Rainforests are forests that experience a high level of rainfall.
Scientists believe that there may be millions of plant and insect species in rainforests that have yet to be discovered.
Rainforests used to cover 14% of the Earths surface but due to deforestation now only cover around 6%.
A wide variety of animals live in rainforests, including birds, snakes, insects, jaguars, cougars, chameleons, turtles, frogs, and many more.
Temperate rainforests lie in the temperate zones (between the tropics and the polar circles) of the globe. They are found in a few regions scattered around the world such as western North America, south-eastern Australia and New Zealand.
Tropical rainforests lie in the tropics (around 28 degrees north or south of the equator). They are found in many areas near the equator such as Asia, Africa, Central America and the Pacific Islands.
TropicalTemperate Temperatureswarmcool Number of tree species many (hundreds) few (10-20) Types of leaves broadleafneedles Age of trees years years Epiphytes lots of different kinds including orchids and bromeliads mostly mosses and ferns Decomposition rate rapidslow
A number of tribes in areas such as central Africa and Brazil still live in rainforests, having no contact with the outside world.
The Amazon rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest in the world, covering over five and a half a million square kilometres (1.4 billion acres).
20% of the worlds bird species live in the Amazon rainforest.
There are also a number of dangerous species living in the Amazon rainforest such as the cougar, jaguar and anaconda.
In both 2005 and 2010 the Amazon rainforest suffered severe droughts that killed off large amounts of vegetation in the worst affected areas.
While the protection of the Amazon rainforest remains an issue, deforestation rates have been reducing while areas of conserved land have been increasing over the last 10 years.