Rainforest vegetation on the Caribbean island of Dominica
Click on image for full size
NBII Digital Image Library - Randolph Femmer, photographer
Tropical rainforests are home to thousands of species of animals, plants, fungi and microbes. Scientists suspect that there are many species living in rainforests have not yet been found or described.
There are areas of rainforests where plants are densely packed. Areas where sunlight can reach the surface are full of interesting plants. In other areas a canopy, made from the branches and leaves of tall trees, shades the ground below, preventing smaller plants from growing.
Rainforests get their name because they receive a lot of rain - an average of 80 inches (203 cm) a year! Rainforests are found at and near the equator, where it is always warm and muggy. The temperature doesn't change very much during the year.
The famous Amazon jungle is located in Brazil, in South America. This particular forest is called the Neotropics. Other large blocks are located in Central and West Africa.
Learn more about the animals that live in tropical rainforests by exploring the links below.
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