The Amazing Amazon Rainforest By: Logan A.
Have you ever wondered what a rainforest really is? Here are some basics on the rainforest!! Rainforests are tall, dense jungles. They have hot temperatures and a very humid climate. It also rains a lot in the rainforest giving them the name rainforest. The Amazon Rainforest is located in South America. It covers parts of nine countries; Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. It extends into three hemispheres, the Northern, the Southern, and the Western. It lies at 0-15 degrees south and 45-75 degrees west. The forest covers two million square miles of South America and two-thirds of Brazil. All the rainforests are very close to the equator so they have hot temperatures and humid climates. The Amazon Rainforest is located in the tropical climate zone. The average temperature is eighty degrees. On average the rainforest gets one hundred or more inches of rain each year.
Did you knowâ€Ś? ~ It may take rain that falls onto the trees in the canopy ten minutes to reach the ground because the trees are packed so closely together!!!
The Layers of the rainforest There are four layers in the rainforest. The emergent, the canopy, the understory, and the forest floor. Emergent The emergent layer is the highest level. Most of the trees in this level are 200 feet tall or higher. The trees are evergreen and have broad leaves. Eagles, butterflies, monkeys, and bats all live in the emergent layer. Canopy The canopy layer is the primary level of the rainforest. It provides a cover for the other two layers. The trees in this level are very close together and it is like a maze of branches and leaves. The leaves in this level are smooth and oval-shaped and they come to a point. Snakes, toucans, and tree frogs live in this layer. Also many plants such as orchids, mosses, liverworts, ferns, bromeliads, aroids, and epiphytes grow in this area. Understory Not very much sun reaches this layer. The plants have adapted to the little sunlight by growing longer leaves. The long leaves help the plant capture more sunlight. The trees here are very short, most are less than 12 feet. Jaguars, red eyed tree frogs, leopards, and many species of insects live in the understory layer. Forest Floor This level of the rainforest is very dark. As a result, almost no plants grow in this level. Things also decay faster on this level. A leaf that might take a year to decay in a regular climate might only take 6 weeks to decay in the rainforest. Giant anteaters can be found on this level.
The plants of the rainforest There are many plants in the rainforest. In fact, about two-thirds of the different plants in the world grow in the rainforest. Some of the plants that grow here are the orchid and the water lily.
The Orchid The orchid varies in color, shape, and size. The orchid has three petals and three petal-like sepals. The lower petal has a very distinctive appearance. The orchid also has lots of foliage. Orchids can be found in the canopy and the understory. The orchids are used to flavor rum.
Did you knowâ€Ś? - One out of four of the ingredients in our medicines come from plants in the Amazon. - About two-thirds of the plant species in the world grow in the rainforest.
The Water Lily The water lily is either a deep pink or ruby red and the lily pad is always green. The lily pads have thorns all over them except on the top. This adaptation keeps them from being eaten by most animals, although some fish still eat them. The water lily grows in the water. It has roots that can move around so these plants donâ€™t always stay in the same place.
The Water Lily
The Lily Pad
The Strawberry Poison Dart Frog The Strawberry Poison Dart Frog is red with black spots. They are very small, most less than the size of a paper clip. Some people say they resemble a strawberry because they are so small and red. They live on the forest floor and hunt in the understory level. One of the predators of the frog is the leimadolphis epinephelus, a snake. Some of the prey of the frog are spiders, ants, termites, and other small insects. The frogs are carnivores because the eat only meat. The frogs create poison to keep other animals away and the frog has vibrant colors to let other animals know that it is poisonous and they should stay away.
Did you knowâ€Ś? - Sloths move so slow that algae can grow on their fur when it rains!!
- More than 2,000 species of butterflies live in the rainforest!!
Morpho Butterfly The Morpho Butterfly is blue with a black border and white spots. Their habitat is in the canopy, emergent, and understory layers of the rainforest. Different birds and spiders eat the butterfly. The Morpho Butterfly eats rotten food, fruit, and leaves. Their diet changes throughout their lifetime but they are always an herbivore. When the butterfly flies, its wings flatten and it confuses the predators below it because they think it is disappearing and reappearing.
The Blue Morpho Butterfly
Food Web The producers are organisms that use photosynthesis to grow. The consumers get their energy from producers or other consumers. The decomposers get their energy from anything that is dead. They break down the dead bodies and eat them. The sun is a resource for every living thing.
The Yanomami This tribe is one of the largest, indigenous tribes in the Amazon Rainforest. The Villages The Yanomami live in hundreds of small villages. They are grouped by families in one large communal dwelling called a Shabano. This is a circle shaped structure with an open central plaza. They hunt and fish over a wide range and tend gardens in harmony with the forest. Villages are autonomous but constantly interact with each other. Each village contains between 40 and 300 individuals. These villages are scattered throughout the rainforest. Some people in these villages are nomads because they do not have a permanent home. The distance between each village is typically a few hours walk but can be up to a ten day walk. They are suspicious of outsiders which they call napes. The word nape means people who are foreign and dangerous. They move every five years so that they have new land on which to plant their crops. The women do most of the work in the villages. They raise the children, find wood, cook, fish and gather wild plants. Men cut the trees to burn, make houses and do some of the hunting and fishing.
