How Do Rainforests Grow?

Rainforests grow in layers, depending on the height of the trees. At the very top is the emergent layer where the tallest trees poke out above the rest. Beneath is a thick layer of treetops called the canopy, growing like a leafy, green umbrella over the rainforest. Below that is the understorey, made up of smaller trees and saplings.

Why Are They Called Rainforests?

Because of where they grow, rainforests are hot and wet all year round. There are no real seasons-just hot and wet, and even hotter and wetter. On the wettest days, up to 10 inches of rain can fall, and there are thunderstorms in the afternoons.


How Many Animals Live In The Rainforests?

Although rainforests cover only about a tenth of the Earth’s surface, they are home to at least half of the world’s species of animals and plants-that’s thousands of insects alone. About 1.5 million people also live in the rainforests.

Are There More Animals To Be Discovered?

Yes, there are! Scientists believe that there may be many more animals, especially insects, that they have never seen or identified. Every so often, they discover a new one. Part of the problem is that many rainforest animals are nocturnal-they only come out at night. Others rarely venture down from their treetop homes.


What Bird Is Like A Helicopter?

Hummingbirds feed on nectar found deep inside rainforest flowers in South America. To reach its food, a hummingbird hovers in front of a flower like a tiny helicopter. It has to beat its wings up to 20 times a second, so quickly that they make a humming sound. Then the bird probes into the flower with its long, thin bill and laps up the nectar with its tube-like tongue. A hummingbird can also fly forward and backward, and up and down.

Which Animals Bounce Across The Ground

Sifakas are lemurs from Madagascar. They can’t run on all fours because their legs are much longer than their arms. Instead they bounce along the ground, hopping from one foot to the other, holding their arms up in the air.


Why Do Frogs Have Suckers On Their Feet?

Many rainforest frogs live high up in the trees to avoid hungry predators on the ground. They have to be good at climbing. To help them, they have pads of sticky hairs, like suckers, on their fingers and toes, and loose, sticky skin on their bellies for grip. If they land in a tree with plenty of lizards to eat, they may not move off it for months on end.

How Do Gibbons Swing So Fast?

Gibbons have arms that are longer than their bodies. This helps them to swing very fast through the trees. With its huge armspan, a gibbon can swing 32 feet from one branch to another in one go, gripping the branches with its long fingers. Gibbons live in the rainforests of South-east Asia.


Which Creature Performs A Miracle?

The basilisk lizard of South America has an amazing ability. It walks on water! It literally runs across the surface of a pond or pool without sinking. It is thought that its sheer speed keeps it afloat, while its long tail helps it to balance.

How Do Snakes Climb Trees?

Many rainforest snakes are excellent climbers. Their long, muscular bodies are good for slithering along the branches, and they have rough scales on their bellies to help them grip. Then they loop their coils over a branch and lie in wait for prey.


Can Snakes Fly?

Snakes can’t really fly because they don’t have wings. But some have a go. The paradise flying snake lives high up in the rainforest trees in Borneo. To set off in search of lizards to eat, it launches itself from a branch and flattens its body so that it can glide through the trees. These snakes are also excellent climbers, with sharp ridges on their bellies for grip.

How Many Legs Does A Spider Monkey Have?

The answer is four, like any other monkey! But spider monkeys also use their long tails as an extra arm or leg for gripping on to branches. In fact, their tails are so strong that the monkeys can swing by their tails alone. r


Which Rainforest Animal Shouts Loudest?

Of all the animals in the rainforest, the howler monkey has the loudest voice. It lives high up in the forests of South America. Every morning and evening, groups of howler monkeys wail and roar in an ear-splitting chorus.

Which Animals Use Their Tails Like Flags?

When ring-tailed lemurs go for a walk through the forests of Madagascar to patrol their territory, each lemur keeps its stripy tail raised high in the air. This is a signal to the other lemurs, like someone waving a flag. It shows them where each lemur is and helps to keep the group together. The lemurs mark the trees in their territory with a smelly scent to warn other ring-tails to keep out.

