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Tropical Greenhouse in a Zoo

What is a Tropical Greenhouse

A tropical greenhouse, often a prominent feature in many of Europe’s zoos, is a fascinating world that needs unraveling. It’s a carefully crafted ecosystem designed to mimic the humid, warm conditions of Earth’s tropics, teeming with a diverse range of exotic flora and fauna.

The charm of these tropical greenhouses is their ability to transport visitors to the heart of a lush rainforest, even in the chill of a European winter.

Which European Zoos have a Tropical Greenhouse

The Eden Project, United Kingdom

The Eden Project is a unique and awe-inspiring ecological attraction located in Cornwall, England. The gigantic biome structures house thousands of plant species from different environments around the world. The Rainforest Biome, a tropical greenhouse, replicates a tropical rainforest environment and is home to a vast array of tropical plants and birds.

The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken, Belgium

The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken, situated in Belgium, are a stunning example of 19th-century architecture. These Victorian-style greenhouses are part of the Royal Palace of Laeken, and are open to the public for a few weeks every year. The complex includes a tropical greenhouse that exhibits a diverse range of tropical flora, offering an enchanting experience to its visitors.

Jardin des Plantes, France

Located in Paris, the Jardin des Plantes boasts an impressive tropical greenhouse known as the Grandes Serres. This historic greenhouse, with its elevated ironwork and expansive glass panels, replicates the conditions of a tropical rainforest, housing a wide variety of tropical plants.

The Bioparc, Spain

The Bioparc in Valencia, Spain, incorporates a tropical greenhouse known as the ‘Equatorial Africa’ zone. This immersive exhibit mimics a tropical rainforest and allows visitors to walk through a breathtaking landscape of waterfalls, streams, and a spectrum of tropical plants and animals.

Hortus Botanicus, The Netherlands

The Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam, one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, is home to several greenhouses. Among them, the Three Climate Greenhouse stands out. One part of this multi-climate greenhouse mimics the conditions of a tropical rainforest, housing an assortment of tropical plants.

By visiting these amazing tropical greenhouses across Europe, one can glimpse the rich biodiversity of the tropics without leaving the continent. Not only do they offer an enjoyable day out for families and nature lovers, but they also provide an educational experience and promote the importance of conservation and biodiversity.

Eden Project’s Rainforest Biome: The largest Tropical Greenhouse

Eden Project’s Rainforest Biome, United Kingdom

The Eden Project’s Rainforest Biome holds the title as the largest indoor rainforest in the world. It’s a tropical greenhouse with an unmatched scale, spanning across a whopping 15,590 square metres. This vast space is home to more than 1,000 varieties of plants, including towering palms, vibrant orchids, and fruit-bearing banana trees. Visitors can embark on a journey through tropical islands, Southeast Asia, West Africa and tropical South America, all under one roof.

Exotic Wildlife at the Eden Project

The Rainforest Biome is not just a home for plants, but also a habitat for fascinating creatures that thrive in tropical climates. Dart frogs, geckos, and various bird species, including weaver birds and roul-rouls, add a sense of life and colour to the environment. Regular sightings of these animals give visitors a genuine sense of being in a tropical rainforest.

Visitor Experience at the Eden Project

The visitor experience at the Eden Project is immersive and educational. A winding path leads through the different regions of the biome, providing glimpses of the stunning biodiversity. Informative signs along the way educate visitors about the importance of rainforests and the need for their conservation. The highlight of the tour is a walkway suspended high above the ground, providing a bird’s eye view of the canopy below.

The Role of the Eden Project in Conservation

The Eden Project plays a critical role in conservation efforts. The facility runs numerous environmental and conservation projects, raising awareness about climate change, sustainable living, and the importance of protecting our planet’s biodiversity. By engaging visitors with the beauty and complexity of the rainforest environment, the Eden Project emphasizes the necessity of preserving these vital ecosystems for future generations.

In conclusion, the Eden Project’s Rainforest Biome is a perfect blend of entertainment, education, and conservation. It allows visitors to experience the wonders of the tropical rainforest in the heart of the UK, highlighting the urgent need for environmental awareness and conservation at the same time.

What type of animals a Tropical Greenhouse has

Housing Exotic Creatures

In a tropical greenhouse, you’ll encounter a variety of exotic animals that are synonymous with the tropics. Amphibians such as poison dart frogs, with their vibrantly colored bodies, are a common sight. These tiny creatures, despite their size, are fascinating due to the potent toxin they carry, which was used by indigenous tribes for hunting.

Birds of the Tropical Greenhouse

Bird lovers are in for a treat! Tropical greenhouses are often home to an assortment of tropical birds. From parrots gracing the air with their vivid plumage, to toucans, with their long, colourful beaks, these winged residents add life and sound to the lush surroundings.

The Reptile Habitat

Reptiles, often misunderstood and feared, find safe haven in tropical greenhouses. Here, visitors can observe snakes, such as the boa constrictor, and various species of lizards, in environments that mirror their natural habitats.

Encountering these creatures up-close can help dispel common myths and foster a greater understanding and appreciation of their role in the ecosystem.

Aquatic Life in a Tropical Greenhouse

Aquatic life is another essential cornerstone of a tropical greenhouse. In built-in aquariums, visitors can admire a myriad of tropical fish species, from the clownfish, instantly recognisable from films and television, to the regal angelfish.

