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Rainforests are very, very, old. They took about 70 to 100 million years to become what they are today. They are so old, that they've been around since.

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Presentation on theme: "Rainforests are very, very, old. They took about 70 to 100 million years to become what they are today. They are so old, that they've been around since."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rainforests are very, very, old. They took about 70 to 100 million years to become what they are today. They are so old, that they've been around since the time of the dinosaurs! Here we can see that the rainforest trees are very tall and very close together. Because of this, only tiny flecks of sunshine reach the forest floor. There is no winter or summer in the rainforest, only wet and dry seasons. Tropical rainforests are warm all year round. Rainforest

2 Rainforests are very important to us because all the trees there help keep the planet cool and the weather normal. They prevent "Global Warming" from happening. They are also important to us because over half of all the world's animals live in the rainforest. Animals and insects make their home in every part of the rainforest -- from the forest floor all the way up to the tree-tops. Rainforest

3 This is a caiman. It is a cousin to the crocodile and the alligator. They are in danger of becoming extinct because people are killing them to make things like purses, belts and cowboy boots. Some people think it's really cool to have a pair of boots made out of this exotic animal skin, but it is making the caiman become extinct. That's why we should never buy anything that might make a plant or animal become extinct. Rainforest

4 This is a tapir. Tapirs roam the forest floor using their long snouts to search for fallen fruit. They are also one of the animals that the people of the rainforest will hunt for food. Rainforest

5 This is a picture of the top of the rainforest as if you were in a cloud looking down upon it. This top layer of trees is called the canopy and it here where most rainforest animals make their home. There are some animals -- like tree frogs -- that spend their entire lives in the canopy without ever touching the forest floor once! Rainforest

6 Here's a picture of a three-toed sloth. As you can see, it only has three toes. Sloths move very, very slowly because most of their energy is spent digesting the plants that they eat for food. It can take the sloth up to a month to digest a single lunch! Rainforest

7 This is a beautiful blue morpho butterfly. We don't normally see butterflies like this in our own backyard, but if you were to go to the rainforest, an area the size of your school could have as many as 150 different kinds of colorful butterflies! Rainforest

8 This is an emerald tree boa. It's another animal that spends its time in the trees. Its green color helps it blend into the trees so that it cannot be seen. This is called "camouflage." Rainforest

9 This little bird is called a hooded warbler. Like many other birds, it flies South for the winter to live in the rainforests, and then comes back up here for the summer. If the rainforests disappear, birds like these will have no place to fly for the winter and many of them will become extinct. Rainforest

10 This bird is called a scarlet macaw. Brightly colored birds like parrots and toucans live in the rainforest all year round. Their big, strong beaks are especially made so they can break open the tough shells of the rainforest nuts that they eat for food. Rainforest

11 The people of the rainforest live very different lives from us. For instance, they don't have shopping malls, grocery stores or drugstores like we do because the forest gives them everything they need. It gives them their food, their clothes, their homes, their medicine, and even their toys. This is a village deep in the rainforest of Malaysia. Rainforest

12 Boats are very necessary to the people of the rainforest because they use them for fishing as well as for visiting friends and family in nearby villages. There are many rivers and streams in the rainforest and boats are what they use to get around. Rainforest

13 Here's a picture of a young man draining rubber from a rubber tree in the Amazon. The white sap that looks like milk will be cooked and turned into rubber. This is a good way to use the products of the rainforest without hurting it. This man can come back in a few months and collect more rubber from this tree without killing it, or damaging the rainforest. This is called "sustainable harvesting" and it is a very good thing to do. Sustainably harvesting the rainforest means you aren't destroying the forest to make a living. Rainforest

14 We also get our medicines from the rainforest. What you see here are rainforest plants that will be turned into medicine. Here in the United States, we get 25% -- or one quarter -- of all our medicines from rainforest plants. It's very possible that scientists will find a cure for diseases like cancer or AIDS by studying other plants in the rainforest, but if the rainforests get cut down, they won't be able to discover these new medicines. That's just like destroying the planet's medicine chest! Rainforest

15 Food is something else that comes from the rainforest. Some of the foods that we eat all the time that were originally discovered in the rainforest include: corn, peanuts, tomatoes, onions, avocados, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa, bananas and oranges -- just to name a few. We can go to our corner grocery store to buy these things, but originally, they were discovered in the rainforest. Rainforest

16 Brazil nuts also come from the rainforest. Here's a Brazil nut factory where the nuts are shelled and then shipped away for sale. Gathering Brazil nuts is another way to "sustainably harvest" the rainforest. These people are able to make a living by selling the Brazil nuts and the forest is able to stay alive and healthy. Rainforest

17 But the forest is disappearing fast. This is a picture of a rainforest that is being burned down, although the people in this picture did not set this fire. If the rainforests keep being destroyed at the rate they are now, we will lose almost all of them in 27 years. Rainforest

18 If that happens, then all the trees that keep our planet cool will be gone; all the animals that live there will become extinct like the dinosaurs, all the plants that give us our medicine will disappear, and what's going to happen to these people? Rainforest

19 One of the main reasons the forest is being destroyed is because big companies are going into the rainforest to take things like trees, oil and gold so they can sell them to make money. While there's nothing wrong with making money, when you destroy the rainforests to do so, then it becomes a big problem for all of us. These big companies don't seem to care that what they are doing is destroying the rainforests forever. Oil drills Rainforest

20 Raising cattle for beef is another thing that destroys the rainforest. Here is a picture of a cattle ranch that used to be a rainforest. What happens is that ranchers slash and burn the forest to clear the land and grow grass. Rainforest

21 The soil in the rainforest doesn't have a lot of nutrients or vitamins in it, so once you cut it down to grow things, nothing will grow after a few years, and then the rainforest that once used to be so green and beautiful turns into a desert wasteland like this. Once a rainforest is destroyed, it can't grow back. Rainforest

22 Because of rainforest destruction, over a hundred different kinds of plants, animals and insects become extinct each day -- which means they disappear forever. Rainforest

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