Science - Sky Rainforest Rescue

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The layers of the Amazon
Rainforests are very tall, dense forests made up of lots of
plants and animals.
They can be
separated into
four different layers:
Different plants and
animals live in each layer
The layers of the Amazon
Emergent layer
This is the tops of the tallest
trees in the forest. They can
be up to 200 feet tall! This
layer gets lots of sunlight.
Can you stand up and
stretch your arms up like the
trees in this layer?
The layers of the Amazon
Canopy
This is the main roof of
the forest. All the treetops
grow closely together.
There are lots of fruits and
flowers to eat which
means lots of animals live
in this layer.
Can you stretch your
arms out wide like the
trees in the canopy?
The layers of the Amazon
Understory
This layer is made up of
smaller trees and plants. Not
much sunlight gets through
the layer above so the plants
have big leaves to catch the
sunlight where they can.
Now sit down and spread
your hands and arms wide
like the plants in the
understory.
The layers of the Amazon
Forest floor
Hardly any sunlight reaches the
bottom layer so it is dark and
stuffy here. Not many plants
can grow here but there are lots
of dead leaves which makes it a
good home for insects.
Can you curl up tight like the
leaves on the forest floor?
Guess the layer
Now you know what each layer is like, can you guess
which layer of the Amazon these animals live in…
•If you think emergent, then stand up really tall and put
your hands in the air.
•If you think canopy then stand up with your arms out
wide
•If you think the understory then sit down with your arms
and hands stretched out in front of you
•If you think the forest floor then curl up really small.
Guess the layer
Harpy eagle
Guess the layer
The harpy eagle
lives in the
emergent layer at
the top of the
forest.
Guess the layer
Sloth
Guess the layer
The sloth lives in the
canopy of the forest
to try and stay away
from the quicker
predators on the
ground.
Guess the layer
Jaguar
© DAVID LAWSON WWF-UK
Guess the layer
The jaguar lives on
the forest floor but
can also climb up to
catch the animals that
live there.
© DAVID LAWSON WWF-UK
Guess the layer
Toucan
Guess the layer
The toucan lives in
the canopy where
it uses its huge
beak to crack open
hard nuts.
Guess the layer
Tree frog
© ZIG KOCH / WWF
Guess the layer
The tree frog lives on
the leaves in the damp
understory of the
rainforest.
© ZIG KOCH / WWF
Guess the layer
Agouti
© ANTHONY B. RATH / WWF-CANON
Guess the layer
The agouti lives on
the forest floor
where it roots
around for nuts and
fruits which have
fallen from the
canopy above.
© ANTHONY B. RATH / WWF-CANON
Guess the layer
Leafcutter ant
© MARTIN HARVEY/WWF-CANON
Guess the layer
The leafcutter ant
climbs tall trees to
collect green leaves
to grow fungus that
they can eat. Its
home is on the forest
floor.
© MARTIN HARVEY/WWF-CANON
Adapted for life
Animals can live in all sorts of
different areas, from deserts to
rainforests.
Most animals have a particular
set of conditions which they like
to live in.
Adapted for life
A place with this set
of conditions is
called their habitat.
You can think of it as
an animal’s home.
© ZIG KOCH / WWF
Adapted for life
After a species of animal
has lived in a habitat with
a specific set of conditions
for millions of years, it’s
body can begin to change,
making it easier to survive
there.
These changes are called
adaptations.
Adapted for life
Animals can adapt in different
ways.
Sometimes an adaptation will
help them to find food.
On other occasions it will allow
them to live in extremely hot or
cold conditions.
Adapted for life
Look at the pictures of
these animals from the
Amazon rainforest and
try to identify what their
adaptation is and how it
helps them…
Adapted for life
Tapir
Adapted for life
Toucan
Adapted for life
Agouti
© ANTHONY B. RATH / WWF-CANON
Adapted for life
Jaguar
Adapted for life
Spider monkey
Adapted for life
Tapir
The tapir has developed a
long flexible nose which it
uses to rummage on the
ground for food.
Adapted for life
Toucan
Many of the nuts and fruits in
the Amazon have developed
a tough outer layer to help
protect them from being
eaten.
This doesn’t work with a
toucan though as they have
developed a huge tough beak
which they can use for
cracking most nuts.
Adapted for life
Agouti
The agouti’s strong
jaw muscles mean
it is one of the few
animals capable of
chewing through
the very hard
Brazil nut pod to
reach the nuts
inside.
