Southeast Region, Brazil
The Southeast Region of Brazil is composed by the states of Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. It is the richest region of the country, responsible for 60% of the Brazilian GDP. São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais are three richest states of Brazil, the top three Brazilian states in terms of GDP; the Southeast of Brazil has the highest GDP per capita among all Brazilian regions. The Southeast region leads the country in population, urban population, population density, industries, airports, highways, schools and many other areas. São Paulo Heart of the largest continued remnant of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, the Ribeira Valley is a Natural Heritage of Humanity, granted heritage as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. One of the biggest attractions is the biologic and ecosystems diversity, where 400 species of birds, amphibians and mammals live; the Alto Ribeira Tourist State Park is paradise for ecotourists, for its enormous diversity in geologic formations, among grottos and caves and waterfalls.
There are 454 caves registered by the Brazilian Society of Speleology in the State of São Paulo, all at the Ribeira Valley. The 280 caves located at PETAR represent the biggest concentration of caves in Brazil. Minas Gerais The landscape of the State is marked by mountains and caverns. In the Serra do Cipó, Sete Lagoas and Lagoa Santa, the caves and waterfalls. Minas Gerais is the source of some of the biggest rivers in Brazil, most notably the São Francisco, the Paraná and to a lesser extent, the Rio Doce; the state holds many hydroelectric power plants, including Furnas dam. Some of the highest peaks in Brazil are in the mountain ranges in the southern part of the state, such as Serra da Mantiqueira and Serra do Cervo, that mark the border between Minas and its neighbors São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro; the most notable one is the Pico da Bandeira, the third highest mountain in Brazil at 2890 m, standing on the border with Espírito Santo state. The state has huge reserves of iron and sizeable reserves of gold and gemstones, including emerald and aquamarine mines.
Rio de Janeiro The state is part of the Mata Atlântica biome, its topography comprises both mountains and plains, located between the Mantiqueira Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. Its coast is carved by the bays of Guanabara and Ilha Grande. There are prominent slopes near the ocean, featuring diverse environments, such as restinga vegetation, bays and tropical forests. Rio de Janeiro is one of the smallest in Brazil, it has, the third longest coastline in the country, extending 635 kilometers. Espírito Santo With 46.180 square kilometers, it is about the size of Estonia, or half the size of Portugal, has a variety of habitats including coastal plains, mountain forest and many others. The main river in the state is the Doce. Other important river basins include the Santa Maria River Basin, the northern branch of rivers which join the sea at Vitoria, Jucu River Basin which flows into the sea at the same place, but corresponds to the southern branch. Espírito Santo's climate is tropical with dry winters and rainy summers.
North of Doce River it's drier and hot. In the mountainous regions in the south and south west of the state, the tropical climate is influenced by altitude, the average temperatures are colder; the state can be divided into two areas: the low lying coastline and the highland area known as Serra, part of the larger Serra do Caparaó, the Caparaó Mountain Range. In the map to the right it is in the gray area in the extreme southwest of the state, is shared with Minas Gerais. São Paulo state is responsible for one-third of Brazilian GDP; the state's GDP consists of 550 billion dollars, making it the second biggest economy of South America after Brazil and the biggest subdivision economy in Latin America. Its economy is based on machinery, the automobile and aviation industries, financial companies, textiles, orange growing, sugar cane and coffee production. Minas Gerais is a growing state. Vehicles: 36,030,943. Portuguese is the official national language, thus the primary language taught in schools.
English and Spanish are part of the official high school curriculum. French is widely studied. Universidade de São Paulo. São Paulo São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport connects Brazil to 28 countries and is visited every day by nearly 100 thousand people. With capacity to serve 15 million passengers a year, in two terminals, the airport handles 12 million users. Construction of a third passenger terminal is pending, to raise yearly capacity to 29 million passengers; the project, in the tendering phase, is part of the
Belo Horizonte is the sixth-largest city in Brazil, the thirteenth-largest in South America and the eighteenth-largest in the Americas. The metropolis is anchor to the Belo Horizonte metropolitan area, ranked as the third most populous metropolitan area in Brazil and the seventeenth most populous in the Americas. Belo Horizonte is the capital of the state of Brazil's second most populous state, it is the first planned modern city in Brazil. The region was first settled in the early 18th century, but the city as it is known today was planned and constructed in the 1890s, to replace Ouro Preto as the capital of Minas Gerais; the city features a mixture of contemporary and classical buildings, is home to several modern Brazilian architectural icons, most notably the Pampulha Complex. In planning the city, Aarão Reis and Francisco Bicalho sought inspiration in the urban planning of Washington, D. C; the city has employed notable programs in urban revitalization and food security, for which it has been awarded international accolades.
