Rainforests of the World
There are two types of rainforests -- the temperate and the tropical.
Tropical rainforests are found close to the equator. Temperate Rainforests
are found near coastal areas, such as the Pacific Northwest of the USA.
The seasons do not change in the tropical rain forest. It has been hot and
wet for millions of years. The average temperature year-round is about 80
degrees. The tropical rain forest is the wettest place on earth. It rains
every day. In one year it may rain about 100 to 400 inches. This means
that 9 to 30 feet of rain may fall each year.
The tropical rain forest is the richest source of plant life on earth.
There are so many different kinds of plants there, scientists don't even
know them all yet. It is a perfect place for growing plants. The average
temperature is 70 to 90 degrees and there is plenty of water.
Here are some facts about a few kinds of plants you will find in the rain
Trees - Some canopy trees grow to 120 feet. The
are so big they can be used for an umbrella! The leaves are thick and
waxy, and have "drip tips" so that water can drain off. Fruit trees
provide food for many rainforest animals and people.
Air Plants - Thousands of flowering plants grow on
the trees. Their roots are not planted in soil, but take their food from
air and water all around. Insects and even small animals live in and on
these air plants. They have beautiful flowers and fruit, to provide food
for forest dwellers. Butterflies, hummingbirds and bees drink the nectar
from the flowers.
Bromeliads - The bromeliad is a kind of tropical
with leaves like a pineapple. It collects water in its' center. This water
forms a small pool for frogs, lizards, and insects to live in.
There are many kinds of vines and ferns which connect the layers of the
rain forest. Mushrooms and herbs grow on the florest floor. People can
learn to gather fruits and nuts for food, as well as plants for medicine,
without harming the rain forest. Rain forest people have done this for
thousands of years.
Here are some plants you may know. They first came from the rain forest!