- How do animals survive in the jungle?
- How do animals adapt to the jungle for survival? Here are the characteristic adaptations that help the animals survive in the Jungles
- 1. They can camouflage
- 2. They widely range in size
- 3. Behavioural Adaptation: The way they behave
- 4. They are picky eaters
- 5. The way they escape predators
- 6. The way they safe themselves from natural calamities
- 7. The way they raise their young ones
- 8. Some are nocturnal, while some are diurnal creatures
- Why do so many animals live in the rainforest?
- How do rainforest animals survive?
How do animals survive in the jungle?
Animals of the jungles, just like in any other type of terrestrial habitat, they have better adapted themselves for survival in the jungle.
They show various types of physical, behavioural, and structural adaptations to stay alive in the jungle.
In order to survive, all living things need air, water, and food. Animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, which provides them with the energy they need to move and grow and continue their generation.
If these three things viz. air, water, and food, are provided then the animals can stay alive irrespective of its habitat. Jungles are the very best habitat where they can get these primary things very well.
Other necessary things like how they breathe, how they get their food, the way they reproduce, and the survival strategies they do follow to save themselves from their predators are very much essential for them to survive in the thick forest zones.
So, to get the water, air, food, and carry out the other lifetime activities, the animals show and have evolved themselves very well to fit their types of jungle habitats.
Now, the way they have adapted and show the various adaptation to fulfill their survival needs depend from species to species and from habitat to habitat.
Now, the ancestors who were also living in the jungles and had learned and implemented the changes in their body for surviving is passed on to the next generations which are now the present-day jungle surviving species.
As the present animals have evolved from their ancestors, they have better genetic makeovers that have better enabled them to respire, move, respond to stimuli, reproduce and grow, and so are well dependent on their jungle environment.
All thanks to the hardships that the ancestors have taken while evolving themselves to the present day better surviving species.
The surviving strategies of the animals are not only genetic, but the animals also learn a lot about their environment survival tactics after birth. Thus, the animals in the jungle are able to survive.
How do animals adapt to the jungle for survival? Here are the characteristic adaptations that help the animals survive in the Jungles
We have already said that the animals of the jungle have better adapted themselves to continue their survival and reproduction in the jungle without getting extinct.
Those animals that don’t or didn’t adapted well will become extinct very soon or had already become extict.
So, those still surviving species that have better adapted themselves show many characteristic adaptations that help the animals survive in the Jungles.
Some of the prominent characteristic adaptations are mentioned below. Check these out:
1. They can camouflage
Camouflaging is the natural property of the animals’ morphology and appearance that allows them to conceal and hide from the predators by making them appear to be part of the natural surroundings.
Organisms use camouflage to mask their location, identity, and movement. Camouflaging is both beneficial for the predator and prey.
This allows prey to avoid predators, and for predators to sneak up on prey. Thus the jungle species utilize camouflage to avoid detection by both predator and prey species.
Example: A young copperhead snake is difficult to spot in the dry leaves while it is waiting for its prey to come nearby.
2. They widely range in size
Yes, the size also matters for the animal’s survival in the deadly jungles full of predators. So, you will often see large animals, like lions and elephants, living on the plains for good reasons.
The size and body stature of the animals helps them to avoid their predators. Just like the large-sized adult anaconda of the Amazon rainforest can well-survive as it has no potential predator due to its big size.
The size and body stature of the animals also helps them to get their prey easily. Just like the Jaguars that are the largest cats in the tropical rainforests, due to their small size and stocky build they do have the better speed and strength needed in order to hunt their prey and climb trees.
Other examples are the tall-legged Giraffe and the heavy-bodied elephants that are often ignored by lions and other big cats as their prey.
3. Behavioural Adaptation: The way they behave
The behavioural adaptations are the ways the animals act in accordance to their surroundings. The way they do behave are ways of their adaptation that leads to their survival.
