In this lesson, students will be exposed to a variety of animals that live in the tropical rainforest, and they will learn more about six animals in particular: the tapir, toucan, hummingbird, capuchin monkey, red-eyed tree frog and leafcutter ant.
The tapir is a four-legged mammal that looks like a little like a pig. It has a long snout that it uses to grab and eat leaves, fruit and aquatic plants. Tapirs live on land and in water, and they often roll in the mud. They shelter in the water or in areas of thick vegetation.
The toucan is bird with a long, colorful beak. It eats fruit, lizards and eggs. Toucans shelter in holes that are on trees. They drink water that has collected in leaves and tree hollows.
The hummingbird is a small bird known for its unique flying abilities. Hummingbirds beat their wings very quickly, and can fly both forward and backward. They have straw-like tongues that they use to suck up flower nectar, and they also eat insects. Hummingbirds build nests in trees. They get most of the water they need from the flower nectar they drink.
The capuchin monkey is a small, brown-and-white monkey with a pink or white face. Capuchins live mainly in trees. They spend most of the day looking for food, and they sleep on tree branches at night. Capuchins eat fruit, insects, leaves, nuts, frogs, lizards and birds. They climb down from the trees to drink water from rivers and pools.
The red-eyed tree frog is known for its bright green skin and red eyes. These frogs catch crickets, flies, moths and other insects with their long, sticky tongues. They take cover by sleeping on the underside of leaves. Water is important to tree frogs. They start their lives as tadpoles in pools and ponds, and they need to return to water often as adults to keep their skin wet.
The leafcutter ant is so named because these ants use their jaws to cut pieces of leaves from trees and bring them back to their underground nests. The ants don't eat the leaves, but instead use them to grow fungus, which is the ants' sole food source. Ants get water from puddles, water droplets or plant sap.