The city is built on several hills and is surrounded by mountains. There are several large parks in the immediate surroundings of Belo Horizonte; the Mangabeiras Park, 6 km southeast of the city centre in the hills of Curral Ridge, has a broad view of the city. It has an area of 2.35 km2. The Jambeiro Woods nature reserve extends over 912 hectares, with vegetation typical of the Atlantic Forest. More than 100 species of birds inhabit the reserve, as well as 10 species of mammals. Belo Horizonte was one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Additionally, the city shared the host of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and the football tournament during the 2016 Summer Olympics; the metropolis was once a small village, founded by João Leite da Silva Ortiz, a bandeirante explorer from São Paulo. The explorer settled in the region in 1701, he established a farm called "Curral d'el Rey", archaic Portuguese for the "King's Corral", which in modern Portuguese would be spelled Curral do Rei. The farm's wealth and success encouraged people from surrounding places to move into the region, Curral del Rey became a village surrounded by farms.
Another important factor contributing to the growth of the village was the migrants from the São Francisco River region, who had to pass through Curral d'el Rey to reach southern parts of Brazil. Travelers visited a small wooden chapel, where they prayed for a safe trip. Due to this fact, the chapel was named Capela da Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem, which means "Chapel of Our Lady of the Good Journey." After the construction of Belo Horizonte, the old baroque chapel was replaced by a neo-gothic church that became the city's cathedral. The previous capital of Minas Gerais, Ouro Preto called "Vila Rica", was a symbol of both the monarchic Brazilian Empire and the period when most of Brazilian income was due to mining; that never pleased the members of the Inconfidência Mineira, republican intellectuals who conspired against the Portuguese dominion of Brazil. In 1889, Brazil became a republic, it was agreed that a new state capital, in tune with a modern and prosperous Minas Gerais, had to be set.
In 1893, due to the climatic and topographic conditions, Curral Del Rey was selected by Minas Gerais governor Afonso Pena among other cities as the location for the new economic and cultural centre of the state, under the new name of "Cidade de Minas," or City of Minas. Aarão Reis, an urbanist from the State of Pará, was set to design the second planned city of Brazil. Cidade de Minas was inaugurated in 1897, with many unfinished constructions as the Brazilian government set a deadline for its completion. Inhabitation of the city was subsidised by the local government, through the concession of free empty lots and funding for building houses. An interesting feature of Reis' downtown street plan for Belo Horizonte was the inclusion of a symmetrical array of perpendicular and diagonal streets named after Brazilian states and Brazilian indigenous tribes. In 1906, the name was changed to Belo Horizonte. At that time the city was experiencing a considerable industrial expansion that increased its commercial and service sectors.
From its beginning, the city's original plan prohibited workers to live inside the urban area, defined by Avenida do Contorno, reserved for the public sector functionaries, bringing about an accelerated occupation outside the city's area well provided with infrastructure since its beginning. The city's original planners did not count on its population growth afterwards, which proved intense in the last 20 years of the 20th century. In the 1940s, a young Oscar Niemeyer designed the Pampulha Neighbourhood to great acclaim, a commission he got thanks to then-mayor, soon-to-be-president Juscelino Kubitschek; these two men are responsible for the wide avenues, large lakes and jutting skylines that characterise the city today. A 1949 American government film favorably reviewed the building of the city. Belo Horizonte is fast becoming a regional centre of commerce; the Latin American Research and development centre of Google, situated in Belo Horizonte, was responsible for the management and operation of the former social networking website Orkut.