For example, You will often see animals migrating from one place to another in search of food, better reproduction and nesting sites, or when the surrounding environment is not suitable for survival.
Migration is a type of behaviour exhibited by the animals to survive. Like you will find many migratory birds (eagles, hawks, parrots, etc.) that live in rainforests during the winter and return to cooler regions during the spring and summer.
Other behavioural adaptations that allow them to learn swimming are also seen in some species of monkeys and all Jaguars that live in the tropical rainforests.
As, the rainforests remain flooded for many months of the years, so these animals have learned ways to swim in the water and search for food, and climb trees. That’s how the way they behave is helpful in their survival.
4. They are picky eaters
Picky eating is referred to when an animal refuses other foods often or eats the same foods over and over again.
Picky eating in animals is a type of adaptation that lets them eat only a limited diet or a few varieties of food only. This helps them better survive while depending on a limited varieties of food.
Many animals in the rainforests are well adapted to picky eating, meaning that they have well adapted themselves to a limited diet so they don’t face the competition for food.
Just like you will see the Young marmoset monkeys are slow and often fear to eat new food when alone, but are more willing to take a risk and try it if they are surrounded by family.
Another one is like the Koala that are the tree-dwelling marsupials found in eastern Australia that mainly feed on eucalyptus leaves and a few other leaves only.
Another famous example is of the Giant Panda. It is to be noted that about 99% of the Giant panda’s daily diet consists of nothing but the leaves and stems of bamboo plants only.
5. The way they escape predators
Various animals can show various ways of escaping their predators. Some tries to fear their predators, some mimics, and some do camouflage.
Just like some amazon rainforest animals and insects often have and so use their bright coloring and distinctive markings in their body morphology to scare predators.
Some hides themselves by perfectly matching themselves with their environment’s colouration and appearance. That’s by camouflaging.
Some non-poisonous animals like the Dart frogs try to mimic their close relatives of poisonous frogs. In doing so they make their predators think that they are very poisonous and thus are able to escape.
Other ones are the moths that actually aren’t dangerous, but many of the moth species have markings on the wings that resemble eyes, and those are usually enough to keep them safe from predators.
6. The way they safe themselves from natural calamities
The animals have adapted themselves to meet their environment type and so they have also learned various strategies that help them survive during the various natural calamities like floods, drought, earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and forest fires.
Just like many of the species are seen to swim in water like Jaguars when flood occurs in the tropical rainforests.
When tsunamis strike, birds and other small animals are often found to be washed into the water and then many of them are being able to reach the dry land.
Volcanic eruptions on islands and forest fires can result in all terrestrial and nearby marine animals being killed or displaced. While many of them survive as they are able to run away from the spot with some minor injuries.
In regions like Amazon rainforests that remain flooded for up to four months during the rainy seasons, Jaguars are better adapted to living in the treetops to avoid the flood.
7. The way they raise their young ones
This is an another kind of approach that guarantees the survival of the majority of the young ones.
The parents nourish and take care of the youngs ones until and unless they become self-capable of taking care of themselves.
Just take the example of Orangutans. The bond between an orangutan mother and her young is one of the strongest in nature and so during the first two years of life, the young ones rely entirely on their mothers for both food and transportation.
Jaguar mothers give birth to their cubs in an underground burrow under a thick patch of plants or a cleft in the rocks to hide their young ones. The mother vigorously defends her cubs or else other jaguars might kill and eat the cubs.
8. Some are nocturnal, while some are diurnal creatures
Yes, some animals are nocturnal as they are able to see better in the dark and also escape their predators.
While others are diurnal as they have adapted themselves of well surviving in the daytime.
Those like the eagles and hawks can’t see at night so they remain the most active during the daytime.
Big cats like Jaguars, leopards, lions often opt to hunt during the night time because they can see better during the night time and hide themselves from their prey.
The adaptation to night hunting gives nocturnal animals the benefit of reduced competition for food.
