Tropical Rain Forest
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Tropical Rainforests: Equatorial Forests of Rain
Of all the world's forests, it is those in the tropics that face the greatest threat from mankind. Tropical rainforests are one of nature's treasures, and many of them are now at risk. We have already destroyed half of the world's original tropical rainforests! Just in a few decades, we can possibly witness the complete elimation of the world's rainforests. The biodiversity of this biome is legendary -- this biome contains the largest biomass. Did you know that enough rainforests are being destroyed every minute to fill 50 football fields? We need to preserve these valuable resources because they are the lungs of our planet, and can possibly hold cures for many of our most deadly diseases. The tropical rainforests are a critical link in the ecological chains of our our earth's biosphere. To learn more interesting facts about the tropical rainforests, please visit our Did you know? section.
Technically, this type of forest can be defined as a forest in the tropics receiving 4-8 meters of rain each year. Tropical rainforests are found in Central and South America, Southeast Asia and islands near it, and West Africa. There are smaller rainforests in northern Australia and other small islands. All tropical rainforests are found along the equator where the temperatures and the humidity is always high, with the days being equal to the nights.
|What do you call a parrot wearing a raincoat?|
|Answer: Polly Unsaturated|
Generally, there is a flow of air that comes from the poles of the Earth, towards the equator. These winds are filled with moisture and the intense heat that is located at the equator causes the moisture to rise, cool and then condense to create rain. This continuous cycle causes it to rain almost 24 hours a day around most of the tropical areas. In some regions there can be more than 15 feet of rain a year. There are one or more "dry" months in this tropical biome, however if one would visit they would see it still is astonishingly wet.
Within a four mile square area of a tropical rainforest, you would find:
|-"My personal love of the tropical forest is older than my realization of their scientific importance. It started when I lived for six months in the cathedral-like splendor of the forests of the upper Iriri in central Brazil, a shadowy world of great beauty without direct sunlight. That was then a region unexplored by Western man, teeming with wildlife, where you could push through dense undergrowth to broad rivers that had never been seen by any non-Indian.. More recently, on the Maraca Rainforest Project at the northern edge of the Amazon basin, I witnessed the amazing wealth of another uninhabited and undisturbed forest. We found several hundred species of creatures new to science - and indication of the amazing genetic wealth that remains to be discovered, and a reminder of the need to protect all types of forest. To protect the forests, we must protect the tribal people who have evolved a way of life in sustainable harmony with their habitat. I have studied the tragic history of countless tribes that have fought and suffered and are now extinct. During the two years that I have worked with Brazilian Indians, I have experienced the absolute quiet of sleeping in communal huts, fishing with Mehinaku, trying to keep up with walking Chavante, and the idyllic life in an Asurini village. Their struggle for survival must become our struggle too."-|
|John Hemming - Director and Secretary of the Royal Geographical Society in London|
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