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The Tropical Rainforests of the World
In this term paper, I will explain the great importance of the tropical
Rainforests around the world and discuss the effects of the tragedy of
rainforest destruction and the effect that it is having on the earth. I will
talk about the efforts being made to help curb the rate of rainforest
destruction and the peoples of the rainforest, and I will explore a new topic
in the fight to save the rainforest, habitat fragmentation. Another topic being
discussed is the many different types of rainforest species and their
uniqueness from the rest of the world.
First, I will discuss the many species of rare and exotic animals, Native to
the Rainforest. Tropical Rainforests are home to many of the strangest looking
and most beautiful, largest and smallest, most dangerous and least frightening,
loudest and quietest animals on earth. There are many types of animals that
make their homes in the rainforest some of them include: jaguars, toucans,
parrots, gorillas, and tarantulas. There are so many fascinating animals in
tropical rainforest that millions have not even identified yet. In fact, about
half of the world’s species have not even been identified yet. But sadly, an
average of 35 species of rainforest animals are becoming extinct every day.
So many species of animals live in the rainforest than any other parts of the
world because rainforests are believed to be the oldest ecosystem on earth.
Some forests in southeast Asia have been around for at least 100 million years,
ever since the dinosaurs have roamed the earth. During the ice ages, the last
of which occurred about 10,000 years ago, the frozen areas of the North and
South Poles spread over much of the earth, causing huge numbers of extinctions.
But the giant freeze did not reach many tropical rainforests. Therefore, these
plants and animals could continue to evolve, developing into the most diverse
and complex ecosystems on earth.
The nearly perfect conditions for life also help contribute to the great number
of species. With temperatures constant at about 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit the
whole year, the animals don’t have to worry about freezing during the cold
winters or finding hot shade in the summers. They rarely have to search for
water, as rain falls almost every day in tropical rainforests.
Some rainforest species have populations that number in the millions. Other
species consist of only a few dozen individuals. Living in limited areas, most
of these species are found nowhere else on earth. For example, the maues
marmoset, a species of monkey, wasn’t discovered until recently. It’s entire
tiny population lives within a few square miles in the Amazon rainforest. This
species of monkey is so small that it could fit into a persons hand!
In a rainforest, it is difficult to see many things other than the millions of
insects creeping and crawling around in every layer of the forest. Scientists
estimate that there are more than 50 million different species of invertebrates
living in rainforests. A biologist researching the rainforest found 50
different of ants on a single tree in Peru! A few hours of poking around in a
rainforest would produce several insects unknown to science.
The constant search for food , water, sunlight and space is a 24-hour pushing
and shoving match. With this fierce competition, it is amazing that that so
many species of animals can all live together. But this is actually the cause
of the huge number of the different species.
The main secret lies in the ability of many animals to adapt to eating a
specific plant or animal, which few other species are able to eat. An example
of such adaptations would be the big beaks of the toucans and parrots. Their
beaks give them a great advantage over other birds with smaller beaks. The
fruits and nuts from many trees have evolved with a tough shell to protect them
from predators. In turn toucans and parrots developed large, strong beaks,
which serves as a nutcracker and provides them with many tasty meals.
Many animal species have developed relationships with each other that benefit
both species. Birds and mammal species love to eat the tasty fruits provided
by trees. Even fish living in the Amazon River rely on the
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Forest ecology, Biology, Ecology, Americas, Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, Biodiversity, Rainforest, Amazon rainforest, Sloth, Tropical rainforest, Tree, Parrot
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