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Travel - Welcome to the Amazon

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You've seen the tribes on Survivor hanging in the Amazon, now find out a little more on this tropical hot spot.

Entering the Amazon

The Amazon rainforest covers 2.5 million square miles and is bigger than the whole United States. It is the largest remaining tropical forest in the world. They don't call it a rainforest for nothing - it gets more than nine feet of rain every year.

Where is the Amazon?

The Amazon is in South America. Almost two-thirds of the rainforest is in Brazil but it also stretches across parts of Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Suriname, French Guiana, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.

History of the Amazon

The first Europeans to discover the Amazon were Spanish Conquistadors, who found it while searching for gold and silver to bring back to their king. The first people they met in the rainforest were female warriors so Francisco de Orella named the river after a Greek myth about women warriors called "amazons."

Plants and Animals of the Amazon

Even though the Amazon makes up only two percent of the earth's surface area, it is home to more than half of the world's plant and animal species. The Amazon has 60,000 types of plants, 1,000 species of birds and 300 types of other animals. Jaguars, piranha and pink freshwater dolphins are just a few of the critters that live in the Amazon rainforest.

Why Save The Amazon?

The plants of the Amazon help the world breathe a little easier by changing carbon dioxide into oxygen. The Amazon is also home to thousands of undiscovered plants and animals that might be used to cure diseases, like AIDS, one day. Irresponsible development and forest fires threaten the Amazon.

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