Temperature no higher than 93 F (34 C) or lower than 68 F (20 C)
Precipitation varies widely from 1500 mm to 2000 mm per year with 3 – 5 months dry seasons
Tropical Rainforest is made up of tall trees in a region of year around warmth
Average rain fall is 50 to 260 inches yearly
Rainforests cover less than 6% of Earth’s land surfaces and produce 40% of Earth’s oxygen
About ¼ of all medicines come from rainforest plants. A person with Lymphocytic Leukemia has a 99% chance of remission because of the rosy periwinkle. More than 1,400 varieties of tropical plants are thought to be potential cures for cancer
Brazil - Amazon
Let’s go to the Amazon
What do you pack
Tall trees growing close together so that their tops are close, forming a fairly continuous cover
The top layer called the emergent layer is the huge trees rising high above the rest of the forest, they receive most of the sunshine
The third layer is the under storey this is small trees and bushes, plants and ferns
The fourth layer is the forest floor, few plants grow on the forest floor because there is almost no sunshine and this also provides food and shelter for animals that inhabit the forest floor.
Amazon rainforest can be considered “wet-deserts” in that they grow on red and yellow clay like laterite soils which are acidic and low in nutrients. Most are very old and impoverished especially in the Amazon. The soils are so weathered they are largely devoid of minerals but rich with aluminum and iron oxide which gives tropical soils their distinctive reddish and yellowish coloration and are toxic in high amounts.
Ocelot – Leopardus Pardalis
The most common rainforest cat but rarely being seen
Smaller than a jaguar
Feeds on Small Mammals mostly rodents
He is hunted for his skin
Kinkajou – Potos Flavus or Honey Bear
Related to the Olingo, Rintail, Cacomistle, Raccoon and Coati may be mistaken for a ferret or monkey but not related to them
Native to Central America and South America
Is hunted for illegal pet trade for their fur
Average Weight 2 -3 kg (4 – 7 lb) body length 40 – 60 cm and tail length 40-55 cm
Kinkajou woolly fur consists of an outer coat of gold or brownish gray overlapping a gray undercoat with short legs and sharp claws
He eats mainly fruit, figs with leaves and flowers making up only 10% of their diet sometime they will eat ants or bird eggs
Orchid – Flowing plants are different shapes and sizes, they attract birds and insects. They are very colorful and smell wonderful.
Liana – Vines that live over the rainforest, they link trees to each other
Passion flower – Colorful plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Animals, birds and people eat the fruit
Strangled Fig Tree – This tree uses another tree to climb up to the sunlight.
Logging for Tropical Hardwoods – this is the driving force of destruction of the rainforests the tropical hardwoods like teak, mahogany, rosewood and other timers are used for furniture, building materials, charcoal and other wood products in big business and big profits. Several species of hardwoods are imported to build coffins. Japan is the largest importer of tropical woods.
Fuel Wood and Paper Industry is an additional issue, one single steel plant in Brazil making Japanese cars needs millions of tons of wood each year to produce charcoal used in manufacturing.
Paper Industry consists of Japanese power plants and pulp mill. One single plant you need 5,600 square feet of rainforest burned to replant in pulpwood trees.
Once the rainforest is destroyed it is rare that it will regrow.
Predators of the Amazon
Black Caiman – Largest Predator in Amazon river, has no other enemies grows to 20 ft long and reach up to 3,000 lb.
Jaguar – One of the most dangerous animals is an excellent hunter and swimmer
Piranha – Most feared creature has a powerful jaw and razor like triangular teeth that can shred flesh bone in matter of seconds.
Poison Arrow Frog – Very small in size but poisonous enough to kill up to 100 people, has the most powerful poison know to man, Indian hunters use the poison on the tip of their arrows.
Tropical Rainforests are unable to support human populations. Food resources within the forest are extremely dispersed due to the high biological diversity and what food does exist is largely restricted to the canopy.
Coffee, chocolate, banana, mango, papaya, macadamia, avocado and sugarcane come from the tropical rainforests. Coffee exports are worth $3 billion in 1970.In the mid 90’s 40 million bananas were consumed and 13 million tons of mangos. Tropical forests supply 250 cultivated kids of fruit compared to only 20 for temperate forests.
We are loosing the greatest biological treasure once 14% of the earth now 6%
1 ½ acres are lost every second to developing & industrial countries
½ of the world’s species of plants, animals and microorganisms will be destroyed or severely threatened over the next quarter century because of the destruction in the rainforests
We loose 137 plan, animal & insect species every day
There was 10 million Indians living in the Amazonian Rainforest 5 centries ago, now only 200,000
Most medicine men are in their 70’s and when he dies it is as if a library has been burnt, the art dies with him
At least 80% of the developed world’s diet originated in the rainforest. Included is fruits, spices, vegetables, coffee and nuts.
121 Prescription drugs currently sold worldwide come from plant derived sources