What is a Rainforest?

Rainforests are very dense, warm and wet forests.

Why is it called a Rainforest?

The reason it is called a “rain” forest is because of the high amount of rainfall it gets per year.

Why are Rainforests important to us?

They are very important as the plants of the rainforest generate much of the Earth’s oxygen.

Rainforests cover only 6 %of the Earth’s surface but yet they contain MORE THAN 1/2 of the world’s plant and animal species!

How many different types of Rainforests are there?

There are two types of Rainforest:

  1. Temperate Rainforests
  2. Tropical Rainforests

Rainforests are found on every continent across the Earth, except Antarctica.

Where in the world are Rainforests found?

Tropical rainforests are found close to the equator where temperatures and rainfall are very high all year round. The major areas of tropical rainforests are in South East Asia, West Africa and South and Central America. The best known rain forests are found in tropical regions between the Tropics of cancer and Capricorn.

Temperate rainforests are found along coasts in the temperate zone. The largest temperate rainforests are found on North America’s Pacific Coast and stretch from Northern California up into Canada. Temperate rainforests have one long wet winter/spring season, and a dry foggy summer.

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What lives in a Rainforest?

As many as 30 million species of plants and animals live in tropical rainforests.

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What are the different layers of a Rainforest Called?

There are four main parts of a Rainforest. They are:

Emergent Layer – very sunny because it is the very top. Only the tallest trees reach this level. Who lives here? birds, butterflies and small monkeys live with bats, snakes and bugs.

Canopy Layer – much of the rain is stopped by the thick foliage. Most trees in the forest grow to this height. There are plants that grow in the canopy layer. Their roots don’t reach the ground. These are called air plants. Who lives here? birds, monkeys, frogs, and sloths, as well as lizards, snakes and many insects.

Understory Layer – many vines, dense vegetation, not much light. Who lives here? birds, butterflies, frogs and snakes

Forest Floor – dark, damp, full of many dead leaves, twigs and dead plants. The forest floor is dark due to the trees above stopping the sunlight from entering the forest. It is estimated that only 2% of the sunlight actually reaches the floor. Who lives here? jaguars in South America, gorillas and leopards in Africa and tapirs and tigers and elephants in Asia.



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