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Amazon Rainforest

Life Science - Middle School

 
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Amazon Rainforest The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world, once covering half of South America in Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Suriname. Hot and moist tropical air clings like a cloud, and smells of rotting leaves and strong, sweet flowers. Plants, like all things here, grow to giant sizes. The kapok tree (1) is 150 feet tall with a huge branching trunk called a buttress to balance it in the shallow rainforest soil. Large blossoms attract morpho (2) and birdwing butterflies (3) and many hummingbirds (4). Rainforests are broken down into four layers. The emergent layer includes the tallest trees which is often more than 200 feet tall and rises above the rest of the forest. Next comes the canopy forming a thick leafy cover to the forest. Below, the understory has shade-loving plants and shrubs, while the dark forest floor is covered in decomposing leaves. EMERGENT LAYER CANOPY UNDERSTORY FOREST FLOOR The rainforest is a loud, busy place with macaws (5), toucans (6) and tamarins (7) calling up in the trees. On the ground, agoutis (8) and tapirs (9) search for food, while flying insects buzz and ants (10) march in long lines. Sloths (11) slowly chew leaves and their fur grows a green bacteria in the wet air which helps them blend in. The jaguar (12) hunts prey on the ground. The harpy eagle (13) hunts from the sky, and the boa constrictor (14) patiently waits for prey to pass underneath. Squirrel and spider monkeys (15-16) feast on insects and fruit, like avocados (17), bananas (18), jackfruit (19) and brazil nuts (20). Sadly, rainforests around the world are quickly disappearing as we clear them for lumber and farmland. 1 2 3 5 19 16 8 6 11 14 7 18 20 9 17 12 15 13 10 4 Sheri Amsel
Amazon Rainforest 94-4012 1 2 3 5 8 6 11 14 7 9 12 13 10 4 A B C D Rainforests are broken down into four layers. The _________________________________ layer (A) includes the tallest trees, which often rises above the rest of the forest. Next comes the _____________________________ (B), forming a thick leafy cover to the forest. Below, the _________________________________ (C) has shade-loving plants and shrubs, while the dark ______________________________ ___________________________ (D) is covered in decomposing leaves. In the canopy, macaws (5), _____________________ (6), and tamarins (7) call. On the ground, agoutis (8) and tapirs (9) search for food, while flying insects buzz and ants (10) march in long lines. _____________________ (11) slowly chew leaves, while their fur is green from bacteria growing in the wet air. The _____________________ (12) hunts prey on the ground, while the harpy _____________________ (13) hunts from the sky, and the _________ constrictor (14) waits for prey to pass underneath. LAYER
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