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Rainforest Glossary - M: Zoom RainforestsRainforest Glossary - C: Zoom RainforestsRainforest Glossary - T: Zoom RainforestsRainforest Glossary - L: Zoom RainforestsRainforest Glossary - H: Zoom RainforestsToday's featured page: Hokusai: Japanese Artist



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All About Rainforests!

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Introduction to Rainforests Layers or Strata Where are Rainforests? Animals of the Rainforest Rainforest Glossary Printables, Worksheets, and Activities

Rainforest Glossary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.
If the rainforest term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

R


RAFFLESIA

The Rafflesia flower (Rafflesia arnoldi) is the world's largest flower. This giant bloom is found in rainforests of Indonesia. Locally, it is called the "corpse flower." Rafflesia gives off a putrid smell that reminds people of rotting meat (this odor attracts its pollenators, beetles and flies), hence its nickname. Rafflesia's enormous flower is about 3 feet (1 m) across and weighs about 20 pounds (9 kilograms). The flower takes about a year to develop, then it blooms for about a week before dying. The flower has five wide orange petals (with pale dots) surrounding a spiked cup. Rafflesia has no stem, no roots, and no leaves. The flower is supported by fungus-like tissue that lives in another plant - the Tetrastigma vine.
rain
RAINFALL

Rainfall is drops of water that falls from clouds in the sky. Rainfall is measured as the depth of water that falls on a level surface.

RAINFOREST

Rainforests are very dense, relatively warm, wet forests. They are havens for millions of plants and animals.


RED-BELLIED PIRANHA

Piranhas are meat-eating, freshwater fish that are native to eastern South America.


RED-EYED TREE FROG

A small rainforest frog with bright red eyes.

REPTILE

Reptiles (meaning "to creep") are a group of animals that have scales (or modified scales), breathe air, and usually lay eggs. The term reptile is loosely defined in everyday English to mean scaly, cold-blooded, egg-laying animals. In cladistics (a way of classifying life forms), the reptiles are more strictly defined and include all the descendants of the most recent common ancestor of the turtles, the lepidosaurs (lizards, snakes, tuataras), and the archosaurs (crocodilians, dinosaurs, and birds). The maintenance of body temperature (cold- vs. warm-blooded) is not a factor in this classification, but skull and egg structure are.

RHABDOME

Rhabdomes are the photoreceptors (light receivers) of an insect's compound eye. The rhabdome contains light-sensitive cells; when light is focused on the rhabdome (by the lens-cornea), these cells are stimulated and send nerve impulses to the brain.

RICE PAPER BUTTERFLY

The rice paper butterfly, also called the paper kite butterfly, wood nymph, or tree nymph (Idea leuconoe) is a distinctive black and white butterfly. The wingspan is 95 to 110 cm across. The chrysalis is yellow with black markings. It is from Southeast Asia. Classification: superfamily Papilionigiae, family Nymphalidae, subfamily Danainae, Genus Idea, Species I. Leuconoe.

RIPARIAN FOREST

A riparian forest is situated by a river bank or other body of water.

RUBBER TAPPER

A rubber tapper is a rubber forest worker who taps rubber trees, extracting latex from the tree. Each night a rubber tapper cuts a thin, spiral layer of bark off the tree trunk from which the latex drips.

RUBBER TREE

Rubber trees are large trees (belonging to the spurge family, family Euphorbiaceae) that live in tropical (warm) areas. These trees are tapped for their latex (from which rubber is made), which is produced in their bark layers (it is not the sap). The Pará rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is native to South American rain forests, and grows to be over 100 ft (30 m) tall. In 1876, Henry Wickham brought seeds from the Para rubber tree (taken from the lower Amazon area of Brazil) to London, England. Seedlings were grown in London, and later sent to Ceylon and Singapore. The technique of tapping rubber trees for their latex was developed in southeast Asia (before that, the trees were cut down to extract the rubber). Commercial rubber production now takes place in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka (but not significantly in South America).


RUMINANT

A ruminant is an animal that digests its food many times. This food is usually tough plant material like grasses. Ruminants include cows, sheep, antelopes, and camels.

RUNOFF

Runoff is water that drains or flows from the land into streams and rivers, eventually into seas. The water is generally from rain or snowpack melt.

Zoom Rainforests
Rainforest Glossary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.
If the rainforest term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

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