Children of the Jaguar

2012, Nature  -   8 Comments
Ratings: 8.49/10 from 51 users.

Until just 30 years ago, the Huaorani people, even for their closest neighbors, were more like ghosts than real people. They controlled an area of around 20,000 square kilometers and fought off much larger tribes and even the all-powerful oil companies and the government itself. Despite this, little or nothing was known about them. The Huaorani had no past, no history... they came from the darkest depths of time.

The majority of the Huaorani now live in the jungle of the Yasuni National Park, a reserve in Eastern Ecuador, which covers one million hectares of tropical Amazon forest. Yasuni is dating from the Pleistocene and it is one of the ten places in the world with the greatest biological diversity.

The Amazon ecosystem, and especially the rain forest, is considered one of the world's most complex animal and vegetable habitats. Its most important characteristics are the sheer number of different animal and plant species, and the extraordinary variations in macro and micro-habitats. In this park alone, over 100 species of tree per hectare have been identified. To give us some idea of the scale of this number, in the richest, densest jungles of Central America, the equivalent figure is no more than 40.

But it is not this but rather the incredible diversity of animal life that prompted UNESCO to declare it the world biosphere reserve in 1989. The most recent investigations have come up with spectacular statistics: over 500 species of bird, 62 snakes and over a 100 amphibians (43 of which are tree frogs alone). A 173 different mammal species have been officially recorded, though it is thought that the true figure could be over 200 - seventy percent of all the mammals in Ecuador.

The canopies of the trees are almost exclusive territory of birds and monkeys. Up there they find safety away from the dangers of the dark forest floor. Down in the world beneath the canopy of the forest danger is ever present and vigilance is constant necessity. There is always someone stronger and faster on the lookout for something to kill... and to eat.

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8 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Gena

    Who is the author of this documentory?

    1. DDJ

      One lady was wearing a nice bra you can find in the modern world. I do not understand some parts of the documentary like using coconut leaves for roof of the house of what ever.

  2. mark

    Well done doc. I appreciate it.

  3. piqo

    just like the native americans, doomed to have their culture destroyed and live their lives as impoverished alcoholics

  4. Nothing_Is_Real

    Religion is a virus of the mind and capitalism is the virus of the soul. Both equally destructive

    1. Tim Caffery

      You get a clear picture of how "religion" is used by rulers, in William Paley's, 1788, "On The Duty Of a Submission To Civil Gov't", Book V, Ch. 1-6. It's not as shocking as raw, but it shows "what" religion is, very explicitly, to the Ruling Classes, & more dangerously, the dutiful ruled. Now that I think about, it's the Formula for Sheeple, articulated step by step in "civilized" accuracy.

  5. mike jarvis

    !! The missionaries died because of their religious arrogance! Foreigners coming to native lands. Ignorant of the culture. Spreading the pollution of religion and capitalism as we know it. Look at the first 3 minutes of this film and stop! Try and justify yourself saying you're spreading the religion of your Lord. Fools you and I both. Demolish them, So, we may have cheap goods and fuel. Cannot anyone see the similarity to Columbus and the Native Americans? No..we cannot or will not stop our manifest destiny! GOD gave us this world(say:gave to the white man). We shall eat the fruits of this world given to us...and shit the rest unto those "below" us.. Who are "we"? Who are "you? I frequently question Who am I....?

    1. Nothing_Is_Real

      I couldn't say it any better