and subtropical rainforests in the lowland usually have
four very distinct layers with different plants and animals, adapted
for life in that particular area:
Emergent trees are spaced wide
apart, and are 164 to 240 feet (50 - 70 m) tall with umbrella-shaped canopies
that grow above the forest. Eagles, butterflies, bats and certain monkeys
inhabit this layer.
The upper canopy usually consists
of 100 to 130 ft tall trees (30 - 40 m), which form with their adjacent
tree tops a more or less close roof over the two remaining layers. It is
the area with the biggest diversity of species and it is understood to
be home to 40% of all plant species! The fauna is
similar to that of the Emergent layer, including also snakes, toucans and
The understorey gets only little sunshine
and one can find here many shrubs, 60 ft. (18 m) trees and young growth.
It is home for an abundance of birds, snakes, lizards and insects, but
also for predators, like jaguars, leopards, boa constrictors and armadillos.
The forest floor is in constant shade.
Thus, the forest floor has almost no vegetation and the humid, warm conditions
promote a rapid decay of plant and animal matter. Many forms of fungi and
giant anteaters can be found here.
However - where there is no close canopy for any reason and the sunlight
can reach the ground of the rainforest, as along the river banks, an impenetrable
jungle will develop quickly. And this was, what we experienced
at the rainforest village Kuranda - jungle in the rainforest - an exciting