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18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Indonesian Kapur (Dryobalanops oblongifolia)

This species belongs to Dipterocarpaceae, a family of hardwood tropical trees. It is extraordinarily diverse in Borneo: this island is home to well over 300 dipterocarp species. Most form part of the forest canopy, whereas others emerge above it, growing to at least 50 m in height. They are under threat from commercial logging, being the source of the vast majority of timber felled in Indonesia and Malaysia. Forests that a century ago stretched from one side of the island to the other are now reduced to a few patches. Dryobalanops oblongifolia belongs to a genus of just seven species. Its timber is used in house construction to make window and door frames. The image shows a split in the fruit and a small tail emerging. This is the radicle, or first root of the seedling. One of the characteristics of this species is that the fruits germinate almost as soon as they hit the ground, quite a common character of tropical rain forest trees.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 02.2020
Date Uploaded: 08.2020
Photo Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Camera: NIKON D850
Copyright: © Levon Biss