How often do we look down at forest floors? Often you'd think; your eye is trained to watch where you are going. But in the forest, where the floor is covered by leaf litter, you seldom stop to see what could be sitting quietly, camouflaged on your trail.
Research has always shown that "leaf litter is an important component of healthy soil. Decomposing leaf litter releases nutrients into the soil and also keeps it moist. It also serves as great nesting material, hiding places and protected spots for animals. This dead organic material provides the perfect habitat for a plethora of organisms, including worms, snails, spiders, and microscopic decomposers like fungi and bacteria. For this reason, leaf litter is considered very biodiverse."
In this illustration, made by Daniel Luis, we've attempted to hide a few creatures that you might come across on your next walk. See if you (and children around you) can find all seven. One of them croaks a fine tune, too.
Make this fun. Send us photographs of the different forest floors you've walked on. Tag us on Instagram/FB/ Twitter with the hashtag - #LookDown and we’ll post them for you.
Thank you for the music —
The audio of Bicolored Frog - Ramya B, Seshadri KS, Ramit S and Gururaja KV. 2015. Mandookavani, Gubbi Labs LLP.
(Note: Interactive illustration is not compatible with mobiles and tabs).