It continues to be a tren
A quilombola is an Afro-Brazilian resident of quilombo settlements first established by escaped slaves in Brazil. They are the descendants of Afro-Brazilian slaves who escaped from slave plantations that existed in Brazil until abolition in 1888; the most famous quilombola was Zumbi and the most famous quilombo was Palmares. Many quilombolas live in poverty. In the 16th century, slavery was becoming common across the Americas in Brazil. Slaves were shipped overseas from Africa via a massive Atlantic slave trade network. In Brazil, most worked at sugar plantations and mines, were brutally tortured; some slaves were able to escape. According to legend, among them was Aqualtune, a former Angolan princess and general enslaved during a Congolese war. Shortly after reaching Brazil, the pregnant Aqualtune escaped with some of her soldiers and fled to the Serra da Bariga region, it is believed that here, Aqualtune founded a colony of Quilombolas, called Palmares. Palmares was one of the largest quilombos in Brazil.
In the 1630s, palmares was inherited by Aqualtune's son, Ganga Zumba, who ruled the city from a palace. The inhabitants used African style forges to make metal plows and scythes to harvest fields of corn and manioc and created agricultural forests of palm and breadfruit. Palmares and other quilombos during the Quilombola's glory days were surrounded by palisades, camouflaged pits filled with deadly stakes, paths lined with lacerating caltrops. Palmares was behind many raids of Portuguese towns. Lisbon, seeing Palmares as a direct challenge to its colonial status, declared war on the Quilombolas. Twenty attacks on Palmares failed, but the constant attacks wore down Ganga Zumba, in 1678 he agreed to stop accepting new slaves and move out of the mountains to safety. Ganga Zumba's nephew, saw this as betrayal and poisoned his uncle before tearing up the treaty with the Portuguese. Colonial forces continued the relentless attacks, in the end Zumbi was unable to cope. In 1694, the Portuguese destroyed Palmares and killed hundreds of its citizens, ending the glory days of the Quilombolas.
Zumbi and Palmares survived only as symbols of resistance. Other quilombos emerged during the age of the Aqualtune Dynasty. Fleeing slaves allied with Brazilian natives, they interbred, today most of the Quilombola population is part African-Brazilian, part Indian. Quilombos were located deep in the jungles, far from European influence, after the fall of Palmares, all the quilombos either went into hiding or were wiped out by Europeans. Most of the Quilombolas remained hidden so it was assumed they had been destroyed or died out, they continued the agricultural forest practice. The Quilombolas adopted a lifestyle, a cross of Portuguese and Indian culture, as well as their traditional African culture, to make a colourful cultural blend; until the 1970s, the Quilombolas were a unknown race and assumed extinct. However, in the 70s, deforestation reached their lands. Loggers, assuming them to be squatters trying to steal property, forced them off their land at gunpoint and unwittingly stole their land.
Nobody believed they were surviving Quilombolas until the 80s. Enraged ranchers claimed they were squatters pretending to be Quilombolas to get land and make a quick buck, they were accepted as Quilombolas, but ranchers still kept stealing their land. The most avid supporter of the Quilombolas was Chico Mendes, who argued for the preservation of the jungle and its native people, including the Quilombolas. In 2003, President Lula passed Decreto 4.887/2003, which recognized Quilombo communities and their claims to the land they inhabited. The decree detailed the processes of titling and demarcation of the Quilombo land. Right wing opponents filed a lawsuit; the ruling on the case was postponed for over 3 years, which resulted in President Temer suspending all new titles and demarcations of the lands until a ruling was made on the constitutionality of the decree. On February 8th, 2018, the Brazilian Supreme Court rejected the legal action and voted in favor of Lula’s decree. Though Quilombola land rights are secured by the STF for now, the communities still face many obstacles today, like the constitutional amendment PEC 215, proposed and is up for debate in Congress.
