The emergent layer is not a true layer but random trees protruding above the canopy. Although the emergent trees are not joined as are some of the trees in the canopy they are large enough that the protruding crown of one tree can cover an acre. Many of the birds frequent these trees. The toucan, resplendent quetzal, and the harpy eagle among others, visit the emergent trees. The canopy is the top most layer of the Rainforest. It is usually 60 to 100 feet high, as high as a 17 story building. The trees in the Canopy are so thick and close together that their branches intertwine. Other vines and woody plants such as the lianes also tie the tree tops together. It acts as a canopy and holds in moisture and humidity. Many different species of animals live in or frequent the canopy. These animals have developed special adaptations and some live their entire life in the trees and never touch the ground(forest floor). Some of the animals that live in or frequent the Canopy are the: toucan, flying fox, boa, resplendent quetzal, slow loris, three toed sloth, monkeys, frogs, just to name a few. See the Canopy in Rainforest Layers by Sara and Devin at http://www.rochedaless.qld.edu.au/rain4.htm , for some great pictures and more facts. The animals we are going to focus on are the harpy eagle, the toucan, and frogs. Get a good look at a harpy eagle online at: http://birding.about.com/hobbies/birding/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site= http://www.peregrinefund.org/pdf%255Ffiles/harpy%255Feagles/harp y%255Fintro.html , and http://birding.about.com/hobbies/birding/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site= http://www.peregrinefund.org/conserv%5Fharpyegl.html The harpy eagle is a large bird. It’s hunting range therefore has to be large. This is why their numbers are dwindling. It is an endangered species. The deforestation of the rainforest areas in which it lives is the main reason. It can grow to be 4 foot tall. Harpy eagles are predators that eat animals as big as an adult three toed sloth. See the toucans at: http://www.wco.com/~bds/toucan.html , http://www.blarg.net/~toucans/ToucanBird.html , and http://birding.about.com/hobbies/birding/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site= http://www.tem.nhl.nl/%7Eribot/english/rato%5Fng.htm , There are 40 different species of toucans. The toucan spends most of it’s time in the lower part of the canopy, because the fruits, it likes to eat, grow on trees there. Toucans also occasionally eat insects, lizards, and spiders, but prefer fruit. The bright beak of the toucan is used to attract a mate. The different patterns of color in the beak also help the toucans identify other toucans of the same species. When toucans sleep they tuck their colorful beaks under their wing, so it won’t attract a predator when it is not alert. Tucking their beak under their wing also helps them balance on the branch their sleeping on easier. Toucans congregate and travel in flocks. They breed in the dry season and nest in tree cavities. They only have one mate. Both sexes participate in incubating the eggs. Each pair lays 2 to 4 eggs. Some toucans nest and raise their young cooperatively with others in their flock. Toucans in some areas are known as “Dios te de”(God gives it to you) because their three syllable call sounds like this phrase in the native language. You can see a variety of different frogs that live in the Rainforest at: http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/kids&teachers/kids/frogpond/index.html There are many different species of frogs that live in the canopy of the Rain forest. The bright colors of the poison dart frogs are a warning sign to predators that they are poisonous. Many of the frogs lay their eggs in or transport fertilized eggs or tadpoles to the water that collects in the bromeliads in the Canopy.
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