items once they arrived in Manaus, Brazil. Manaus was a bustling port and provided a great introduction to the waterways that crossed the nation of Brazil. Adventurers from all over the world began their excursions from Manaus.
The combination of nature and culture make discovering the Amazon Basin an unequalled experience. Lodging, information, tours, and other fellow travelers make the bustling port of Manaus an excellent introduction to the waterways that crisscross the nation of Brazil. This city was a good starting point for adventurers from all parts of the world who came to discover the Amazon Rainforest.
At Manaus they would begin their Amazon rainforest tour. The tourist company was providing a small boat tour to the majestic rainforest promising an unsurpassed marine voyage. The day had arrived for them to leave and everyone was excited. They had read about the constant cycle of evaporation and rainfall keeps the rainforest cool and regulates the temperature. Seventy percent of all known plant and animal species call the Amazon rainforest home. They knew the Rainforest was home to some well-known animals such as the Nocturnal Jaguar and the chilling Boa Constrictor. Some lesser-known creatures such as the menagerie of monkeys, also shared the enormous multi-level tropical environment.
As they glided through the sea of green beneath the canopy their eyes caught a glimpse of eye catching color – black and iridescent pastel hues, marked against the brilliant green that is the background wash in this exotic watercolor forest painting. It was the Urania Butterfly, a prized butterfly that has fascinated people and scientists with the iridescent reflection of its wings.
They saw a large colorful parrot eating sand near the banks. It was the Scarlet Macaw, which eats the clay for its rich salt and mineral content. The boat ride was simply fascinating to everyone. They spent days visiting the many places at Kapawi and even visited the hot springs. One could spend months and never see all the splendor of the mighty Amazon River.
At last their guide met them to take them for a short trip along a path he was quite familiar with in the rainforest. He had taken many visitors along this path and felt it was the safest route to take. It was also one on which they could get to see all the different monkeys living in the canopy of the rainforest.
The spider monkey is named for its long and thins arms, legs, and tails. They do not have thumbs like humans do but they could still peel fruit with their nimble fingers. From a distance they appear to be huge black spiders swinging through the canopy or hanging suspended by their tails. Their strong and long limbs help them to be one of the best equipped animals living in the trees in the rainforest. Some of the spider monkeys swung through the rainforest canopy and hung suspended by their tail. Their long limbs helped them to pick their favorite foods which were fruits and nuts. They also ate young leaves, flowers, sometimes bark and decaying wood, as well as honey.
“Oh my gosh! That monkey leaped at least forty feet. He must weigh fifteen pounds.” Josh called to his father.
“Yes and he must be five feet long not counting his tail.” His father replied as they watched the monkeys above them.
“That one must be standing lookout because he is walking on two feet and using his tail to support him.” Ashley added.
“Because Spider monkeys are tree living animals they rarely step foot on the rainforest floor. They do not get along too well with us humans.” Tory the guide commented. “If they keep doing this logging and hunting we may not have the spider monkey for very long. It is already an endangered species.” He continued.
The spider monkeys spotted Josh, Tory, Ashley, Brandon and Mr. Billingsley and began to scream, growl and jump up and down shaking the tree limbs. Suddenly they began to throw fruit at them hitting Josh right on the top of his head.
“I know mom is glad she didn’t come with us here. He would have been hit for sure. I can just hear her now screaming to the top of her voice.” Brandon laughed.
Then it happened! All the monkeys began throwing whatever they could get their hands on. It was an all out assault. Their screams were deafening.
“We had better hurry along and let them settle down. Keep your hats on your heads. You never know what might come falling down.” Tory said with a smile.
“It looks like some of the monkeys are fighting other monkeys not just us.” Josh laughed. “They are going at it up there. It’s kind of like watching boxing at home.”
So the Billingsley family finally got to explore the Brazilian Rainforest and came home with fond memories. Ashley had problems getting all the fruit and nuts from her long hair and shared her experience with all her friends. It was a vacation to remember.
Written by Sybil Shearin
All Rights Reserved
Question for children: How many feet can a monkey leap with one swing?