The executive branch in Brazil has power to demarcate Quilombola territories. PEC 215, if passed, would give Congress exclusive authority to oversee demarcation of indigenous land; the constitutional amendment would give Congress power over land, approved for demarcation. PEC 215 could take away land titles from 219 Quilombolas. Forty percent of the twelve million Africans imported to the Americas to be enslaved landed in Brazil in the late 16th century. Many enslaved Afro-Brazilians escaped bondage by running away and occupying land which led to the creation of Quilombos; those who live in these autonomous communities are referred to as Quilombolas and for many years many Quilombolas have been struggling to keep and earn titles to their land in the face of modernization and oppressive regimes in Brazil. The Quilombolas were granted rights to their land in 1988 as the Brazilian Constitution acknowledged these communities and stated: The definitive property rights of remanescentes of quilombos that have been occupying the same lands are hereby recognized, the state shall grant them title to such lands.
According to Sue Branford and Maurício Torres, only 219 of the 2,926 Quilombos have land titles. Brazil’s total Q
Municipalities of Brazil
The municipalities of Brazil are administrative divisions of the Brazilian states. At present, Brazil has 5,570 municipalities, making the average municipality population 34,361; the average state in Brazil has 214 municipalities. Roraima is the least subdivided state, with 15 municipalities, while Minas Gerais is the most subdivided state, with 853; the Federal District cannot be divided into municipalities, according to the Brazilian Constitution, the Federal District assumes the same constitutional and legal powers and obligations of the states and municipalities, instead, it is divided by administrative regions. The 1988 Brazilian Constitution treats the municipalities as parts of the Federation and not dependent subdivisions of the states; each municipality has an autonomous local government, comprising a mayor and a legislative body called municipal chamber. Both the local government and the legislative body are directly elected by the population every four years; these elections take place at the same time all over the country.
Each municipality has the constitutional power to approve its own laws, as well as collecting taxes and receiving funds from the state and federal governments. However, municipal governments have no judicial power, courts are only organised at the state or federal level. A subdivision of the state judiciary, or comarca, can either correspond to an individual municipality or encompass several municipalities; the seat of the municipal administration is a nominated city, with no specification in the law about the minimum population, area or facilities. The city always has the same name as the municipality. Municipalities can be subdivided, only for administrative purposes, into districts. Other populated sites with no legal effect or regulation. All municipalities are subdivided into neighbourhoods, although most municipalities do not define their neighbourhood limits. Municipalities can be split or merged to form new municipalities within the borders of the state, if the population of the involved municipalities expresses a desire to do so in a plebiscite.
However, these must abide by the Brazilian Constitution, forming exclaves or seceding from the state or union is expressly forbidden. Municipalities of Acre Municipalities of Alagoas Municipalities of Amapá Municipalities of Amazonas Municipalities of Bahia Municipalities of Ceará Municipalities of Espírito Santo Municipalities of Goiás Municipalities of Maranhão Municipalities of Mato Grosso Municipalities of Mato Grosso do Sul Municipalities of Minas Gerais Municipalities of Pará Municipalities of Paraíba Municipalities of Paraná Municipalities of Pernambuco Municipalities of Piauí Municipalities of Rio de Janeiro Municipalities of Rio Grande do Norte Municipalities of Rio Grande do Sul Municipalities of Rondônia Municipalities of Roraima Municipalities of Santa Catarina Municipalities of São Paulo Municipalities of Sergipe Municipalities of Tocantins Lists of cities List of largest cities in Brazil List of municipalities of Brazil Administrative region Map on the World Gazetteer at Archive.today Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics
A zebu, sometimes known as indicine cattle or humped cattle, is a species or subspecies of domestic cattle originating in South Asia. Zebu are characterised by a fatty hump on their shoulders, a large dewlap, sometimes drooping ears, they are well adapted to withstanding high temperatures, are farmed throughout the tropical countries, both as pure zebu and as hybrids with taurine cattle, the other main type of domestic cattle. Zebu are used as draught and riding animals, dairy cattle, beef cattle, as well as for byproducts such as hides and dung for fuel and manure. Zebu, namely Miniature Zebu, are kept as companion animals. In 1999, researchers at Texas A&M University cloned a zebu; the scientific name of zebu cattle was Bos indicus, but they are now more classified within the species Bos taurus as B. t. indicus, together with taurine cattle and the extinct ancestor of both of them, the aurochs. Taurine cattle are descended from the Eurasian aurochs, while zebu are descended from the Indian aurochs.
