The “Lungs of our Planet”
The Amazon Rainforest in South America is one of the most precious habitats on earth. It is often described as the ‘lungs’ of our planet producing about 20% of the world’s oxygen supply and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The Amazon Rainforest is also important for its resources: food, timber and medicines, as well as the important role it plays in the world’s climate.
Full of Life
The life force of the Amazon Rainforest is the mighty Amazon River. It starts as a trickle high in the snow-capped Andes mountains and flows over 4000 miles across South America through to the Atlantic Ocean. At approximately 6500 miles in length, it is the second largest river in the world. The Amazon, however, carries more water than any other river on the planet, containing nearly 20% of the world’s freshwater!
The Amazon river is home to more than 2500 species of fish. This is more species than the entire Atlantic Ocean! Amazon species include many types of fish such as catfish, electric eels and the arapaima, which can grow to four metres long and is said to be the largest freshwater fish in the world.