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Amazon Rain Forest Why is the Amazon Rain Forest so special? The Amazon Rain Forest in Brazil and Peru is immense (it's larger than Europe). The 6280 kilometer (3900 mile) long Amazon River is fed by a thousand rivers - some over 1600 kilometers (1000 miles) long.
Animals of the Rain Forest Of the millions of different kinds of animals on earth, the group known as insects is the most common. This is certainly true of the Amazon basin too. Here we look at the wide variety of animals from small insects to large mammals. Click on the Piranha to see other types of animals in the rain forest.
Anaconda The anaconda has quite a reputation. Movies and books make it out to be a dangerous killer that should cause fear. I was dying to see one. There are two species of anaconda in the Amazon basin. The Great Water Boa and the Yellow Boa. Anaconda are types of boa constrictor and catch their food by grabbing them and then squeezing them to death like any other constrictor.
Jaguar "A beast that kills its prey with one bound" Most jaguars live in Central and South America. Jaguars live in dense tropical rain forests and swampy grasslands.
Macaw The macaw is a long-tailed parrot that lives in South America and Mexico. Sixteen species of macaws inhabit tropical forests from central Mexico to northern Argentina, distinguished among the world's 340 parrot species by their long tails and huge beaks.
Poison Arrow Frog What is small, beautiful, and deadly and only found in a rain forest? Poison arrow frogs are interesting and important amphibians of the Amazon rain forest. The color of the frog ranges from red, green, blue, and yellow. Even though they are small sized frogs, their bright color embellishes the Amazon rain forest.
Plants of the Rain Forest There are a huge variety of plants throughout the Amazon Rain Forest. Many of these plants are only now being found and examined for possible uses in industry and medicine. Click on the picture above to see some of the plants.
Banana Plant Everyone eats bananas from the tropics though they originated in Asia. However, there are many different kinds and most are not exported to other parts of the world.
Cocoa - Chocolate The cocoa tree of the Amazon basin produces the fruit this way and it is turned into the chocolate that is enjoyed all over the world. The natural tree may grow 12-16 meters (30-50 feet) tall but cultivated trees are much shorter.
Vanilla Plant Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) is a member of the orchid family. While orchids are one of the most beautiful flowers to look at, vanilla is the only produced from these plants. It occurs as a vine that lives for many years and may reach a length of 60 to 100 feet.
Have you ever wondered what is sounds like in the Amazon Rain Forest? Heavy Rain Light Rain For more exciting sounds of the Amazon Rain Forest visit http://www.christiananswers.net/kids/sounds.html
People have not dwelt in large numbers throughout the tropical rain forests, but small groups of people live throughout the region. They constantly move around and clear small areas and plant crops. When they reach an area they want to use, they chop down trees and burn them in order to create a clear area. They then plant seeds in the ashes--but after a few years the soil nutrients become used up and it is no longer good for gardening, so they move somewhere else and start the process all over again. This process is called slash-and-burn cultivation, which can support a small population but will not work with larger ones. Amazon Rain Forest What kind of shape is it in?
Amazon Rain Forest Tropical rain forests are now being cleared at an ever-increasing rate worldwide. Scientists estimate that from 13 1/2 million to 55 million acres of tropical rain forests are destroyed every year. Two of the main reasons for cutting down tropical rain forests are because of commercial timber and the needs of an expanding population. All of this massive destruction is leading to the greatest number of plant and animal extinctions the earth has ever experienced. If one animal or plant becomes extinct, most likely it does not effect us, but how many animals or plants can we let become extinct until it does effect us, and we "open our eyes" to this growing problem.
Amazon Rain Forest Many people do not know the harm in destroying these tropical rain forests. Trees and plants use the gas carbon dioxide during a process called photosynthesis to make food. However, while it is necessary to have carbon dioxide, having too much can be a problem. Carbon dioxide is a heavy gas that has the property of holding heat and causing the temperature of the surrounding area to rise. Because of the burning and removal of trees and plants in tropical rain forests, the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are increasing. The amount of carbon dioxide is steadily rising (as are the amount of solid particles that also keep in heat) at about 0.4 percent each year, and the destruction of the tropical rain forests is contributing to the Greenhouse Effect.
Amazon Rain Forest What are some things that you predict will happen if people continue to destroy the rain forest? How does destroying the Amazon Rain Forest affect us?
Amazon Rain Forest What do Scientists predict will happen if people continue to destroy the Rain Forest? Scientists predict that if this continues, there will be a rise in temperature, climate changes, and sea levels will rise significantly, affecting millions of people by major flooding. Many of our valuable resources come from tropical rain forests, like plants to make medicines and rubber, but if we keep destroying these tropical rain forests, we will soon find out that it will not only effects the ecological balance, but will effect us in the long run as well.