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Nowhere is there more light, warmth and moisture than in the tropical rain forests of South-east Asia, West Africa and South America. As a result, these areas are covered by the densest and richest mass of plants to be found anywhere in the world. Technically, these areas are described as evergreen rain forest; they are, however, more commonly known as jungle.

1 ) Why are tropical rain forests covered by dense vegetation ?


Compared to the forests further north, conditions within the tropical rain forests hardly change at all. Being close to the equator, the amount of sunshine and the length of the day remain almost the same throughout the year. The only variation in the rainfall is a marginal one - from wet to a little bit wetter.

2 ) Why does the amount of sunshine and the length of day vary so little?


It has been like this for so long that, in comparison, all other environments except the oceans, seem merely temporary phases: lakes fill with mud and turn to swamps inside decades; plains turn to deserts within centuries; even mountains are worn down by glaciers within millions of years. But the hot, humid, unvarying jungle has been standing on the lands around the earth's equator for tens of millions of years.

3 ) Which of the following environments share the unvarying nature of the jungle?


This stability may be one of the causes of the unbelievable diversity of life that exists there today. The great forest trees are far more varied than their uniform smooth trunks and nearly identical leaves suggest. Only when they produce their flowers is it evident how many different species there are among them.

4 ) The great variety of vegetation in the jungle can best be seen from the


The numbers are astounding. In one hectare of jungle, it is common to find well over a hundred different kinds of tall trees. And this diversity is not restricted to plant-life: over 600 species of birds live in the jungle of the Amazon, and the number of insects there is impossible to estimate accurately. Biologists in Panama collected from just one species of tree over 950 different species of beetles alone. Considering insects as a whole, including spiders, millipedes and such like, scientists estimate that there may be as many as 40,000 different species in a single hectare of South American forest.

5 ) The total number of different species in the Amazon forest is

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