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Tree, Araucaria araucana
Chilean araucarias, Araucaria araucana,
Parque Nacional Conguillo, Chile.
|Araucaria araucana (popularly called
the Monkey-puzzle Tree or Monkey Tail Tree) is an evergreen tree
40 metres tall with a 2 metres trunk diameter. The tree is native
to central and southern Chile and western Argentina.
Araucaria araucana is the hardiest species in the conifer
genus Araucaria. Because of the species's great age it
sometimes described as a living fossil. it can live possibly as
long as 1,000 years.
Araucaria araucana is the national tree of Chile.
and male cones
MPF and Kurt Stüber
The leaves are thick, tough and scale-like, triangular, 34
cm long, 13 cm broad at the base, and with sharp edges and
They persist for 1015 years or more, so cover most of the
tree except for the older branches.
Puzzle Tree, Araucaria araucana,
in the southern Andes of Chile
It is usually dioecious, with the male and female cones on separate
trees, though occasional individuals bear cones of both
sexes. The male (pollen) cones are oblong and cucumber-shaped,
4 cm long at first, expanding to 812 cm long by 56
broad at pollen release. The tree is wind pollinated. The female
(seed) cones, which mature in autumn about 18 months
after pollination, are globose, large, 1220 cm diameter,
and hold about 200 seeds. The cones disintegrate at maturity to
release the 34 cm long nut-like seeds, which are then dispersed
by jays and
araucarias, PN Conguillo.
If Peruvian Andes are the most biologically diverse, the Andes
of Chile are the most beautiful.
They look like a mirror image of the Pacific Coast of North America,
but with totally different flora and fauna.
Lush forests of Central and Southern Chile are an
isolated from the rest of the continent by deserts and mountains,
but sharing some ancient plants and animals with New Zealand
Goose, Chloephaga melanoptera
geese, Chloephaga melanoptera, PN Lauca
Fox, Lycalopex culpaeus
The Andean Goose, Chloephaga melanoptera
is a member
of the duck, goose and swan family Anatidae. It is in the
It is resident around lakes and marshes in the high Andes,
well above 3000 m. It is largely terrestrial and avoids swimming
except in emergencies.
This heavily built bird has a tiny pink bill and white plumage
except for black in the wings and tail.
The female is similar to the male, but is smaller.
The Andean Goose is a grazing species, eating grasses.
It nests on the ground in a bare scrape near water,
laying 6-10 eggs.
It is territorial in the breeding season, but otherwise forms
Central Chile has Mediterranean climate, changing into absolute
desert further north.
Fox, Dusicyon culpaeus,
The culpeo, Lycalopex culpaeus, sometimes
known as the culpeo zorro
or Andean fox (wolf), is a South American species of wild
dog. It is the
second largest native canid on the continent after the maned
In its appearance it bears many similarities to the widely
recognized red fox.
It has grey and reddish fur, a white chin, reddish legs, and
a stripe on its
back that may be barely visible.
The culpeo's diet consists largely of rodents, rabbits, birds
and to a lesser extent, plant material and carrion. The culpeo
sheep on occasion, and is therefore often hunted or poisoned.
regions it has become rare, but overall the species is not
Reserva Nacional Las Chinchillas at the edge of the desert is a good
place to see rare rodents,
birds, and other creatures. Spotlighting for small mammals is especially
mole mouse, Geoxus valdivianus
Chilean Cedar, Austrocedrus chilensis
Austrocedrus chilensis, Conguillo
fifty species of
occur throughout Chile.
P N Rio Clarillo.
|Geoxus valdivianus, also known as the Long-clawed Mole
Mouse or Valdivian Long-clawed Akodont, is a species of rodent
in the tribe Abrotrichini of family Cricetidae
found in the Valdivian temperate rain forests and Magellanic
forests of Argentina and Chile. It is the only species in the
|Liolaemus is a genus of iguanian lizard with many species
found in South America. Some species have been recently kept
pets and as many of them originate from regions that experience
cold conditions, they are named snow swifts.
More generally, the genus is known as tree iguanas.
