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Jungle Animals: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

There are many different kinds of animals that live in the jungle. Come and learn about jungle mammals, birds, and other types of animals, as well as what it takes to survive in this environment.

Jungle Life

What do you think it would be like to live in a jungle? It would certainly be steamy! Weather in the jungle is consistently hot and humid, with summertime lasting all year. They get heavy amounts of rain, which provides a constant supply of water for the animals that live there. The animals that live there need to be equipped to deal with the high temperatures and heavy rains. For example, a polar bear would not survive in the jungle because it does best in cold temperatures.

Another defining characteristic of living in the jungle is the amount of diversity. More than half of the plant and animal species in the entire world live in the jungle. In fact, there are so many different species there that scientists have been unable to count them all! Can you blame all of those animals for living there? It's always warm and there is always water - sounds like a great place to be!

However, the amount of animals living there presents a problem. Food. Can you imagine going to someone's house for dinner when they prepared a meal for 10 people but 100 people showed up? It would be pretty competitive to get to the food first! This is a concept known as survival of the fittest. Therefore, many jungle animals have adaptations that make it easier for them to survive. For example, toucans' adaptation is their long bill that helps them reach fruit on tiny branches.

Jungle Mammals

There are many mammals that live in the jungle, including some of the top predators in the African, Asian and Amazon jungles. Predators are animals that prey on, or eat, other animals. The top predators in the three major jungle areas are all in the cat family. No, I'm not talking about little kittens here - I am talking about big jungle cats like jaguars, leopards, tigers, cougars and panthers.

Another mammal that lives in the jungle is the elephant, both the Asian and African variety. While they may look similar at first glance, there are differences. African elephants are generally bigger than Asian elephants and they have larger ears. Monkeys are also common in the jungle. In fact, scientists haven't even discovered all of the monkey species that live in the jungle.

Jungle Birds

A toucan
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