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The Amazon Rainforest A Journey in the Amazon Rainforest Clint P. 4/8/2011

Do you know about the Amazon Rainforest? In this book you will travel into the heart of the Amazon and learn about some of the many wonders of the Amazon Rainforest.

WHAT IS THE RAINFOREST? The Amazon Rainforest is a tall dense jungle that is very warm and humid with lots of rainfall. The Amazon Rainforest is home to thousands of plants and animals. It is also home to many indigenous, or native, tribes. In this book you will learn about some of many wonders of the Amazon Rainforest.

Where Is The Rainforest?

The Amazon Rainforest is located in South America and is in the Northern, Southern and Western hemispheres. Its longitude and latitude ranges are 75째 W to 45째W and 15째 S to 10째N. The Amazon Rainforest is located in nine different countries. They

are Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Columbia, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.

Physical Features The climate, weather over a long period of time, of the Amazon Rainforest is warm and moist most of the time. The average temperature of the Amazon is 77째f. The Amazon is in the tropical climate zone. The average rainfall is 90 to 170 inches per year.

Layers of the Rainforest

The Rainforest is divided into four different layers: the forest floor, understory layer, canopy layer and the emergent layer. The forest floor is the bottom ground level layer of the rainforest. It is very dark with little plant life because hardly any sun reaches this layer. The plants in this layer grow large foliage. These leaves are large to collect the little sunlight in this layer. They use the sunlight to make food which is called photosynthesis. This layer is also home to many different types of animals like the giant ant eater, the jaguar, millipedes, scorpions and decomposers like mushrooms that break down dead organisms. Next is the understory layer. It is above the

floor and below the canopy. This layer also gets little sunlight. The understory layer is home to lots of plants and animals like philodendrons, ferns, dieffenbachia’s, leopards, jaguars and red eyed tree frogs. Above the understory layer is the canopy layer which is the second highest primary layer. The canopy is home to many organisms. Organisms are single individuals of a living species. The canopy also provides food for lots of herbivores, animals that eat only plants. It is home to plants and animals like ferns, aroids, mosses, bromeliads, epiphytes, snakes, toucans and tree frogs. The next and highest layer is the emergent layer. It is the highest layer and can reach up to 200ft above the forest floor. Many plants and animals like the harpy eagle, monkeys, bats, orchids, Brazil nut trees and kapok trees have their habitat, or home, here.

Golden Poisonous Dart Frog The Amazon Rainforest is home to many animals with unique adaptations. These special body features or behaviors help the animals survive in the rainforest. One of these animals is the golden poisonous dart frog. The golden poisonous dart frog is a small frog with vivid colors and sticky feet. Its adaptations are poison on its skin to keep other animals from eating it, bright colors to ward off predators, unlike most animals that use camouflage to blend in, and long sticky legs to stick to things with. The golden poisonous dart frog is a carnivore which means it gets its energy from eating meat. Spiders, small insects,

caterpillars, ants and termites are the frogs’ prey which means they are hunted for food. The golden poisonous dart frogs’ only known predator is the Leimadophis Epinephelus snake. No other animal can eat the dart frog and survive. The golden poisonous dart frog’s home is on plants and trees in the understory layer of the Rainforest.

Toucan Another animal found in the rainforest is the toucan. The toucan is a large beaked multicolored bird. The toucan is an omnivore so it can eat both plants and animals such as fruits, spiders, snakes, lizards and small birds. One of the toucan’s few predators is the Harpy Eagle. The Toucans adaptations are its large sharp saw like beak to eat food with and its large claws used to hold onto branches. Its habitat is in the trees of the canopy so it needs these large claws when perching. It also likes to stay in groups of 5-6 birds so they can make loud noises when they sense a predator.

Cocoa Tree The climate of the Amazon Rainforest makes it a great habitat for many plants also. The Cocoa Tree is a large tree with cocoa pods on its trunk and branches. It grows in the understory layer of the Rainforest. The Cocoa Tree is a producer. This means it makes its own food by using sunlight. The pods and leaves of this tree are often eaten by animals such as monkeys and squirrels. The Cocoa Tree is also used by people to make chocolate which is enjoyed around the world. Some say it can help prevent heart disease. In the past cocoa was used to treat anxiety, fever and kidney stones.

Orchid Another plant native to the rainforest is the orchid. The orchid is a flower with different sizes and colors like blue, purple, white and pink. The orchid grows in shady places on the forest floor, canopy and emergent layer. The orchid is also a producer and provides food for birds, slugs, insects and caterpillars. People use the orchid for medicine and bouquets.

Amazon Rainforest Food Web

Human Features There are many indigenous tribes in the Amazon Rainforest like the Yanomami and Ticuna tribes. These tribes depend on the rainforest for survival. The Yanomami is the largest tribe in the Amazon Rainforest with hundreds of small villages grouped together by families. The Yanomami use the rainforest to provide food such as fish, fruits and vegetables, clothing and shelter. They live in houses called shadonoes made from trees, bark and palms. Part of their culture, or way of life, is body painting and dancing. The Ticuna live in over 70 villages. In their culture they have traditions like building dugout canoes, making baskets, and making bark cloth that they use for paintings. They are also very skilled at wood and stone sculptures and mask making.

Human Environment Interaction/Movement Humans traveling to the Amazon Rainforest have both positives and negatives on the unspoiled resources. The negatives of ecotourism are the taking of animals illegally, too much mining and farming and deforestation. It is estimated that every day an area of the rainforest the size of Pennsylvania is destroyed. This forest destruction has to be stopped. Conservation or the careful use of natural resources is very important. Some people try to conserve the rainforest by planting trees, recycling and using limited resources. If conservation continues the rainforest may be able to provide humans with goods for many years. Some positives of ecotourism are scientists discovering new plants and animals and medicines used to treat diseases. The rainforest also provides goods people need like fruits, latex, and timber. Movement in the rainforest is mainly simple. People move around in the rainforest by making small roads, using small airplanes, walking and using boats or canoes. Most native people including nomads, who wander around the rainforest in search of food instead of having a permanent home, use boats, canoes, or walk from place to place.

Conclusion The Rainforests used to cover 14% of the Earth. But now because of deforestation it only covers 6% of the Earth. That’s over half of the rainforest that has been destroyed. The rainforest provides food, latex, lumber, medicines and many other things, but most of all it provides lots of oxygen. Without oxygen we die. We need the rainforest. It is your turn to help.

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