Q:

How do animals adapt to the rainforest?

A:

Many animals have adapted to the rainforest by adopting arboreal, or tree-dwelling, lifestyles. For example, chimpanzees have incredibly strong arms and hands, which help them to climb through the many branches and vines in the rainforest understory, according to The Guardian. In addition to their impressive strength, chimpanzees possess very long and flexible arms, which also help them to climb skillfully through the trees.

Sloths are another rainforest creature that has adapted to the rainforest by moving into the trees. Living high in the canopy, these slow-moving mammals primarily subsist on a diet of tree leaves. As explained by Conserve Nature, this is a very low-energy food source, as most of the nutrition in the leaves is difficult to access because of the cellulose component of the leaves. To address this problem, sloths have evolved large, multi-chambered stomachs to digest the tough vegetation.

Some of the creatures living in rainforests, especially those of Southeast Asia, have evolved the ability to glide. According to the National Wildlife Federation, the forests of Borneo contain snakes, frogs and lizards that possess anatomical adaptations that help them to glide. The lizards utilize extensible flaps along their sides, while the frogs use webbing between their fingers to glide gently through the habitat. By contrast, the snakes spread their ribs widely to slow their descent through the trees.


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