Life in tropical rainforests

Posted by on Oct 18, 2012 in Big Toe Blog, Big Toe Noticeboard, Waddle on the Wildside | 0 comments

Life in tropical rainforests

Question Part 2.  From four year old Benjamin, Dulverton, UK

What sort of animals live in the rainforest?

ANSWER:

We can’t wait to be running through the Amazon tropical rainforest of Brazil and Bolivia.

Tropical rainforests have the most different plants and animals of anywhere in the world. This is partly because all animals depend on green plants; which form the base of the food chain.

The animals of the tropical rain forests live in a “giant natural green house”; it is very hot with lots of rain. Such an environment is perfect for plants to grow tall and large very quickly. These plants then support all the animals from poison dart frogs, to bats, spiders, macaw parrots and river otters.

Before we started the 5000mileproject, David and I went on a mini expedition to the Bolivian Amazon rainforest. For two weeks we walked on our own in the forest. We  made a camp each night and cooked our food over a fire.

We followed the tracks of jaguars and tapirs in the sandy stream beds. We watched paradise tanager birds bob around in the bushes and found hoatzins.

Hoatzins are the oddest of dinasoar-looking birds. They eat leaves and the chicks have a claw on their wings so that if they are unlucky enough to fall into a river, they can climb back up a tree! They have a head dress of shaggy feathers and live in family groups. There are still lots of these birds living near to the rivers as people have never hunted them as they are too smelly!

But one of our favourite animals were the leaf cutter ants. They work so hard going out each day cutting leaves and returning in long lines with a huge piece of leaf much bigger than themselves. They grow fungi in their nest on all the leaves they collect and feed on it.

One morning we awoke to find that the big orange survival bag we had used to cover our bags had a series of regular patterns cut out of it! We couldn’t believe it! The leaf-cutter ants had taken a shine to the colour orange and chopped up our bag!!!

We also saw some very big spiders and only two snakes; almost flying through the air to avoid us!

Thank you Benjamin!!

Below are photos of some of the animals, photos of the wonderful Amazon rainforest we trekked through and click below for a wild and tasty Amazon snack . . .

A Jaguar- unfortunately this is not our photo! But below this are the tracks of a Jaguar we saw in the stream bed:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Close up of a hummingbird nest with chicks the size of your little finger nail!:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tiny hummingbird parent sitting on her nest, which is smaller than the size of your hand!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The huge foot print of  a Tapir in the stream bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tapirs  feed mainly graze plants during the night.  So unfortunately we did not see one, but here is what one would have looked like if we had!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A tiny Paradise Tanager bird, like a little Christmas decoration. It feeds on insects:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A friendly bat!:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue and yellow macaws ; they made lots of noise and were interested in us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The smelly, but wonderful hoatzins!:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David with a termite mound:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trees of the rainforests are  sooooo huge!:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, two of our camps:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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