They experience rainfall nearly every day and there is no dry season. They hold enormous potential for future discoveries. Even if you think that you can’t make a difference, you are wrong. Smaller areas of tropical rainforest occur elsewhere in the tropics wherever climate is suitable. Everyone can make a difference, and when you think about it – you have to be the change that you would like to see in the world, and if you do this and set a great example, others will do the same. The entire hydrologic cycle slowed, and tropical rainforests—which depend on both warmth and consistently high rainfall—became increasingly restricted to equatorial latitudes. In the rainforest, trees grow to gigantic size, supported by strong, strut-like buttresses at the base of the trunk that help to stabilize them in shallow forest soils. Fact 18: 90% of the world’s forests is in underdeveloped or developed countries around the world. Within these belts, especially in continental interiors, deserts formed (see desert: Origin). Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The rainforests will receive around 98 to 177 inches of rainfalls or 250 to 450 cm of rainfalls every year. Fact 34: Most of the tropical rainforests, approximately 57 percent, are located in developing countries. Population and community development and structure, Relationships between the flora and fauna, https://www.britannica.com/science/tropical-rainforest, National Aquarium - Life in the Tropical Rain Forest, Slater Museum of Natural History - Tropical Rain Forest, Khan Academy - Tropical rainforest biomes, British Broadcasting Corporation - Bitesize - Tropical rainforest biomes, The University of Michigan's Global Change - The Tropical Rain Forest. Many commercially available antibiotics, anesthetics, antiseptics, cough mixtures, enzymes, hormones, laxatives, are also derived from rainforest plants and herbs. Rainforests also exist outside the tropics, including temperate North America, South America, Australia, and Russia. Tropical rainforest, also spelled tropical rain forest, luxuriant forest found in wet tropical uplands and lowlands around the Equator. In 2017 alone, we lost 15.8 million hectares of tropical forests; all told, humans have destroyed nearly half of the world’s original forest cover. Compounds in rainforest plants are already used to treat malaria, heart disease, arthritis, bronchitis, diabetes, dysentery, glaucoma, hypertension, muscle tension, rheumatism, and tuberculosis, among other health problems. Species have adapted to the conditions of the rainforest, eg trees and plants have shallow-reaching roots to absorb nutrients from the thin fertile layer in the soil. Fact 43: There is a surprising variety of animals. Fact 23: The average temperature of the tropical rainforest remains between 70 and 85° F. Fact 24: Timber, coffee, cocoa and many medicinal products are few of the products produced by rainforests, including those used in the treatment of cancer. After all, it really just takes everyone doing their part. Fact 39: In the moist rainforests of South and Central America, sloths move so slowly that algae are able to grow in their fur and also carry beetles and cockroaches in its fur! Contrary to common thinking, not all tropical rainforests occur in places with high, constant rainfall; for example, in the so-called “dry rainforests” of northeastern Australia, the climate is punctuated by a dry season, which reduces the annual precipitation. Fun Facts About The Tropical Rainforest First of all, there are many different types of rainforests. However, in some regions a long history of forest burning by the inhabitants is thought to have caused extensive replacement of tropical rainforest and tropical deciduous forest with savanna. Fact 27: About 80% of the flowers found in Australian rainforests are not found anywhere in the world. Tropical rainforests are the most biologically diverse terrestrial ecosystems in the world. The flowering plants (angiosperms) first evolved and diversified during the Cretaceous Period about 100 million years ago, during which time global climatic conditions were warmer and wetter than those of the present. About 25% of the active ingredients in our modern medicines come from rainforest plants. Within those regions rainforests were limited further to coastal and hilly areas where abundant rain still fell at all seasons. Fact 9: Rainforests are so rich in biodiversity that about 1/4 of natural medicines have been discovered in rainforests. Fact 3: You can find rainforests in many countries, not just in South America. The rainforests are divided in two types. A walk through a tropical rainforest in Tamborine National Park, Queensland, Australia, with a stop at Curtis Falls. kids.mongabay.com - helping children learn about the rainforest Mongabay is the world's most popular site about the rainforest. Tropical rainforests cover only 2 percent of the Earth’s surface, but they have an outsize impact on providing habitat, storing carbon and regulating the flow of water. Many extinctions resulted. Tropical rainforests supplied a rich variety of food and other resources to indigenous peoples, who, for the most part, exploited this bounty without degrading the vegetation or reducing its range to any significant degree. The tropical rainforest has a very constant climate and is very wet, having between 1500 and 2500 millimeters of rain each year. Cloud forests can be at more than 10,500 feet above sea level. Fact 13: The Amazon rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest in the world. They can be found in Alaska and Canada, as well as Asia, Africa and Latin America. Tropical forests and deforestation in the early 21st century. Landforms in the rainforest include valleys, rolling hills, old river basins, and level areas. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Fact 2: Rainforests are the forests that receive a high amount of rainfall. Tropical rainforests grow mainly in three regions: the Malesian botanical subkingdom, which extends from Myanmar (Burma) to Fiji and includes the whole of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu and parts of Indochina and tropical Australia; tropical South and Central America, especially the Amazon basin; and West and Central Africa (see biogeographic region). Fact 32: Variety of animals including snakes, frogs, birds, insects, cougars, chameleons, turtles, Bengal tigers, mountain gorillas, orangutans, jaguars and many more magnificent animals are found in tropical rainforests. The tropical rainforests are important for a number of reasons to humans. Deforestation reduces the moisture released into the atmosphere decreasing rainfall and leading to drought. Flying animals of Asian rainforests include frogs, squirrels and snakes. Giant bamboo plants can grow up to 9 inches a day. The tropical rainforest is very rainy, as its name implies. They are the temperate rainforests and tropical rainforests. The level of humidity and density of the vegetation give the ecosystem a unique water and nutrient cycle. (And What to Do With Old Junk Mail), Can You Recycle Lighters? We have yet to identify all of the medicinal benefits that the plants of the tropical rainforest have to offer. This layer of vegetation prevents much of the sunlight from reaching the ground. Updates? Regrettably, tropical rainforests and tropical deciduous forests are now being destroyed at a rapid rate in order to provide resources such as timber and to create land that can be used for other purposes, such as cattle grazing (see deforestation). The rainfall gets at least 250cm and can reach up to 400-450 inches in one year. Rainforests are home to half of all the living animal and plant species on the planet. Tropical rainforests have high levels of biodiversity. Fact 35: About 70% of the plants identified by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, which can be used in the treatment of cancer, are found only in rainforests. Fact 4: Rainforests are found on all of the different continents, except for Antarctica, because it is far too cold there for the environment to be conducive. The Jungle is a very exciting habitat. They not only retain many primitive plant and animal species but also are communities that exhibit unparalleled biodiversity and a great variety of ecological interactions. *The tropical rainforests have different layers; the emergent layer, canopy layer, understory layer, and forest floor layer. You can find tropical rainforests in Central America, South America, Mexico, Asia, Africa, Australia. In these areas new plant forms evolved from tropical rainforest ancestors to cope with seasonally dry weather, forming tropical deciduous forests. The rainforest is … True rainforests are typically found between 10 degrees north and south of the equator (see map); they are a sub-set of the tropical forest biome that occurs roughly within the 28-degree latitudes (in the equatorial zone between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn Fact 41: There are some tropical rainforests that have been around since dinosaurs roamed the Earth. It isn’t just the oxygen that helps us breathe that we need from the rainforests. Of the 13 angiosperm families generally recognized as the most primitive, all but two—Magnoliaceae and Winteraceae—are overwhelmingly tropical in their present distribution. The rhinoceros hornbill bird from southeast Asian rainforests has a hornlike structure on its head that looks like an extra beak! Today tropical forests, more than any other ecosystem, are experiencing habitat alteration and species extinction on a greater scale and at a more rapid pace than at any other time in their history—at least since the major extinction event (the K–T extinction) at the end of the Cretaceous Period, some 66 million years ago (see Sidebar: Status of the World’s Tropical Forests). They also cool and regulate local micro-climates limiting the Earth’s reflectivity that stabilizes ocean currents, wind, and rainfall patterns. In regions lying between the wet tropics and the deserts, climatic zones developed in which rainfall adequate for luxuriant plant growth was experienced for only a part of the year. Grab an umbrella and some bug spray because we're about to forage for 25 abundant facts about THE AMAZON RAINFOREST! How to book yourself a good weather holiday The Cathedral School, Llandaff, Cardiff, held an Eco Day of Action to fundraise for Size of Wales, which aims to protect an area of the tropical rainforest equivalent in size to Wales. North of the Equator, there is a small amount of rainforest on America's Western Coast. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). More than 2000 plant species found in the tropical rainforest contain cancer-fighting elements. Rainforest Habitat. Fact 6: Rainforests help to regulate the temperatures around the world and the weather patterns as well. Trucks on a road transporting recently harvested logs near Sabah's border with Kalimantan in Borneo. The Tropical Rainforest Rainforest Series, Part 1 - by Mikki Sadil Tropical rainforests are among the most mysterious of all geographical biomes in the world. The principal areas of tropical deciduous forest (or monsoon forests) are in India, the Myanmar–Vietnam–southern coastal China region, and eastern Brazil, with smaller areas in South and Central America north of the Equator, the West Indies, southeastern Africa, and northern Australia. The first angiosperms are thought to have been massive, woody plants appropriate for a rainforest habitat. Over 30,000 species of plants have discovered, while another 20,000 are said to be undiscovered. (And Ways to Dispose of), Are Keys Recyclable? Sidebar: Status of the World’s Tropical Forests. Fact 44: Some people choose to live in the tropical rainforest and become farmers for the food and spices people eat. Try to learn more about the tropical rainforests and what you can do to help preserve them. The Elevation of a rainforest can be at almost any elevation. Rainforest is described as a tall, hot and dense forest near the equator and is believed to be the oldest living ecosystem on Earth, which gets the maximum amount of rainfall. Fact 33: At the current rate of depletion, it is estimated that 5–10 percent of tropical rainforest species will be lost per decade. Most of the smaller, more delicate plants that are so widespread in the world today evolved later, ultimately from tropical rainforest ancestors. The Amazon covers almost 40% of South America. Members of the Winteraceae are shared between this latter region and South America, those of the Lactoridaceae grow only on the southeast Pacific islands of Juan Fernández, members of the Canellaceae are shared between South America and Africa, and two families—Annonaceae and Myristicaceae—generally occur in tropical regions. As tropical rainforests are one of the oldest biomes on Earth, they have a great variety of animals living there. An alternative explanation for this geographic pattern is that in the Southern Hemisphere, especially on islands, there are more refugia—i.e., isolated areas whose climates remained unaltered while those of the surrounding areas changed, enabling archaic life-forms to persist. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Rainforests add water to the atmosphere through the process of transpiration, by which plants release water during photosynthesis from their leaves. There are hundreds of other interesting facts out there about rainforests that may surprise you as well. The rainfall gets at least 250cm and can reach up to 400-450 inches in one year. Today large areas of tropical rainforest, such as Amazonia, have developed as a result of this relatively recent expansion. Associate Professor of Geography and Planning, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales. The vegetation types that evolved were the first tropical rainforests, which blanketed most of Earth’s land surfaces at that time. Tropical rainforests produce 40% of Earth's oxygen. If you haven’t taken any time to learn about the rainforest, then most of this information may actually be new to you. Huge creepers twine themselves around the trunks of trees. (And How to Keep Them Away), Do Deer Eat Peonies? Tropical rainforests regulate local climate by providing shade and returning water vapour to the atmosphere, humidifying and cooling the air; they also provide valuable pollination services. These various plants and animals provide food and nutrients, and have, for thousands of years, been used as medical plants to improve health conditions. Not all plants were able to do this equally well because some had less-effective means of seed dispersal than others. Monkeys shout and chatter as they swing from tree to tree looking for breakfast. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. The tropical rainforest is a biome with a constant temperature and a high rainfall. If we lose the rainforest, we eliminate the possibility of discovering new types of cancer treatments. (And 6 Clever Ways to Reuse Old Keys), Can You Recycle Shampoo Bottles? It is known for its dense canopies of vegetation that form three different layers. A tropical rain forest has more kinds of trees than any other area in the world. The weather in the tropical rainforest is rainy yet pleasant all year round, day … A mature lowland tropical forest consists of several layers. Tropical rainforests (world's most important ecosystems all over the planet). Fact 7: A fifth of our freshwater is found in tropical rainforests. Fact 19: Every second, there is part of the rainforest that is cut down. Fact 31: A slice of the rainforest, approximately equivalent to the size of rainforest destroyed each second, which is equivalent to 86,400 football fields of rainforest each day, which is equal to 31 million football fields of rainforest each year. Two-thirds of all flowering plants can be found in rainforests. The Korowai people of New Guinea live in tree houses as high as 45m off the ground! Fact 26: Trees in tropical rainforests are so dense that it takes approximately 10 minutes for the rainfall to reach the ground from the canopy. However, many of these species are on the brink of extinction, and their existence is crucial to maintaining the balance of rainforest ecosystems. Fact 10: Within four square miles of tropical rainforest, you will find 1500 flowering plant species, 750 types of trees, and many of these plants can help combat cancer. Station Leader, 1996 Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition to Macquarie Island, Australian... Rainforest vegetation grows along the northern coast of Ecuador. Fact 40: Most of the animals living in tropical rainforest live in the trees. Fact 46: Forests are natural water filters that keep pollution and debris from flowing into water supplies and slowing the movement of rainwater that it flows into underground reserves. The Jungle is also called the Tropical Rainforest. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe. A number of the fruits we eat every year are pollinated by the bats that call the rain forest home. Seventy percent of the plants in the rainforest are trees. When it comes down to it, it is really important to preserve our world’s rainforests. Fact 1: Rainforests only cover around 2 percent the total surface area of the Earth and about 6% of the Earth‘s land surface, but about 50 percent of all known species of the plants and animals on the earth live in the rainforest. Fact 38: Some rainforest monkeys are omnivores, eating both animals and plants. Rainforests provide people with many cooking spices such as vanilla, allspice, and black pepper. Fact 12: Over 2000 types of plants that you find in the rainforest can be used to help aide in cancer treatment because they have anti-cancer properties. RAINFOREST FACTS. Lowland primary forest, often characterized by more than five forest tier levels, is usually taller and more diverse than montane forest. (And 5 Ways to Dispose of), Is Junk Mail Recyclable? Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. A beam of sunlight makes its way through the leaves and lights up the brightly colored wings of a macaw. Climates fluctuated throughout this time, forcing vegetation in all parts of the world to repeatedly migrate, by seed dispersal, to reach areas of suitable climate. Fact 28: More than 56,000 square miles of natural forest are lost each year. This may come as a shock to some people. The Tropical Rainforest has a variety of plants and animals. Structure, Components and Examples of an Ecosystem, 25+ Spectacular Facts About the Amazon Rainforest That You May Not Know About, 40 Remarkable Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint, What is a Green Building and Benefits and Goals of a Green Building, 60% of anticancer drugs originate from natural sources, a football pitch vanished every six seconds, Can You Recycle Frying Pans? Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. The tropical rainforest is very rainy, as its name implies. Slash-and-burn forest clearing in the Amazon. Not until the past century, however, has widespread destruction of tropical forests occurred. Fact 14: Less than one percent of the species of plants in the tropical rainforests have actually been analyzed to determine their value in the world of medicine. Fact 30: Due to large scale deforestation worldwide, only 2.6 million square miles of tropical rainforests remain. It is home to around 40,000 plant species, nearly 1,300 bird species, 3,000 types of fish, 427 … Currently, 121 prescription drugs sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources. This is because cooler temperatures led to a reduction in the rate of evaporation of water from, in particular, the surface of the oceans, which led in turn to less cloud formation and less precipitation. The Tropical Rainforest Geography . Five families—Amborellaceae, Austrobaileyaceae, Degeneriaceae, Eupomatiaceae, and Himantandraceae—are restricted to rainforests in the tropical Australasian region. Fact 8: Rainforests play an essential role in maintaining the Earth’s limited supply of drinking water and freshwater, so they are crucial to the sustainability of the earth. Only later—during the middle of the Paleogene Period, about 40 million years ago—did cooler, drier climates develop, leading to the development across large areas of other vegetation types. Rainforest has a unique assemblage of plants, animals, and people. There they can find all of their necessities and rarely have to come down to the floor of the forest. Like all vegetation, however, that of the rainforest continues to evolve and change, so modern tropical rainforests are not identical with rainforests of the geologic past. An enormous butterfly flits from plant to plant. The tropical rainforest temperature is around 86 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and at night it drops to about 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Fact 37: Tropical forests have become net carbon emitters. There are over 2,500 different vine species in the tropical rainforest. Tropical rainforest - Tropical rainforest - Environment: The equatorial latitude of tropical rainforests and tropical deciduous forests keeps day length and mean temperature fairly constant throughout the year. Fact 36: In a 2017 analysis published in the scientific journal PNAS, climate scientists concluded that forest conservation/restoration, natural climate solutions and sustainable agriculture could provide more than one-third of the global climate mitigation required to stabilize warming to below 2 °C. A biome is an area with very distinctive plants and animals that have adapted to life in that particular environment. TROPICAL RAINFOREST INFORMATION FOR KIDS By Rhett A. Butler Last update: JULY 19, 2020 . Some pine trees in Tasmania’s temperate rainforests can live for 2,000 years! I guess you could say that is the scientific name for a tropical rainforest. 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