© ANTHONY B. RATH / WWF-CANON
Adapted for life
Jaguar
The jaguar has developed
the perfect disguise for
the dappled light which
falls on the forest floor –
it’s beautiful spotted coat!
Adapted for life
Spider monkey
The spider monkey lives at the
top of tall trees in the Amazon,
almost never coming to the
ground.
It has developed an incredibly
strong and flexible tail which it
can use as an extra arm to
hang from when collecting fruit.
Transpiration
• Plants play a vital role in creating humidity.
The leaves of every plant give off water
vapour in a process called transpiration. In
the Amazon rainforest the trees and plants
pass millions of litres of water vapour into
the air each day. This vapour forms thick
clouds of tiny water droplets, which is why
the rainforest is always wet!
Transpiration
Please label redrawn
Image to read ‘water is
Sucked up the stem and
Into the leaves’ instead
of capillary action
Other labels remain
unchanged
Photosynthesis
• Photosynthesis is the process that plants
use to make food from the sunlight and
the water in the ground. Green leaves
take in water and carbon dioxide and turn
them into glucose (sugar) and oxygen.
Photosynthesis
• The glucose flows
to all parts of the
plant giving it the
energy it needs to
grow. The oxygen
escapes through
tiny holes in the
underside of the
leaves back into the
atmosphere.
Redraw diagram with
Much larger leaves
And remove the label
Chlorophyll
Photosynthesis
• We need places like the Amazon
rainforest because the densely packed
trees and plants help to absorb the carbon
dioxide that we generate and turn it back
into oxygen for us to breathe – fresh clean
air. Insert panned out image of Amazon
rainforest
Nature trail
Compare the animals
you met on your nature
trail to these animals
which can be found in
the Amazon rainforest!
Nature trail
The titan beetle can grow up to 16.5 centimetres long!
Nature trail
This blue-fanged tarantula likes to eat birds.
©KEEGAN ROWLINSON / WWF UK
Nature trail
The praying mantis uses its long pincers to catch its dinner.
© ZIG KOCH / WWF
Nature trail
Many of the Amazon’s frogs choose to live in trees
instead of ponds!
© ZIG KOCH / WWF
Nature trail
The harpy eagle is the king of the skies in the Amazon.
© Zig Koch / WWF
Nature trail
The black caiman can grow to a massive five metres.
© André / Bärtschi / WWF-Canon
Food chains
All living things (plants and
animals) need energy to
survive.
Plants normally get their
energy through capturing the
sun’s energy (photosynthesis).
Animals either need to eat
plants (e.g. leaves or fruit) or
other animals in order to create
energy.
Food chains
Food chains can be used to show what eats what.
For example….
Leaves
Ants
A food chain must always start with a plant as they
catch their energy from the sun.
Food chains
A food chain can only travel in one direction. This
direction is shown using an arrow.
E.g. the monkey eats the fruit, the ocelot eats the
monkey.
Fruit
Spider monkey
Ocelot
The water cycle
The water cycle is
the name for the
journey which water
takes from the sky to
the earth and back
again.
The water cycle
It relies on three really important processes:
Evaporation: This is when water heats up and turns
from a liquid to a gas.
Condensation: The opposite of evaporation, when
water turns from a gas to a liquid.
Precipitation: This is water that falls from the sky. It
could be in the form of rain, snow, sleet or hail.
The water cycle
The water cycle is really
important because it keeps
bringing fresh water to the
land.
Look at the diagram on
your worksheet and see if
you can attach the correct
label to each part of the
water cycle to show how it
works.
The carbon cycle
All living things are made from carbon. This includes
animals, trees and flowers!
Carbon is even part of the air we breathe. When it is
attached to oxygen it is called carbon dioxide.
Plants use carbon dioxide and sunlight to grow. They
absorb the carbon dioxide and turn it into carbon which
they store.
The carbon cycle
When plants die and decompose the carbon they had
stored inside them goes back into the earth.
This can then be absorbed by other plants who use it to
grow.
It can also turn into fossil fuels although this can take
millions of years.
The carbon cycle
When we burn fossil
fuels or trees the carbon
that they had stored
inside them goes back
into the atmosphere as
carbon dioxide.
This can all be shown as
the carbon cycle.
The carbon cycle
The carbon cycle
Why do you think
the Amazon is so
important in the
carbon cycle?
© Zig Koch / WWF
The carbon cycle
If we burn down lots of trees and fossil fuels then
more carbon dioxide will go into the atmosphere.
If we have destroyed lots of trees then there will also
be fewer available to absorb the carbon dioxide so
some will stay in the atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is one of the main
contributors to climate change.
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