Why Do Tenures Spit?

A tenrec is a prickly, hedgehog-like animal from Madagascar. It sets out its territory by spitting on the spot it wants to mark, then rubbing its own strong body smell on to the wet spot. Other tenrecs recognize the smell and stay away.

Why Do Tarsiers Have Such Big Eyes?

Tarsiers are tiny, monkey-like animals from South-east Asia. They come out to feed at night. They use their enormous eyes and sensitive ears to help them locate their prey of insects, lizards and birds in the dark. Then they leap through the branches, grab their prey in both hands and gobble it down head first.

Which Monkey Turns Red With Rage?

Many monkeys have brightly colored skin or hair to signal to others. The odd-looking uakari lives in the rainforests of South America. Its face goes red if it is angry or excited. Uakaris also go bright red in the sun.

Which Bird Sounds Like A Bell ?

To attract a mate, the male bellbird of Central and South America opens its mouth wide and makes a call that sounds like a large, clanging bell. The bellbird has the loudest voice of any bird, so loud it can be heard over half a mile away.

Which Animal Burps A Lot ?

Male orangutans of South-east Asia burp loudly to warn other males to keep out of their territory. They fill the saggy pouches of skin around their throats with air, then let out a long call that starts off as a loud roar and ends with bubbling burps and groans.

Which Animal Uses Semaphore?

It can be difficult to be heard in the noisy rainforests of South America. So many animals turn to color to attract attention. Frogs usually communicate by croaking, but if it’s too noisy, they wave their brightly colored legs at each other in a type of Froggy semaphore. Monkeys wail and roar in an ear-splitting chorus. They do this to defend their own special patch of forest and their own particular food trees. You can’t miss their call. Their voices are so loud that they can be heard some 5 miles away.

Why Does The Mouse Deer Stamp Its Feet?

Mouse deer live in Asia. They are about the size of hares, with short, thin legs. They stamp their tiny feet to signal to each other. Mouse deer are extremely nervous. When they are startled, they freeze, then run away in a zigzag through the forest.

Which Bird Imprisons Itself In A Tree?

In Africa, a female hornbill lays her eggs in a hole in a tree. Then, helped by her mate, she seals herself in, covering the entrance with droppings and mud. Only a tiny slit is left, through which the male delivers food. This keeps the nest safe from snakes until the chicks are old enough to leave the nest and learn how to fly.

Which Insect Sings To Its Mate?

The cicada is the loudest insect in the rainforest. To attract a mate, the male cicada clicks small plates of skin in its sides at a rate of more than 1,000 times a second. Meanwhile, it listens for a female to reply with a flick of her wings. Cicadas live in rainforests all over the world.

Which Bird Hangs Upside Down To Show Off?

The dazzling feathers of male birds of paradise give the birds their names. ‘People thought that these birds were so stunning they could only come from paradise. The males use their feathers to attract a mate. The Count Raggi’s bird of paradise puts on a special courtship display. He hangs upside down from a branch to show off his magnificent orange feathers. After mating, he loses his feathers and has to grow them again the following year.

What Wasp Lays Its Eggs In The Body Of A Live Insect?

In many rainforests, female ichneumon wasps lay their eggs in the body of another insect while it is still alive. When the eggs hatch, the wasp grubs feed on the insect. They leave its vital parts until last, to keep it alive and fresh for longer.

Which Baby Bird Has Claws On Its Wings?

Hoatzins live in South America They build their nests in trees that overhang rainforest rivers and streams. If danger threatens, hoatzin chicks simply dive headfirst into the river. When it is safe, the chicks climb slowly back up, using tiny claws on their wings to help them grip.

Why Do Glow­worms Glow?

At night, some rainforest trees are filled with tiny flashing lights. These are made by glowworms or fireflies. They produce their yellow-green lights through chemical reactions inside their bodies. Glowworms flash their lights in the dark to attract a mate. Each species has its own pattern of flashes, which other members of its species can recognize. Despite the name glowworms are actually a type of beetle.

