50% of rainforests are made up of animals. They are being cut down at
the rate of one football field per second, so a lot of animals will be
left without a home since they depend on the plants. Rainforests are about
2% of the earth, and 7% of just the land. The tallest layer in the rainforest
could be 150 feet high. There are at least 1,400 different tropical plants
that have a cure for cancer. There are at least 300 trees. The roots of
the tallest trees are shallow and they fan out. In four square miles,
there are about 1,800 flowering plants, 750 trees, 125 mammals, and 150
butterfly species. In one square mile, there might be about one or two
of the same types of trees. There are four layers in rainforests: the
canopy, the understory,
the underbrush, and the ground.
The canopy can be from 60 to 150 feet
tall, with branches that fan out like an umbrella that is really close
together. Because of this, it blocks the sunlight from the lower plants
on the ground level, but also blocks it from rain falling directly on
them, and instead, running down the trunks and dripping off the leaves.
The vines (lianas) are as thick as
a person and climb up the trees for sunlight. On the under story, the
vines are smaller trees ferns and palms that have all adapted to poor
soil and few nutrients, so they easily adapt indoors, including anthuriemicaladium,
philodendron, and garden walls.
In the underbrush, there are small trees under the bigger trees. On the
ground, there are few plants, and is covered with wet leaves, leaf litter,
mosses, herbs, fungi and lots of decay that gives nutrients back to the
In temperate rainforests, there are
the following vegetation: bananas,
avocados, pineapples, peppers, peanuts, oranges, papayas, lemons, cinnamon,
spices, coconut, and sugar. Curare is used as an anesthetic and to relax
people for surgery. Quinine from a cinchona tree is used to treat malaria.
Rosy Periwinkle has a drug in it that is anti-lukemia and gives patients
99% chance to get the drug in vemision. Epiphytes
grow canopy trees, as well as moss,
orchids, and lichens.
In the Amazon rainforests 1,600 species of birds and about
1,000,000,000 species of insects. There are five times more bird species
in the Amazon. In the Amazon, there is coffee, cashews, cocoa beans, and
chicle. The oil of the cocoa is used in suntan lotions, cosmetics, and
soap. They also grow rubber trees that produce latex for making tires.
Kapok trees have silky waterproof fibers used for life preservers, pillows,
upholstery, and installation. Since 1959 there are now 37,673,665
hectacres of national forests and parks in Brazil. If 1 Hectacre.
=. 2.471 Acres, that means that Brazil has over 93 million acres of protected
forests and parks!
McDonald's McLibel Trial of
ever wondered where McDonald's raised all of their cattle? Do you think
they ever owned ranches that were made by cutting down rainforests? People
from Green Peace said that McDonald's was harming the rainforests so McDonald's
sued them for libel. In our research we found an article about the McLibel
trial of 1996. (If the McLibel website does not come up or shows an
error, go the the following page, the
forest.org archives, and type mcdonalds in the search field. The first
link that comes up, McDonald's Linked to Rainforest Destruction, is the
right one.) We also went to McDonald's
website where they have many brochures and information stating that
they preserve rainforests. We wrote McDonald's a letter to see for ourselves
what they had to say. Here is a copy of
the letter we emailed them. And click
here for their actual response (they responded the very next day!).
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