The rainforest climate and environment is unique to areas situated on the Equator, where the hottest and most diverse climates on Earth can be found. Although the temperature stays around 20-28ï¿½ Celsius, there is also abundant rainfall, with an average of about 1500mm per year (though sometimes exceeding 4000mm per year). The rainforest is not particularly seasonal, with rainfall spread evenly throughout the year. Drought and frost are not issues in rainforest areas.
Over long periods of time, animals have adapted well to this varied climate, whether it be finding other methods of transportation through the rainforest undergrowth, or growing other leaves as a method of defence.
The pineapple is a good example of the latter adaptation mentioned. The pineapple is distinguishable by its large, green, spiky leaves, protruding from the top of the fruit. The pineapple has many relatives plentiful in the rainforest, which share some of the discernible characteristics of the pineapple itself, most notably the great green leaves. This adaptation prevents animals from eating the juicy interior of the pineapple. Scientists say that there are huge numbers of animals and insects in the rainforest, so an adaptation like that is a huge advantage.
An example of an especially adapted animal, in terms of surviving in the rainforest, can be seen in the flying squirrel. The flying squirrel is actually like a normal squirrel, except for one crucial adaptation. When the squirrel jumps off a tree to “fly”, it stretches its legs out on either side and skin connects the feet to one another. So essentially it has its own little “glider” constantly attached to its body, enabling the squirrel easier access to other areas of the rainforest, as well as a huge advantage In terms of catching prey, in that it can fly from tree to tree and therefore have a greater range and variety of food to eat.
An example of animal life very similar in terms of adaptation to the flying squirrel is the “flying snake”. The snake, instead of having “wings” or any other means of flight, propels itself into the air at high speed. While elevated, the snake moves with a coiling action to drive itself even further, and thus mastering “flight”, however unconventional it may be. This is a great advantage to the snake, as it also gives it a quick and easy option of escape, if ever it feels threatened. As well as this, the forest floor is not exactly the ideal habitat for a snake or its size and stature…
The rainforest floor is alive tarantulas and other such insects and predators. Most notably, the poison dart frog is a particularly notorious inhabitant of the rainforest, chiefly in the Amazon rainforest. This frog is able to inject the most potent natural poison in the biological world, although humans are able to handle it safely. The scarlet red colour of the frog is also an indication of the potency of the poison. And this characteristic is then used as a warning to predators of the fact that the frog is poisonous.
Although as well as creatures, humans have adapted well to the rainforest environment, and tribes of people living in the rainforest have spent hundreds of years, learning the rainforest inside out; the different uses of the plants, which animals are poisonous and which are not….the list is endless. Although the lives of these people may seem indescribably hard and peculiar to inhabitants of large cities (such as London) this is what they are used to, and the fact that reportedly two acres of rainforest is being cut down every second puts the lives of these people in danger, as their home and living environment is demolished as a result of this action.
One of the successes of these people living in the environment that they do, is the way everything is so coherent and human and animal live side by side. For instance, there is a specific substance, which Amazonian people have found repels insects, which they spread all over their body’s which is essentially a huge benefit to the Amazonians.
The climate of the rainforest is hugely unique and an asset to this world. The enormous variety of animals and plants living there is incredible, however humans just take it for granted, and that has to stop, before this beautiful environment is taken away forever.