Another like the sloths are nocturnal animals, sleeping during the daytime and waking up at night to eat, because they being slow-moving creatures can often become a predator’s prey at daytime.
Why do so many animals live in the rainforest?
NOTE: A Rainforest like the Amazon Rainforest is a tall, thick, deep, and dense jungle. The reason it is called a rainforest is because of the high amount of rainfall it gets per year as compared to the other forests or jungles.
The rainforests like the Amazon rainforest are the best place of enriched biodiversity. It has been estimated that around 3 to 50 million species of animal kingdom lives in the rainforests globally.
So many animals live in the rainforests because of the better climatic conditions, better food, shelter, and clean breathing air availability in and around the rainforest environment.
Moreover, the food chains and the food webs of the ecosystem is well established that has enriched the availability of diverse animals in the rainforests.
Also, the reasons like genetic drift, migration, natural selection, mutation, genetic variability, and all have resulted in huge evolution in the rainforest species, thus containing far higher numbers of species on a per-area basis relative to sub-tropical, temperate, and boreal ecosystems.
There’s no pollution in rainforests as there are so many trees and lush greenery everywhere. The surrounding is full of oxygen for animals to breathe in comfortably.
And also, there are a proper energy flow in the ecosystem from sunlight energy to the plants to animals to decomposers and back to the soil and then again to the plants and so the energy flow cycle goes on.
This flow of energy in ecosystems is vitally important for the thriving of life on Earth. Nearly all of the energy in Earth’s ecosystems originates from the Sun. Once this solar energy reaches Earth, it is distributed among ecosystems in an extremely complex manner. That’s done by the producers called plants.
As the climate of the rainforests being very suitable to help plants to flourish very well without any dryness or arid conditions, thus leading to the increase in plants availability. In fact, the more plants are there, the more animals will be.
Rainforests are the thick dense forests under the canopy of the trees. The canopy structure of the rainforest provides an abundance of places for small plants to grow and animals to live.
A dense canopy cover will let little light reach the ground and will lower the ground temperatures. The canopy protects the ground from the force of rainfall and makes wind force moderate.
Thus the canopy of the trees offers sources of food, shelter, and hiding places for the majority of the animals to survive.
The temperature of this place remains constant and moderately warm and is always providing a nearly constant supply of water and a wide variety of food for the animals.
Thus, overall leading to great biodiversity and the increased presence of so many animals living in the rainforest.
How do rainforest animals survive?
Rainforest animals survive because they have well-adapted themselves to their type of habitat during their course of evolution. They show three different types of adaptations viz. behavioural, physiological, and structural adaptations fitted to their type of environment for survival.
They have better behavioural adaptations that help the animal to survive and reproduce. These adaptations are the actions organisms do to survive. For example, bird calls and migration, jaguar’s swim, mother eagle taking care of her young ones, etc.
They also have better physiological adaptations with awesome metabolism going inside their body to stay in the jungles. They have adapted good metabolic or physiologic adjustment within their cell, or tissues in response to their environmental stimulus resulting in the improved ability of that organism to cope with its changing environment. Example: Some snakes like the Fire-bellied snake are able to digest poisonous frogs without any issue.
They also have well-equipped structural adaptations with suitable physical features allowing them to stay in such habitats. For example Sloths have arms that are longer than their legs and curved feet for grasping branches.
Some can camouflage, some can mimic very well, some are nocturnal, while some are very poisonous, and other various species are with various adaptations that protect them from predators.
The main prominent reason for survival in the rainforest is that it has a wonderful environment for animal because they have everything they need to survive like food, shelter, water, and better air.
The predators have enough prey availability to feed on due to the rich abundance and biodiversity. The climate is cool and the forests are cool and shady allowing better survival.
Moreover, the tropical rainforest biome has four main characteristics, that is very high annual rainfall, high average temperatures, nutrient-rich soil, and high levels of biodiversity. This also impacts the better survival of the animals in the rainforest.