Exhibition Hall 5

The Lives of Living Things

Living organisms, plants and animals, live out their lives in close connection with various sorts of environments and other organisms around them. In this exhibit we take present-day SATOYAMA landscapes as an example to introduce the sorts of linkage that exists between living things and their surroundings.

27 Different species, different ways of life-Life history strategies

It is not easy for organisms to grow to maturity and produce offspring. How does a population live, reproduce, and increase in number while making use of limited resources such as food and habitat?

28 Waiting for their chance

When the environment temporarily becomes unsuitable, quite a few organisms become dormant. In fact, some remain inactive for most of the year.

29 Quest for a new world

Organisms sometimes travel great distances in pursuit of new horizons. Such movements may either maintain or change the local species composition.

30 Predator-prey interactions

Among the various forms of interaction among organisms, predation is the most direct and easiest to understand: Eat of be eaten! Flows of energy and matter take place through predator-prey interactions. In a food chain or food web, we can also find more complex and indirect interspecies interactions.

31 Competition for resources

Competition occurs when two organisms require the same resource, for example nutrition or living space. Competition may occur within species and also between species. If interspecific competition is strong enough, one species may exclude the other.

32 Parasitism and mutualism

Parasitism gives a negative effect to the other, while mutualism creates a positive effect for each other, however, the difference between parasitism and mutualism is not always clear, and sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between them. Even in mutualism, they are not being just good friends, but rather the relationship relies on the balance of each other's interest.

33 Inter-specific interaction

The relationship between organisms such as competition, predation, parasitism or mutualism between two species becomes very complicated when a third party is added. In the natural world, the more species there are, the more complicated their relationships get.

34 Habitats created by other organisms

Some organisms live in or on other organisms, or provide new habitats for other organisms. Living organisms are interconnected through their habitats.

35 Animals utilizing various environments

SATOYAMA, the traditional Japanese rural landscape, is a good place to go if one wants to watch animals coming and going among a variety of environments. SATOYAMA provides diverse habitats, such as mountain woods, irrigation ponds and ditches, paddy fields, and rivers. The environment there changes with the seasons, and this cycle has been maintained by human effort over a long period of time. Such a SATOYAMA landscape is on display in this room. Oh, look! There are some animals you already know well! Let's go right now to see what kinds of environments they pass their lives in.

36 Wide-Ranging Travelers

37 No Environments Exists in Isolationnts

As far as aquatic creatures are concerned, doesn't the world stop right at the edge of their pond or stream? Isn't it just fine for forests around irrigation ponds to be transformed into housing developments? Actually, whatever the habitat, its surroundings exert a profound influence on it. In the case of ponds and streams, if the surrounding environment changes, the quality of the inflowing water changes, and so does the incoming food; the plants and animals living there also change. Living things pass their lives in the midst of different kinds of interlinked environments.

38 Connections to human beings and their lives

The organism which has the greatest influence to others is the human. Humans have changed the shape of nature by cutting trees for fire wood and cutting weeds. Some species decreased or increased their numbers because of it. On the contrary, some species lose their habitant without human activity. SATOYAMA, where various creatures once lived has changed its appearance significantly nowadays. How is the relationship between nature and humans changing?