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AH_Strangler Fig Ficus Costa Rica_7273.jpg
Looking upwards to the rainforest canopy through the aerial roots of a huge Stangler Fig {Ficus sp.}. The seeds of the strangler fig germinate high up in the branches of the host tree. Over time aerial roots decend to the forest floor and wrap tightly around the host tree's trunk. Eventually the host tree is outcompeted and dies. Once the host tree rots away, the strangler fig remains standing as a cage-like structure, as can be seen here. Corcovado National Park, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, May.