Jungle Facts for Kids
Have you ever dreamed of getting your jungle kit on and going exploring to see what you’ll find in the jungle? Well you can of course, but here we’ll explore the jungle with you so you’ll be all jungled up!
Did you know that only 6% of the land on Earth is covered by jungles and rainforests, but amazingly half of all species live there? That’s amazing. There are all sorts of creatures that make the jungle their home! Let’s go exploring.
What is a Jungle?
A jungle is an overgrown place with wild tangles and webs of vegetation and very dense forest.
Is it a jungle or a rainforest? Well they are actually very similar, but rainforests have a thick canopy of tall trees that hardly let any light in, and a jungle is more bright and sunny, which makes it easier for plants to grow.
The extra light in a jungle creates a thick carpet of plants and vegetation. It’s definitely not easy to make your way around here.
Jungles are often on the edge of rainforests, so they’re pretty close to each other.
There are just heaps of plants and animals that live in jungles, and you could see some awesome things if you decided to become an explorer.
Jungles are mostly in warm places that have lots of rain, all the better for those plants to grow.
Jungle Facts for Kids
- Right at the bottom of the jungle is the floor. It doesn’t have many nutrients in the soil, as so many of the plants that grow on the floor stay green all year round.
- The forest floor is like one big moving mat of insects that are really good at eating up anything that falls or dies. The ants alone weigh four times more than all the jungle mammals! No way! There is an average of 800 ants to every square metre.
- Some of these creatures have even turned themselves into farmers. They create little gardens made of fungi. They look after them, prune them, fertilise them with their poop, yes gross but true, and they even clean them with bacteria to keep their nice neat gardens parasite free. How cool is that?
- So, we’ve got heaps of ants but then there is another mysterious animal called the tapir that lives on the jungle floor. They kind of look like a mix between a pig and an anteater. However, these strange looking animals are the last survivors of a large family of mammals that have hardly changed over 20 million years. That’s amazing!
- Tapirs were once found on every continent but there are only four species left; there are three in Central and South America and one in south east Asia. They are perfectly adapted to life in warm, wet forests and they clearly love it. Very little is known about the tapir; how their families work, where they sleep and even their strange birdlike whistles.
- This is amazing! The world’s 54 billion domestic chickens descend from the red jungle fowl. It is a pheasant indigenous to the jungles of south east Asia. The jungle fowl is quite the active pheasant and very quizzy. They think nothing of flying away to get away from predators. Their eggs are half the size of a domestic chicken’s but the shells are twice as thick.
- You also get animals like chimps, jaguars, gorillas, koala bears, lemurs, leopard, monkeys and tigers. Keep a sharp lookout to keep yourself safe it you visit a jungle!
- Where does the word ‘jungle’ come from? Well it comes from a Sanskrit word which means ‘uncultivated land’. Pretty accurate considering how thick it is in there! Sanskrit is an ancient language from India.
- Ever heard of the saying ‘The Law of the Jungle’? It actually comes from Rudyard Kipling’s book called the Jungle Book, which was published way back in 1894! It’s still going strong today.
- This is pretty weird if you think about it. Lions are called ‘The King of the Jungle’ but they don’t live anywhere near the jungle. They live in areas of grassland and savannah, which is a grassy plain with few trees.
- There are ropes in the Jungle and if you’ve seen Tarzan flying through the jungle, then he’s actually hanging on swing-like ropes called lianas. This is from the Latin word ‘ligare’ which means ‘to bind’. They snake their way up trees towards the light and then twist themselves around the top of the trees and bind the treetops together. They can live for hundreds of years and can be as long as 1.6km. It would be awesome to go swinging through the jungle on one of those.
- Jungles have heaps of figs and they are one of the important species in the jungle. There are over 800, yes 800, varieties of them. That’s a lot of figs to choose from. They grow all year round, so they’re like a cafeteria for the animals…nice and easy food for them.
- So, do you feel jungle smart now? We hope you enjoyed our interesting facts about jungles!