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How has the flora and fauna of the rainforest adapted to their environment?

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Introduction

´╗┐How has the flora and fauna of the rainforest adapted to their environment? More species of flora and fauna live in rainforests than in any other habitat on earth. Scientists believe that this is because the rainforests are the oldest ecosystems on the planet, with some forests in Asia dating to around 100 million years ago. Also, due to the location of the rainforests, the ice ages did not reach or affect them, but made many other species in other areas extinct. But this large variety of flora and fauna also means there is much competition for survival, and how have the flora and fauna adapted to their environment? Fauna is the term referring to animal life living in a region. In rainforests, there are thought to be about half of the world?s animal species. Over 500 mammals, 175 lizards and over 300 other reptile species, and one third of the world's birds live in Amazonia. It is estimated that about 30 million insect types can be found here. These animals have adapted in many ways to survive in and make good use of its habitat. Flora refers to the plant life living in a region. ...read more.

Middle

and to protect itself from possible predators, and are brightly coloured to warn predators. Coral Snakes usually attempt to flee before they attack; and despite their venom being the most deadly in North America, there are only usually between 15 and 25 deaths per year anywhere in the world, compared to an estimated 800 deaths from the Russell?s? Viper in Burma alone (but the snakes with the deadliest venoms often prefer fleeing, the Black Mamba of Africa has similar behaviour). The Jaguar has also adapted traits to help it catch prey in the rainforests: it can both swim and climb. Climbing isn?t uncommon within the Felidae family (all ?cats? belong to this family) to which the Jaguar belongs, as tigers and leopards can also climb, but swimming is somewhat uncommon. This climbing and swimming allows the Jaguar to catch prey from pouncing down from trees as well as to escape possible predators by climbing. It also allows Jaguars to prey on animals in the trees, such sloths, (although its slow movement makes it difficult to detect) but this is less common. Its swimming trait also allows it to catch fish from the Amazon River and its tributaries. ...read more.

Conclusion

What is found is mainly fauna but there is also much decomposing plant and animal life on the forest floor, and when it is broken down it releases nutrients important to plants. Plant roots have adapted to this, having roots close to the surface to take advantage of the decomposition. In conclusion, all fauna and flora have adapted to their rainforest habitat to help them survive and compete with the rest of the population of the forest. Despite this, the rainforest is less explored than the sea bed, and scientist may not even know half of the plants and animals that live there. There is also a lot more to discover there. For example, 121 prescription drugs across the world are made from plants in the rainforests, and development on drugs from these plants for serious diseases such as AIDs and Cancer is going on, but only about 1% of known plants in the rainforests have been tested. Despite this, deforestation is a major problem, and many species, with an estimated 50,000 animals becoming extinct every year in the amazon due to this problem and to others, are gone before we even know about them. SOURCEs 1. http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/amazon.htm 2. http://www.tooter4kids.com/Rainforest/animals.html 3. http://worldlywise.blogspot.com/2007/10/how-have-animals-adapted-to-conditions.html 4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaguar 5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felidae 6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptation 7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flora 8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fauna 9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coral_snake 10. http://kalyan-city.blogspot.com/2008/07/worlds-top-10-most-poisonous-venomous.html 11. http://www.rain-tree.com/facts.htm Joshua Efiong29/01/2011 ...read more.

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