This region lies between 0° to 5° latitude in both hemispheres. Equatorial climatic region is found in Amazon Basin and Guinea Coast in South America, Congo Basin and Guinea Coast in Africa, Malaysia and East Indies. The equatorial region is rich in various species of wild birds and animals. About 90% of the living species of the world are found here.
As we know equatorial climate is near from the sun, the direct sun rays fall over there, which causes extreme hot throughout the year. The average temperature of this region is 27°C throughout the year. Days and night are equal and there is no change in season. The heavy convectional rainfall (evaporation in land) takes place everyday throughout the year the noon.
The forest found in this region is dense evergreen forest due to hot and wet climate (rainfall). The trees are tall with hard wood and broad leaves. The main species of the tress are Mahogany, Rose wood, Sal, Bamboo, Rubber, etc.
Tropical Grassland Climate
Tropical grassland climatic region is found between 5° to 20° Latitudes in both hemispheres. This region is situated between the hot desert in the north and equatorial climate in the south. Brazilian Highlands, parts of Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina in South America, Sudan, Senegal, Queensland of Australia, Cuba, Jamaica and Pacific islands in Central America are the major areas found in this region.
Generally, there are only two types of seasons found in this region i.e. summer and winter. The summer is hot and the temperature during the summer is 32°C. The rainfall varies from 50 cm to 150 cm during summer because of the influences of trade wind. The winter is cold and dry with the average temperature of 14°C. Due to less rainfall, very little number of about trees grows here.
As the land is fertile there because of the humus grass, the land has been covered by the tall and dense grasses which are about 10 ft. tall. The elephant grass is about 4m tall. They have long roots which help them to take the required minerals for their growth and development. Umbrella shaped and scattered trees are only found there because of dry land. The climate of this region can support to grow thick and long grasses, scrubby bushes and shrubs. Few numbers of umbrella-shaped and swollen trunk trees are found here but they survive due to less rainfall that occurs there. This region is called Savanna in Africa.
The savanna climatic zone is home of carnivorous and herbivorous animals. Millions of animals of different species such as lions, tigers, rhinoceros, zebra, elephants, giraffe, etc. are found here. That is why this region is called Zoo of the worlds. It is also the home of many birds like ostrich, emus, etc. These birds live on the land where there are few trees. These birds are large and heavy and have long necks and legs which give them a wider range of vision.
Tropical Desert Climate
Tropical hot desert lies between 20° and 30° latitudes especially, in the northern hemispheres. Most of the deserts lie on the western sides of the continents because of dry trade winds that blow to the western parts of the continents. Sahara and Kalahari deserts in Africa, Arabian, Iranian and Thar Deserts in Asia, Arizona and Mexican deserts in North America, The great Australian desert in Australia etc. are the major areas found in this region. The climate of tropical desert is very hot throughout the year. The daytime temperature may rise up to 49°C and the night temperature fall to 10°C. The rainfall is unreliable as the trade wind blocks the rainfall.
Natural vegetation is very poor in the desert region. Most of the desert vegetation has long roots to collect water from the deep surface. Cactus and thorny plants are the major natural vegetations. They have capacity to store the water into their stem and leaves. So, it can survive in the hot desert.
Most of the desert animals are small and move about only in the cool hours of night or early in the morning. Kangaroo Rat eats the leaves of the cactus to get water required for their survival. They live in the burrows during the days and come out at night to eat the leaves of the vegetation found there. And other animals like rats, lizards, snakes also live in the bushes where they can avoid heat. They go for hunting at night and survive by hunting the living creatures found in the desert. Camels are the ship of the desert and are the best example of adaptation to the desert condition. Their skin is very thick so, they can survive extreme heat. They store water in the hump, so they can survive for 6 months without drinking water. They have flat feet therefore they can walk easily on the sand. Desert fox gets liquid from the small creatures as they kill and get the blood required for their survival.
Oasis is the place or area where water is found in the desert. Date palm is found in this region. It is tall enough and is the important tree of this region. Its stem is used for timber, leaves for roof, bark for making ropes and mats. It also gives juicy fruits.
Tropical Monsoon Climate
The tropical monsoon climate extends between 5° and 30° latitude. It covers most of India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand and other parts of Asia and Northern Australia. In summer, the rain bearing winds blow from sea to land, and dry winds blow from land to sea in winter. The annual temperature ranges from 32°C in summer and 15°C in winter. It is characterized by hot wet summer and cold dry winter. Rainfall varies from 25cm to 300cm from place to place.
The natural vegetation mostly comprises of deciduous forest, but others are also present. The vegetation also varies according to the rainfall. Evergreen forests are found in areas with rainfall over 200cm, deciduous forests in areas with 100cm to 200cm rainfall, and tall grasses and thorny shrubs in areas with less than 100cm rainfall.
Evergreen trees like leak, rubber, bamboo etc are found here. The deciduous forests like Sal, Acacia, Eucalyptus, etc. are present and the soil is highly favorable for agriculture. There are varieties of wildlife and existence of different species of animals, birds etc. Wild animals like leopards, tigers, monkeys, etc are found in this region. Species of birds like peacocks, hornbill, parrot, etc. are abundant. Reptiles like snakes, alligators, crocodiles, lizards, etc. are also found in this region.
Human response to similar climatic conditions has been more progressive in Indonesia and Malaysia. They have practiced intensive agriculture. Plantation has been established especially in Java, Sumatra and Malaysia. Malaysia and Indonesia are the leading producers of rubber in the world. Oil palm is grown in Malaysia. Mahogany, ebony, and rosewood are important trees found in this forest from which furniture is made. Many minerals like copper, iron, tin, manganese, uranium are also mined. They are exposed to the European people, who are educated and have developed civilization.
For long time the Indians of the Amazon forest lived by hunting and gathering forest products. They are far behind from the people who live at the same latitude in the east. Only some, more advanced, forest dwellers pursue shifting to agriculture. These people are not exposed to the outer and western worlds. They are less educated and have shown little development in human civilization.
The characteristics of the climate found in the equatorial zone are: