|Emergents||Up to 270'|
|Canopy||65' - 130'|
|Understory||Above the ground and below the leaves|
Strata of the Rainforest
Different animals and plants live in different parts of the rainforest. Scientists divide the rainforest into strata (zones) based on the living environment. Starting at the top, the strata are:
EMERGENTS: Giant trees that are much higher than the average canopy height. It houses many birds and insects.
CANOPY: The upper parts of the trees. This leafy environment is full of life in a tropical rainforest and includes: insects, birds, reptiles, mammals, and more.
UNDERSTORY: A dark, cool environment under the leaves but over the ground.
FOREST FLOOR: Teeming with animal life, especially insects. The largest animals in the rainforest generally live here.
|Scarlet Macaw||Emergents and Canopy|
|Jaguars||Understory and Forest Floor|
|Wild Boars||Forest Floor|
The keel-billed toucan is a South American bird with a huge beak. This social bird lives in small flocks in lowland rainforests. It is a poor flyer, and moves mostly by hopping around trees. Toucans roost in holes in trees. They have a croaking call that sounds like RRRRK.
Anatomy: The toucan is about 20 inches (50 cm) long. The toucan's enormous bill is up to one-third of its length. The bill is brightly colored, light-weight, and edged with toothed margins. It has four toes on each foot; two toes face forwards and two face backwards. Males are slightly larger than females, but their coloration is similar.
Diet: Toucan eat mostly fruit, but also eat bird eggs, insects, and tree frogs. Toucans swallow fruit whole and then regurgitate the seeds; this disperses viable (living) seeds in the forest.
Reproduction: Females lay 1 to 4 white eggs in each clutch (a set of eggs laid in one nesting period). The eggs are laid in a hollow tree cavity. Both parents incubate the eggs, and both parents feed the chicks.
Classification: Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Class Aves, Order Piciformes, Family Ramphastidae, Genus Ramphastos, Species R. sulfuratus.