Which Caterpillars Live In A Tent?

The tent-caterpillar moth of South America gets its name from the way its caterpillars live. They build fine, silk nests among the rainforest trees. The adult moths are superbly camouflaged to blend in with the lichens growing on a tree trunk.

What Do Orangutans Use As Umbrellas?

It rains almost every day in the rainforest. Some animals don’t mind the rain, but orangutans try to avoid a soaking. If they are caught in a shower, they pick a large leaf for an umbrella and shelter beneath it until the rain stops. Orangutans live in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra in South-east Asia.

Who Lives In A Tree Ant’s Nest?

Tree ants, of course! But when the tree ants move out, birds called trogons move in. These brightly colored rainforest birds from Africa, Asia, Central, and South America do not build their own nests. Instead, they dig holes in abandoned tree ants’ nests and lay their eggs inside.

Where Do Gorillas Sleep?

At night, a gorilla will find a safe place to sleep on the ground or in the trees. Then it builds itself a cosy bed from branches and leaves. This takes about five minutes. Then the gorilla snuggles down for a rest, pressing the bed into shape with its body. Gorillas live in tiny patches of rainforest in Africa.

Who Lives In Warehouse And Eats Monkeys?

Giant eagles, such as the monkey-eating eagle of the Philippines and the South American harpy eagle, live high up in the tops of the emergent trees. They swoop through the canopy on the look-out for monkeys to eat. The eagles build huge twig platforms in the treetops where they lay their eggs. They use the same nest year after year

Which Birds Hang Their Nests From Trees?

In the rainforests of South America, oropendola birds build nests hanging from tree branches. One tree may be home to hundreds of birds. The nests look a bit saggy string bags, over 3 feet long. The birds like to share their tree with bees, because the bees keep harmful flies away from their chicks.

Which Bats Make Tents?

One type of South American bat, the tent-making bat (Ectophylla alba), makes a tent-like shelter from a large leaf, with the leaf still attached to its tree. The bats chew away along either side of the leaf’s mid-rib so that the leaf hangs down on either side-just like a tent! Then they spend the day roosting underneath, clinging on to the mid-rib with their claws.

Which Insects Live In A Tower?

Termites are tiny creatures, no bigger than grains of rice. They live in the rainforests of Africa, Asia, and South America, in huge groups many millions strong. Some termites build tower-like nests on the forest floor, made of chewed-up wood, glued together with spit. Others build their nests in trees.

What Makes A Leaf-Tailed Gecko Invisible?

The leaf-tailed gecko of Madagascar spends the day head- down on a tree trunk. You might think that this would make it an easy target for enemies-but you’d be wrong! The gecko is superbly camouflaged. Its dappled green-brown skin matches the color of the bark perfectly. Its large, flat tail and ragged frill of skin make it look just like a woody bump.

What Do Katydids Do?

Katydids are small grasshoppers that disguise themselves brilliantly. Some look exactly like dead brown leaves, complete with holes, lying still on the forest floor of the rainforests of Asia and South America. Others mimic green, living leaves fluttering from a branch. They even have vein-like markings like real leaves.

Why Do Tigers Have Stripes?

A tiger’s stripes help to hide it among the undergrowth as it stalks or lies in wait for its prey. Its black and gold stripes break up the outline of its body, making it more difficult to see. Today, tigers are very rare. A very few stiil live in the rainforests of Asia.

Why Do Sloths Have Green Fur?

Sloths are so slow-moving that tiny green plants called algae grow on their coats. This helps to camouflage the sloth among the trees of the rainforests of Central and South America. The algae provides food for the moth caterpillars that also live happily on the sloth’s fur.

Which Animal Can Change Color?

Chameleons are masters of disguise. Their skin is usually green or brown but they can change color to blend in with their background or show that they are angry or frightened. They do this by enlarging or shrinking special color cells in their skin. Chameleons live in the rainforests of Asia and Africa.

