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All About The Amazon

Written by Lex Basu
Updated: October 7, 2022
Image Credit worldclassphoto/Shutterstock.com
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Key Points

  • Amazon is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful and dangerous places in the whole world.
  • There are species of flora, fauna, fish, birds, insects, animals and humans, that are native to the Amazon river and forest that display unique characteristics and behavior.
  • Amazon covers around forty percent of the total land in South America, however, there has been a lot of habitat loss due to de-forestation, poaching and unnecessary capture of species.

The Amazon rainforest is the largest on Earth, covering around 40 percent of the South American continent there are parts of this monumental broadleaf forest in nine different countries which are Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. More than half of the Amazon rainforest (in fact 60 percent of it), is found spread across Brazil.

A photo of the Amazon forest, taken from above the tree line. Fog has settled just below the tree line, and there are clouds in a blue sky.
The Amazon rainforest covers approximately 40% of the South American continent.

Al’fred/Shutterstock.com

Covering most of the Amazon Basin throughout South America, the Amazon rainforest makes up half of the world’s remaining rainforests and is home to the largest and most biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest on the planet. There are estimated to be 16,000 different species of tree alone growing throughout its 5,500,000 square kilometres (2,100,000 sq miles) territory.

A narrow river lined with a variety of green plants and trees.
Approximately 16,000 different tree species can be found in the Amazon rainforest.

Fotos593/Shutterstock.com

Here are a few interesting facts about the Amazon rainforest that you may not already know:

  • Two billion tonnes of carbon dioxide is absorbed by the Amazon rainforest every year.
  • There are around 2.5 million insect species found in the Amazon rainforest.
  • 2,200 fish species, 1,294 birds, 427 mammals, 428 amphibians, and 378 reptiles have been discovered in the Amazon rainforest.
  • More than 2,000 tropical forest plants have been found to have anti-cancer properties.
  • The Amazon basin holds 20 percent of the world’s fresh water, and the same percentage of the world’s oxygen is produced by the Amazon rainforest.
  • More than 1.4 million hectares of the Amazon rainforest have been cleared since the 1970s and an even larger area has been affected by logging and forest fires.
  • One in five of all of world’s bird species and one in five of the fish species are found in the Amazon rainforest and the Amazon River.
  • The Amazon rainforest is home to 2.7 million indigenous people that are split into 350 different ethnic groups (60 of which are very isolated).
  • Between 1999 and 2009, 1,200 species of plants and animals were identified for the first time in the Amazon rainforest.
  • Deforestation rates have been reducing drastically since 2004 as increasing areas of conserved land are created.
A wide river cutting through a green forest with white clouds in a blue sky.
Two billion tons of carbon dioxide is absorbed by the Amazon rainforest every year.

worldclassphoto/Shutterstock.com

Next Up…

Amazon river in Brazil

worldclassphoto/Shutterstock.com
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About the Author

Lex is a green-living, tree-hugging, animal-lover, who at one time was the mother to twenty one felines and one doggo. Now she helps pet owners around the globe be the best caretakers for their most trusting companions by sharing her experience and spreading love.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2011) Animal, The Definitive Visual Guide To The World's Wildlife
  2. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals
  3. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia
  4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species
  5. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals
  6. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals