What do we see in nature?
Nature is everywhere in Rio de Janeiro. We joke that we live in a jungle-city, but in truth we do. There is no place that mixes the jungle and a city so well.
People have made an effort to build the city AROUND the jungle. That is partly why Rio is kind of awkward. It is long, hard city to get around, and poorly planned. However, this is due to a desire to preserve the natural beauty.
My school is cut in half by a small stream, and is next to a national park. There are often tiny monkeys in the trees. (The monkeys in the picture are bigger than the ones I see around campus.) Many monkeys come down into the city from the mountainsides to find food!
What does this creature or plant look like?
Many monkeys look a lot like humans. Well, at least their faces do! Their faces show emotion. It is very interesting. When you see monkeys, you can quickly tell how curious they are about you just by looking at their faces. The monkeys around school are gray and have long tails. They also have tufts of hair sticking out of the side of their ears.
In the picture, you can see monkeys I saw during a hike to a nearby waterfall. There are many natural parks within Rio. Finding a waterfall is a very easy task. These monkeys were very interested in finding food, and were scavenging the area we ate lunch in quickly after we had packed up.
How did I feel when I saw it?
Whenever I see a monkey here, which is pretty often, it is always a surprise. It reminds me that I am living in a tropical paradise and share this environment with them. It helps to remind me to be more careful of litter, though other people don’t seem to feel the same way as me.
It is a curious feeling to look into the eyes of a monkey and see its expression change. You can tell if they are angry, scared, or simply curious. Mostly, they are just curious and will stare right back at you and examine you in the same way that you are examining them. It is exciting!
Where does it live?
Monkeys live in the jungle, high up in the trees. There are many parts of Rio next to mountains covered by jungle. Tunnels go through the mountains for people to pass. This preserves the ecosystem of the monkeys. You can see them jumping from tree to tree if you pay close attention.
How does it use its environment to survive?
Bananas grow everywhere, as do several other fruits. You have to be careful when walking under large fruit-bearing trees because sometimes the fruits just fall! There are definitely fruits large enough to knock a person out. Monkeys can very easily find food in the wild that they will eat.
Monkeys stay high up in the trees so that no other animals or people bother them. You must be careful because they can be aggressive when they want food.
What can harm this creature? Are we worried about it?
People can harm this creature. However, Brazil has made an effort to prevent people from harming monkeys too much. That is why a large part of the city is made up of protected natural areas. The problem that has emerged is overpopulation of monkeys. This has led to an increasing amount of monkeys coming down from the mountainside to the city to scavenge for food. This is sad, because sometimes they try to eat something that is not food, or not good for them, or meet the dangers of city life (such as cars).
Right now, there are many monkeys in Rio. However, since they have no natural predators near the city, and there are so many wildlife sanctuaries, their population will grow. I see overpopulation potentially being more of a problem in the future.