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In the middle latitudes of both hemispheres, belts of atmospheric high pressure developed. Fact 7: A fifth of our freshwater is found in tropical rainforests. A tree known as the idiot fruit grows in Australia‘s Daintree rainforest. 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. 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. Tropical rainforest, also spelled tropical rain forest, luxuriant forest found in wet tropical uplands and lowlands around the Equator. Tropical rainforests have high levels of biodiversity. It isn’t just the oxygen that helps us breathe that we need from the rainforests. The rainfall gets at least 250cm and can reach up to 400-450 inches in one year. Each one is perfect for survival in the moist Jungle. 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. Fact 38: Some rainforest monkeys are omnivores, eating both animals and plants. A beam of sunlight makes its way through the leaves and lights up the brightly colored wings of a macaw. 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. Fact 3: You can find rainforests in many countries, not just in South America. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. It is known for its dense canopies of vegetation that form three different layers. An enormous butterfly flits from plant to plant. Rainforests provide people with many cooking spices such as vanilla, allspice, and black pepper. This may come as a shock to some people. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. 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. 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. Also, there are vast amounts of species residing in the tropical rainforest. There are over 2,500 different vine species in the tropical rainforest. Fact 44: Some people choose to live in the tropical rainforest and become farmers for the food and spices people eat. 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). The Elevation of a rainforest can be at almost any elevation. Orchids, a type of epiphyte plant grows on the surface of other plants in the tropical rainforest. The tropical rainforest is very rainy, as its name implies. This article covers only the richest of rainforests—the tropical rainforests of the ever-wet tropics. Rainforest Aliiance - What is a Tropical Forest? Some pine trees in Tasmania’s temperate rainforests can live for 2,000 years! 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. About; Contact . 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. Top 10 Facts: Rainforest habitats are forests located around the tropics, which is a zone around the equator. (And How To Keep Them Away). 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. The tropical rainforest is a hot, moist biome where it rains all year long. Five families—Amborellaceae, Austrobaileyaceae, Degeneriaceae, Eupomatiaceae, and Himantandraceae—are restricted to rainforests in the tropical Australasian region. Over 30,000 species of plants have discovered, while another 20,000 are said to be undiscovered. A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. 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. Veiled stinkhorn, fungi found in tropical rainforests smell like rotting food! Currently, 121 prescription drugs sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources. 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. A tropical rain forest has more kinds of trees than any other area in the world. The Amazon covers almost 40% of South America. Deforestation reduces the moisture released into the atmosphere decreasing rainfall and leading to drought. In these areas new plant forms evolved from tropical rainforest ancestors to cope with seasonally dry weather, forming tropical deciduous forests. Fact 3: You can find rainforests in many countries, not just in South America. The Tropical Rainforest has a variety of plants and animals. Fact 6: Rainforests help to regulate the temperatures around the world and the weather patterns as well. The weather in the tropical rainforest is rainy yet pleasant all year round, day … Fun Facts About The Tropical Rainforest First of all, there are many different types of rainforests. Fact 28: More than 56,000 square miles of natural forest are lost each year. 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. Fact 13: The Amazon rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest in the world. Huge creepers twine themselves around the trunks of trees. Tropical rainforests represent the oldest major vegetation type still present on the terrestrial Earth. If you think about how much of an impact the rainforests actually have on our life, even if we don’t live anywhere near a rainforest, you will really see the importance of keeping them around. 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. Slash-and-burn forest clearing in the Amazon. Fact 2: Rainforests are the forests that receive a high amount of rainfall. According to research published in the International Journal of Oncology, more than 60% of anticancer drugs originate from natural sources, including rainforest plants. More than 2,000 different species of butterflies are found in the rainforests of South America. Even if you think that you can’t make a difference, you are wrong. 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. I guess you could say that is the scientific name for a tropical rainforest. Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. In Central American rainforests, rival strawberry poison dart frogs might wrestle for up to 20 minutes! 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. Monkeys shout and chatter as they swing from tree to tree looking for breakfast. Jungles are always found close to the equator. Within those regions rainforests were limited further to coastal and hilly areas where abundant rain still fell at all seasons. There they can find all of their necessities and rarely have to come down to the floor of the forest. More than 2000 plant species found in the tropical rainforest contain cancer-fighting elements. It is no surprise, therefore, to find the greatest diversity of flowering plants today in the tropical rainforests where they first evolved. The sun rises daily to a near-vertical position at noon, ensuring a high level of incoming radiant energy at all seasons. (And How to Keep Them Away), Do Deer Eat Peonies? 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. This type of habitat is very different in comparison to many of the other habitats that you are used to being around. Fact 17: If the rainforests continue to decline in the way that they have been, then about 5-10 percent of their species will go extinct every ten years. Fact 41: There are some tropical rainforests that have been around since dinosaurs roamed the Earth. 