Land Biomes: Tropical Rainforests

Rainforest
Aerial view of the rainforest in the State of Sarawak - Borneo Island, Malaysia. DEA/S. BOUSTANI/De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images

Biomes

Biomes are the world's major habitats. These habitats are identified by the vegetation and animals that populate them. The location of each land biome is determined by the regional climate.

Tropical Rain Forests

Tropical rainforests are characterized by dense vegetation, seasonally warm temperatures, and abundant rainfall. The animals that dwell here depend on trees for housing and food.

Climate

Tropical rain forests are very hot and wet.

They can average between 6 and 30 feet of precipitation per year. The average temperature is fairly constant ranging from about 77 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit.

Location

Tropical rain forests are typically located in areas of the world that are near the equator. Locations include:

  • Africa - Zaire basin and Madagascar
  • Central America - Amazon River Basin
  • Hawaii
  • West India
  • Southeast Asia
  • Australia

Vegetation

A great variety of plants can be found in tropical rain forests. Enormous trees as tall as 150 feet tall form an umbrella canopy over the forest that blocks out the sunlight for plants in the lower canopy and forest floor. Some examples of rainforest plants include: kapok trees, palm trees, strangler fig trees, banana trees, orange trees, ferns, and orchids.

Wildlife

Tropical rain forests are home to the majority of plant and animal species in the world. Wildlife in the tropical rain forest is very diverse.

Animals include a variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects. Examples are: monkeys, gorillas, jaguars, anteaters, lemurs, snakes, bats, frogs, butterflies, and ants. Rain forest creatures have characteristics such as bright colors, distinctive markings, and grasping appendages. These traits help the animals adapt to life in the rain forest.