Introduction to ecosystems
Introduction to ecosystems

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4 Life in trees

The previous section highlighted the complex links between trees and fungi. In this section you will turn your attention to animals that live in trees and the adaptations to an arboreal life that they exhibit. When you were exploring food chains in an oak wood you encountered animals adapted to a life in trees. Now you will look specifically at mammals.

Described image
Figure 5 A red squirrel

Woods and forests present a number of problems for mammals that inhabit them. The habitat stretches vertically for a substantial distance yet for tree-dwellers to travel any horizontal distance they must either go down to the ground each time or jump from sometimes flimsy branches over large gaps. Sir David Attenborough describes how squirrels have overcome the problem.

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