piranha-closeup-977333-ga.jpg By: Emma

Tropical Rain Forests

Tropical rain forests are the richest forests in plant and animal species. The Tropical Rain Forests provide us with medicines, exotic oils, wood, and food. Tropical rain forests are found on every continent except Antarctica. Tropical rain forests are very important in our every day living but we are destroying them fast !!!!!

How Do You Tell A Tropical and A Temperate Rain Forest Apart?

Tropical rain forests are classified a special way. To be a tropical rain forest the rain forest must lie between the Tropic Of Cancer and the Tropic Of Capricorn. Temperate rain forests are cooler than tropical rain forests so they have completely different species of plants and animals.

Vegetation in a tropical rain forest

There is a more diverse species of plants in a tropical rain forest because of the heat compared to a temperate rain forest. Most of the trees, big or small, flare at the base. There are so many plants so it is very dense and hard to walk through in some places. Almost all of the plants are colorful or green. There are hundreds of species of trees alone.


Epiphytes are a type of plant that grow on the tropical rain forest trees. Epiphytes help the tropical rain forest trees grow taller and stronger. They do this by increasing the humidity of the air. Epiphytes get their nutrients/food from the air. They are also home for many animals like snails, spiders, worms, crabs, and frogs. There are many different types of epiphytes. Orchids and Bromeliads are 2 types of epiphytes. Epiphytes are unique because they are one of the only plants found in every layer of the tropical rain forest.

Products We Get From The Tropical Rain Forest

We get many things from the Tropical rain forests. Some of the things we get will soon be in danger from the deforestation of the rain forests. We get cocoa, natural rubber, bananas, pineapple, nuts, fruits, oils, resins, fibers, dyes, chemicals, spices, chicle, (used in chewing gum).

Medicines we Have Found or are Finding in the Tropical Rain Forest

We have found chemicals in the tropical rain forest that we think can do and cure amazing things. We think we have found chemicals to cure glaucoma, Malaria, and Parkinson's disease. They have also found chemicals that lower blood pressure, fix quiet irregular heartbeat, and stop the growth of cancer cells. When Vincristine is extracted from Periwinkle, a rain forest plant, becomes one of the worlds most powerful anticancer drug. It has incresed the survival rate for childhood leukeia since its discovery.

The Layers of the rain forest


Their are 5 different layers of a tropical rain forest. Think of the 5 layers as a large cake The first layer is the forest floor. The second layer is called the shrub layer. The third layer is called the understory layer. The fourth layer is the canopy. The fifth and final layer is called the overstory.

The Forest Floor

The forest floor is called the forest floor because it is on the floor or the ground. The forest floor is made up of tree trunks, fungus, and low growing vegetation. The ground is a thin layer of dead leaves and then a very thin layer of soil. The decomposition process is very fast because the soil lacks minerals. Very little sunlight can reach the forest floor, so it is very dark and gloomy.

The Shrub Layer

The Shrub Layer is 25 feet off the ground. The shrub layer is made up of small trees 5-20 feet tall.

The Understory Layer

The understory layer is made up of small tree species. The understory is 75 feet off the forest floor.

The Canopy

The canopy layer is made up of crowns that form a canopy. The crowns are on top of 20-100 foot emergent trees. The crowns are also forming the canopy along with a dense layer of branches and leafs. 70-90% of life in the tropical rain forest exists in the canopy layer.


The overstory is 150 feet above the forest floor. The overstory is the highest layer of the rain forest. It is made up of the tall leaves and branches of the emergent trees. The parts of these trees tower over all the other smaller trees. Sometimes the overstory is called the emergent layer because of the tall emergent trees.

Global Warming

Did you know that about half of global warming is caused by the deforestation of the tropical and temperate rain forest. When trees are cut down more sunlight is reflected off the ground. This ends up causing some of the global warming issues.

Animals Of the Tropical Rain Forest

If you love animals here is a list of some of the animals in the tropical rain forest!

Mosquito (Carries Malaria disease), Ruby Topaz Hummingbird, Helicons Caterpillar, Morph Butterfly, Jungle Orchid, Emperor Tamarind, Leaf Cutter Ant, Katydid, Orchid Bee, Chonta Fruit, Praying Mantis, Alligator Lizard, Bird Eating Spider, Poison Arrow Frog, Nectar Sipping Bat, Wasps (wasps nest),
Rhinoceros Beetle, Gnat Flat Worm, White Collard Swift, Three Wattled Bellbird, Amazonian Umbrella bird, Hyacinibine Macaw, Guianan Toucan, Harpy Eagle, Squirrel Monkey, Howler Monkey, Orange Winged Parrot, Collard Trogon, Quetzal, Toco Toucan, Scarlet Macaw, Chestnut woodpecker, White Headed Saki, Potoo, Puffbird, Spixguan, Parakeet, Aplomado Falcon, Iguana, Ornate Hawk Eagle, Liana, Orchid, Hamboldt's Wooly Monkey, Douroucdis, Termites, Emerald Tree Boa, Two Toed Sloth, Fruit Bat, Keel Billed Toucan, Great Jacamar, Kinkajou, Speckled Owl, Violaceous Togon, Swallow Tailed Kite, Thick Billed Euphonia, Red Throated Piping Guan, Four Eyed Opossom, Toucan, Prebensile Tailed Porcupine, Ocelot, Jaguar, Scarlet Ibis, Tapir, Agoutis, Six Banded Armadilo, Boat Billed Heron, Taxra, Anaconda, and the Paca.

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Endangering The Beautiful Tropical Rain Forest


The tropical rain forest contains 170,000 species of animals out of the worlds 250,000 known species of animals. In almost every typical square mile of the tropical rain forest you should find about 1,500 flowering plants, 750 species of threes, 400 species of birds, and 150 species of butterflies. But soon this will not be true because 1 and a half acres of the rain forest is lost every second of every day and about 137 plant, animal, and insect species are lost every day. Today tropical rain forests cover less than 2% of the earth's surface and that percent is dropping rapidly. The tropical rain forest has so many species of plants and animals because of photosynthesis, which can't happen without leaves, which can't be grown without trees. Everything now depends on what we do!!!!!

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Tropical Rain Forests By: Emilie U. Lepthien

Rain Forest By: Jinny Jhonson

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