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Characteristics of Animals in a Rainforest

Characteristics of Animals in a Rainforest

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Author: Kialo Winters
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CONTENT OBJECTIVES

  1. You will be able to list at least 3 animals that live in the rainforest.
  2. You will be able to explain, in complete sentences, their habitats and characteristics using a chart template.

LANGUAGE OBJECTIVES

  1. You will be able to listen to your partner’s ideas about their selected animals’ habitats and characteristics.
  2. You will be able to write a descriptive sentence about your selected animals’ habitats and characteristics.
  3. You will be able to share your charts with another peer.
     

In this lesson we will research animals living in the Amazon rainforest and study their characteristics. Remember our discussion of the short horned lizard found on the Navajo reservation. Remember the physical characteristics of these 'cheiis' and how they survive in their habitats.

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Tutorial

Hello and welcome to this lesson. In this lesson, you will need your journal, a pencil and your colored pencils. You will be able to view the lessons below sequentially by scrolling from the top down to the bottom of this page. You may pause the audio, or go back to previous areas in the videos. You may even start from here again! If you have any questions please have your journal and pencil ready so you can write them down. Finally, when you have completed your lesson, share your findings and your questions with your friends.

Over the past few days we have been talking about the big question: Why is it important to hold yourself accountable to the natural world? Water, plants, insects, animals and people— everything found in this world today all work together in harmony. An imbalance occurs when we do things that are not necessary, like contaminating our rivers, lakes and oceans to run power plants for  electricity or destroying natural habitats like our rainforests and grasslands for lumber to build homes and cities. Continue thinking about how your role as a person is connected to your family, to your community and to the world. First, let’s review some vocabulary words in this lesson.

jungle -  an area of land that was damaged by natural causes or by man and becomes overgrown with dense forest and tangled plants, found typically in tropical areas with consistently heavy rainfall.
rainforest - a dense forest undamaged by man, found typically in tropical areas with consistently heavy rainfall
habitat - the natural home or environment of an animal, plant, or other organisms.
characteristics -  a feature or quality belonging to a person, place, or thing and serves to identify it.
adapt - a change or the process of change by which an organism or species becomes better suited to its environment or survives better in its environment.
 


To help you understand the vocabulary, I want to share a local animal found on our Navajo reservation — the short horned lizard. In Navajo, these lizards are called na'iishǫ’ii dich’ízhii.  This animal has importance in Navajo philosophy of learning, but for this lesson we are going to understand how the horned toad adapted to it’s habitat with it’s physical characteristics. We’ve learned the world has many biomes and the biome we live in is the desert biome. The horned lizard has adapted to this desert environment. Remember, to adapt is to become better suited to an environment and the horned lizard has done that by

  1. It’ physical features are a flattened short body shape and having a blunt snout or nose giving it a toad look.
  2. They move quickly in short sprints. Their body coloring can be yellowish, gray, or reddish-brown depending on the environment they inhabit, and, combined with their shape, they have good camouflage.
  3. Their primary source of food are ants. They wait for one to crawl on them, then snap it in their mouths swallowing it whole. They are also known to eat grasshoppers, beetles, and spiders.
  4. They have to protect themselves too. They are preyed upon by hawks, roadrunners, snakes, lizards, dogs, wolves and coyotes. When they come upon their predator they can make a hissing sound and may inflate their bodies up to twice their regular size. They look like a spiny balloon. If they don’t scare off their predators they do something really bizarre — they shoot blood from their eyes! They can shoot blood up to three feet! This is meant to confuse those predators.
  5. Today, the short-horn lizard has had a hard time surviving in their habitats, because people kill off ants with chemicals and people even sell the short-horn lizard to other people who keep them as pets.

So I’ve listed some characteristic facts about the short-horned lizard in this graph. This helps me organize my ideas about writing more facts about this animal. Next, I will use this information to illustrate and write my Animal Report to share with my classmates. Checkout my Animal Report below.

  1. Animal: short-horned lizard
  2. Sound: hissing sound
  3. Movement: short sprints
  4. Size: small and very small
  5. Coat: scales

The short-horned lizard’s physical features are a flattened short body shape and they have a blunt snout or nose giving it a toad look. They move quickly in short sprints. Their body coloring can be yellowish, gray, or reddish-brown depending on the environment they inhabit, and, combined with their shape, they have good camouflage. Their primary source of food are ants. They wait for one to crawl on them, then snap it in their mouths swallowing it whole. They are also known to eat grasshoppers, beetles, and spiders.

They have to protect themselves too. They are preyed upon by hawks, roadrunners, snakes, lizards, dogs, wolves and coyotes. When they come upon their predator they can make a hissing sound and may inflate their bodies up to twice their regular size. They look like a spiny balloon. If they don’t scare off their predators they do something really bizarre — they shoot blood from their eyes! They can shoot blood up to three feet! This is meant to confuse those predators. Today, the short-horn lizard has had a hard time surviving in their habitats, because people kill off ants with chemicals and people even sell the short-horn lizard to other people who keep them as pets.

In the next short video, you will see animals living in the layers of the rainforest. Pay careful attention and try to remember the characteristics of some of the animals. You will list some characteristics in the graph after the video, just like we did with the short-horned lizard above. Happy viewing!

Take a virtual field trip into the Amazon Rainforest.

Source: YouTube,. 'Virtual Field Trip - Amazon Rainforest'. N. p., 2015. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.

1) For this section, you will need a pencil and your journal. 2) Now, see the characteristic chart below. Find the row showing the example characteristics of a macaw. In this chart, a macaw is identified as making the sound of a caw, having the movement of flight, being small-to-big in size and having a coat of feathers. Remember, the word characteristic describes features belonging to a thing, person or place. In this example, we are listing the characteristics of a thing - a macaw. 3) Now you try. Choose at least 3 animals and list their characteristics in your JOURNAL.

For this section, you will illustrate 2 or more animals living in the Amazon rainforest and complete a report page in your journal. 1) On a page in your journal, show an illustration of your selected animal 2) Describe the animal’s habitat and characteristics. You may use the Animal Characteristics Chart you completed to help guide your responses. Explain if the animal has predators and if you have more interesting facts, you can share them here.

9. SHARE

Find a classmate in the classroom. Share your Animal Characteristics Chart and your Animal Report. 

Let’s talk more about this new knowledge. You learned about animals who have survived in the rainforest and jungle by adapting to this environment. We also discussed local animals like the short horned lizard and how they have unique characteristics. Reflect or think about how you are connected to these animals, these habitats found in biomes around the world. Continue thinking about how jungles are formed. We have resources that we need like electricity, wood, food, clothing, gas and much more, but what are the consequences for obtaining all these resources? List your ideas and let’s talk about this more in the next lesson!