Yanomami Beliefs Yanomami traditions are shaped by the belief that the natural and spiritual world is unified. They also believe that nature creates everything and that it is sacred. They believe that their fate and the fate of all people are inescapably linked to the fate of the environment. With the destruction of the environment, they think that humanity is committing suicide. Their spiritual leader is a Shaman. Food The Yanomami fish, hunt, and grow things such as: sweet potatoes, bananas, sugar cane, and tobacco. They also feast on about everything the jungle has to offer. They hunt for animals such as monkeys, tapir, and caimans (a type of alligator). They eat all
kinds of edible fare ranging from snakes, wild pigs, monkeys, deer, and jaguars. They eat insects, larvae, fish, crabs, wild honey, plantains, sweet potatoes, and palm fruits. The Yanomami lack protein in their diet because they eat a lot more fruits and vegetables than meat. Yanomami Religion The Yanomamiâ€™s Thepe Urihipe, the forest of human beings, is the forest that Omama, a Yanomami god, gave to the Yanomami to live in generation after generation. To the Yanomami this forest is not just a setting, it is a living image that breathes. Animals are said to have been humans from long ago that were made into animals because of their bad behavior. The spirits are known as xapiripe. Xapiripe are tiny human images painted in bright colors. There are xapiripe of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, lizards, turtles and insects. There are spirits of trees, leaves, vines, wild honey, water, stones and waterfalls. The leaders of the group call the spirits when someone is sick so that the spirits can heal the sick person. Clothing The Yanomami tribe wears nearly nothing for their clothing. This is because the climate is so hot and humid. They also put sticks through their noses and on their chins and cheeks. Trade An important part of the Yanomami culture is their trade. The trade helps them stay away from warfare. The tribes trade goods that they have for goods that they need.
The Tikuna live in the Brazilian Rainforest near the borders of Peru and Colombia. The word Ticuna can also be spelled: Tikuna and Tukuna. In the Alto Solimones there are more than 70 aldeias (villages). Villages The Ticuna nation has managed to preserve their traditional religions, rituals, and native language even though there has been contact with the outside world for over 400 years. Traditions The Ticuna tribe is very artistic. They make many things including stone and wood sculptures, masks, and baskets. They also make bark cloth which is a paper like fabric that they paint on using natural vegetable paints. They use this fabric when the make many things like masks and dolls. Ticuna Ceremonies The Ticuna tribe is known for the traditional costumes and masks they use in their ceremonies. When a Tikuna person dies he is buried in a canoe that has a top carved for it so that he may cross the river of death. Things that he will need in the afterlife are put in the canoe with him. At the funeral ceremony tribe members perform dances while wearing masks that represent all of the animals and birds that the deceased will need to hunt in the next life. This
ceremony is to make sure that these kinds of animals and birds will be plentiful for him. Another ceremony is performed when a young girl reaches puberty. She has to stay in a hut for two to three years by herself and only her mother is allowed to visit. When this period is over her father throws a big party. At the party the girl is given a drink to make her numb or drunk and her father pulls all of her hair out one strand at a time. The purpose of this ceremony is that if she can stand the pain of her hair being pulled out then she can take the pain of childbirth. Clothing Some Ticuna that reside in river villages go naked except for a gstring and a collar made of monkey or jaguar teeth. During ceremonies they will wear a painted robe. Their hair is usually long and cut straight across the forehead. They paint and tattoo their faces with patterns and wear bright colored feather armlets. Trade The Ticuna prepare and sell curari poison to be used on blowgun arrows. The way they make the curari poison is a secret and the Ticuna are experts at making the poison. The curari poison is the chief object of intertribal trade in the upper Amazon region. The Ticuna also gather forest products such as sarsaparilla, wax, rubber, and gum for trade.
Beliefs The Ticuna believe in a good spirit and a bad spirit. The good spirit is called Nanuola and the evil spirit is known as Locasi.
Movement of the Tribes The tribes move throughout the rainforest by building roads, canoeing in the rivers and by walking places. The people can trade goods when they canoe through the rivers.
The Amazon River
Save the Rainforest - Stop Deforestation Deforestation Deforestation is destroying the rainforest by cutting down the trees and this destroys the homes of many plants and animals. If we continue to destroy the rainforest there will eventually be no rainforest left. This would be very bad because we get many resources from the rainforest. Also we get a lot of our oxygen supply from the rainforest because there are so many trees in the rainforest. Ecotourism When people travel through the river in boats and the fumes from the boatâ€™s motor burn it is polluting the air and water. Tourist that travels to the forest may affect it in many ways. Conservation I think we should all try to save and conserve the rainforest and stop the deforestation. Without the rainforest we might not be able to live. We get much of our oxygen supply from the rainforest as well as many medicines, rubber and foods. The rainforest is also a beautiful place that is home to many amazing animals and plants not to mention the many indigenous tribes. So, letâ€™s please start saving the rainforest!!!!
SAVE THE RAINFOREST!!!!!!!!!!!
Citation Page Special thanks to www.dictionary.com www.srl.caltech.edu www.nationalgeographic.com www.rainforestalliance.org www.bgsu.edu www.worldbookonline.com www.crystalinks.com http://www.pilotguides.com/destination_guide/south-america/venezuela/yanomami_tribe.php http://www.greenwichschools.org/uploaded/virtual_library/IB_Resources/THE_YANOMAMI.pdf www.squidoo.com/Amazonwaterlily www.wikipedia.com - for pictures www.catholicity.com http://www.indian-cultures.com/Cultures/ticuna.html