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. A 2017 study published in the journal Science reveals that tropical forests that once served as the Earth’s most massive carbon sinks now release more carbon than they absorb, triggered by deforestation caused by humans. These various plants and animals provide food and nutrients, and have, for thousands of years, been used as medical plants to improve health conditions. The rhinoceros hornbill bird from southeast Asian rainforests has a hornlike structure on its head that looks like an extra beak! If you have learned about it, whether from school or other sources, then you may know most of this information, if not all of it. 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). A walk through a tropical rainforest in Tamborine National Park, Queensland, Australia, with a stop at Curtis Falls. The rainfall gets at least 250cm and can reach up to 400-450 inches in one year. Around 40% to 75% of all biotic species are indigenous to the rainforests. While 25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest ingredients, less that 1% of these tropical trees and plants have been tested by scientists. The calls of black howler monkeys of Latin American forests can be heard almost 5km away! Seventy percent of the plants in the rainforest are trees. The rainforest is … Tropical rainforest ecosystems are the longest living ecosystems on the Earth … 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. Title: The Tropical Rainforest 1 (No Transcript) 2 The Tropical Rainforest By Bryson 3 Introduction. 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. 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. - helping children learn about the rainforest Mongabay is the world's most popular site about the rainforest. Bats are essential for the pollination of many tropical foodstuffs such as bananas and mangoes. Most of the smaller, more delicate plants that are so widespread in the world today evolved later, ultimately from tropical rainforest ancestors. A number of the fruits we eat every year are pollinated by the bats that call the rain forest home. It is home to around 40,000 plant species, nearly 1,300 bird species, 3,000 types of fish, 427 … They also cool and regulate local micro-climates limiting the Earth’s reflectivity that stabilizes ocean currents, wind, and rainfall patterns. Rainforests are home to half of all the living animal and plant species on the planet. 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. Not all plants were able to do this equally well because some had less-effective means of seed dispersal than others. We have yet to identify all of the medicinal benefits that the plants of the tropical rainforest have to offer. If you haven’t taken any time to learn about the rainforest, then most of this information may actually be new to you. They hold enormous potential for future discoveries. A biome is an area with very distinctive plants and animals that have adapted to life in that particular environment. Fact 40: Most of the animals living in tropical rainforest live in the trees. 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. 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. Sidebar: Status of the World’s Tropical Forests. 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. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? The tropical rainforests are the ones that are most commonly found around the world. Three families—Illiciaceae, Magnoliaceae, and Schisandraceae—are found predominantly in Northern Hemisphere rainforests. 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. The tropical rainforest is very rainy, as its name implies. Fact 5: There are two different types of rainforests, and they include both temperate and tropical. Tropical rainforests produce 40% of Earth's oxygen. Rainforests add water to the atmosphere through the process of transpiration, by which plants release water during photosynthesis from their leaves. Smaller areas of tropical rainforest occur elsewhere in the tropics wherever climate is suitable. The Tropical Rainforest Rainforest Series, Part 1 - by Mikki Sadil Tropical rainforests are among the most mysterious of all geographical biomes in the world. Updates? 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 rainforests are important for a number of reasons to humans. Scientists estimate that about 15% of the world’s freshwater flows from the Amazon Basin to be exact. Fact 21: 1 out of 4 people globally depend on forests for their livelihoods. 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? The Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest tropical rainforest. In the drier and more fire-prone places, savannas and tropical grasslands developed. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Many commercially available antibiotics, anesthetics, antiseptics, cough mixtures, enzymes, hormones, laxatives, are also derived from rainforest plants and herbs. Not until the past century, however, has widespread destruction of tropical forests occurred. Fact 18: 90% of the world’s forests is in underdeveloped or developed countries around the world. Grab an umbrella and some bug spray because we're about to forage for 25 abundant facts about THE AMAZON RAINFOREST! Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Associate Professor of Geography and Planning, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales. 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. Rainforest Habitat. 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. Within them it is possible to recognize “hot spots” of plant and animal diversity that have been interpreted as glacial refugia. Rainforests also exist outside the tropics, including temperate North America, South America, Australia, and Russia. 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. Tropical forests and deforestation in the early 21st century. According to Global Forest Watch, our planet loses tropical forestland equivalent to the size of Bangladesh every year. Giant bamboo plants can grow up to 9 inches a day. 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. Today large areas of tropical rainforest, such as Amazonia, have developed as a result of this relatively recent expansion. A mature lowland tropical forest consists of several layers. As tropical rainforests are one of the oldest biomes on Earth, they have a great variety of animals living there. 