There are more than 190 described species but
the true number of species is estimated to be about double this
Liolaemus is by far the largest genus of the liolaemid
lizards, which are traditionally treated as subfamily Liolaeminae
within the Iguanidae but more recently were proposed
for upranking to full family Liolaemidae.
Members of this genus form a dominant part of the lizard fauna
of the southern part of the continent and vary considerably
size (between 45 and 100 mm snout-vent length) and weight (from
3 to 200 g). They can be found in a variety of habitats from
sea-level to elevations of 4500 m. Most are omnivorous but a
few purely insectivorous and herbivorous species are known.
Chilean National parks are usually much more diverse, more scenic,
|Austrocedrus is a genus of conifer belonging
to the cypress family Cupressaceae. It has only one species,
chilensis, native to the Valdivian temperate rain forests
and the adjacent drier steppe-forests of central-southern Chile
western Argentina from 33°S to 44°S latitude. It is
known in its native area as Ciprés de la Cordillera or
and elsewhere by the scientific name as Austrocedrus,
or sometimes as Chilean Incense-cedar or Chilean Cedar.
The generic name means "southern cedar".
de Cordillera, Austrocedrus chilensis
It is a slow-growing, narrowly conical evergreen tree which
grows from 1024 m in height, with scale-like leaves arranged
in decussate pairs. The leaves are unequal in size, with pairs
of larger (48 mm) leaves alternating with pairs of smaller
(23 mm) leaves, giving a flattened shoot. Each leaf has
a prominent white stomatal stripe along the outer edge.
The cones are 510 mm long, with four scales, two very
small sterile basal scales and two large fertile scales; each
scale has two winged seeds 34 mm long.
and less crouded than similar parks in adjacent Argentina.
Transportation in Chile, either by a rental car or public transport,
is much cheaper and more effective.
My personal favorites in Valdivian forest zone are Conguillo and Alerce
Laguna Arco Iris,
Parque Nacional Conguillo.
Parque Nacional Alerce Andino, Chile.
A naturalist would find them even more interesting, because almost
|One of the most wonderful places in the Conguillio
National Park, The water is incredibly clear,
I reached behind the lagoon, unaware that this was there, this
lake is located next to the main road and
there is a viewpoint that is enabled on one side of it, can
be seen in its entirety. Is small and its appeal lies
in the emerald water so crystal clear that they give the impression
of looking through a prism. Here the
transition between vegetation and volcanic debris is abrupt.
Impressive to see the contrast between gray
lava and hills beyond lush .. All for concecuencia of Laima
By Pablo Olivera, http://www.minube.com/rincon/laguna-arcoiris--lago-conguillio-a120744
all animals and plants there are unique for Chile and adjacent parts
But also the birds are of interest:
of Central Chile, upper row, left to right: Chilean pigeon,
Columba araucana, (2 photos),
striped woodpecker, Picoides lignarius, Austral blackbird
rufous-tipped plantcutter, Phytotoma rara, (two photos);
medium row: grey-hooded sierra-finch, Phrygilus gayi,
least seedsnipe Thinocorus rumicivorus;
Chile is a birdwatcher's paradise. Most birds are easy to find
Mur's wiretail, Sylviorthorhynchus desmuirsii, PN Alerce
even those that are very shy in other parts of South America,
such as tapaculos, Rhinocryptidae.
All nine Chilean species can be seen with little effort within a few
Raptors, owls, even flamingos tend to be easily approachable.
Numerous weird and beautiful creatures hide under logs, loose bark,
dry leaves, and rocks in Chilean forests.
of Chile, left to right: black-throated huet-huet , Pteroptochos
tarnii, (2 photos),
moustached turca, Pteroptochos. megapodius, chestnut-throated
huet-huet, Pteroptochos. castaneus. Alerce Andino, Rio Clarillo,
and Laguna de Laja National Parks, respectively.
Identifying them can be difficult, because the area is inadequately
studied, and little literature is available.
worl's largest opilionid.
Reserva Nacional Las Chinchillas, Chile.
Part 3. Patagonia
Tilbake til Part 1
pictures, unless otherwise stated, Copyright © Vladimir