Jungle Vs Forest: Fascinating Differences Revealed For Kids!

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Jan 24, 2024 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Nov 18, 2021
The sky over a riverside forest.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 3.9 Min

We have all used the terms 'jungle' and 'forest' in place of each other many times.

However, they are pretty different. Both of them have different climate conditions and types of species.

Wood, forest, and jungle may all seem to be synonyms, but they have different purposes in the world. The word jungle gets its origin from the Sanskrit word 'jangala', which means a rough or arid terrain. A jungle is a mass of vegetation full of thick trees and underbrush. In contrast to the meaning of the original word, jungles are not arid, and most jungles have tropical weather due to the presence of diverse plant and animal life.

Forests, on the other hand, are similar to jungles in the way that they both are land-covered with trees. Though forests are dominated by trees, jungles have both flora (plants) and fauna (animals) in proportionate ratios.

You can randomly walk around in a forest and maybe spot a deer. However, the jungle is full of impenetrable vegetation thanks to the tangled undergrowth of plants and dense trees. Jungles are also considered dangerous for humans.

What other factors are responsible for the classification of forests and jungles? Why not scroll further and find out?

You may also be interested in this fun facts article about ocean facts for kids or this one about whether lions live in the jungle.

Which one is bigger, the forest or jungle?

Scientifically, a jungle is also a forest. The word jungle is not a scientific term. It was used during the 70s to refer to tropical forests.

Forests and jungles (tropical rainforests) come in a variety of sizes; some are bigger and some are smaller. Typically, forests and jungles are considered bigger than woods. A woodland is an area of land covered with a lower density of trees than in forests or jungles, and the tree canopy is far smaller than in forests.

However, woods can become forests over time. When a woodland becomes dense and covers over 10% of the land with its tree canopy, it can be classified as a forest.

The biggest forest in the world is the boreal or taiga forest. It spans 386,102.159 sq m (1,000,000 km) and resides in the northern hemisphere.

The smallest tropical rainforest or jungle in the world is the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, located in Malaysia, and covers only 10 ha of land.

How is a jungle different from a forest?

Jungles and forests are different as a forest has tree-dominant life-forms, whereas jungles are covered with both overgrown trees and have diverse species of animals. Both cover a large area of land and cover it with dense trees.

Another difference is that a forest must have tall trees of at least 16 ft (4.57 m) and over a 10% tree canopy. Jungles don't have such classifications. Forests also don't have much undergrowth, vegetation, bushes, or shrubs. A forest floor is mostly covered with branches, leaves, and stems.

Jungles have impenetrable and tangled vegetation on their floor. The massive growth of diverse small trees and creepers is found there.

There are three major types of forests known as temperate forests, tropical forests, and taiga forests. They are classified based on their latitudes. All these forests have a dense canopy of trees. Forests have covered over 31 % of the global land area.

Temperate forests have two sub-categories: deciduous forests and coniferous forests. They can be found in China, Japan, Western Europe, New Zealand, southwestern America, and more places.

Jungle of Mossy Trees.

Do both a jungle and a forest have different animal habitats?

Both jungles and forests have different animal habitats due to their climate and floor.

Jungles provide a home to most varieties of animals such as monkeys, crocodiles, snakes, lions, tigers, chimpanzees, vultures, and more. Due to their density, we haven't fully explored all jungles. It is possible that several species of fauna have not been discovered yet.

Forests have animals like deers, possums, rabbits, bobcats, and moose living in them.

Is the Amazon a forest or a jungle?

The jungle is a type of tropical rainforest. The word jungle has been used colloquially and has no scientific relation.

The Amazon is considered to be a massive tropical rainforest and covers 2,3000,000 sq m (6,000,000 sq km). It is located in South America and occupies the Amazon river basin.

Did you know that Russia is the country that has the most trees in the world? Forests cover over 809,090,000 ha (1999304930.91 ac), and that is approximately 49.4 % of Russia's landmass.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 'Jungle vs forest: fascinating difference facts revealed for kids!', then why not take a look at 'Cockroach life cycle: fascinating facts on roaches revealed for kids!', or 'Bumblebee vs honeybee: cool difference facts between buzzing bees'?

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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