Hip Habitats: The Rainforest
Rainforests are essential to life on Earth. Not only do they provide air and water, medicine, food, and shelter to a multiple of living things they are also one of the best natural defenses against climate change to absorb greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Let's learn about rainforests and a special relationship between two species that live in this unique habitat with an easy craft to observe your local tadpoles.
Tropical rainforests are located in the hottest part of our planet: from the Tropic of Cancer, in the northern hemisphere to the Tropic of Capricorn which is in the southern hemisphere below the equator. Tropical rainforests that go along that zone cover about 6% of the Earth's surface, amazingly in those areas contain more than half of the world's animals living in the rainforests! There are Tropical rainforests on every continent except Antarctica.
Temperate rainforests are coniferous or broadleaf forests that occur in the temperate zone and receive heavy rainfall. The largest temperate rainforests are found on the Pacific coast of North America. They stretch from Oregon to Alaska for 1,200 miles. Smaller temperate rainforests can be found on the southeast coast of Chile in South America, United Kingdom, Norway, Japan, New Zealand, and southern Australia.
Some of them are home to the largest animals! The Cassowary, which is a flightless bird and the Goliath Bird Eating Spider is as big as a plate! There's lots of creatures that live in the rainforest. There is still so much more to find out!
It rains more than an inch every day in most rainforests. Trees can release a lot of water as it's soaked up from the roots, goes up the trees, and goes out in a process called transpiration. Plants release water vapor from small pores on the underside of their leaves. Then it is transformed into clouds. Rain brings it back down. The cycle continues over and over again.
One type of animal that thrives in a hot and wet habitat is amphibians (frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, and worm-like caecilians). Frogs must always keep their skin moist since almost half of their respiration in carried out through their skin. The high humidity of the rainforest and frequent rainstorms gives tropical frogs infinitely more freedom to move into the trees and escape the many predators of rainforest waters.
One well known frog of the Rainforest is the Poison Dart Frog. Only an inch long, is one of the most poisonous! From its diet of spiders and ants it secretes a toxin when threatened. Its bright colors tells predators to back off!
The Poison Dart Frog has a special relationship with the Bromelaid plant in the rainforest. The adult frog lays its eggs in a little pool of water inside of a Bromeliad plant. The eggs will hatch and outcome little tadpoles. The tadpoles leave behind their waste, that acts as fertilizer providing nutrients for the plant. The mother frog returns to remove upto 2 tadpoles at a time to continue their life cycle in the trees. The Poison Dart Frog and Bromelaid benefit each other, which is known as a symbiotic relationship.
pictured is the Wood Frog Instrument (available in the Science Shop) with the Bromelaid plant Craft, see directions below. Get the Wood Frog individually or in the July 'Ovi-Party' At Home Play Pak , see details below.
Bromelaid Plant Craft for observing Tadpoles Directions:
You will need a plastic cup, scissors, tape, a pencil, and green paper (12"×18") and red paper (12"x9").
1.Start by cutting a half circle out from the red paper (12"x9").
2. Draw a zigzag pattern along the excess of the curve. Cut out.
3. Wrap and tape the red paper around the plastic cup. This is the flower.
4. Fold and cut the green paper (12"×18") in half.
5. Repeat step 1 with the green paper.
6. Draw long rounded hills along the excess of the curve. Cut out.
7. Wrap and tape over the red. This is the long, flat leaves. Curve the leaves down.
8. Repeat steps 5-7 to add an additional row of leaves.
Your Bromelaid Plant craft is complete now go on a tadpole hunt and observe them in your cup!
Here are some questions to ask when observing tadpoles:
What color are the tadpoles?
What is the length?
How long is their tail?
Does it have legs? How many legs?
Did it leave behind any waste in your cup?
I hear something in the Science Shop...it sounds just like a...croak...CROAK...F🐸R🐸O🐸G!
Oh No! The Egg-Layers are taking over the Science Shop! Since I can't be one, I'll join them! Let us have an OVI-party in their name!
July 2020 At Home Play Pak is for all the Oviparious Animals! Oviparous animals are animals that reproduce by laying eggs.
Get in the Handstamped 8x8 Tote:
A Wooden Frog Instrument* 🐸
A Mini Model of a Turtle* 🐢
A Wooden Click n Move Snake 🐍
A Snake Bracelet* 🐍
A Shark Paddle Toy 🦈
A Metal Woodpecker Toy 🐦
Wooden Egg Shaker Instrument🥚 and a Squeeze Egg with Yoke🥚
*colors will vary. Click link to see the pictures.
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New Blogs added every week!
Here is an infographic all about the Rainforest!