A tale of destruction and survival
The Equatorial Rainforest, a place on earth like no other. The sights, the smells, the sounds. For life in the rainforest every day is a new adventure, a constant battle for survival. For animals, it’s eat, or be eaten. For plants, its reach upward for sunlight, or die. This is the tale of the rainforest, of its destruction, and of its survival.
What are rainforests?
Rainforests occur in both temperate and tropical regions. Tropical rainforests occur in three major regions: Asia, Africa and in Central and South America. The name 'tropische Regenwald' meaning 'tropical rainforest' was first defined in 1898 by A. Schimper, a German botanist. Most of the world's rainforests fall on either side of the Equator between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer. Forests close to the Equator which receive year round drenching are known as evergreen equatorial rainforests. Rain in these areas falls at a rate of between 160 and 400 inches a year; there is no winter, days and nights are equal in length and a consistently high temperature of around 80 degrees is maintained.
Rainforests are usefully divided into four layers; the emergent layer, the canopy, the understory and the forest floor. Each level is home to a unique variety of animals many of whom rarely cross between the different layers.
The emergent layer gets its name because trees emerge randomly from the main forest roof. Most of the trees at this level reach 160 feet but some attain heights of 200 feet or more. Pavilion trees are able to withstand burning sun, strong winds and torrential rain showers.
The crowns of trees in the canopy form an almost closed roof on the forest below. It is often further divided into upper and lower canopy. Because the top of the canopy basks in almost constant sunlight and can absorb light more easily, trees tend to have smaller leaves than those at a lower level. Usually trees are...