"Zebu" may be either singular or plural, but "zebus" is an acceptable plural form. The Spanish name, cebu or cebú, is present in a few English works. Zebu cattle are thought to be derived from Indian aurochs, sometimes regarded as a subspecies, B. p. namadicus. Wild Asian aurochs disappeared during the time of the Indus Valley Civilisation from its range in the Indus River basin and other parts of the South Asian region due to interbreeding with domestic zebu and resultant fragmentation of wild populations due to loss of habitat. Archaeological evidence including depictions on pottery and rocks suggests that the species were present in Egypt around 2000 BC and were thought to be imported from the near east or south. Bos indicus is believed to have first appeared in sub-Saharan Africa between 700 and 1500 and was introduced to the Horn of Africa around 1000; some 75 breeds of zebu are split about evenly between African breeds and Indian ones. The major zebu cattle breeds of the world include Gyr and Guzerat, Indo-Brazilian, Sibi Bhagnari, White Nukra, Cholistani, Lohani, Ongole, Red Sindhi and Kenana, Tharparkar, Southern Yellow, Kedah-Kelantan and Local Indian Dairy.
Kedah-Kelantan and LID originated from Malaysia. Other breeds of zebu are quite local, like the Hariana of Haryana and eastern Punjab or the Rath of Alwar in eastern Rajasthan; the African sanga cattle breeds originated from hybridization of zebu with indigenous African humpless cattle. Sanga cattle can be distinguished from pure zebu by having smaller humps located farther forward on the animals. Zebu were imported to Africa over many hundreds of years, interbred with taurine cattle there. Genetic analysis of African cattle has found higher concentrations of zebu genes all along the east coast of Africa, with pure cattle on the island of Madagascar, either implying that the method of dispersal was cattle transported by ship or alternatively, the zebu may have reached East Africa via the coastal route much earlier and crossed over to Madagascar. Partial resistance to rinderpest led to another increase in the frequency of zebu in Africa. Zebu, which can tolerate extreme heat, were imported into Brazil in the early 20th century and crossbred with Charolais cattle, a European taurine breed.
The resulting breed, 63% Charolais and 37% zebu, is called the Canchim. It has a better meat quality than the zebu and better heat resistance than European cattle; the zebu breeds used were Indo-Brazilian with some Nelore and Guzerat. Another Charolais cross-breed with Brahmans is called Australian Charbray and is recognised as a breed in some countries. Many breeds are complex mixtures of the zebu and various taurine types, some have yak, gaur, or banteng genes. Zebu are common in much of Asia, including China, India and all countries in Southeast Asia. In Asia, taurine cattle are only found in the northern regions such as Japan and Mongolia domesticated separately from the other taurine cattle originating from Europe and Africa). Other species of cattle domesticated in parts of Asia include yak, gaur and water buffalo. Hanwoo is a traditional Korean taurine–zebu hybrid breed. Zebu have humps on the shoulders, large dewlaps, droopy ears. Compared to taurine cattle, zebus are well adapted to the dry environment of the tropics.
Adaptations include resistance to tolerance of intense heat and sunlight. Zebu are mature enough to begin reproducing around 44 months old; this is based on the development of their bodies to withstand the strain of lactation. Early reproduction can place too much stress on the body and shorten lifespans. Carrying time of the calf averages at 285 days, but varies depending on the age and nutrition of the mother; the sex of the calf may affect the carrying time, as male calves are carried for a shorter period than females. Location, body weight, season affect the overall health of the animal and in return may affect the carrying period. Zebu are used as draught and riding animals, dairy cattle, as well as for byproducts such as hides, dung for fuel and manure, bone for knife handles and the like. Zebu miniature zebu, are kept as pets. B. T. indicus cows have low production of milk. They do not produce milk until maturation in their lives and do not produce much, giving it to their calves; when B. t. indicus is crossed wi
Minas Gerais is a state in the north of Southeastern Brazil. It ranks as the second most populous, the third by gross domestic product, the fourth largest by area in the country; the state's capital and largest city, Belo Horizonte, is a major urban and finance center in Latin America, the sixth largest municipality in Brazil, after the cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Fortaleza, but its metropolitan area is the third largest in Brazil with just over 5,500,000 inhabitants, after those of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Nine Brazilian presidents were born in the most of any state. With an area of 586,528 square kilometres —larger than Metropolitan France—it is the fourth most extensive state in Brazil; the main producer of coffee and milk in the country, Minas Gerais is known for its heritage of architecture and colonial art in historical cities such as São João del Rei, Ouro Preto, Diamantina and Mariana. In the south, the tourist points are the hydro mineral spas, such as Caxambu, Lambari, São Lourenço, Poços de Caldas, São Thomé das Letras, Monte Verde and the national parks of Caparaó and Canastra.
