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What is a tropical rain forest?

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Quick Answer

A tropical rain forest is a biome that gets at least 79 inches of rain every year and has a year-round temperature of between 68 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Biologists believe that as many as 30 million species of plants and animals live in tropical rain forests around the world.

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What is a tropical rain forest?
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Full Answer

Though they only make up around 6 percent of the land surface of the planet, tropical rain forests are abundant in both plant and animal life. Rainforests generally have four layers. The forest floor is largely empty of plants, because the sunlight doesn't reach it.

The understory gets a bit more sunlight, and this is where large-leaved plants are found. Their leaves are large so they can catch any sunlight that's available, and the plants don't grow very tall. This is where many of the animals of the tropical rain forest live. These include jaguars, insects and tree frogs.

The canopy is, as its name suggests, a roof over the understory and the forest floor. The plants usually have oval, pointed leaves, and food is plentiful. Some birds and snakes can be found in the canopy.

The tropical rain forest's tallest trees are in the emergent layer. Some of them are 200 feet tall and are hardwoods with broad leaves. However, they are also evergreens. Eagles, more monkeys and bats live here.

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