Thursday, July 6, 2006

So where am I going? Here's the second of five clues.

Clue #2.

On days 3 and 4, I will be in a region that encompasses 1.2 billion acres with parts located within nine nations. It is considered by many people to be one is one of the world's greatest natural resources. Because its vegetation continuously recycles carbon dioxide into oxygen, it has been described as the "Lungs of our Planet".

About 20% of the earth's oxygen is produced in this area. In contrast to the city that I will visit in Clue #1, this region receives about 9 feet of rain every year, 50% of which is returned to the atmosphere through the foliage of trees. Most of the water comes from the annual snowmelt high in mountain range that lies to its west. The region is home to about 2.5 million insect species, tens of thousands of plants, and some 2000 birds and mammals. To date, at least 40,000 plant species, 3,000 fish, 1,294 birds, 427 mammals, 427 amphibians, and 378 reptiles have been scientifically classified in the region. One in five of all the birds in the world live in this region including this well known species of prehistoric looking, supposedly ill-smelling, crested bird whose young have claws on the first and second digits of their wings. This is one ugggggly bird with a face only a mother bird could love - see the picture below.

Name this bird.