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. The entire hydrologic cycle slowed, and tropical rainforests—which depend on both warmth and consistently high rainfall—became increasingly restricted to equatorial latitudes. If we lose the rainforest, we eliminate the possibility of discovering new types of cancer treatments. (And Ways to Reuse Old Lighters), World’s 10 Most Threatened Biodiversity Hotspots, Can You Recycle a Mattress? Fact 33: At the current rate of depletion, it is estimated that 5–10 percent of tropical rainforest species will be lost per decade. They are the temperate rainforests and tropical 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. The level of humidity and density of the vegetation give the ecosystem a unique water and nutrient cycle. Facts about Rainforest will impress the people with the detail information of the forests, which have high level of rainfalls. The tropical rainforest is a biome with a constant temperature and a high rainfall. 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. *The tropical rainforests have different layers; the emergent layer, canopy layer, understory layer, and forest floor layer. Try to learn more about the tropical rainforests and what you can do to help preserve them. This section provides information about tropical rainforests in a format suitable for children as well as rainforest materials for educators. (And Ways to Dispose of), Are Keys Recyclable? They experience rainfall nearly every day and there is no dry season. (And 5 Ways to Dispose of), Is Junk Mail Recyclable? This layer of vegetation prevents much of the sunlight from reaching the ground. 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. The most popular rainforest is also the largest tropical rainforest. Trucks on a road transporting recently harvested logs near Sabah's border with Kalimantan in Borneo. The Korowai people of New Guinea live in tree houses as high as 45m off the ground! 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). RAINFOREST FACTS. Retreat of the rainforests was particularly rapid during the period beginning 5,000,000 years ago leading up to and including the Pleistocene Ice Ages, or glacial intervals, that occurred between 2,600,000 and 11,700 years ago. There are hundreds of other interesting facts out there about rainforests that may surprise you as well. TROPICAL RAINFOREST INFORMATION FOR KIDS By Rhett A. Butler Last update: JULY 19, 2020 . The Jungle is a very exciting habitat. 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! Tropical forests presently cover about 2.4 billion hectares or about 16 percent of Earth's land surface. The droppings of birds in the tropical rainforest grow into new plants. Landforms in the rainforest include valleys, rolling hills, old river basins, and level areas. The rainforests are divided in two types. Cloud forests can be at more than 10,500 feet above sea level. 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. 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 rainforests will receive around 98 to 177 inches of rainfalls or 250 to 450 cm of rainfalls every year. 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. Here you will find 45+ remarkable facts about the tropical rainforest that you may not have known previously. Tropical rainforests are the most biologically diverse terrestrial ecosystems in the world. (And What to Do With Old Junk Mail), Can You Recycle Lighters? 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. If you don’t know too much about tropical rainforests, then you will probably be surprised to find that there are a few little known facts out there about them. The following are 35 realities on Tropical Rainforest: 1. You can find tropical rainforests in Central America, South America, Mexico, Asia, Africa, Australia. Fact 27: About 80% of the flowers found in Australian rainforests are not found anywhere 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 tropical rainforest biome is an ecosystem that covers about 7% of the Earth’s surface. Tropical rainforests (world's most important ecosystems all over the planet). 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. (And Ways to Reuse Old Bottles), 13 Amazing Plants That Do Not Need Drainage Holes, Do Deer Eat Petunias? Fact 43: There is a surprising variety of animals. 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. Fact 37: Tropical forests have become net carbon emitters. The first angiosperms are thought to have been massive, woody plants appropriate for a rainforest habitat. Fact 11: 70% or more of the plants that are used to treat cancer are found only in the tropical rainforests on the planet. Most of them cannot live anywhere else because they depend on the environment of the rainforest for their most basic needs. 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. 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. Population and community development and structure, Relationships between the flora and fauna,, 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. The water rainforests produce is evaporated and then used as rain in other areas. The world's largest rainforest is the Amazon rainforest; Brazil has the largest extent of rainforest cover, including nearly two-thirds of the Amazon. As the rainforest species disappear, so do many possible cures for life-threatening diseases. The tropical rainforest has a very constant climate and is very wet, having between 1500 and 2500 millimeters of rain each year. Tropical rainforest, also spelled tropical rain forest, luxuriant forest found in wet tropical uplands and lowlands around the Equator. 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. The top layer or canopy contains giant trees that grow to heights of 75 m (about 250 ft) or more. As the world climate cooled in the middle of the Cenozoic, it also became drier. Fact 19: Every second, there is part of the rainforest that is cut down. In terms of biome classification a tropical rainforest is considered a lowland equatorial evergreen rainforest. About 25% of the active ingredients in our modern medicines come from rainforest plants. Fact 29: Insects make up the majority of living creatures in the tropical rainforest. Fact 9: Rainforests are so rich in biodiversity that about 1/4 of natural medicines have been discovered in rainforests. Omissions? When it comes down to it, it is really important to preserve our world’s rainforests. (And 6 Clever Ways to Reuse Old Keys), Can You Recycle Shampoo Bottles? North of the Equator, there is a small amount of rainforest on America's Western Coast. 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. Fact 9: rainforests are the forests that receive a high level of rainfalls every year rainfall—became restricted! Name for a tropical rainforest is considered a lowland equatorial evergreen rainforest area with very plants... To coastal and hilly areas where abundant rain still fell at all seasons Antarctic Research Expedition to Macquarie,! Expedition to about the tropical rainforest Island, Australian... rainforest vegetation grows along the Northern Coast Ecuador. Reuse Old Lighters ), world ’ s tropical forests and deforestation in the world the smaller, delicate! 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