Which Butterflies Keep Vanishing?

As a Morpho butterfly flies through the rainforest trees of South America, it seems to vanish, then reappear. This is because its wings are brilliant electric-blue on top and brown underneath. Each beat of its wings produces g, flash, like a strobe light

Why Do Toucans Have Such Colorful Beaks?

Toucans are famous for their striking beaks, which can grow longer than their bodies. They use their beaks for reaching over and plucking fruit from branches. The bright colors may help the toucans to recognize each other and to scare off other birds.

Which Rainforest Insect Looks Like A Flower

In the rainforest, things aren’t always what they seem. Many animals are cleverly disguised as twigs, leaves, bark, and even flowers. This hides them from hungry enemies and allows them to sneak up on prey unawares. The exquisite orchid mantis of Malaysia looks just like a beautiful flower. The mantis lurks on a twig, ready to shoot out its arms and grab interested insects.

What Would Happen If You Trod On A Stingray?

You’d get a painful shock! Stingrays are usually quite harmless unless you go and step on one. Sharp poisonous spines grow near the end of their long thin tails. If disturbed, a stingray whips its tail round and stabs the spine into its attacker. Stingrays live in the Amazon River in South America.

How Do Arrow Poison Frogs Get Their Name?

The brightly colored skin of a South American arrow-poison frog is a signal to would-be attackers. It warns them that the frog is very nasty indeed to eat. The frog’s slimy skin is deadly poisonous. Forest people extract the poison and use it to tip their hunting arrows. And this is how arrow-poison frogs get their name.

Which Snake Was Once Used As A Weapon?

The fer-de-lance is a deadly poisonous snake that grows up to 8 feet long. It is said that local people in South America used to slip these snakes into tubes and use them as lethal weapons to fire at their enemies.

Which Animal Has A Sting In Its Tail?

If you’re out and about in rainforests all over the world, particularly at night, watch out for scorpions. They have a sting in their tails, loaded with deadly poison. A scorpion uses its tail mainly in self-defense, and holds it curled above its body, ready to strike.

Are Any Birds Poisonous?

Until recently, scientists did not think so. Then, in 1992, it was found that the feathers and skin of the pitohui bird of Papua New Guinea contained a poison strong enough to kill mice and frogs. In people, it can cause numbness, burning, and sneezing.

Which Animal Shoots Boiling Poison At Its Enemies?

Bombardier beetles have a very unusual and unpleasant way of warning off enemies. When provoked, the beetle swivels the tip of its abdomen round and shoots a spray of boiling hot, poisonous chemicals at its attacker. The spray is made inside the beetle’s body, from two otherwise quite harmless chemicals. They react together with an explosive sound loud enough for you to hear. There’s no escape-the beetle has a very accurate aim!

Do Centipedes Have A Poisonous Bite?

Centipedes are fierce hunters and their first pair of legs is modified into fangs. These are used to inject poison into prey. Most centipedes are small and harmless to people. But large centipedes can pack an agonizingly painful bite. Centipedes live in rainforests all over the world.

Which Snake Pretends To Be Poisonous?

For some rainforest animals, pretending to be poisonous is the next best thing to being poisonous. In South America, harmless false coral snakes mimic the bright colors of extremely poisonous true coral snakes to trick their enemies into leaving them alone.

Which Beetle Looks Like A Giraffe?

The bizarre giraffe-necked weevil from Madagascar is one of the oddest- looking insects in the rainforest. Males have very long heads-about half the length of their bodies.

Which Shyest Is The Rainforest Animal?

The shyest animal in the rainforest is probably the okapi. These timid creatures are related to giraffes and look like a cross between a short-necked giraffe and a zebra. They live only in the rainforests of Zaire, Africa. Okapis are so secretive and solitary that, apart from local people, no one knew they even existed until 1901.

What Keeps Its Baby In A Watertight Pouch?

