The Virtual Rainforest
A Neotropical Rainforest
Rainforest Research


Tree Seedlings

Forest Flowers



Army Ants

Bullet Ants
Leafcutter Ants

Rhinoceros Beetle

Swallowtail Butterfly



Keel-billed Toucan

Howler Monkeys

White-faced Monkeys

Three-toed Sloth
Baird's Tapir
White-lipped Peccary
Reptiles and Amphibians:
Red-eyed Tree Frog
Poison Dart Frog
Helmeted Iguana
Eyelash Viper
Terciopelo Viper
Spectacled Caiman
American Crocodile
Human Systems:
Rainforest Boy
Rainforest Girl
Traditional Ecological Knowledge
Rainforest Research

About the Authors





Rainforest Canopy in NicaraguaThe Neotropical Rainforest

Rain forests occur in regions of the world where over 100 inches (2500 mm) of rain falls annually. Two distinct classes of rain forests exist: Temperate and tropical. The tropical rainforest the most diverse ecosystem on Earth, with an estimated 70% of the Earth's species.

"Neo" tropical rainforests are those found in the New World. Ranging from Mexico to Bolivia and Brazil, the Neotropical rainforest is found where temperature and precipitation create conditions for rapid plant growth (water and warmth) and long growing seasons (no extended dry or cold periods).

Great resources exist for those who want to study the Neotropical Rainforest. The best is a book by Dr. John Kricher, A Neotropical Companion. If you are interested in protecting the rainforest, you should read Dr. John Vandermeer and Dr. Ivette Perfecto's book, Breakfast of Biodiversity.


Suggested Reading:

A Neotropical Companion, by John Kricher. The second edition is much updated.

Breakfast of Biodiversity, by John Vandermeer and Ivette Perfecto.









The Virtual Rainforest

Back to the Rainforest

Copyright Gerald R. Urquhart
Michigan State University

Students and teachers have permission to quote text and use images from this website in class assignments. Images may be used in classroom and academic presentations with notification of author. All other use should request permission.


Virtual Rainforest development supported by grant #0815966 from the
National Science Foundation

Center for Global Change and Earth Observation

Michigan State University