Biome: Tropical Rainforests Essay

Submitted By dancer94
Words: 1337
Pages: 6

Tropical Rain Forest

Tropical rainforests cover about 6 percent of the Earth's entire land surface, and they are mostly located around the belt of the equator in the Amazon basin in South America, the Congo basin and some other lowland regions in Africa. Small areas can also be found in Central America and along the Queensland coast of Australia. The Rain forests climate is warm most of the year, but also has a lot of rain throughout the year too. Pretty much my ideal weather. Because the tropical rainforests climate is so warm, it would make sense that it has an average temperature greater than 20 degrees Celsius. The tropical rainforest's temperatures range from 20-25 degrees Celsius and get more than 250 centimeters of rainfall a year, so there is very little seasonal variation in temperature or day length. The main climate control of the tropical rainforest is latitude.
The type of climate that the Rain Forest has is basically ideal for animals. It’s extremely surprising that even though the rainforests cover such a miniscule amount of land mass, they are still what you would consider “home” to the largest number of plant and animal species. Scientists believe that the tropical rainforests possibly hold up to 90 percent of the plant and animal species on earth today. About half of the world's animal species live in all layers of the rainforest. It’s been estimated that there are more than 50 million different kinds of just insects alone in tropical rainforests. Tropical rainforests are pretty much perfect for animal survival. It’s always warm, and there are no season changes, which mean there isn’t a time where food is hard to find. The trees give the animals shade from the heat and shelter from the rain. There are so many creatures living in the rainforest, that it’s always a competition for food, sunlight and space. The animals that live here have had to develop very special features in order to even survive. In other terms they’ve had to “adapt” to their surroundings. Some animals have become so specialized that they have adapted to eating a specific plant or animal, because they know that’s what they will survive off of. An example would be that the parrots and toucans eat nuts, and because they ate nuts for so long, they finally developed really big and very strong beaks to crack open the tough shells. There is one slight problem with specialization though. If one species becomes extinct, the other species is in danger too unless it can adapt in time, which is very hard to do. A lot of rainforest animals use camouflage to blend into their surroundings. Stick insects are perfect examples of this. They look just like tree sticks and blend into the rainforest perfectly. There are also some butterflies that have wings that look just like leaves. On the down side camouflage is also helpful for the predators too. It allows them to see their prey, without their prey seeing them which makes it an easy catch. The Boa Constrictor is an awesome example of a predator who can camouflage themselves.
This climate and biome isn’t only ideal for animals, it’s great for plants as well. With the rainforest usually getting over 80 inches of rain per year, plants have made great adaptations, which help them shed their water efficiently. A good example of this is many plants that exist in these rainforests have leaves that have drip tips, which are exactly for this purpose. Because these trees grow in wet, spongy soils, they also have to have stilt and buttress roots, which provide a lot of extra support, and that’s very suitable for plant growth. Another adaption I found interesting is that the plants have the ability to absorb as much of the little sunlight that comes through to the forest floor. That’s why it's common for these plants to have large leaves, and that increases their capacity to take in the very little sunlight it gets. Some plants, like ferns and orchids grow up in the canopy, where there is a little bit more