Tropical Rainforests

Rainforest scene in Costa Rica

What is a Tropical Rainforest?

Tropical rainforests are areas of dense vegetation and trees. When you think of the "jungle" you are really thinking of the tropical rainforest.

Because tropical rainforests are located close to the Earth's equator they are warm and humid places. The rainforest plants and trees also contribute to the amount of humidity because the plants give off a lot of water through transpiration. During transpiration plants lose water through their leaves, stems, and flowers.

The warmth and very high humidity leads to very heavy rainfall - usually over 100 inches per year, with some rainforest locations getting over 300 inches per year!

The tropical rainforests are warm, but not strikingly hot (although the humidity might make it feel that way). Because tropical rainforest are close to the equator there are not changing seasons like you find in more temperate zones. It is generally always warm there year round. Also, the length of the days and nights doesn't vary with the season either.

In addition, the sun is very strong there, although it doesn't penetrate to the rainforest floor too well because of the dense vegetation that it must pass through.

The animals and plants that live in each tropical rainforest evolved so that they are well adapted to living in their environment. However, the flora and fauna of each rainforest evolved differently and so you'll find different animal species living in each of the different rainforest locations of the world.

Where are the Tropical Rainforests?

world map showing tropical and temperate rainforest locations

The map above shows both the tropical and temperate rainforests in green.

Most of the Earth's rainforests are tropical jungles. The temperate rainforests are areas of rainforest that aren't as warm year round (meaning they have a cold winter season), but they still have dense vegetation and lots of rain. The temperate rainforests are located in areas far from the Earth's equator:

  • North America
  • New Zealand

Whereas the tropical rainforests are located in areas close to the equator:

  • South America
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Madagascar

All of the rainforests support a wide diversity of animal and plant life, however, the tropical rainforests are home to more plants and animals than the temperate rainforests.

Although the tropical rainforests only constitute a small portion of the Earth, they are home to more animal and plant species than anywhere else on Earth.

About is a brand new site about the animals, plants, and biotopes of the rainforest. We are constantly updating our site, adding new rainforest articles and photos of the plants and animals that inhabit the Earth's rainforest.

Currently our site focuses more on the animal and plant species found in the South American rainforest, but soon we will be expanding to include animal and plant profiles of the other rainforests and even just general information about plants and trees.

It is our hope that you enjoy our site and come to further appreciate the life that inhabits the rainforest and the beauty of Earth in general. We hope that this appreciation will lead to better consumer choices for our environment, such as buying organic products and sustainable harvest products from the rainforest and elsewhere.

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