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African Rainforest Plants & Animals

Updated February 21, 2017

The rainforest of central Africa is the second largest rainforest in the world. According to Blue Planet Biomes, rainforest populations account for more then half of the world's plant and animal species. The year-round mild temperatures and heavy rainfall are an ideal landscape for both plants and animals. Each rainforest has species unique to its area.

Trees in the African Rainforest

Trees account for the majority of the plant life in the rainforest, 70 per cent of the total vegetation, according to Blue Planet Biomes. Since the rainforest is a dense landscape, it has four layers: the emergent, upper canopy, understory and forest floor. Coconut trees are commonly found in the African rainforest. The Kapok tree, one of the tallest rainforest tree species, is also found in Africa.

Plant Life in the African Rainforest

Plant life in the African rainforest is highly adapted to its surroundings. Since the rainforest is mostly a dark and humid area with heavy rainfall, plants often have oily surfaces or large leaves to help them make the most of this climate. Certain types of plants, such as orchids, grow directly off the rainforest trees. Vines are also common in rainforests. There are 2,500 species of vines in the rainforest, such as lianas and rattan vines, according to Blue Planet Biomes.

Mammals Native to the African Rainforest

Several mammal species live in the African rainforest. Rainforest mammals can be very brightly coloured and have adapted to living in trees or in dark, humid areas. Examples of African rainforest mammals include the elephant, chimpanzee and Linne's sloth.

Birds Native to the African Rainforest

Due to the large amount of trees in the rainforest, several bird species call the area home. Parrots are the most commonly found bird in rainforests. There are several types of parrots. All parrots are brightly coloured and easily recognisable. Birds of prey are also frequent in the African rainforest. Owls, eagles and vultures are a few examples of predatory birds that live in this climate.

Reptiles and Amphibians of the African Rainforest

The humid climate, dense underbrush and large tree population makes the rainforest an ideal living situation for amphibian wildlife. The G¬łnther's spiny lizard is native to the African rainforest. The lizard is a black and white striped amphibian that lives in the trees of the rainforest.

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About the Author

Amelia Jenkins has more than eight years of professional writing experience, covering financial, environmental and travel topics. Her work has appeared on MSN and various other websites and her articles have topped the best-of list for sites like Bankrate and Kipplinger. Jenkins studied English at Tarrant County College.