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Tropical Rainforest Poem

toucan

Dark and damp,
On
forest floor,
Fungi grows,
mushroom
Wait, there’s more!
Bugs and bugs,
Of every kind,
I'll go on,
If you don’t mind…
Jaguars, and amphibians,
blue poison dart frog
The
forest floor,
Where it begins...

Next level up?
The
understory,
There’s a huge inventory,
Birds, and bats, and butterflies,
blue morpho butterfly
Bananas, tarsiers, meet our eyes,
Capuchin monkeys, boas, skinks,
The chocolate used in chocolate drinks!

Next level up?
You will see,
Is the great green
canopy,
Not a place for cans of peas,
can of peas
Just the tops of tall, green trees!
Two-toed sloths, and maybe three,
Move so slow, you’ll agree,
Epiphytes!
Orangutans!
The colored beaks,
Of cool toucans,
And all those wise old, graceful trees,
Produce the oxygen,
Which we breathe...

Emergent layer?
Tops it all!
Sit up there,
You'll see it all,
The amazing forest,
Stuns and awes,
But people cut it,
With chainsaws...
chain saw
We hope it doesn’t all get wrecked,
It’s a place we must protect!

What is a tropical rainforest?
Tropical rainforests are regions of thick forest found zones near the equator.
They are commonly considered to have four different levels:

Forest floor:
Not much sunlight makes it to the forest floor in tropical rainforests. Here you will find soil, fungi, and animals such as insects, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
Understory:
Above the forest floor is the understory. It contains short plants and also seedlings that will eventually grow to full-sized trees. Many of the plants in the understory have large leaves to collect the small amount of sunlight that reaches this level. Animals of the understory can include birds, snakes, insects, and mammals. Some large animals, such as jaguars can sleep or hide on the branches of tall trees that make up the understory.
Canopy:
The canopy is the layer made by the thick, upper parts of the trees. Many birds and insects spend most of their time in this layer. Mammals, such as howler monkeys, and orangutans also live in the rainforest’s canopy.
Emergent layer:
The emergent layer is characterized by tall trees that rise above the forest’s canopy. This level is also home to many birds and insects.

Rainforests have the greatest biodiversity of all ecosystems on Earth- more than half known species live in rainforests.
Products such as cocoa, bananas, rubber, gums, and many medicines come from rainforest plants and trees.
Rainforests are being cut for wood and cleared for farming and incredibly fast rates. It this trend continues, many known species, and also many unknown species of animals will be lost forever.


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blue morpho butterfly image: Gregory Phillips

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