The Amazon Basin
is the part of South America
drained by the Amazon River
and its tributaries. The basin is located
mainly (40%) in Brazil, but also
stretches into Peru and several
The South American rain forest
of the Amazon is the largest
in the world, covering about 8,235,430 km2
dense tropical forest. For centuries, this has protected the area
and the animals residing in it.
Not all of the plants and animals that live in the Amazon Basin are
known because of its huge unexplored areas. No one knows how many
species of fish there are in the river. Plant growth is dense
because of the heavy rainfall. One tropical fruit tree that is
native to the Amazon is the abiu
. There are
thousands of plants, all in different colors, sizes, and shapes.
Also, there are many vines and huge trees that give shade when the
weather is hot.
The Amazon river Basin has an equatorial climate. Annual rain fall
is approximately 1500-2500 mm. Day temperatures typically
reach 30-35°C, while night temperatures reach 20-25°C.
Amazonia is very sparsely populated. There are scattered
settlements inland, but most of the population lives in a few
larger cities on the banks of the Amazon and other major rivers,
such as in Iquitos (Peru), Manaus and Belém (Brazil).
many regions, the forest has been cleared for soy bean plantations
(the most extensive non-forest use
of the land) and some of the inhabitants harvest wild rubber latex
and Brazil nuts
. This is a form of extractive farms,
where the trees are not cut down, and thus this is a relatively
sustainable human impact.
The Amazon Basin is bounded by the Guiana Highlands
to the north and the
south. The Amazon, which rises in the Andes
Mountains at the west of the basin, is the second longest river in
the world. It covers a distance of about 6,400 km
before draining into the Atlantic Ocean.
The Amazon and its tributaries form the
largest volume of water. The Amazon accounts for about 20% of the
total water carried to the oceans by rivers. Some of the Amazon
Rainforest is deforested because of a growing interest in hardwood
products. It is also very grassy.
The most widely spoken language in the Amazon is Portuguese
, followed closely by Spanish
. On the Brazilian side Portuguese is spoken by at least 98% of the
population, whilst in the Spanish-speaking countries there can
still be found a large number of speakers of Native American
languages, though Spanish easily predominates.
There are hundreds of native languages still spoken in the Amazon,
most of which are spoken by only a handful of people, and thus
. One of the
most widely spoken languages in the Amazon is Nheengatu
, which is descended from the ancient
, originally spoken in
coastal and central regions of Brazil. It was brought to its
present location along the Rio
by Brazilian colonizers who, until the mid-17th century,
used Tupi more than the official Portuguese to communicate.
modern Nheengatu, other languages of the Tupi family are spoken
there, along with other language families like Jê (with its important sub-branch Jayapura spoken in
River region and othes), Arawak, Karib,
Matsés and others.
Spanish, and Portuguese are all similar to and derived from