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. Two-thirds of all flowering plants can be found in rainforests. 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. A beam of sunlight makes its way through the leaves and lights up the brightly colored wings of a macaw. Flying animals of Asian rainforests include frogs, squirrels and snakes. 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. Tropical forests and deforestation in the early 21st century. Tropical rainforests today represent a treasure trove of biological heritage, and they also serve as sinks for more than 50 percent of all atmospheric carbon dioxide absorbed by plants annually. The rainfall gets at least 250cm and can reach up to 400-450 inches in one year. 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. Fact 22: A lot of the oxygen supply that we have throughout the world is supplied by the tropical rainforests because of the number of trees in the tropical rainforest biome, even though they are miles and miles away. 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. Tropical rainforests receive around 100 inches (254 centimeters) of rainfall yearly, and contain tall broad-leaved evergreen trees that form a continuous canopy. The tropical rainforest of Africa was the habitat in which the ancestors of humans evolved, and it is where the nearest surviving human relatives—chimpanzees and gorillas—live still. 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. Station Leader, 1996 Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition to Macquarie Island, Australian... Rainforest vegetation grows along the northern coast of Ecuador. Top 10 Facts: Rainforest habitats are forests located around the tropics, which is a zone around the equator. In the north is a tropical rainforest, whereas in the south some of the mountains are covered in snow and ice for the entire year. In the middle latitudes of both hemispheres, belts of atmospheric high pressure developed. 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. Fact 42: The variety of plants in rainforests is amazing. 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. Rainforests provide people with many cooking spices such as vanilla, allspice, and black pepper. The first angiosperms are thought to have been massive, woody plants appropriate for a rainforest habitat. 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). Rainforest Aliiance - What is a Tropical Forest? The tropical rainforests are the ones that are most commonly found around the world. The rainfall gets at least 250cm and can reach up to 400-450 inches in one year. A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. You can find tropical rainforests in Central America, South America, Mexico, Asia, Africa, Australia. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Smaller areas of tropical rainforest occur elsewhere in the tropics wherever climate is suitable. Fact 18: 90% of the world’s forests is in underdeveloped or developed countries around the world. 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 geography of the rainforest varies depending on where it is, it includes landforms, elevation, soil, and resources. I guess you could say that is the scientific name for a tropical rainforest. 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. Floral kingdoms, subkingdoms, and major regions of the world. (And How to Keep Them Away), Do Deer Eat Peonies? Associate Professor of Geography and Planning, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales. Fact 11: 70% or more of the plants that are used to treat cancer are found only in the tropical rainforests on the planet. Scientists have counted about 100 to 300 species in one 2 1/2-acre (1-hectare) area in South America. Alternating intervals of climatic amelioration led to repeated range expansion, most recently from the close of the last glacial period about 10,000 years ago. (And 5 Ways to Dispose of), Is Junk Mail Recyclable? The Tropical Rainforest Geography . 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. It isn’t just the oxygen that helps us breathe that we need from the rainforests. By examining the climate and characteristics of these regions, we gain a better understanding of their importance to the rest of the world and maybe we will put an end to these problems. The tropical rainforest is a fascinating part of ecology to study, with its huge variety of plants and animals. In Central American rainforests, rival strawberry poison dart frogs might wrestle for up to 20 minutes! Fact 43: There is a surprising variety of animals. It is no surprise, therefore, to find the greatest diversity of flowering plants today in the tropical rainforests where they first evolved. The Korowai people of New Guinea live in tree houses as high as 45m off the ground! Tropical forests presently cover about 2.4 billion hectares or about 16 percent of Earth's land surface. Tropical rainforest, also spelled tropical rain forest, luxuriant forest found in wet tropical uplands and lowlands around the Equator. It is home to around 40,000 plant species, nearly 1,300 bird species, 3,000 types of fish, 427 … 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. Of particular interest is the fact that the majority of flowering plants displaying the most primitive characteristics are found in rainforests (especially tropical rainforests) in parts of the Southern Hemisphere, particularly South America, northern Australia and adjacent regions of Southeast Asia, and some larger South Pacific islands. Huge creepers twine themselves around the trunks of trees. Slash-and-burn forest clearing in the Amazon. Within them it is possible to recognize “hot spots” of plant and animal diversity that have been interpreted as glacial refugia. While 25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest ingredients, less that 1% of these tropical trees and plants have been tested by scientists. This section provides information about tropical rainforests in a format suitable for children as well as rainforest materials for educators. The tropical rainforest has a very constant climate and is very wet, having between 1500 and 2500 millimeters of rain each year. Fact 2: Rainforests are the forests that receive a high amount of rainfall. It is known for its dense canopies of vegetation that form three different layers. Most of the smaller, more delicate plants that are so widespread in the world today evolved later, ultimately from tropical rainforest ancestors. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Updates? Each one is perfect for survival in the moist Jungle. Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. Fact 7: A fifth of our freshwater is found in tropical rainforests. In fact, you probably lose a football pitch vanished every six seconds, which means over 80,000 football fields worth of rainforest each and every day. There are over 2,500 different vine species in the tropical rainforest. There they can find all of their necessities and rarely have to come down to the floor of the forest. Rainforests add water to the atmosphere through the process of transpiration, by which plants release water during photosynthesis from their leaves. 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). It is so big that if it were a country, it would be the ninth biggest in the world. 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. Tropical rainforests produce 40% of Earth's oxygen. 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. The Jungle is a very exciting habitat. This article covers only the richest of rainforests—the tropical rainforests of the ever-wet tropics. Fact 34: Most of the tropical rainforests, approximately 57 percent, are located in developing countries. The tropical rainforest is very rainy, as its name implies. Also, there are vast amounts of species residing in the tropical rainforest. Five families—Amborellaceae, Austrobaileyaceae, Degeneriaceae, Eupomatiaceae, and Himantandraceae—are restricted to rainforests in the tropical Australasian region. TROPICAL RAINFOREST INFORMATION FOR KIDS By Rhett A. Butler Last update: JULY 19, 2020 . 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 vegetation types that evolved were the first tropical rainforests, which blanketed most of Earth’s land surfaces at that time. Within these belts, especially in continental interiors, deserts formed (see desert: Origin). Fact 6: Rainforests help to regulate the temperatures around the world and the weather patterns as well. Orchids, a type of epiphyte plant grows on the surface of other plants in the tropical rainforest. The tropical rainforest is a biome with a constant temperature and a high rainfall. As tropical rainforests are one of the oldest biomes on Earth, they have a great variety of animals living there. They are found all over the world but the majority of the tropical rainforest lies in South America in Brazil. 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. While it is possible that even earlier forms existed that await discovery, the oldest angiosperm fossils—leaves, wood, fruits, and flowers derived from trees—support the view that the earliest angiosperms were rainforest trees. Tropical rainforests (world's most important ecosystems all over the planet). Landforms in the rainforest include valleys, rolling hills, old river basins, and level areas. Around 40% to 75% of all biotic species are indigenous to the rainforests. Fact 16: There were around 6 million square miles of rainforest in the beginning, but now because of deforestation, there is only less than half of that still found in the world. RAINFOREST FACTS. Of the 13 angiosperm families generally recognized as the most primitive, all but two—Magnoliaceae and Winteraceae—are overwhelmingly tropical in their present distribution. Tropical rainforests cover less than 3% of Earth’s area; still, they are the habitat of more than half our planet’s terrestrial animal species. Fun Facts About The Tropical Rainforest First of all, there are many different types of rainforests. A mature lowland tropical forest consists of several layers. 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. Title: The Tropical Rainforest 1 (No Transcript) 2 The Tropical Rainforest By Bryson 3 Introduction. 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. Fact 45: A lake inside a rainforest on the Caribbean island of Dominica sizzles at around 88°C. Fact 19: Every second, there is part of the rainforest that is cut down. Deforestation reduces the moisture released into the atmosphere decreasing rainfall and leading to drought. tropical rainforest A forest with high rate of precipitation and high humidity, usually located near the equator (Tropical Rainforests) contain at least one-half of the world's species of plants and animals and are dominated by tall, broad-leaved trees. The weather in the tropical rainforest is rainy yet pleasant all year round, day … Fact 44: Some people choose to live in the tropical rainforest and become farmers for the food and spices people eat. Most of them cannot live anywhere else because they depend on the environment of the rainforest for their most basic needs. 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 11: 70% or more of the plants that are used to treat cancer are found only in the tropical rainforests on the planet. 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. They hold enormous potential for future discoveries. About; Contact . (And Ways to Dispose of), Are Keys Recyclable? Tropical rainforests represent the oldest major vegetation type still present on the terrestrial Earth. During the most extreme periods (the glacial maxima, when climates were at their coldest and, in most places, also driest), the range of tropical rainforests shrank to its smallest extent, becoming restricted to relatively small refugia. Jungles are always found close to the equator. Fact 25: Rainforests are continually being destroyed by multinational logging companies, landowners and state governments to make way for new colonies, industrial units. They also cool and regulate local micro-climates limiting the Earth’s reflectivity that stabilizes ocean currents, wind, and rainfall patterns. They are the temperate rainforests and tropical rainforests. Lowland tropical rainforest refers to the majority of tropical rainforest, that is, forest which grows on flat lands at elevations generally less than 3,300 feet (1,000 m)—although elevation may vary. Giant bamboo plants can grow up to 9 inches a day. Some pine trees in Tasmania’s temperate rainforests can live for 2,000 years! However, many of these species are on the brink of extinction, and their existence is crucial to maintaining the balance of rainforest ecosystems. 