Nature s Wonders Amazon River

Posted by muhammad najmie on 5:46 PG
 Amazon is the greatest river in South America. It is the second longest river in the world (only the Nile is longer), but it carries a greater volume of water than any other river. The Amazon is 3,900 miles long and, with its tributary the River Tocantins, it drains an area of nearly 2.75 million square miles - almost half the South American continent. It provides about 30,000 miles of navigable waterways.

 In fact, Amazon River rises in the Andes Mountains, in Peru. It is formed by the meeting of two other rivers, the Maranon and Ucayali, which rise a mere 100 miles from the Pacific Ocean. As it flows through the forests of northern Brazil, the Amazon is fed by more than 200 other rivers. It eventually empties into the Atlantic, on the Equator, on the northern side of the island of Marajo. Its mouth is 200 miles wide, and the water there is more than 200 feet deep. The volume of water is so great that fresh water is found on the surface 40 miles out to sea.
Ocean-going ships can sail up the river for 1,000 miles, as far as the town of Manaus, and smaller ships can proceed for a further 1,000 miles to Iquitos in Peru. But beyond there navigation becomes difficult because of rapids. The average speed of the Amazon is 1.5 miles an hour, but during the rainy season the river overflows its banks and floods thousands of square miles of land. Some historians believe that the Spanish explorer, Francisco de Orellana, discovered the Amazon River in 1541, but others think that another Spaniard, Vicente Pinzon, saw it when he reached Brazil in 1500.
On the other hand, the Amazon River is undisputedly the river with the largest water flow. It originates from the Ucayali-Apurimac river system in the Peruvian Andes Mountains, and flows through Colombia and Brazil before it reaches the Atlantic Ocean. At the widest part, the river is 10 kilometres across. During the wet season, though, the widest part can be as wide as 48 kilometres. The biodiversity of the river basin is incredible. It has more then 2100 different species of fish, and the number is growing as more are discovered. It also has a huge diversity in mammals, including the boto, or Amazon River Dolpin, which is the largest of the river dolphin species. Another famous inhabitant is the anaconda, one of the world's largest snakes.
 San Rafael Falls, Quijos River, Amazon, Ecuador
 The Amazon Rainforest, also known as Amazonia, the Amazon jungle or the Amazon Basin, encompasses seven million square kilometers (1.7 billion acres), though the forest itself occupies some 5.5 million square kilometers (1.4 billion acres), located within nine nations. The Amazon represents over half of the planet's remaining rainforests and comprises the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rainforest in the world. The Amazon River is the largest river in the world by volume, with a total flow greater than the top ten rivers worldwide combined. It accounts for approximately one-fifth of the total world river flow and has the biggest drainage basin on the planet. Not a single bridge crosses the Amazon.
 An enormous plume of freshwater leaves the Amazon River and spreads across the tropical Atlantic Ocean, setting the stage for the symbiosis of some bacteria and algae on a scale that appears to subtly influence the climate of the Earth.


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