Gifts from the Rain Forest

Imagine a place with a green canopy overhead made completely of large, lush leaves. Imagine a place with unusual creatures peeking at you with their bright eyes from above and below. It might sound like a fantasy, but places like that do exist. They are called rain forests. You might not know it, but you enjoy gifts from the rain forest every day.

Tropical rain forests grow in a band around Earth's equator. They are vital for the ecology of the planet. Perhaps the most important gift from the rain forest is air. Plants produce oxygen. They also remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Millions of plants and animals live in the rain forests. Rain forests are abundant, amazing habitats.

The rain forests give us many delicious gifts, too. Cocoa, coffee, and tea come from rain forest plants. Rain forests contain over 3,000 types of fruit. Native people live in the rain forests and eat many of these fruits. People in the western world eat about 200 kinds of rain forest fruits, including papayas, bananas, guavas, and pineapples. And if you think that oranges have a lot of vitamin C, you should know about the camu camu tree. Its fruit has thirty times more vitamin C than oranges.

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