South American Rainforest


Amazon is not only the largest South American rainforest, it is also the largest rainforest in the world.


It covers about 4 million square kilometres and contains one fifth of the world's fresh water and the whole 30% of all flora and fauna in the world.


The whole Amazon basin contains about 40,000 plant and 2.5 million insect species, with 7,500 species of butterflies alone. One in five of all the world's birds live in Amazon; and 50 different ant species were once found in one single tree.

Emerald Tree Boa (Corallus Canina), Ecuador, Amazon, South America
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Animals in South American Rainforest
Typical animals in South American rainforest are jaguars, pumas, deer, howler monkeys, tapirs, peccary, iguanas, opossums, mongooses, otters, squirrels, bats, rats, poison frogs, caymans (deadly crocodiles) and anacondas - the longest snakes in the world.



These are boa snakes - the non-venomous snakes that don't need the venom because they are large enough to be able to kill their prey by strangling it. Anacondas are excellent tree climbers; give birth to live young and live up to 35 years. Typical birds in South American rainforest are hummingbirds, harpy eagles, the beautiful toucans and colourful macaws. Macaws are known for eating minerals from clay cliffs beside the Amazon River.

Squirrel Monkey, Looking, Colombian Amazon
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The largest part of Amazon rainforests is in Brazil, but the jungle also stretches in to Bolivia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.

Northern South American Rainforest
Almost half of Venezuela is covered by rainforests. There are deep jungles, lowland rainforests and beautiful cloud forests. The country contains 21,000 plant, 1346 bird, 353 mammal, 323 reptile and 288 frog species.

Rainforest & River Vegetation, Venezuela, S.America
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Northern South American Rainforest
Guyana has got about 6000 species of plants, 700 species of birds and numerous other animal species, including 116 species of poison-arrow frogs (Dendrobatidae family). These brilliantly colourful frogs don't need to camouflage - they secrete some of the most poisonous toxins in the world. They have got their name from the local rainforest people that spread their venom on their arrows and darts. Guyana Highlands Cloud Forests, which also stretch to Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia, are known for their huge trees and dense canopy. The leaves and bark of simarouba tree (Simarouba amara) are used as natural medicine.

Jaguar, Amazon, Ecuador
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Suriname (former Dutch Guinea) has got some 4,100 species of plants, 180 species of animals, and 603 bird species, including scarlet ibis (Eudocimus ruber) and cock of the rock (Rubicola sp). Animals include the Giant South American River Turtle (Podocnemis expansa) and the goliath tarantula (Theraphosa blondi) - a venomous nocturnal hunter and one of the largest spiders in the world.

About 90% of French Guiana is covered by rainforests, most of it is thick jungle. There are 5625 species of vascular plants, 1000 different types of trees and 700 bird, 177 mammal, 430 fish and 109 frog species. Animals and birds include, but are not limited to monkeys, peccary, tapirs, agouti, macaws and toucans.

Hyacinth Macaws, Flock of Parrots Eating Brazil Nuts, Brazil
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Parts of Columbia are snowy mountains, but the lowlands in south east are covered by rainforests, which contain plants like quinine and sarsparilla, birds like hummingbirds and toucans, and animals like pumas, jaguars, spectacled bears, caymans, catfish and electric eels - an eel-shaped fish that can grow 2.5 meters long and send 500-600 volts into a prey or an agitator. Poisonous dart frogs (Phyllobates terribilis) that are found here carry enough poison to kill 200 adult humans and only a touch on it's tongue could be deadly.  

Ecuador
contains some dense rainforests with 20,000 plant species, over 1500 species of birds, and over 800 frogs and reptiles. Mammals include howler monkeys, spectacled bears, ocelots, margays, jaguars, two-toed sloths, and woolly mountain tapirs amongst others. Equator's rainforests are also known for the highest number of orchid species in the world - there are 4000 of them.

Ocelot (Felis / Leopardus Pardalis) Amazon Rainforest, Ecuador
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Central South American Rainforest
Brazil has got the largest parts of Amazonian rainforests, including 56,000 plant, 1700 bird, 578 mammal, 651 reptile and 695 amphibian species. This is the highest number of plant, primate and amphibian species in the world, and number five for birds and reptiles. About a quarter of all the world's plant species are found here, including rubber trees, rosewood, brazilwood, and ceiba. Birds include macaws, toucans, parrots and harpy eagles.

Rainforests of Peru contain 15,000 flowering plant, 1000 bird and 200 mammal species, including spider monkeys, yellow tailed woolly monkey, three toed sloths, tapirs, manatees, spectacled bears, otters, jaguars, pumas, caymans ans swamp crocodiles.

Cascade and Cloud Rainforest, Machu Picchu, Peru
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Southern South American Rainforest
Bolivian
rainforests, which escaped the bad deforestation that happened in other parts of Amazon, contain more than 2000 species of hardwood, and animals like emperor tamarin and peccaries.

But there are also some rainforests in south America outside the Amazon basin. These include the Atlantic rainforests on the eastern coast of Brazil; rainforests in Paraguay and Uruguay; and temperate rainforests in Chile and Argentina.

Male Crowned Woodnymph, Macipucuna Cloud Forest, Ecuador
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The fragmented rainforests of Paraguay contain animals like jaguars, pumas, monkeys, capybara, armadillos, otters and giant anteaters. The 600 species of birds include the largest parrot in the world - the 1m long hyacinth macaw (Anodorhyncus hyacinthinus).

Rainforests of Chile and Argentina are the world's second largest temperate rainforests. Chilean rainforests contain animals like river otters, wild cats, marsupials, owls, frogs and woodpeckers. Plants include the 40m high Chilean redwood (Fitzroya cupressoides) which can be 3000 - 4000 years old.
 
King Vulture, Landing, Tambopata River, Peruvian Amazon
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Argentinan rainforests contain about 2000 plant and 400 bird species, including hummingbirds, toucans, condors, parrots, eagles and falcons. Animals include jaguars, pumas, ocelots, cougars, tapirs, squirrels, howler monkeys, capybaras, skunks and otters.  There are also crocodiles and a variety of snakes such as rattlesnakes, pit vipers, cross snakes and the highly venomous coral snakes.

South America Wildlife

Panama Rainforest

Brazilian Rainforest

Amazon Rainforest Facts

Amazon Rainforest Ecosystem

Amazon Rainforest Animals

Amazon Rainforest Plants

Endangered Plants in the Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Rainforest Map
 



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