Tropical Rainforests

How many of these facts do you already know about tropical rainforests?

Tropical rainforests are always very warm.

Despite it being very hot,  rainforests get an average of 50 to 260 inches of rain fall every year.

Tropical rainforests produce a lot of the world’s oxygen, so they are very important!

Scientists estimate that more than half of the world’s animals and plants live in tropical rainforests!

Rainforests can be found in 3 major parts of the world:

  • Central America, in the the Amazon river basin.
  • Africa, in the Zaire basin. Also with a small area in West Africa; also eastern Madagascar.
  • Indo-Malaysia in the west coast of India, Assam, Southeast Asia, New Guinea and Queensland, Australia.

There are 4 layers of trees in every tropical rainforest:

  • Emergent trees – These large trees are spaced far apart. Their umbrella like canopies grow above the rain forest. These trees don’t have very many branches.
  • The upper canopy of trees is where most of the forest’s animals live. The upper canopy is so full of food that some animals never go down to the forest floor!
  • The lower canopy of trees is smaller than the upper canopy of trees. This layer of forest is made up of shrubs, plants and trunks of the taller trees. The lower canopy is always in shade.
  • The forest floor is nearly always completely shaded. Less than 1% of light that comes through the emergent trees at the top of the rain forest will reach this layer.

Lots of animals that live in the tropical rainforests have adapted over time to fit a life in the trees! Like the New World monkeys - they have special tails which allow them to easily move through the forest.

Insects that live in tropical rainforests include butterflies, mosquitoes, stick insects and ants!

The Brazilian Gold Frog is the worlds smallest frog at 9.8mm...that's about the same size as a pea!

rainbutter bulletThe canopy can be so thick in the Amazon forest that when it rains it can take up to 10 minutes before therainleaf bullet water hits the ground.

Jungle vines are called liana and can grow up to 100 metres long!

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