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The Scent of a Tree (From The Archive)


The smell of the inner bark is one of the most important diagnostic characters for identifying trees in tropical forests where flowers and fruits may be small, of drab color, and high up in the canopy.  Materos all over the world use this trick.  Approach the tree, glance up at the canopy to check for flowers or fruits, slash the bark, and give it a whiff - or occasionally a taste.  All with such wonderful insouciance. [NOTE (added to re-post): These materos are working in the Tapajós-Arapiuns Extractive Reserve in western Para, Brazil (see Tapajos-Arapiuns)].

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