Much grows on the green islands
As on many other South Sea islands, you will find mangroves and the breadfruit trees with their huge fruits on Samoa. The pandanus tree also grows in Samoa.
A plant that chokes?
The banyan tree, which is also known under the term strangler fig or Bengal fig, originally comes from India. Its roots are particularly impressive. It roots itself in the ground, but climbs up other plants and it often happens that the host tree dies. This tree can get huge and is considered and revered by many as a sacred tree.
What is blooming there?
Samoa is a green island and very rich in water. That is why many different plants bloom here, even orchids. Hibiscus, bougainvillea and frangipani are just some of the flowering plants that mostly grow as shrubs. Some grow as big as smaller trees. The Frangipani is a widespread plant on many South Sea islands, but has its home in Central America. However, care should be taken when touching the plant, as the milky sap is poisonous.
In addition to flowering plants, there are the many plants that are grown and harvested in Samoa and on which people live. Not to be overlooked are the many coconut palms that you will discover everywhere, and the breadfruit trees already mentioned. But you can also find banana and mango trees on Samoa.
Taro is also known as ” taro ” and is of great importance to the population, who prepare many dishes from this plant. Also, cassava is significant. Again, it is a root plant. There is also kava (see also Tonga), because the kava plant and the drink made from it is very important for certain ceremonies in Samoa.
About dogs that fly…
Samoa is not very rich in species. This is due to the isolated location of the islands, animals could at best reach the islands by sea. The only native species of mammals is the fruit bats. Fruit bats are six to 40 centimeters tall and have a head that is very reminiscent of a dog. The big eyes of these animals are also striking. Their main diet consists of fruits. At the same time, there are flying foxes that also like the nectar they suck from flowers.
… and birds that fly
About 30 species of land birds live in Samoa. Here you can spot colorful parrots, but also cockatoos. Songbirds also have their home on the Samoas islands. The so-called Moluccan blackbirds can often be found. You will also discover these on many other islands in the South Pacific, because they were once brought by humans to fight insects. There is also a species of bird known as the Pacific fruit dove.
What is the Samoan Skink?
All other mammals came to the island with the humans. This includes dogs as well as cows, horses and chickens. You can also see pigs that the residents keep or that live wild on the islands.
The geckos act as “insect removers”. These are common in Samoa. There is also an animal species that only lives in Samoa: the Samoan skink. The skink comes from the lizard family. There are very many types of them and one of them only lives in Samoa.
There are no snakes at all in Samoa. The only poisonous animals are scorpions and millipedes, whose bite is very unpleasant but not really dangerous.
Even if there is not a great variety of species on land, things look very different under water. Because Samoa has a species-rich underwater world to offer. Here you will find fish in all possible colors and shapes, such as parrot fish, printer fish or groupers. Huge schools of fish run through the coral world. Sea turtles also swim around.
But the further out to sea you get, the more dangerous it becomes. There are sharks in the deep sea. Sea snakes swim near the reefs, which are poisonous and sometimes get lost on land at night. Stingrays and stone fish are also poisonous animals, but you will only come across them while diving.
A specialty in Samoa are the paolo worms, for which the residents fish twice a year. These are ten to 20 centimeters long and green-brown in color. Their hindquarters are a treat and you collect them, either eat them raw or steam them or bake them.
The reproduction of the Samoan Paolo is quite unusual. Sex products accumulate in the back of the Samoan Paolo. This is then pinched off and floats upwards and the eggs and sperm emerge. Then fertilization occurs. The survivors “pluck” the Samoans out of the water. They are considered a delicious delicacy. The worms are also known as “caviar of the South Seas”.