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Rainforests

How do animals and plants adapt to the rainforest?

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June 20, 2014 8:33PM

Plants adapt to the rainforest in three main ways.

1. They adapt to get the most sunlight possible, because the forest floor can be somewhat dark under the canopy. They do this by either growing very quickly (most rainforest trees), or by growing in the branches of larger plants (IE, orchids, vines, etc).

2. They have to adapt to the massive amount of rain. They do this by having waxy leaves that repel water so that they don't drown during long periods of continuous rain and even flooding.

3. The leaves of forest trees have adapted to cope with exceptionally high rainfall. Many tropical rainforest leaves have a drip tip. It is thought that these drip tips enable rain drops to run off quickly. Plants need to shed water to avoid growth of fungus and bacteria in the warm, wet tropical rainforest.

Animals adapt in a wide variety of ways. Here are a few.

1. Many animals adapt to be good tree climbers, and thus become arboreal, or tree dwelling. This way they stay up of the ground and away from some of the large predators. They also use this adaptation to access fruit high in the canopy.

2. Many rainforest animals are good swimmers. Even jaguars and sloths can swim!

3. Some animals have an advanced ability to remember where the fruit is and when it's there, and the quickest route through the canopy. That saves precious time and energy for arboreal primates, who otherwise would probably starve by wasting so much energy traveling through the canopy.

They adapt by doing physical adaptations to help them change into their environment (surroundings).

4. Animals adapt to their habitat by living in the tops of the trees so that they can get food off the trees like figs or they can go to brighter light and claim their spot over the forest.