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Tropical Rainforests

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.

Rainforest Insects
Rainforest Birds
Rainforest Mammals
Rainforest Reptiles
Rainforest Primates

Last modified October 24, 2008 by Lisa Gardiner.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA