The Tropical Rainforest

By Caitlin and Kassy

The Tropical Rainforest!

The Rainforest is a moist, humid, and sunny environment packed with millions of species of plants and animals. Animals adapt to a life that is covered with a thick canopy of tall trees. Tropical Rainforest's are close to the equator, and even though they only take up 6% of Earth's land, it contains 50% of all species!

Fun Facts About the Tropical Rainforest!

1- 14% of Earth used to be covered with rainforest, but now that number is 6% due to deforestation

2- Multiple tribes still live in African and Brazilian rainforests, having no contact with the outside world.

3- It is thought that millions of insect and plant species have yet to be discovered in the rainforest.

Food web

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Predatation: The Ocelot preys on the lemur

Mutualism: the Capichin monkey and the flowering trees. When the monkey goes to feed on the flowers, it gets pollen on its face, and transports it.

Commensalism: The Antbird follows the Army Ants, and eats the insects and remains of the insects that the Army Ants leave. The Antbird benefits, the Army Ants don't.

Parasitism: the Phorid Fly attacks the leaf cutter ants, and lays it's eggs in the crevices of its head. When the eggs hatch, the larva burrow into the ant, killing it.

Competition: the Jaguars compete with the Boa Constrictor for its prey.

The Stages Of Succession

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Five Plants Found in the Tropical Rainforest!

Bengal Bamboo (Bambusa tulda)

Five Adaptations:

1) Grows between 40-80 feet to compete for sunlight

2) Shallow roots to absorb water as soon as it hits the forest floor during rainstorms

3) Large colonies grow and die at the same time so that young plants do not have to compete with older, more developed plants

4) Grows in large, thick colonies to protect themselves from other plants or predators

5) This plants vascular cells are small in size, but large in quantities, which causes the plant to exert more pressure and bring water all the way to the top of the stalks

Acai Palm (Euterpe oleracea)

Five adaptations:

1) Large roots are used to anchor the plant and absorb water deep in the forests' soil

2) Grows 8-25 meters to compete for sunlight

3) Large leaves grow to be about 72 inches long for maximum light exposure

4) Leaves prevent water loss by having a waxy outer cuticle

5) Long trunks prevent land animals from eating its fruited seeds

Cacao tree (Theoboma cacao)

Five adaptations:

1) Grows under the shade of taller plants so that its' seeds do not get sunburned or blown away

2) Has multicolored pods so that animals will eat them, not like the bitter taste, then spit out the seeds. This is the plants way of getting the seeds off the plant to grow more trees

3) Roots anchor the tree to the ground to prevent soil erosion

4) The flower (cacao pod) grows directly from the trunk, making it easier for the consumer to get to it

5) Cacao leaves are always falling to the ground, which attracts fungi and fertilizes the soil for the plant

Big Leaf Mahogany (Swietena Macophylla)

Five Adaptations:

1) Reaches heights of 200 feet, and is above the canopy of the forest

2) Has winged seeds so that the wind will carry them down to the forest floor

3) It is an evergreen tree, so it keeps its' leaves all year long

4) Sturdy trunk and roots are used to endure tropical storms

5) The sweet smell of its' trunk attracts pollinators

Banana Tree (Musa acuminata)

Five adaptations:

1) Full height is 10-20 feet to compete for sunlight

2) Bananas attract animals to eat and then "dispose" of the seeds to grow new trees

3) Instead of a trunk, the banana trees are made of tightly wound leaves, which aids in water conservation

4) The overall plant is made of up 93% water, so it does not need to compete with other plants for h2o

5) Leaves have a waxy outer cuticle which also aids in water conservation

Eight Animals that Inhabit the Tropical Rainforest!

The Sloth (Flolivora)

Five Adaptations:

1) Head can turn 270 degrees due to extra next vertebrae, which allows the sloth to see to the ground while hanging from a tree

2) Long hook-like nails are specially designed for tree climbing

3) Extremely slow moving, which makes it hard for predators to see them in the trees

4) Algae grows on the backs of sloths, which aids them in camouflage

5) Sloths have adapted to sleeping between 15-20 hours a day because of their defenselessness on the ground

Pirahna (Pygocentrus nattereri)

Five Adaptations:

1) Triangle shaped teeth that fit into the jaw that allow the fish to chomp down hard

2) Hunt in schools which helps them take down bigger animals

3) Razor sharp teeth allow the fish to tear flesh

4) Great sense of smell which they can rely on in murky waters

5) Metallic flecks act as a camouflage that reflects the suns' rays

Gorilla (Gorilla beringei)

Five adaptations:

1) Opposable thumbs gives them the ability to grab things with one hand

2) Muscular build and long arms/legs allows them to run quickly on all fours

3) Color of fur coat camouflages them

4) Thickness of coat keeps them warm and protects them from mosquitos

5) Stockiness allows the gorilla to live on the forest floor, but also easily climb trees

Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobatidae)

Five Adaptations:

1) Brightly colored to warn predators that they are toxic

2) Glands produce toxins to kill predators

3) Padded feet allow the frog to stick to trees' surfaces

4) Strong back legs help the frog to jump long distances

5) Not only does the frogs skin warn off predators, it camouflages them against the bright colors of the forest

Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris)

Five Adaptations:

1) Striped fur camouflages the tiger with the forest background and the ground

2) Padded feet allow the tiger to creep up on prey and move stealthily

3) Retractable claws!!!!

4) Nocturnal vision!!!!!!!

5) Thick coat protects against mosquitos and other insects

Toucan (Ramphastos Ferrum)

Five Adaptations:

1) The Toucans long tail is used for balance

2) Developed voice allows the bird to mimic other bird noises

3) Bent beak allows the bird to eat the hard to get insects/plants

4) Excellent hearing which helps the bird hear other birds from long distances

5) Tiny body and large wings aid in how high/far the bird can fly

Tree Kangaroo (Dendrolagus)

Five Adaptations:

1) Light underside makes it difficult for the tree kangaroo to be seen from the forest floor

2) Front legs are long a sturdy for climbing trees

3) Back legs are padded for gripping the trees

4) Can easily hop from tree to tree, definitely adapted to live high in the tree canopy

5) Tails are used for balancing in the trees

Chameleon (Chamaeleonidae)

Five Adaptations:

1) The lizards eyes can focus on two entirely different things at the same time

2) Claw-like feet to climb trees

3) Sticky tongue longer than its' body to eat insects

4) Helmet-like head that acts exactly like a helmet

5) Skin can change color based off of temperature, emotion, or the environment

Human Impact on the Rainforest

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The Tropical Rainforest

Food Pyramid

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Work Citations