Amazing Amazon- Interesting Facts About the Amazon Rainforest
Amazing Amazon – Interesting Facts about the Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon rainforest is the world's largest tropical rainforest and is located in the Amazon basin of South America. Such is its abundance and variety of flora and fauna that much of it, as of yet, the Western world has not documented. What we do know about the Amazon rainforest provides us with a wealth of interesting and unusual facts.
The Amazon rainforest has a total area of over 1 billion acres. This is the equivalent to approximately 2/3 of the continental USA. As well as covering more than half of Brazil, it also stretches into the countries of Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Suriname, Guyana, French Guyana, Ecuador and Peru.
Approximately 200,000 people live in the Amazon rainforest itself, the vast majority of them indigenous Indians. This is in stark contrast to the1500s when approximately 10 million indigenous Indians lived there. Among these 200,000 people there are 50 tribes than have never been in contact with anyone outside of the rainforest.
Over 500 different mammals live in the Amazon rainforest including: capybaras, which are the largest rodents on earth; jaguars; spider monkeys; tapirs; vampire bats and sloths. There are also over 300 different species of reptile including the anaconda, a constrictor snake which can grow to lengths of over 20 feet, and the caiman, a species of crocodile.
The Amazon rainforest has a total area of over 1 billion acres
In the Amazon river itself there are about 30 times as many different species of fish as in all European rivers combined. These include freshwater catfish called pirarucu that can grow to over 10 feet long and electric eels capable of stunning a man. These in addition to the infamous, carnivorous red-bellied piranha.
One third of the world's species of birds live in the Amazon rainforest, amongst them macaws, toucans, herons and parrots.
A variety of evergreen broad-leaf trees make up most of the Amazon rainforest. So immense is the variety that you can find over 200 different species in just one hectare of rainforest. These trees and other rainforest plants, including the Amazon water lily which can measure over 7 feet across, produce 20 percent of the world's oxygen.
The Amazon River
The Amazon river is approximately 4000 miles long, about twice as long as the Mississippi river. Depending on the season, the Amazon river can be a wide across as 3o miles. When the Amazon floods its banks during the rainy season, its flood waters cover an area approximately the size of Oregon.
The Amazon rainforest's sheer size combined with its immense variety of wildlife, and the river itself, make it one of the most fascinating areas in the world. Although high levels of deforestation put its long term future in doubt, it remains, for now, an area where fact is indeed stranger than fiction.
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