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. We have yet to identify all of the medicinal benefits that the plants of the tropical rainforest have to offer. Try to learn more about the tropical rainforests and what you can do to help preserve them. Further evidence comes from the growth forms of the most primitive surviving angiosperms: all 13 of the most primitive angiosperm families consist of woody plants, most of which are large trees. 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. A tropical rain forest has more kinds of trees than any other area in the world. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Currently, 121 prescription drugs sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources. Tropical rainforests have high levels of biodiversity. The Elevation of a rainforest can be at almost any elevation. If we lose the rainforest, we eliminate the possibility of discovering new types of cancer treatments. The rainforests will receive around 98 to 177 inches of rainfalls or 250 to 450 cm of rainfalls every year. Fact 33: At the current rate of depletion, it is estimated that 5–10 percent of tropical rainforest species will be lost per decade. The Amazon covers almost 40% of South America. Over 30,000 species of plants have discovered, while another 20,000 are said to be undiscovered. More than 2,000 different species of butterflies are found in the rainforests of South America. Grab an umbrella and some bug spray because we're about to forage for 25 abundant facts about THE AMAZON RAINFOREST! The following are 35 realities on Tropical Rainforest: 1. A biome is an area with very distinctive plants and animals that have adapted to life in that particular environment. In the drier and more fire-prone places, savannas and tropical grasslands developed. This has led some authorities to suggest that the original cradle of angiosperm evolution might lie in Gondwanaland, a supercontinent of the Southern Hemisphere thought to have existed in the Mesozoic Era (252 to 66 million years ago) and consisted of Africa, South America, Australia, peninsular India, and Antarctica. Fact 9: Rainforests are so rich in biodiversity that about 1/4 of natural medicines have been discovered in rainforests. (And 6 Clever Ways to Reuse Old Keys), Can You Recycle Shampoo Bottles? 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. 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. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Within those regions rainforests were limited further to coastal and hilly areas where abundant rain still fell at all seasons. North of the Equator, there is a small amount of rainforest on America's Western Coast. Lowland primary forest, often characterized by more than five forest tier levels, is usually taller and more diverse than montane forest. The tropical rainforests are important for a number of reasons to humans. Tropical rainforests are the most biologically diverse terrestrial ecosystems in the world. In these areas new plant forms evolved from tropical rainforest ancestors to cope with seasonally dry weather, forming tropical deciduous forests. 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 21: 1 out of 4 people globally depend on forests for their livelihoods. As the rainforest species disappear, so do many possible cures for life-threatening diseases. Fact 28: More than 56,000 square miles of natural forest are lost each year. Not all plants were able to do this equally well because some had less-effective means of seed dispersal than others. The Tropical Rainforest Rainforest Series, Part 1 - by Mikki Sadil Tropical rainforests are among the most mysterious of all geographical biomes in the world. 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 be helpful in combating cancer. As the world climate cooled in the middle of the Cenozoic, it also became drier. In terms of biome classification a tropical rainforest is considered a lowland equatorial evergreen rainforest. Omissions? 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. Today large areas of tropical rainforest, such as Amazonia, have developed as a result of this relatively recent expansion. The world's largest rainforest is the Amazon rainforest; Brazil has the largest extent of rainforest cover, including nearly two-thirds of the Amazon. Cloud forests can be at more than 10,500 feet above sea level. Tropical rainforests are rainforests that occur in areas of tropical rainforest climate in which there is no dry season – all months have an average precipitation of at least 60 mm – and may also be referred to as lowland equatorial evergreen rainforest. Rainforests also exist outside the tropics, including temperate North America, South America, Australia, and Russia. Sidebar: Status of the World’s Tropical Forests. There are hundreds of other interesting facts out there about rainforests that may surprise you as well. Tropical rainforest, also spelled tropical rain forest, luxuriant forest found in wet tropical uplands and lowlands around the Equator. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. About 1.6 billion people, more than 25% of the world’s population, rely on forest resources for their livelihoods, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and most of them (1.2 billion) depend on rainforests for their daily needs. 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 kids.mongabay.com - helping children learn about the rainforest Mongabay is the world's most popular site about the rainforest. The Jungle is also called the Tropical Rainforest. Fact 30: Due to large scale deforestation worldwide, only 2.6 million square miles of tropical rainforests remain. These various plants and animals provide food and nutrients, and have, for thousands of years, been used as medical plants to improve health conditions. 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).
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