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RFK Library call # VT 82.08.02

National Geographic: Rain Forest

Rain forests are home to half the animal species on Earth. This video shows some of the animals (and a few of the plants!) of the rain forest in Costa Rica. Nearer to us, rain forests grow in Pohnpei, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Listen for the environmental tidbits in among the animal behavior stories. Look for examples of carnivory, herbivory, symbiosis, population data. 

In the years since this video was made, the Golden Toads and other mountaintop reptiles and amphibians have apparently become extinct. [Link for more about Golden Toads... and details]

Part 1. Focus on the video

1. Where are most of the nutrients in a rain forest?


2. In the mutualistic relationship between ants and the swollen-thorn acacia, what three things does the tree provide especially for the ants?


3. For which abiotic factor is competition keenest in the rain forest and how do ants help the acacia in this competition?


4. Some frogs guard their eggs, but the leaf frog leaves its eggs on leaves where snakes eat them. How does the leaf frog reproduce successfully in the face of intense predation on eggs/young?


5. How many acres of rain forest have been destroyed in the time taken to watch this film?


6. Guam has an area of about 209 sq. mi., or 133,000 acres. At the present rate of deforestation, how long would it take to clear our island?


Part 2. Focus on concepts (Testable)

7.  What are the characteristics of a tropical lowland rainforest?  How does such a forest compare and contrast with other tropical forests, including the cloud forest shown in this video and Guam's limestone forest?  (Consider environmental conditions, species diversity, and the food webs.)

Revised June 2000.