Q:

What eats bamboo in the rain forest?

A:

Quick Answer

An animal that eats bamboo in the rain forest is the golden bamboo lemur. Although the Giant panda and Red panda both feed on bamboo as well, these animals live in temperate bamboo and broadleaf forests, not tropical rain forests.

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Full Answer

The golden bamboo lemur feeds primarily on Cephalostachium madagascariensis bamboo, which is found only in rain forests. It has evolved a digestive system that can survive the toxins found in the leaves. Young bamboo leaves contain massive amounts of cyanide that the lemur can digest without problem although the cyanide is 12 times the lethal dose for most living creatures.

This primate is native to the rain forests of Madagascar and is characterized by a brown coat and golden fur located on its belly and inner legs. Deforestation of the lemur's habitat has led to decreasing rainfall that limits the growth of bamboo. This, in turn, threatens the existence of the lemur.

Bengal bamboo is another type of bamboo found most often in rain forests. Other than being a food source for pandas, it also has many other uses. Many organisms live and take shelter in the canes of the bamboo plant. It also helps to reduce soil erosion by absorbing moisture. It can even be made into paper, baskets and furniture.

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