Amazon Rainforest Diorama - By Erica

Amazon Rainforest Diorama

Did you know that the Amazon rain forest in Brazil produces about 20% of the earth’s oxygen supply? The Amazon river is about 4,000 miles long and covers 2,700,000 square miles! It’s drainage flows through Brazil, Columbia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, and the three Guyana’s.

The Amazon rain forest is the largest tropical rainforest and covers more than half of Brazil. The canopy of Amazonia is less studied than the ocean floor and is believed to contain half of the world’s species! There are over 500 mammals, 175 lizards and over 300 other reptiles species, and one third of the world’s birds live in Amazonia. And it is estimated that over 30 million insects types can be found here! The rainforest averages a balmy 79 ° F during the day, and can fall as low as 50 ° Fahrenheit at night time!

Forest Floor: The floor of the forest is teeming with animal life, especially insects and arachnids (like tarantulas). The largest animals in the rain forest generally live here, including gorillas, anteaters, wild boars, jaguars and people. It is very dark down here and since hardly any sunlight (only about 2%) reaches the forest floor things begin to decay quickly and almost no plants grow in this area as a result.

Understory: The understory is a dark, cool environment that is under the leaves but over the ground. It contains short, leafy, mostly non-flowering shrubs,, vines etc. Animals include insects like beetles, lizards and small mammals. Larger animals such as jaguars spend a lot of time on branches surveying the area for prey.

Canopy: The canopy consists of the upper parts of the trees, and most canopy trees have smooth, oval leaves that come to a point. This allows the water to run off the leaf helping to prevent the growth of fungi, mosses and lichens. Many animals live in this area since food is abundant. It is full of insects, arachnids, birds, mammals (monkeys, orangutans) reptiles, vines, mosses, lichens and orchids, snakes, toucans and tree frogs.

Emergent: The emergent layer consists of the tops of the tallest trees.  They can tower as much as 200 feet above the forest floor with trunks that measure up to 16 feet around! Common animals found in the emergent layer are birds, insects, eagles, monkeys, bats and butterflies. Sunshine is plentiful up here!

Want more information on the rain forest?

Here’s a great site for kids called Kids.Mongabay.Com

Click here to see our Expedition Earth Brazil Rainforest Diorama instructions so you can make your own Diorama!

Hope you have fun!

Erica is a daughter of Jesus, a wife, a mom, and a homeschooler. She likes to digiscrap and dabbles in graphic design in her *free* time. She authors Confessions of a Homeschooler and would love you to drop by for a visit anytime!

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