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Amazon Jungle





Brazil facts & history in brief       The Amazon River facts & history in brief


Manaus facts & history in brief


Amazon rainforest covering the Amazon River Basin is of about 6 million square kilometres and is the world's largest tropical rainforest.
Although two-thirds of South America's rainforest lies in Brazil it also occupies parts of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guyana.
The average annual rainfall of 130 to 305 centimetres, with temperatures around 27 C.
trees in this rainforest grow in distinct layers.
The trees, called emergents, tower above the rest of the forest and may reach heights of 40 metres.
The upper canopy generally grows 25 to 30 metres high.
Plants called epiphytes, or air plants, thrive in this layer of the forest, including aroids, bromeliads, ferns, liverworts, mosses, and orchids.
The lower canopies also consist of saplings of the trees found in the upper canopy, in addition to smaller trees and shrubs.
Lianas wind around tree trunks and branches, extending from the ground to the upper canopy.
The canopies prevent much of the sunlight from reaching the forest floor.
Most of the soil is infertile in the Amazon rainforest area.
The area contains a wider variety of plant and animal life than any other place on earth.
Tens of thousands of different plant species live there, including some economically important plants like Brazil nuts, cocoa, curare, pineapples, and rubber.
Over 1,500 species of birds, about 3,000 known species of fish and as many as 30 million different insect species may live in the forest area.
The forest is being cut down at an alarming rate, which the timber industry uses to make wood products.
Also large areas being burned down to clear land to used for farming puposes.
Rapid population growth and increasing demands for natural resources have seriously threatening the Amazon rainforest.
More than 10 per cent of the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed.
Some of the cleared areas can regenerate, but the regenerated areas are much less diverse than the original forest was.
The large scale deforestation threatens the world's climate and the culture of the native peoples of the Amazon rainforest.



Manaus on the Rio Negro River, not far from where it merges with the great Amazon River was another place we've arrived in the middle of the night.
Our negotiations with the tour operators taken some time and after that it didn't seem to be much point to search for a hotel, so we waited for the tour at the Airport.
Our tour included the sightseeing of Manaus city, the Rivers Amazon and Negro, their merging down stream, exploration of the nearby Amazon 'rainforest' or 'jungle', fishing and meeting some of the local indigenous people.
Our guide 'Jumbo" was a jovial 'welllll-built' fellow, who's agility often surprised us.
We were assured to see lot of 'wildlife', such as crocodiles, monkeys, iguanas, birds and piranhas.
As you've probably guessed, it wasn't the day or we weren't the people to see a lot of 'wildlife', although it wasn't for a lack of trying.
We did catch some piranhas.
Jumbo and our boatman did spend three hours after sunset showing their torches around looking for the shining eyes of the crocks in the pitch dark jungle.
Of course no one told the crocks, that we were looking for them, or they were pre-warned of our coming and just didn't want to be seen by us.
We did enjoy our trip in the Amazon 'jungle'.
We did see the confluence of the two great rivers and the remarkable different colours of the rivers, which takes ten kilometres to mix and merge completely.
Jumbo agreed to a very reasonable price for the tour, but in the end got even with us.
Coming ashore, he hailed a taxi to the Airport and made us pay half the fare.
A bit disappointing, but otherwise it was a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable day.



You can click on these photos for an enlargement

Local transport Look of a jungle A Piranha in the hand...... "Route 66"




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