Brasil

FLORA AND FAUNA

The Brazilian Amazonian Rainforest click on the image to enlarge
The Brazilian Amazonian Rainforest is the largest, the most densest and home to the largest diversity of plants and animals in the world.  From just one square kilometer measurement of the forest, over 6000 species of plants have been reported.  AND! Of all the birds in the world, the Amazon is home to one in five.  A few of the more well known tree species found in the Amazon are: the rubber tree (this tree was the initial cause of the Amazon’s exploitation); the Brazil nut tree (this tree grows up to 30m and it takes over 10 years for the tree to produce nuts, but when it reaches nut-producing maturity, one tree can yield up to 450KG of nuts each year);  the inga tree (highly recognizable by its distinctive bean pods that can reach over half a meter long.  The insides of the pod contain a sweet white pulp and with large seeds).  Other plant species: the turtle-ladder vine, spiky rooted palm trees, myriads of orchids, water lilies and kapok bearing ceiba trees (and these are just to name a few).

River dolphins click on the image to enlarge
Wildlife is in abundance throughout the Amazon, hosting a huge variety of tropical birds such as: macaws, toucans and parrots.  You also may have the opportunity to see river dolphins, capybaras, some wild jungle cats, anacondas, boas and caimans.  The denser jungle parts are home to pacary (wild pig), tapir, tamandua tree sloth and quite famously, the 2nd largest cat in the world: the spotted jaguar.

the Pantanal click on the image to enlarge
Another Brazilian treasure chest for flora and fauna are the Pantanals- some consider the Pantanals as a better wildlife viewing area than the Amazon due to the open spaces. The Amazon is quite restricted to very narrow trails and rivers whereas the Pantanals are a vast wetland covering an amazing are of 21,000 square kilometers (to put that into a little perspective: that is about the size of Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland and Holland COMBINED!)  The Pantanal is a unique ecosystem beginning with the minuscule plankton that attracts millions of amphibians and fish that spawn and migrate to feed upon them. 
Tucan click on the image to enlarge
These amphibians and fish in turn attract water birds and reptiles.  At the top of the food chain are some of South America’s great predators: the jaguar, ocelot, maned wolf and yellow anaconda.  Within the Pantanal can be found over 700 resident and migratory bird species. 

Because of Brazil’s largeness and great spans of land, the richness and diversity of wildlife and plant life surpass that of any other country in the world.  Two of the most distinctive locations are the above mentioned Pantanals and Amazonian rainforest- but this is not to say that this richness is limited to these two areas, there are a number of parks and reserves throughout Brazil that are brimming with Mother Nature’s wonders.
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