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The Magic Rainforest Information about the Amazon Rainforest
Did you know there are two types of rainforest? The temperate and the tropical!
Tropical rainforests are found close to the equator. Temperate rainforests are found along coasts in the temperate zone, such as the Pacific Northwest of the USA. Both are endangered!
Fifty seven percent of all tropical rainforests are found in Latin America. One third of the world's tropical rainforests are in Brazil. The Amazon Rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest in the world. It covers 2. 5 million square miles – about two thirds of the United States would fit into it! It stretches across South America and occupies regions including Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador.
The Amazon Rainforest
It is home to around 2 and a half million different insects species as well as over 40, 000 plant species. There also a number of dangerous animals living in the Amazon rainforest such the cougar, jaguar, and anaconda.
The four layers of tropical rainforests Emergent Canopy Understory Forest Floor
Emergent Layer These giant trees enjoy the greatest amount of sunlight but also must endure high temperatures, low humidity, and strong winds
Canopy Layer The tops of these trees form a tight, continuous canopy 60 to 90 feet above the ground
Understory Layer Only a little sunshine reaches these plants so they have to grow larger leaves to reach the sunlight
Forest Floor Since there is almost no sunlight, only certain plants that have adapted to very low light grow here
The “Lungs of the Planet” The plants of the rainforests provide a large part of the earth's oxygen supply so the Amazon Rainforest is referred to as the “Lungs of the Planet” More than 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced by the Amazon Destruction of rainforests could mean increased global climate change and worsening pollution
Sadly, the Amazon is being destroyed by climate change and deforestation.
Trees are being cut down to make paper, cardboard, and furniture. There are more cattle than ever before which means they need more rainforest land to satisfy their needs. Roads are being built through the rainforest, endangering the environment as well as the lives of native Amazon tribes.
Because we are not taking care of the Amazon Rainforest, there is: Soil erosion, Water and air pollution, and A loss of biodiversity because plans and animals are becoming extinct. If we don’t do something about it, our planet will lose oxygen and many plants and animals.
Questions to think about: What are the characteristics of a rainforest? What animals and plants live in the rainforest? What do you think it would be like to live in the rainforest?