In this episode of CreatureCast, the strangler fig first avoids having to sprout in the dark understory of the rainforest by growing in the tops of the trees closer to the sun, and then avoids getting too dehydrated up there by dropping roots to the forest floor. Finally it grows back up to the top of the tree, surrounding and strangling the host tree on the way, taking advantage of the tree's structural integrity to support its own hollow body.
Narration by Matt Ogburn of the Edwards lab at Brown University. Artwork and editing by Sophia Tintori. Original score by Amil Byleckie.
This video was funded by the National Science Foundation grant # IOS-08432321 to Erika Edwards and is release under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license.
Check out CreatureCast.org for more stories about animals, plants and fungi.