Good morning Year 4,
Take your time to read carefully the text below:
All about tropical forests
Tropical forests grow near the equator in South America, Africa and Asia. There are also small areas of tropical forests in Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean.
Tropical forests grow in areas where the climate is hot and wet. Temperatures are usually between 20 degrees centigrade and 28 degrees centigrade. It rains almost every day and there are usually thunderstorms in the afternoons.
There are usually four layers of plants, all fighting to get to the light.
1. The forest floor is the lowest layer. It gets little sunlight so it is quite dark and gloomy. The floor is covered with mosses, fungi, ferns and rotten leaves.
2. The understorey is the next layer. Small trees, such as palms and young trees, sprout up in the gaps on the forest floor.
3. The canopy above the understorey is a mass of treetops that form a roof over the forest floor and trap warm air and most of the water from rain.
4. The emergent layer is the highest layer. A few very tall trees have their tops here.
On the forest floor you can see animals such as coatis, capybaras, jaguars and ‘cock of the rock.’ Coatis have long snouts for searching out grubs and insects. Jaguars are the largest cats in the tropical forest and ‘cock of the rock’ is a brightly coloured bird, which eats insects and berries.
The understorey is home to cats called ocelots and margays and also lizards anteaters, fruit bats and tarantulas. Tarantula spiders can grow to 26cm (10 inches) across. They eat other spiders, insects, frogs, small lizards and even birds.
The canopy is full of life. Creatures such as toucans, sloths, parrots, tamanduas, capuchin and woolly monkeys, snakes and macaws live here. The three-toes sloth hangs upside down on the branches of trees, using its powerful claws as hooks.
The emergent layer is home to spider and howler monkeys, opossums, the harpy eagle, hummingbirds and iguanas. Howler monkeys are the nosiest animals in the tropical forest.
Now write down the answers to these questions in full sentences. Add your answers in your reply on the blog.
1. Tropical forests grow principally in South America, Africa and Asia. Where else can small areas be found? (1 Mark)
2. Tropical forests flourish in hot, wet climates. How wet and how hot? (1 Mark)
3. If you walked through a rainforest, you would find that it was very dark, even in the middle of the day. Why is this? (1 Mark)
4. What grows on the lowest level of a rainforest? (1 Mark)
5. What is meant by ‘canopy’ in the passage? (1 Mark)