These colourful inhabitants bring a whole other dimension to the tropical greenhouse experience.

What you should see in a Tropical Greenhouse

The Flora of the Tropical Greenhouse

A tropical greenhouse is not merely a haven for exotic creatures but also a paradise for a fascinating array of tropical plants. From towering palm trees to clusters of vibrant orchids, the diversity of plant life mirrors that of a real rainforest. You’ll encounter epiphytes, which are plants that grow on other plants, taking advantage of the tropical climate to grow in places unimaginable in colder climes.

The Microclimate within the Greenhouse

The microclimate inside a tropical greenhouse is a carefully orchestrated masterpiece. Maintaining a constant high temperature and humidity level is key to mimicking the tropical conditions. It’s not uncommon for humidity levels to be as high as 90%, with temperatures hovering around 30 degrees Celsius. This warm, humid environment is crucial for the survival and growth of both the plant and animal species housed within.

The Role of Tropical Greenhouses in Conservation

One can’t overlook the essential role that tropical greenhouses play in conservation efforts. Given the rapidly changing climate and the increasing threat to biodiversity, these greenhouses serve as safe havens for many endangered tropical species. By maintaining and preserving these species, tropical greenhouses contribute significantly towards global conservation initiatives.

A Nurturing Educational Environment

Tropical greenhouses also serve as interactive education centres. They offer visitors a unique opportunity to learn about biodiversity and the importance of conservation efforts in a hands-on, engaging manner. This educational facet makes a trip to the tropical greenhouse not just an enjoyable but an enlightening experience.

The Sensory Experience

Stepping into a tropical greenhouse is a sensory delight. The sounds of chirping birds, the sight of vibrant colours, the smell of fresh vegetation, and the feel of the humid air; all blend together to create an immersive experience, transporting visitors thousands of miles away to the heart of a tropical rainforest. For anyone who has yet to visit the tropics, a tropical greenhouse offers a small, tantalising taste of what awaits.

What is the environment in a Tropical Greenhouse

Maintaining a Tropical Greenhouse

Maintaining a tropical greenhouse is no small feat. It requires careful regulation of temperature, humidity, and light to simulate the tropical conditions these organisms are adapted to. Heating systems are typically employed to keep the temperature consistent, while watering systems and misters help manage humidity levels. Natural light is also essential for the growth of the plants, but it’s often supplemented with artificial light to ensure the plants get the nutrients they need.

The Architecture of a Tropical Greenhouse

The architectural design of a tropical greenhouse plays a critical role in replicating the tropical ecosystem. Most greenhouses sport a dome or curved roof to allow maximum sunlight penetration. The structure is usually made of a framework that can support the weight of the plants and animals, and the walls and roof are made of transparent or semi-transparent material such as glass or plastic.

Is Tropical Greenhouse safe environment for the animals?

The Safety Measures in a Tropical Greenhouse

Tropical greenhouses are meticulously designed to ensure the safety and well-being of the animals housed within. The enclosures are crafted to replicate the natural habitats of these creatures as closely as possible, minimising stress and promoting natural behaviour. Regular health checks are conducted to ensure that the animals are in good health, and any signs of illness or distress are promptly addressed.

The Diet of Animals in a Tropical Greenhouse

Feeding the animals is a task that requires detailed knowledge and precision. Specialists ensure that each species is provided with a diet that closely matches what they would consume in the wild. This is crucial for their well-being and plays a significant role in their overall health and longevity in the tropical greenhouse.

The Interaction Between Animals and Visitors

The interaction between animals and visitors in a tropical greenhouse is carefully managed to ensure both parties’ safety. While some animals are safely viewable from a distance, others, like certain bird species, can be interacted with under the watchful eyes of the staff. Educational programs are often in place to teach visitors about safe and respectful interactions with the animals.

The Responsibility of Tropical Greenhouse Staff

A team of dedicated professionals works tirelessly behind the scenes to create a safe and enriching environment for the animals. This team includes animal caretakers, veterinarians, biologists, and other specialists who have the necessary knowledge and skills to handle the needs of the diverse species found in a tropical greenhouse.

Conclusion: Safety in a Tropical Greenhouse

In conclusion, safety is of paramount importance in a tropical greenhouse. It encompasses not just the physical safety of the animals, but also their psychological well-being. By providing a close replication of their natural habitats, offering a suitable diet, managing interactions with visitors, and maintaining a team of highly skilled professionals, tropical greenhouses ensure a safe haven for a variety of tropical species.

Further Research

  1. Kricher, J. (2011). Tropical Ecology. Princeton University Press.
  2. Whitmore, T.C. (1998). An Introduction to Tropical Rain Forests. Oxford University Press.
  3. Eden Project. (n.d.). The Rainforest Biome. [Online] Available at:
  4. Corlett, R. T. (2016). The Ecology of Tropical East Asia. Oxford University Press.
  5. Walters, M. & Johnson, P. (2007). Birds of Eden. Eden Project Books.
  6. Eden Project. (n.d.). Conservation Projects at the Eden Project. [Online] Available at:
  7. Bioparc Valencia. (n.d.). Equatorial Africa Zone. [Online] Available at:
  8. Jardin des Plantes. (n.d.). Grandes Serres. [Online] Available at:
  9. The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken. (n.d.). Official Website. [Online] Available at:
  10. Eden Project. (n.d.). Rainforest Canopy Walkway. [Online] Available at: