Jungle Bugs & Vegetation Jungle Facts & Figures Jungle Tribes Jungle Wildlife




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Copyright © 2019 by Mason Crest, an imprint of National Highlights, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from the publisher. First printing 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Hardback ISBN: 978-1-4222-4096-0

Series ISBN: 978-1-4222-4092-2 eBook ISBN: 978-1-4222-7705-8 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Vetere, Lori, author. Title: Jungle wildlife / Lori Vetere.

Description: Broomall, Philadelphia : Mason Crest, [2019] | Series: Into the world’s amazing jungles | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2018004080 (print) | LCCN 2018008512 (ebook) | ISBN 9781422277058 (eBook) | ISBN 9781422240960 (hardcover) | ISBN 9781422240922 (series) Subjects: LCSH: Jungle animals. Classification: LCC QL112 (ebook) | LCC QL112 .V48 2019 (print) | DDC 591.73--dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018004080

Developed and Produced by National Highlights Inc. Editor: Andrew Luke Interior and cover design: Jana Rade, impact studios Production: Michelle Luke

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Series Glossary of Key Terms 72 Documentaries 74 Resources 75 Index 77 About the Author and Photo Credits 80

Introduction 8 CHAPTER 1: Rare and Unique Species . . . 11 CHAPTER 2: Danger Beneath the Surface 23 CHAPTER 3: Snakes, Rodents, and Reptiles 35 CHAPTER 4: The Big Cats 49 CHAPTER 5: Birds of Prey 61


Words to Understand: These words with their easy-to-understand definitions will increase the reader’s understanding of the text while building vocabulary skills.

Sidebars: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. Educational Videos: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, providing them with additional educational content to supplement the text. Examples include news coverage, moments in history, speeches, iconic sports moments and much more! Text-Dependent Questions: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there.

Research Projects: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis.

Series Glossary of Key Terms: This back-of-the book glossary contains terminology used throughout this series. Words found here increase the reader’s ability to read and comprehend higher-level books and articles in this field.

THE CONGO Area – 687,000 m 2 (1,780,000 km 2 ). Home to: Aka tribes, Forest Leopards, Raffia Palms. This jungle is the basin of the Congo river, covering the northern half of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and spreading west toward the Atlantic Ocean through five other countries. More than 400 species of mammals, 700 species of fish, and 1,000 species of birds are found here.

THE AMAZON Area – 2,123,000 m 2 (5,500,000 km 2 ). Home to: Tribes of Acre, Giant Otters, Rubber trees. About half of the world’s biggest jungle is located in Brazil. The other half spreads into eight other South American countries. The Amazon contains 20% of all the freshwater in the world.


SUNDARBANS RESERVE Area – 4000 m 2 (10,000 km 2 ). Home to: Bengal Tigers. This region lies mostly in Bangladesh and spreads to the west into India. The Sundarbans was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA Area – 116,000 m 2 (300,000 km 2 ). Home to: Huli tribes, Tree Kangaroos, Blue Marble trees. The eastern half of the island of New Guinea is the country known as Papua New Guinea and was once almost completely covered by jungle. Since 1972, more than 80,000 km 2 , or more than 20 percent, has been cleared.

BORNEO LOWLAND Area – 165,000 m 2 (427,500 km2). Home to: Penan tribes, Proboscis Monkeys, Asian Tiger Mosquitos. This jungle encompasses the entire island of Borneo, which is shared by Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia, In Borneo, 700 tree species were once discovered in just 25 acres (0.1 km 2 ).

Contents 7


I n jungles around the globe, strange and unique animals carry on life as they have for millions of years. You will discover many interesting facts about these creatures—some highly poisonous, some able to change their body color at will, and some who live their entire lives in the treetops or underwater. You will also learn about how these creatures are threatened daily by humans, many of whom don’t understand what a great loss extinction of a particular species can be for our planet. Truly unique and rare species call the world’s jungles their home—mammals like the Amazon pink river dolphin or the large-nosed proboscis monkeys of Borneo. Some of these jungle creatures are not on the endangered list yet, but all of them are threatened by hunters, fishermen, loggers, miners, and the continued destruction of their habitats. Some of the most dangerous creatures in the world live below the surface in swamps, marshes, and mangrove rivers. You’ll meet the lethal black caiman, which can eat deadly piranhas without suffering the consequences! But even their enormous size and razor sharp teeth can’t protect this reptile from the threatening menace of human hunters.


Amazing snakes, rodents, and reptiles also live in the world’s jungles—from the extremely poisonous to those that are among the oldest creatures on Earth. You’ll meet the largest rodent in the world, often hunted for its meat, hide, and skin grease that is used for ointments. Will these animals be strong enough to survive the many threats to their jungle environments? Big cats still roam the jungles of South America, Borneo, and Central and West Africa. These noble kings of the jungle have suffered more than any other animal at the hands of poachers, trophy hunters, trappers, hunters, and humans bent on the destruction of their habitats. Exciting birds of prey live atop jungles all around the world. They have hunted game like lizards, toads, small mammals, and snakes since the beginning of time. Time will tell if these birds will be any match for humans, who are steadily destroying their habitats with mining, logging, and the destruction of the rainforests to create large oil palm plantations.

Introduction 9

WORDS TO UNDERSTAND dorsal fins – tall triangular fins located on the back of creatures like dolphins, killer whales, or sharks mangroves – a group of shrubs or trees that grow in coastal swamps that flood at high tide; mangroves usually have many tangled roots that form dense thickets above the ground pectoral fin – one of a pair of fins located on either side of a dolphin’s head, for example, which helps to control their direction of movement prehensile – the ability to hold onto or grasp an object by wrapping around the object



Rare and Unique Species

AMAZON PINK RIVER DOLPHIN One of the most unique creatures living in the Amazon Jungle today is the beautiful Amazon pink river dolphin (frequently called boto or bufeo). Dolphins are a type of toothed whale usually found in the oceans of the world. River dolphins have adapted to live in fresh water, as opposed to salt water. An adult male can weigh up to 400 pounds, while a female can weigh as much as 200 pounds. River dolphins have an organ called a melon in their foreheads which is a collection of body fat that generates heat, stores energy, and is the biological sonar of these mammals. Dolphins can emit sounds and then guide themselves by listening to the echoes of the sounds they produce (this is called echolocation). This bio sonar tells the river dolphin where food is located, how large it is, and how deep it is in the river.

Chapter 1: Rare and Unique Species 11

See the pink river dolphin in its natural habitat.

Amazon pink river dolphins are grey at birth, but start to turn pink as they age.


The Amazon pink river dolphin is a slow swimmer that is said to be less sociable in captivity than their cousins, the bottlenose dolphins. They are very playful in their natural habitat—the broad Amazon River—where it is said that they rub against fishermen’s boats, hold onto their oars with their mouths, and play with logs, sticks, clay, turtles, fish, and snakes. When male dolphins want to attract female dolphins, they carry branches or balls of hard clay in their mouths. The more male dolphins that are in the area, the bigger the branch or clay ball that is carried. Male dolphins often fight other males by biting their competitor’s pectoral and dorsal fins or their blowhole. These dolphins are threatened in a number of ways. The Amazon River seasonally overflows its banks and creates a floodplain, which attracts a large number of fishermen and commercial fisheries to the area. The fishermen are after the same types of fish that the dolphins like to eat, the pirapitinga

Coloration of Amazon River Dolphins

Amazon river dolphins are very colorful creatures. When young, they’re a uniform shade of grey and only start to turn pink as they age. Their final color depends on their diet, their gender (males will be pinker than females), and how much exposure to sunlight they’ve had. Their color can range from mostly grey, with just a fewpink spots, to a vibrant flamingo pink. Another interesting fact is that when these dolphins become excited, they flush a bright shadeof pink, just likehumans do when they blush!

and the tabaqui. The dolphins get caught in the nets that are used to catch the fish, and they thrash around in the nets until they die, or are killed by the fishermen who then cut them up and use them for bait to catch the fish that they really want. This happens all the time, even though the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources prohibits killing the pink river dolphins.

Chapter 1: Rare and Unique Species 13

PROBOSCIS MONKEYS OF BORNEO The proboscis monkeys of the jungles of Borneo are famous for one very special feature—their enormous snouts or noses, which male monkeys use to attract female monkeys. Scientists say that the very large noses of the proboscis monkey functions as a giant echo chamber that deepens the call of the monkey. The deeper call impresses the nearby females and intimidates any male rivals. Proboscis monkeys are

found in the swamps and coastal mangroves close to the rivers, and they live high in the treetops, only rarely climbingdown todry land in order to hunt for food. The diet of the proboscis monkey is simple— they eat seeds, leaves, and unripe fruit. Sometimes they will eat insects. They live in groups of one dominant male and between two and seven females and their babies. Male proboscis monkeys can weigh up to 50 pounds, while the female can reach up to 25 pounds. Only the males grow the famous enormous nose!

Only male proboscis monkeys have the disproportionately large nose, which gives them the ability to make a deep pitched mating call to attract females.


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