The landscape of the State is marked by mountains and large areas of fertile lands. In the Serra do Cipó, Sete Lagoas and Lagoa Santa, the caves and waterfalls are the attractions; some of Brazil's most famous caverns are located there. In recent years, the state has emerged as one of the largest economic forces of Brazil, exploring its great economic potential. Two interpretations are given for the origin of the name Minas Gerais, it comes from "Minas dos Matos Gerais", the former name of the colonial province. So a first and more common understanding affirms that the name means "General Mines", with the word Gerais serving as an adjective to the mines, which were themselves spread in several spots around a larger region. Another explanation is that this ignores the two large geographical spaces which conformed the state in its history: the region of the mines, the region of the Gerais; these corresponded to the areas of Sertão which were farther and hard to access from the mining spots. The confusion comes from the fact that the term "Gerais" is taken as an adjective to "Minas" in the first version, although according to this point of view it refers to the region called Gerais.
A further complication is that this is not a well-defined area on the map of the state, but rather a designation to these parts outside the mining spots, more related to the geography of Sertão, more isolated from the state's nucleus. Minas Gerais is in the north of the southeastern subdivision of Brazil, which contains the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo, it borders on Bahia, Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and the state of Espírito Santo. It shares a short boundary with the Distrito Federal. Minas Gerais is situated between 14°13'58" and 22°54'00" S latitude and between 39°51'32" and 51°02'35" W longitude, it is larger in area than Metropolitan Spain. Minas Gerais features some of the longest rivers in Brazil, most notably the São Francisco, the Paraná and to a lesser extent, the Rio Doce; the state holds many hydroelectric power plants, including Furnas. Some of the highest peaks in Brazil are in the mountain ranges in the southern part of the state, such as Serra da Mantiqueira and Serra do Cervo, that mark the border between Minas and its neighbors São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
The most notable one is the Pico da Bandeira, the third highest mountain in Brazil at 2890 m, standing on the border with Espírito Santo state. The state has huge reserves of iron and sizeable reserves of gold and gemstones, including emerald and aquamarine mines. Emeralds found in this location are comparable to the best Colombia-origin emeralds, are most a bluish-green color; each region of the state has a distinct character, geographically and to a certain extent culturally. The central and eastern area of the state is hilly and rocky, with little vegetation on the mountains. Around Lagoa Santa and Sete Lagoas a typical Karst topography with caves and lakes is found; some of the mountains are entirely iron ore, which led to extensive mining. Recent advances in environmental policy helped to put limits to mining. About 200 kilometres to the east of Belo Horizonte is the second Metropolitan Region of the state, Vale do Aço, which has iron and steel processing companies along the course of the Rio Doce and its tributaries.
