English Across the Curriculum

Tropical Rainforest

Animals of the rainforest

Fish, reptiles, birds and insects also live in the rainforest and its rivers. Plants and animals need each other to survive. Insects pollinate the flowers of the rainforest. Animals get food from the flowers' nectar. Seeds from trees are often taken away by other animals and birds and dropped in faraway areas.


The piranha is a fish with sharp teeth that lives in the lakes and rivers of the Amazon . It attacks and eats other fish and water animals. In some cases, it even attacks humans. Piranhas have flat bodies and can grow up to 30 cm long.

Red piranha
Image: Cliff, CC BY 2.0,
via Wikimedia Commons



Toucans are typical birds of the tropical rainforests. They have big and long bills that are brightly coloured , so that they can attract other birds. The largest toucans can get up to 65 cm long. Most of them live in hollow trees.


Image : Basa Roland, CC BY-SA 3.0,
via Wikimedia Commons



Gorillas are the largest members of the ape family. They have huge shoulders, long arms and short legs. They may weigh up to 200 kg.

Gorillas live in Africa near the equator. Although most of them live in the lowlands, there are some highland types.

People have hunted gorillas for a long time . As a result, they have become very rare and only about 1,000 gorillas live in the wild today.

Gorilla at Detroit Zoo
Image : RedGazelle15, CC BY-SA 4.0,
via Wikimedia Commons