The Amazon Basin

The Amazon Basin is located in several countries, among the, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela in South America. It is the part of South America drained by the Amazon River and its tributaries.

1024px-Amazonriverbasin_basemap

The Amazon drainage basin covers an area of about 7,500,000 km2 or roughly 40 percent of the South American continent.

amazon

Most of the basin is covered by the Amazon Rainforest, also known as Amazonia. With a 5,500,000 km2 area of dense tropical forest, this is the largest rainforest in the world.The Amazon River covers 6,400 km before draining into the Atlantic Ocean. The Amazon and its tributaries form the largest volume of water. It accounts for about 20% of the total water carried to the oceans by rivers. The Amazon basin formerly flowed west to Pacific Ocean until the Andes formed, causing the basin to flow eastward towards the Atlantic Ocean.

Flora:

amazon river

Plant growth is dense and its variety of animal inhabitants is comparatively high due to the heavy rainfall and the dense and extensive evergreen and coniferous forests. Little sunlight reaches the ground due to the dense roof canopy by plants. The ground remains dark and damp and only shade tolerant vegetation will grow here

Mammals:

More than 1,400 mammal species are found in the Amazon, the majority of which are species of bats and rodents. Its larger mammals include the South American tapir, jaguar, ocelot, capybaras, giant anteaters, green iguana among others.

panthera-onca-jaguar
Panthera onca (Jaguar)

Birds:

About 1500 bird species inhabit the Amazon Basin. They include the cotinga family, to which the Guiana cock of the rock belong. Others are hummingbirds, toucans, macaws, harpy eagle and parrots.

toucans
toucans

Reptiles

They include the world’s largest snake, the green anaconda, the emerald tree boa, boa constrictor among others.

green-anaconda

Some of the reptiles are illegally collected and smuggled into the black market.

Amphibians:

More than 1,000 species of amphibians swim and are found in the Amazon. They include; tropical frogs, lizards among others

colored-frog

Fish:

About 2,500 fish species are known from the Amazon basin and it is estimated that more than 1,000 additional undescribed species exist. They include the electric eel, river stingrays, South American lung fish, piranhas, Oscar, discus, angelfish among others.

Piranha-Shoal

Post Author: Sam Muya

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