The yapok is a marsupial from Central and South America that is adapted for life in water. It has webbed back feet to help it swim after its prey of fish, frogs, and crustaceans. Its pouch opens backward so that it stays watertight when the yapok dives into the water.

Which Bug Has A Lantern Head?

The lantern bug from South America got its name because people once thought that its odd-shaped head glowed in the dark. In fact, its large head looks a bit like a miniature crocodile. It may be useful for scaring off enemies and stopping the bug from being eaten

Which Flies’ Eyes Pop Out On Stalks?

Diopsid flies live in many rainforests. They have eyes on the end of long stalks. No one is quite sure why. One idea is that the stalks look like wasps’ antennae. Predators mistake the flies for wasps, which might sting if they get any closer.

Which Is The Rarest Rainforest Animal?

So much of their forest home has been cleared to make space for coffee, rubber, and banana plantations that there may be fewer than 250 golden lion tamarins left in the wild. The last remaining tamarins live in a few patches of rainforest along the Atlantic coast of Brazil. Efforts are being made to save the tamarins. If these fail, they could be extinct within just a few years.

How Many Mountain Gorillas Are There?

There are three separate groups of mountain gorillas, all in the rainforests of Central Africa. All three are endangered because of forest clearance and poaching for their meat. Scientists estimate that there may be fewer than 40,000 left in the wild.

What Is White And Pink And Keeps Its Baby In Its Pocket?

A cuscus is a marsupial from Papua New Guinea. It has a pouch on its front where its young grow and develop. The cuscus has a thick white coat and a long tail with a bare pink tip. It uses its tail to help it climb through the trees.

Which Is The Biggest Rainforest Snake?

The gigantic anaconda of South America is the world’s biggest snake. The heaviest on record was 27 feet long, more than 3 feet round its middle and weighed almost a quarter of a ton. Anacondas lurk in the water at the river’s edge, with just their eyes and nostrils showing, waiting for their prey. They can kill prey as large as deer, goats, and alligators, crushing them to death with their huge coils.

Which Bird Builds The Smallest Nests?

The vervain hummingbird of South America builds a nest from plants and cobwebs that’s only about the size of half a walnut shell. There it lays the smallest eggs of any bird, barely the size of peas. The bee hummingbird’s nest is also tiny, about the size of a thimble.

Are Big Animals The Most Dangerous?

No, they’re not! The most dangerous animals are small insects-mosquitoes. They spread malaria, a disease that kills millions of people a year. Symptoms include a raging fever. Mosquitoes can also pass on yellow fever and elephantiasis. They live in rainforests all over the world.

Which Animal Has The Biggest Appetite?

You might think that the answer would be a jaguar or an alligator. In fact, it’s the larva of the polyphemus moth, which lives in Central America. It eats a staggering 86,000 times its own birth weight in food in the first two days of its life!

Which Bird Is Smaller Than A Butterfly?

The bee hummingbird of South America is the world’s smallest bird. It measures just over 2 inches in length, nearly half of which is its bill and tail. This tiny creature is smaller than many of the butterflies and moths in its rainforest home.

Which Is The Laziest Rainforest Animal?

The laziest animal in the rainforest has to be the three-toed sloth from South America. This idle animal spends about 18 hours a day hanging upside down from a tree branch, fast asleep. It spends the rest of the time looking for food. Unusually, its shaggy hair also grows upside down, from its belly toward its back.

This is so that the rain runs off it more easily I and the sleepy sloth does not get waterlogged!

Which Rodent Breaks Records?

The world’s biggest rodent is the capybara from South America. (Rodents are animals such as mice and rats.) It’s about the size of a pig and lives around lakes, rivers, and marshes. Its arch enemy is the jaguar, the fiercest hunter in the rainforest.

Which Spider Is As Big As A Plate?

Including its eight hairy legs, a bird-eating spider, or tarantula, can grow as big as a plate. It’s the biggest spider in the world and lives in South America. Bird-eating spiders hunt at night, on the rainforest floor. Despite their name, they very rarely catch birds.