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Head in the Clouds: The Cloud Forest

Quick! Name three things you would find in a rainforest! Let’s see: How about lots of tall, tall trees, tropical looking flowers and hot, steamy temperatures. That is all true, but here is something else to think about: clouds — and lots of them.

Besides the tropical rainforests of the world, there is another type of rainforest called a cloud forest. Cloud forests are found in the high mountains of tropical regions. The world here is very different from the hot and humid conditions of the rainforest. Cloud forests are often covered with mist and fog; the temperatures are cooler here too.

Cloud Forest Tropical Rainforest Mount Kinabal Borneo
Instead of tall trees, the trees in the cloud forests are often bent and crooked. This is because they are exposed to the sun, wind and cold. But there is no shortage of plant life here either. Deep green mosses and ferns thrive here as do a type of plant called epiphyte. These plants attach themselves to another plant or tree. This allows them to get the nutrients they need to grow.

Cloud forests are located all over the world, including Mexico, Central America, Africa and Southeast Asia.

Which type of rainforest appeals to you? Why?

Rainforest Kids Science curriculum connection: Unit 4: Chapter 1, Lesson 3, Grade 2; Unit 1: Chapter 1, Lesson 5, Grades 3-5

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