What is the rainforest? Tropical rainforests are complex ecosystems, which are made up of four distinct environments. These "sub- ecosystems" are referred to as levels. In each level, animals and plants have adapted to the existing environmental conditions. The different levels are: the emergent level, the canopy, the under story, and forest floor.
Green Acouchi These rodents have coarse, reddish, blackish or greenish fur. The under parts are shades of brown, orange, yellow or white. The tail is short with short hair. Size of average adult length: 12.5 - 15 inches weight: 1 - 3 pounds Approximate life span is 10 years in captivity
Giant Indian Fruit Bat These large bats have dark brown bodies with black wings. The males have a light yellow color on the back of the neck and shoulders. They have prominent claws (thumbs) used for moving through the branches. Size of average adult length: 9 inches wing span: 4 feet weight: 1.25 - 2.25 pounds Approximate life span is 20 years in captivity.
Capybara The capybara is the largest living rodent. The long, coarse pelage is very sparse and is reddish-brown to gray on the upper parts and yellow-brown below. Occasionally there will be some black on the face, outer limbs and the rump. Size of average adult length: 3 - 4 feet height: 1.5 feet weight: 59 - 174 pounds Approximate life span is 9 years.
Drip Tips The leaves of forest trees have adapted to cope with exceptionally high rainfall. Many tropical rainforest leaves have a drip tip. It is thought that these drip tips enable rain drops to run off quickly. Plants need to shed water to avoid growth of fungus and bacteria in the warm, wet tropical rainforest.
Epiphytes Epiphytes are plants that live on the surface of other plants, especially the trunk and branches. They grow on trees to take advantage of the sunlight in the canopy. Most are orchids, bromeliads, ferns, and Philodendron relatives. Tiny plants called epiphylls, mostly mosses, liverworts and lichens, live on the surface of leaves.
Nepenthes Pitcher plant vines in the family Nepenthaceae have leaves that form a pitcher, complete with a lid. Sweet or foul-smelling nectar in the pitcher attracts insects, especially ants and flies, that lose their grip on the slick sides and fall into the liquid. Downward-pointing hairs inside the pitcher prevent the insects' escape. The insects are digested by the plants and provide nutrients. Pitcher plants are not epiphytes but climbers rooted in the soil.
Climate Tropical rain forests are mainly the product of climatic interactions, particularly temperature and rainfall. In general, tropical rain forests occur where a mean monthly temperature of between 20 and 28 degrees C is combined with an annual rainfall of between 1.5 and 10 metres, evenly distributed throughout the year. This last proviso is very important because it is only to those tropical forests which experience little seasonal variation in terms of rainfall that the term rain forest can legitimately be applied.
Rainforest Destruction Cutting Down Millions of Trees in the Rainforest Is One of the Main Problems.
Solution If every human did their best at saving the rainforest the problem would not exist. Back to Rainforest Discovery Back to Rainforest Discovery