Vale do Aço's largest cities are Coronel Fabriciano and Timóteo. Now that mining is restricted large areas of forest are being removed for timber, charcoal and to clear land for cattle ranching; the original forest cover of these inland hills is much fragmented. The city of Governador Valadares is in the limit of this region with the poorer North; the south of Minas Gerais is green, with coffee and milk production. This region is notably cooler than the rest of the state, some locations are subject to temperatures just below the freezing point during the winter; the region is famed for its mineral-water resorts, including the cities of Poços de Caldas, Lambari, São Lourenço and Caxambu. Many industries are located at Pouso Alegre; the southeast of the state, called Zona da Mata was the richest region unti
The Cerrado is a vast tropical savanna ecoregion of Brazil in the states of Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso and Minas Gerais. The Cerrado biome core areas are the plateaus in the center of Brazil; the main habitat types of the Cerrado include: forest savanna, wooded savanna, park savanna and gramineous-woody savanna. Savanna wetlands and gallery forests are included; the second largest of Brazil's major habitat types, after the Amazonian rainforest, the Cerrado accounts for a full 21 percent of the country's land area. The first detailed account of the Brazilian cerrados was provided by Danish botanist Eugenius Warming in the book Lagoa Santa, in which he describes the main features of the cerrado vegetation in the state of Minas Gerais. Since vast amounts of research have proved that the Cerrado is one of the richest of all tropical savanna regions and has high levels of endemism. Characterized by enormous ranges of plant and animal biodiversity, World Wide Fund for Nature named it the biologically richest savanna in the world, with about 10,000 plant species and 10 endemic bird species.
There are nearly 200 species of mammal in the Cerrado. The Cerrado's climate is typical of the wetter savanna regions of the world, with a semi-humid tropical climate; the Cerrado is limited to two dominant seasons throughout the year and dry. Annual temperatures for the Cerrado average between 22 and 27 °C and average precipitation between 800–2000 mm for over 90% of the area; this ecoregion has a strong dry season during the southern winter. The Cerrado is characterized by unique vegetation types, it is composed of a shifting mosaic of habitats, with the savanna-like cerrado itself on well-drained areas between strips of gallery forest which occur along streams. Between the cerrado and the gallery forest is an area of vegetation known as the wet campo with distinct up- and downslope borders where tree growth is inhibited due to wide seasonal fluctuations in the water table; the savanna portion of the Cerrado is heterogeneous in terms of canopy cover. Goodland divided the Cerrado into four categories ranging from least to most canopy cover: campo sujo, campo cerrado, cerrado sensu stricto and cerradao.
Around 800 species of trees are found in the Cerrado. Among the most diverse families of trees in the Cerrado are the Leguminosae, Myrtaceae and Rubiaceae. Much of the Cerrado is dominated by the Vochysiaceae due to the abundance of three species in the genus Qualea; the herbaceous layer reaches about 60 cm in height and is composed of the Poaceae, Leguminosae, Compositae and Rubiaceae. Much of the vegetation in the gallery forests is similar to nearby rainforest. Soil fertility, fire regime and hydrology are thought to be most influential in determining Cerrado vegetation. Cerrado soils are always well-drained and most are oxisols with low pH and low calcium and magnesium; the amount of potassium and phosphorus has been found to be positively correlated with tree trunk basal area in Cerrado habitats. Much as in other grasslands and savannas, fire is important in maintaining and shaping the Cerrado's landscape. Cerrado vegetation is believed to be ancient, stretching back as far in a prototypic form during the Cretaceous before Africa and South America separated.
A dynamic expansion and contraction between cerrado and Amazonian rainforest has occurred with expansion of the Cerrado during glacial periods like the Pleistocene. These processes and the resulting fragmentation have contributed to the high species richness both of the Cerrado and of the Amazonian rainforest; the insects of the Cerrado are understudied. A yearlong survey of the Cerrado at one reserve in Brazil found that the orders Coleoptera, Hymenoptera and Isoptera accounted for 89.5% of all captures. The Cerrado supports high density of leaf cutter ant nests which are very diverse. Along with termites, leaf cutter ants are the primary herbivores of the Cerrado and play an important role in consuming and decomposing organic matter, as well as constituting an important food source to many other animal species; the highest diversity of galling insects in the world is found in the Cerrado, with the most species found at the base of the Serro do Cipó in southeast Brazil. The Cerrado has a high diversity of vertebrates.
Lizard diversity is thought to be low in the Cerrado compared to other areas like caatinga or lowland rainforest although one recent study found 57 species in one cerrado area with the high diversity driven by the availability of open habitat. Ameiva ameiva is among the largest lizards found in the Cerrado and is the most important lizard predator where it is found in the Cerrado. There is a high diversity of snakes in the Cerrado with Colubridae being the richest family; the open nature of the cerrado vegetation most contrib