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Rainforest vs Jungle: What’s the Difference?

If you are not a biologist you can find it hard to make a difference between rainforests and jungles. From this article you will learn all there is that makes the difference between the two, and you will never have a problem in identifying and distinguishing rainforests and jungles.

So what are the main differences between rainforests and jungles? Rainforests are made from an array of different tall trees. Those trees make an impenetrable shield from the sun rays, so the forest floor can be even barren and without any vegetation. On the other side, jungle trees allow enough sun rays through their treetops so the ground level is brimming with life and vegetation.

Another big difference is in their impact on the ecological health of the planet. While jungles have only a minor effect on the health of the Earth, rainforests are irreplaceable as the lungs of our planet.

The third big difference is in the naming and the location of the two – jungles are always been connected with the forests in the Indian region, while rainforests are the trademark of the Brazil Amazon region.

Another interesting fact is that when a part of the rainforest is cleared, more light can penetrate the ground floor, turning the whole ecosystem from a rainforest to a jungle.

Now you know the main differences between rainforests and jungles, but there are more, a lot more! From the rest of the article, you will learn the differences between animal life in these ecosystems, and which well-known ecosystems are rainforests and which are jungles. Stay with us and learn why both of these habitats are so important for our planet.

Rainforest Jungle
Made out of dense trees Most of the vegetation is near the ground
Almost zero vegetation life near the ground Trees are not that dense
No sunlight on the lower levels A lot of light through all the layers of vegetation


What Defines Rainforests And Jungles

Rainforests are primordial forests that are brimming with life for thousands of years. They have a tick treetop of old and tall trees that don`t allow the sun to touch the ground. A lot of different and rare insects live in the rainforests, and much of them are still not discovered. Most of the world’s oxygen is made in these forests.

Jungles are forests usually located in the tropical climate. They don`t have a dense tree line and are mostly made out of vegetation that is close to the ground. This vegetation is impenetrable for a human, and if anyone wants to explore a jungle it should arm himself with some tools that can be used for cutting these low vegetation.

Rainforest And Jungle Animal Life

Rainforests and jungles are home to a wide array of animals from mammal, reptile, fish, and bird families. Some of them share both of the living spaces, like Gorillaz, Jaguars, and Forest Elephants, but some are a part of only one ecosystem.

  • Some of the common, but generally rare animals that live in the jungle are:
  • Bongos – a forest cousin of an antelope
  • Bonobos – a type of primate, that is our closest living relative besides chimpanzees. Besides bonobos, in the jungle live chimpanzees and gorillaz.
  • Forest Elephant – this critically endangered animal is one of the smaller elephants from this family of elephants
  • Gaur – a cousin of American and European bison. It is the largest mammal in this animal group, weighting around 1.5 metric tons
  • Southern Cassowary – comes from the Emy family, and it is the third tallest bird, after the two kinds of ostrich
  • Bothrops Asper – one of the most deadly snakes in the world. If you want to explore the jungles of Central and Southern America watch out for these deadly reptiles.

These animals are more common for rainforests:

  • Okapi – it doesn’t have the neck of the giraffe, but it is its closest living relative. Its color helps it blend into the forest and hide from predators.
  • Capybara – is the largest rodent on earth and is a cousin of a guinea pig.
  • Scarlet Macaw – this large parrot can be an icon of a rainforest. Its feathers are in red, yellow, and blue, and they are a sight to see. Another rare feature of this parrot is that they are mating during their whole life.


Categorization Of Well Known Forests

From time to time you can run into an article that covers the topic of famous forests around the world. From the table below you can find out which one are counted as rainforests or jungles. Note that some of these forests have elements of both ecosystems, so you can count them both ways.

Amazon Jungle
Hawaii Jungle
Costa Rica Rainforest
Daintree Jungle
Kinably National Park Jungle
Sinharaja Forest Reserve Rainforest

FAQ About Forests

Q: How much percent of the planet is covered with rainforests and jungles?

A: In 2015. they covered around 8% of the land surface, or below 3% of the total Earth surface.

Q: Often is said that rainforests are important for everyone in the world. Why is that?

A: A lot of rare and usable plants are found in the rainforests. They can be used in cosmetics, medicine, and other fields. Besides that rainforests are known as the lungs of the Earth.

Q: Is there a way to protect rainforests and jungles?

A: Protecting these forests should be easy because they survived for thousands of years. The key is not taking too much at once. Forest can grow themselves if you allow them time and space.

We hope that you learned something valuable from this article, and if you like this kind of content keep an eye on our website, because we will keep covering a lot of interesting topics for you to read!

James Smith

James is a passionate explorer and the creative mind behind, a platform dedicated to unraveling captivating distinctions. With an insatiable curiosity, he uncovers hidden nuances in various aspects of life, from cultural traditions to scientific phenomena. James believes that appreciating differences fosters personal growth and societal empathy.