What is a rainforest? Rainforests are very dense (crowded), warm, wet forests. They are a living place for millions of plants and animals.
Where is it? The Amazon rainforest is located in South America in parts of Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.
How big is it? Over 2,123,562 square miles! Equal to the size of the continental United States!
The Amazon River The Amazon River runs through the heart of the rainforest. At 4,007 miles it is the 2nd longest river in the world. BUT, by amount of water… it is the world’s #1. The Amazon River is an important part of Brazil’s economy… allowing for easy trade and transportation around the country.
Biodiversity Even though the Amazon rainforest only takes up 3.5% of the Earth’s land it is home to one in ten (10%) of all the known species in the world! 2.5 million insects40,000 plants 2,200 fishes1,294 birds 427 mammals378 reptiles 428 amphibians The largest collection of species in the world! That’s…
Rainforest Ecosystem At different layers of the Amazon rainforest different species live and interact.
Indigenous People Over 500,000 people in about 200 different ORIGINAL tribes live traditional lives in the Amazon rainforest
Benefits of the Amazon Rainforest 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced by the trees of the Amazon Currently, 121 prescription drugs (medicine) currently sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources 70% of the plants identified as having anti- cancer characteristics by the US National Cancer Institute are found only in the tropical rainforest The periwinkle plant helps make one of the most powerful cancer fighting medicines.
Foods of the Amazon Rainforest At least 80% of the developed world's food diet originated in the tropical rainforest. Fruits like avocados, coconuts, figs, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, bananas, guavas, pineapples, mangos and tomatoes; Vegetables including corn, potatoes, rice, winter squash and yams; Spices like black pepper, cayenne, chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, sugar cane, tumeric, coffee and vanilla Nuts including Brazil nuts and cashews.