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Daintree Rainforest

Part of Tropical Rainforests

Let's start with Daintree - the worlds oldest rainforest! It is estimated to be 180 million years old.

This rainforest is home to thousands of species of birds and wildlife. So far, 12,000 species of insects have been found in the Daintree Forest - that’s lots of food for the bats and birds that live here too!

This rainforest combines mountain ranges and streams, and waterfalls, along with deep gorges and dense forest.

It's not just about the animals and plants, the Kuku Yalanji people are the traditional owners of the rainforest and have lived there for over 50,000 years!

The wildlife in Daintree is many and varied. We like the Cassowary! It has often been called “the worlds most dangerous bird”. Although they are not keen on being near humans and will hide, they will attack if provoked and can give a nasty injury to humans with their claws! You can see a Cassowary in Edinburgh Zoo.

Southern Cassowary at Edinburgh Zoo

They eat mainly fruit and grass seeds but will also eat bugs and small mammals! The Cassowary can run around 50 km per hour and can jump around 1.5m high!

Southern Cassowary
A free ranging Southern Cassowary

There are many different kinds of reptiles living in Daintree, such as goannas - this is a lizard with sharp teeth and claws. The goannas sometimes lay their eggs in termite mounds as they are protected from predators, and the babies can get a tasty meal when they hatch!

A Goanna at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane Australia

All 5 Australian frog species can be found in this region - in fact the largest tree frog in the world lives here - the Giant White Lipped Tree Frog.

White Lipped Tree Frog
White Lipped Tree Frog

It can reach up to 14cm in length. It has a loud barking call, but when it is in distress, it makes a cat-like sound. It eats insects and arthropods and can live for over ten years!

Why not try making a frog with the help of our worksheet. There is a tree that grows in Australias Daintree Forest known as the Idiot Fruit Tree but also known as the Green Dinosaur. It is the oldest and most distinctive of trees in Australia, and it does not grow anywhere else in the world.

The seeds from the Idiospermum australiense - that’s the scientific name is very large - the size of a human fist! The oldest known fossils of the tree date back 120 million years so that is how it gets its dinosaur name.

Termite Mound
Termite Mound in Australia

This page is part of the Tropical Rainforests information.

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