Rainforests have great biodiversity . It is estimated that up to half of the species that inhabit the planet are living in this ecosystem. We can find jungles of this type in the vicinity of Ecuador, South America, Africa, some islands of Southeast Asia, Mexico, Central America, Madagascar, Indochina or the Northwest of Australia and in them we can find fascinating and very varied animals.
What are the conditions of the rainforests?
The conditions that occur in the tropical forests are characteristic of the low latitudes in which they are found, having an average temperature of around 25ºC to 30ºC throughout the year and rains that can occur throughout the year, even daily. , it is common for them to reach a minimum volume of 100 mm up to about 400 inches of rainfall per year, although this is quite variable. What is common is that these forests reach a very high humidity , from 75 to 90%. These forests, unlike others, do not vary much in conditions over a year, but are more or less stable. Given this great humidity and heat, large accumulations of clouds are created over these jungles.
Due to this high degree of humidity, they are also very dense forests in terms of vegetation, with broad-leaved vegetation being common: trees, shrubs, ferns, etc. That prevent sunlight from reaching the ground, so the development of mosses and fungi is also favored.
These jungles are usually divided into 4 zones or strata (from top to bottom) and different animals inhabit them, since in each stratum there are somewhat different conditions.
- Emerging stratum : it is the area determined by the tallest trees, which are usually hardwood and broad leaf, reaching up to 60 meters in height. In this area, the strong wind blows and carries away the seeds, which are deposited in the surrounding land for the new generation. It is an area inhabited by bats, butterflies, monkeys and birds .
- Canopy stratum : it is considered the primary layer of the forest. It is made up of a labyrinth of branches and leaves that protect the lower strata from sunlight and rain. Food is abundant in this area and you can find butterflies, frogs, toucans and snakes .
- Understory layer: also protects the lower layer from sunlight. In this stratum, shrubs of up to 4 meters live, and it is home to most insects, tree frogs, snakes, jaguars and leopards .
- Soil stratum : it is a very dark area, where hardly any vegetation develops. It is covered with soil, shoots, branches and twigs. This area is home to so-called soil recyclers, such as giant anteaters, cockroaches and large millipedes . They are called recyclers because they are animals that eat and decompose leaves or plants.
In these jungles there are so many animals that not all the species that inhabit them have yet been documented. Some examples of animals that live in the jungle , both carnivores and herbivores, are:
- Jaguars : they are common in the jungles of America, it is the largest predator in the jungle with other cats and crocodiles. It is a feline with golden and yellow fur with some small reddish to black spots. They can reach 130 kg in weight and 2.30 meters. It is an opportunistic carnivore that feeds on mammals, reptiles, insects, fish, and invertebrates.
- Pumas: feline up to two meters and 72 kg in weight. It feeds on insects and large ungulates.
- Ocelot: feline with spotted fur and medium size that measures up to 90 centimeters and weighs 11 kg. It feeds on rodents, monkeys or reptiles. It is one of the Animals in danger of extinction in Mexico .
- Tiger: the largest feline there is. The tiger is a very fast animal that can reach 300 kg in weight and 380 centimeters.
- Nile crocodile: it is a reptile that lives in the jungles of Africa. It feeds on mammals, fish, or other reptiles. Above all, he captures them when they come to drink.
- Elephant: they are relatively medium elephants for their species, up to eight feet. There is an African elephant and Asian elephants, like the Sumatran elephant , that live in the jungle. The rest of the elephants that are larger live in areas such as the African savannah and not in jungles.
- Capybaras: they are the largest rodents. They live in herds and are of twilight activity
- Cockatoos: there are up to 21 species of cockatoos in the jungle. They are very showy birds.
Other rainforest animals include leopards, panthers, lemurs, anteaters, rock pythons, mambas, tapirs, eagles, macaws, and numerous species of parrots, ostriches, chimpanzees, and other monkeys.