Everything seems bigger in the rainforest. In the rainforest, grow huge trees and plants with large leaves. Brightly coloured birds and tree frogs live there. The rain forests have more species of plants and animals than anywhere else on earth. For example, in 2 ½ acres of the Appalachian Mountains, you might find 30 species of trees.
In a rainforest, you might find as many as 300 types of trees. One small area of a rain forest contains more frog species than all the frogs in North America.
Why is there so much life in the rain forest? The rain forests are all located near the equator in Africa, Asia, Australia and Central and South America. These places are warm and rainy. It never snows and the temperature never drops much below 70 degrees. Some places get 1 inch of rain or more every day. All this rain and warmth helps plants grow. When plants grow in abundance, animals have plenty to eat.
FUN FACTS ABOUT RAIN FORESTS FOR KIDS
About 30 million species of plants and animals live in the rain forests.
The rain forests hold more than two-thirds of the world’s plant species.
Many of the foods we love come from the rain forests. Chocolate, pineapple and cinnamon all come from rain forests. Rubber and medicines also come from rain forests.
Rain forests have a canopy of dense branches and leaves. Most of the rain forest animals and plants live in the canopy.
Not much light reaches the rain forest floor. In fact, the ground is often bare. The soil here is often hard and lacking in nutrients.
Rainforests have been called the "jewels of the Earth" and "pharmacy of the world", because over one quarter of natural medicines have been discovered there.
Lianas are vines that begin life on the ground as small self-supporting shrubs and rely on other plants to reach the light-rich environment of the upper canopy. These look, like ropes hanging from the trees.
Buttress roots are large, wide roots on all sides of a shallowly rooted tree. Typically, they are found in nutrient-poor tropical forest soils that may not be very deep. They prevent the tree from falling over (hence the name buttress) while also gathering more nutrients.
RAIN FOREST VOCABULARY
Canopy: the aboveground portion of a plant community or crop, formed by the collection of individual plant crowns.
Nutrient: a substance used by an organism to survive, grow, and reproduce.