The plants and animals of the Amazon Rain Forest Animals Spider Monkeys Golden Lion Tamarins Sloths Giant Anteaters Giant River Otters Toucans Macaws Pink River Dolphins Piranhas Jaguars Poison Arrow Frogs Plants Artichoke Brazil Nut Cacao Tree Cashew Guaco Mango Papaya Passion Flower
Animals Piranhas are fish usually between 14 to 26 cm. long. They have a single row of teeth that are extremely sharp making it easy to shred their prey. There are about 20 species of piranhas in the Amazon river. These fish are omnivores and travel in groups called shoals of about 20 piranhas. Poison Arrow Frogs eat small spiders, ants, small insects, and termites. These little frogs are brightly colored with a variety of patterns and colors. The frogs poison is so powerful and deadly that one millionth of an ounce can kill a dog. The poison arrow frog has enough poison to kill 100 humans. Jaguars are carnivorous mammals with an average life span of 12 to 15 years in the wild. These large cats are close to being endangered but the total number of jaguars is unknown. Toucans are birds with an average lifespan of 20 years in the wild. Toucans fly in small flocks and eat fruit, insects, lizards, eggs, and nestlings of smaller birds. There are about 40 different species of toucan.
Plants The mango also referred to as the king of fruit is said to be one of the finest and most popular tropical fruits. The mango is considered part of the cashew family of flowering plants. Only 10 percent of all mangos are grown in the U.S. Brazil Nuts grow in Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and near the Amazon River. The brazil nut takes 10 to 30 years to mature and is usually harvested from the wild not on farms. Interestingly, the brazil nut can be used for both food and oils. Papayas are mainly used for food and medicine. The plant can be used as a remedy for digestion problems. The papaya tree blossoms waxy flowers with five pedals. Artichokes are plants that can be used for food or medicine. The plant also blossoms so it could be used as scenery. Some teas even have artichoke in them. An artichoke plant can spread 9 ft. in diameter and can be 5 ft. tall, one plant can produce over 20 artichokes a year.
Climate of the Amazon The Amazon Rainforest is the largest ecosystem in world and is called the lungs of the world because it provides 20% of the worlds oxygen. The rainforest is a tropical climate which means it is always wet and humid year round. The year is split into two seasons the rainy season and the very rainy season. The rainy season yields about 30-100 inches of rain while the very rainy season yields about 60-180 inches of rain.
Geography of the Amazon The Amazon river starts in the Andes mountains in Chile and Peru. Then the river enters the somewhat flat terrain of the Amazon river valley That stretches all the way to the Atlantic Ocean 4000 miles from the start in the Andes mountains. Around the river the banks vary from marsh and swampy to sandy or lots of vegetation on them. The delta to the Atlantic is huge covering 2.3 million sq. miles..
Native Amazonians have lived in the Amazon region for over 20,000 years. The Indians are part of the equilibrium that existed there for thousands of years. They believed in sharing the hunt and the food they gather. Most of them believe that they are reborn through their grandchildren, though rules for marriage vary much. They also traditionally live in communal or family houses made from materials such as tree bark and palm leave fronds. Some also made mounds, which they clamed were for the gods to see.
European culture has come through the Amazon villages and towns. The Zapara, an indigenous people to the Amazon region, their population is decreasing. There are less than 300 people left. Only a mere five people can still speak the Zapara language. After 400 years, 5,750,000 have gone.