1. South America – South America is a continent located in the western hemisphere, mostly in the southern hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the northern hemisphere. It may also be considered a subcontinent of the Americas, which is the used in nations that speak Romance languages. The reference to South America instead of other regions has increased in the last decades due to changing geopolitical dynamics. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean, North America and it includes twelve sovereign states, a part of France, and a non-sovereign area. In addition to this, the ABC islands of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, South America has an area of 17,840,000 square kilometers. Its population as of 2005 has been estimated at more than 371,090,000, South America ranks fourth in area and fifth in population. Brazil is by far the most populous South American country, with more than half of the population, followed by Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela. In recent decades Brazil has also concentrated half of the regions GDP and has become a first regional power, most of the population lives near the continents western or eastern coasts while the interior and the far south are sparsely populated. Most of the continent lies in the tropics, the continents cultural and ethnic outlook has its origin with the interaction of indigenous peoples with European conquerors and immigrants and, more locally, with African slaves. Given a long history of colonialism, the majority of South Americans speak Portuguese or Spanish. South America occupies the portion of the Americas. The continent is delimited on the northwest by the Darién watershed along the Colombia–Panama border. Almost all of mainland South America sits on the South American Plate, South Americas major mineral resources are gold, silver, copper, iron ore, tin, and petroleum. These resources found in South America have brought high income to its countries especially in times of war or of rapid growth by industrialized countries elsewhere. However, the concentration in producing one major export commodity often has hindered the development of diversified economies and this is leading to efforts to diversify production to drive away from staying as economies dedicated to one major export. South America is one of the most biodiverse continents on earth, South America is home to many interesting and unique species of animals including the llama, anaconda, piranha, jaguar, vicuña, and tapir. The Amazon rainforests possess high biodiversity, containing a proportion of the Earths species. Brazil is the largest country in South America, encompassing around half of the land areaSouth America – A composite relief image of South America.
2. Northern South America – The system provides clear definitions and codes for recording plant distributions at four scales or levels, from botanical continents down to parts of large countries. Current users of the include the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Germplasm Resources Information Network. The scheme is one of a developed by Biodiversity Information Standards particularly aimed at taxonomic databases. The starting point was the need for a system of geographical units at approximately country level. The scheme represents a compromise between political and botanical divisions, all boundaries either follow a political boundary, or coastlines. The scheme also aims to follow tradition, in terms of the distribution categories used in works like the Flora Europaea, Flora Malesiana. This approach occasionally leads to departures from political boundaries, thus the scheme follows Flora Europaea in placing the eastern Aegean islands in the West Asia region, rather than in Europe where they belong politically as part of Greece. Numerical codes are used for Levels 1 and 2, alphabetic codes for Levels 3 and 4, the WGSRPD defines nine botanical continents, each assigned a single digit code from 1 to 9. The botanical continent of Europe is defined broadly in line with Flora Europaea, to the north-west it includes Iceland and Svalbard. The southern boundary with Africa encloses most of the Mediterranean islands, the eastern boundary places Crimea and European Russia in Europe, with the border defined by the administrative units. Novaya Zemlya is excluded from Europe, the botanical continent of Africa corresponds closely to the usual geographical definition. It excludes the Sinai Peninsula, politically part of Egypt, which is placed in region 34 Western Asia, to the west, it includes islands grouped as Macaronesia, comprising the Azores, the Canary Islands, and the Cape Verde Islands. To the east, it includes Madagascar and other Indian Ocean islands out as far as the island of Rodrigues, the geographical continent of Asia is divided into two botanical continents,3 Asia-Temperate and 4 Asia-Tropical. The reason for the division was described as largely for convenience, Asia-Temperate borders Europe and Africa, the boundaries are described above. To the south-east, the Indian Subcontinent and the rest of Asia from region 41 Indo-China southwards are placed in Asia-Tropical, Asia-Tropical forms the second part of the traditional geographical continent of Asia. Its western and northern boundaries are formed by the two regions 40 Indian Subcontinent and 41 Indo-China, the southern boundary separates Asia-Tropical from Australia. The south-eastern boundary was changed between the first edition of 1992 and the edition of 2001. In the first edition, Asia-Tropical was divided into three regions,40 Indian Subcontinent,41 Indo-China and 42 Malesia, the eastern boundary of Malesia was placed between the Bismarck Archipelago and the Solomon Islands, which were put into region 60 Southwest PacificNorthern South America
3. West Indies – Indigenous peoples were the first inhabitants of the West Indies. In 1492, Christopher Columbus became the first European to arrive at the islands, after the first of the voyages of Christopher Columbus to the Americas, Europeans began to use the term West Indies to distinguish the region from the East Indies of South Asia and Southeast Asia. In the late century, French, English and Dutch merchants and privateers began their operations in the Caribbean Sea, attacking Spanish and Portuguese shipping. These African slaves wrought a demographic revolution, replacing or joining with either the indigenous Caribs or the European settlers who were there as indentured servants. The Dutch, allied with the Caribs of the Orinoco would eventually carry the struggles deep into South America, first along the Orinoco and these interconnected commercial and diplomatic relations made up the Western Caribbean Zone which was in place in the early eighteenth century. In 1916, Denmark sold the Danish West Indies to the United States for US$25 million in gold, the Danish West Indies became an insular area of the US, called the United States Virgin Islands. Between 1958 and 1962, the United Kingdom re-organised all their West Indies island territories into the West Indies Federation and they hoped that the Federation would coalesce into a single, independent nation. West Indian is the term used by the U. S. government to refer to people of the West Indies. Tulane University professor Rosanne Adderly says he phrase West Indies distinguished the territories encountered by Columbus, … The term West Indies was eventually used by all European nations to describe their own acquired territories in the Americas. Despite the collapse of the Federation … the West Indies continues to field a joint cricket team for international competition, the West Indies cricket team includes participants from Guyana, which is geographically located in South America. More than Slaves and Sugar, Recent Historiography of the Trans-imperial Caribbean, a Concise History of the Caribbean. Martin, Tony, Caribbean History, From Pre-colonial Origins to the PresentWest Indies – West Indies
4. Los Llanos (South America) – Los Llanos is a vast tropical grassland plain situated to the east of the Andes in Colombia and Venezuela, in northwestern South America. It is an ecoregion of the grasslands and savannas biome. The Llanos main river is the Orinoco, which part of the border between Colombia and Venezuela and is the major river system of Venezuela. During the rainy season from May to October, parts of the Llanos can flood up to a meter and this turns the woodlands and grassland into a temporary wetland, comparable to the Pantanal of central South America. This flooding also makes the area unique for its wildlife, the area supports around 70 species of water birds, including the scarlet ibis. A large portion of the distribution of the flycatcher is in the Llanos. The flooding also made the area unfit for most agriculture before the advent of modern, therefore, during the Spanish colonial era, the primary economic activity of the area was the herding of millions of heads of cattle. An 1856 watercolor by Manuel María Paz depicts sparsely populated open grazing lands with cattle, the term llanero became synonymous with the cowhands that took care of the herds, and had some cultural similarities with the gauchos of the Pampas or the vaqueros of Spanish and Mexican Texas. In the wet season most of the Llanos is flooded and travel is by boat down the numerous temporary, in Los Llanos the governments of Venezuela and Colombia had developed a strong oil and gas industry in zones of Arauca, Casanare, Guárico, Anzoátegui, Apure and Monagas. The Orinoco Belt, entirely in Venezuelan territory, consists of deposits of extra heavy crude. The Orinoco belt oil sands are known to be one of the largest, behind that of the Athabasca Oil Sands in Alberta, Canada. Venezuelas non-conventional oil deposits of about 1,200 billion barrels, the llanos music The llanos of Colombia and Venezuela Los Llanos de Colombia LlanosLos Llanos (South America) – Los Llanos in Colombia
5. The Guianas – Before the arrival of European explorers, the Guianas were populated by scattered bands of Arawak Indians. Over the centuries of the era, the ebb and flow of power between Arawak and Carib interests throughout the Caribbean resulted in a great deal of intermingling. This ethnic mixing, particularly in the Caribbean margins like the Guianas, walter Raleigh began the exploration of the Guianas in earnest in 1594. He was in search of a golden city at the headwaters of the Caroní River. A year later he explored what is now Guyana and eastern Venezuela in search of Manoa, Raleigh described the city of El Dorado as being located on Lake Parime far up the Orinoco River in Guyana. After the publication of Raleighs accounts, several other European powers developed interest in the Guianas, the Dutch joined in the exploration of the Guianas before the end of the century. With this goal in mind, the Dutch dispatched explorer Jacob Cornelisz to survey the area in 1597 and his clerk, Adriaen Cabeliau, related the voyage of Cornelisz and his survey of Indian groups and areas of potential trade partnerships in his diary. The company, established in 1621 for such purposes, benefited from an investment of capital than the English, primarily through foreign investors like Isaac de Pinto. English and Dutch settlers were regularly harassed by the Spanish and Portuguese, in 1613, Dutch trading posts on the Essequibo and Corantijn Rivers were completely destroyed by Spanish troops. Nonetheless, the Dutch returned in 1615, founding a new settlement at present-day Cayenne, one on the Wiapoco River, the French had also made less significant attempts at colonization, first in 1604 along the Sinnamary River. The settlement collapsed within a summer, and initial attempts at settlement near modern-day Cayenne, French priorities — land acquisition and Catholic conversion — were not easily reconciled with the difficulties of initial settlement-building on the Wild Coast. Even as late as 1635, the King of France granted permission to the whole of Guiana to a company of Norman merchants. When these merchants made a settlement near the city of Cayenne. Eight years later, a reinforcement contingent led by Charles Poncet de Brétigny found only a few of the colonists left alive. Cayenne itself, the first permanent settlement of size to the Dutch colonies. The Dutch appointed a new commandeur of the Guiana settlements in 1742, in this year, Laurens Storm van s Gravesande took over the region. He held the position for three decades, coordinating the development and expansion of the Dutch colonies from his Netherlands home in Soestdijk, gravesande’s tenure brought significant change to the colonies, though his policy was in many ways an extension of his predecessor, Hermanus Gelskerke. Commandeur Gelskerke had begun pressing for change from a focus to one of cultivationThe Guianas – Parime Lacus on a map by Hessel Gerritsz (1625). Situated at the west coast of the lake, the so-called city Manoa or El Dorado
6. Amazon Basin – The Amazon basin is the part of South America drained by the Amazon River and its tributaries. The Amazon drainage basin covers an area of about 7,500,000 km2 and it is located in the countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. Most of the basin is covered by the Amazon Rainforest, also known as Amazonia, with a 5,500,000 km2 area of dense tropical forest, this is the largest rainforest in the world. The Amazon River rises in the Andes Mountains at the west of the basin with its tributary the Marañón River in Peru. It is usually considered to be the second longest river in the world, however, a team of Brazilian scientists has claimed that the Amazon is the longest river in the world. It covers about 6,400 km before draining into the Atlantic Ocean, the Amazon and its tributaries form the largest volume of water. The Amazon accounts for about 20% of the water carried to the oceans by rivers. Some of the Amazon rainforests are deforested because of the increasing of cattle ranches, the highest point in the watershed of the Amazon is the peak of Yerupajá at 6,635 m. The Amazon basin formerly flowed west to Pacific Ocean until the Andes formed, politically the basin is divided into the Brazilian Amazônia Legal, the Peruvian Amazon, the Amazon region of Colombia and parts of Bolivia, Ecuador and the Venezuelan state of Amazonas. Plant growth is dense and its variety of inhabitants is comparatively high due to the heavy rainfall. Little sunlight reaches the ground due to the roof canopy by plants. The ground remains dark and damp and only shade tolerant vegetation will grow here, orchids and bromeliads exploit trees and other plants to get closer to the sunlight. They grow hanging onto the branches or tree trunks with aerial roots, not as parasites, species of tropical trees native to the Amazon include Brazil nut, rubber tree and Assai palm. More than 1,400 species of mammals are found in the Amazon and its larger mammals include the jaguar, ocelot, capybara and South American tapir. About 1500 bird species inhabit the Amazon Basin, the biodiversity of the Amazon and the sheer number of diverse bird species is given by the number of different bird families that reside in these humid forests. An example of such would be the family, to which the Guianan cock-of-the-rock belong. Birds such as toucans, and hummingbirds are found here. Macaws are famous for gathering by the hundreds along the cliffs of the Amazon RiverAmazon Basin – Aerial view of part of the Amazon rainforest.
7. Amazon rainforest – The Amazon rainforest, also known in English as Amazonia or the Amazon Jungle, is a moist broadleaf forest in the Amazon biome that covers most of the Amazon basin of South America. This basin encompasses 7,000,000 square kilometres, of which 5,500,000 square kilometres are covered by the rainforest and this region includes territory belonging to nine nations. States or departments in four nations contain Amazonas in their names, the name Amazon is said to arise from a war Francisco de Orellana fought with the Tapuyas and other tribes. The women of the tribe alongside the men, as was their custom. Orellana derived the name Amazonas from the Amazons of Greek mythology, the rainforest likely formed during the Eocene era. It appeared following a reduction of tropical temperatures when the Atlantic Ocean had widened sufficiently to provide a warm. Following the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, the extinction of the dinosaurs, from 66–34 Mya, the rainforest extended as far south as 45°. Climate fluctuations during the last 34 million years have allowed savanna regions to expand into the tropics, during the Oligocene, for example, the rainforest spanned a relatively narrow band. It expanded again during the Middle Miocene, then retracted to a mostly inland formation at the last glacial maximum, however, the rainforest still managed to thrive during these glacial periods, allowing for the survival and evolution of a broad diversity of species. During the mid-Eocene, it is believed that the basin of the Amazon was split along the middle of the continent by the Purus Arch. Water on the eastern side flowed toward the Atlantic, while to the west water flowed toward the Pacific across the Amazonas Basin, as the Andes Mountains rose, however, a large basin was created that enclosed a lake, now known as the Solimões Basin. Within the last 5–10 million years, this accumulating water broke through the Purus Arch, there is evidence that there have been significant changes in Amazon rainforest vegetation over the last 21,000 years through the Last Glacial Maximum and subsequent deglaciation. There is debate, however, over how extensive this reduction was, more than 56% of the dust fertilizing the Amazon rainforest comes from the Bodélé depression in Northern Chad in the Sahara desert. The dust contains phosphorus, important for plant growth, the yearly Sahara dust replaces the equivalent amount of phosphorus washed away yearly in Amazon soil from rains and floods. Up to 50 million tonnes of Sahara dust per year are blown across the Atlantic Ocean, CALIPSO uses a laser range finder to scan the Earths atmosphere for the vertical distribution of dust and other aerosols. CALIPSO regularly tracks the Sahara-Amazon dust plume, CALIPSO has measured variations in the dust amounts transported— an 86 percent drop between the highest amount of dust transported in 2007 and the lowest in 2011. A possibility causing the variation is the Sahel, a strip of land on the southern border of the Sahara. When rain amounts in the Sahel are higher, the volume of dust is lower, the higher rainfall could make more vegetation grow in the Sahel, leaving less sand exposed to winds to blow awayAmazon rainforest – Amazon rainforest, near Manaus, Brazil.
8. Paria Peninsula – The Paria Peninsula, is a large peninsula on the Caribbean Sea, in Sucre State, northern Venezuela. It separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Paria, the peninsula is part of the Serranía del Litoral mountain range, in the Venezuelan Coastal Range portion of the northern Andes. Its tip almost touches the island of Trinidad, península de Paria National Park is located on the peninsula. As a political subdivision, the Paria Region of the peninsula is the aggregation of six municipalities within the Sucre State, Bermúdez, Arismendi, Benítez, Libertador, Mariño ValdezParia Peninsula – Paria Peninsula, between the Caribbean Sea (above/north) and Gulf of Paria (south). Seen from space.
9. Orinoco Delta – The Orinoco Delta is a vast river delta of the Orinoco River, located in eastern Venezuela. The Orinoco Delta is one of the eight regions of Venezuela. It is covers the whole of Delta Amacuro State and a few kilometers of Monagas State and Sucre State. The Warao people live in the region, the delta is fan-shaped, formed by the Orinoco River as it splits into numerous distributaries, called caños, which meander through the delta on their way to the sea. The area of this region its approximately 43,646 square kilometres, the Orinoco Delta is characterized by being non-centric, lagoon lacking, and oceanic, somewhat similar to the delta of the Niger River. Daily tides bring sea water up the caños, causing the macareo or pororoca and revsering the flow direction of water, the predominant vegetation is in the Orinoco Delta swamp forests ecoregion. Along the coast and the margins there are stretches of Amazon-Orinoco-Southern Caribbean mangroves. To the west, and closer to the coast, there are patches of the Orinoco wetlands ecoregion, the delta includes large areas of permanent wetlands as well as seasonally-flooded freshwater swamp forests. The river margins of the delta are fringed with mangroves, Venezuela Tourism Directory Geo-Environmental Characterization of the Delta del Orinoco Orinoco wetlandsOrinoco Delta – Orinoco Delta.
10. Southern Cone – Southern Cone is a geographic region composed of the southernmost areas of South America, south of and around the Tropic of Capricorn. In terms of social and political geography, the Southern Cone comprises Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Southern Brazil, the climates are mostly temperate, but include humid subtropical, Mediterranean, highland tropical, maritime temperate, sub-Antarctic temperate, highland cold, desert and semi-arid temperate regions. Except for northern regions of Argentina, the country of Paraguay, the Argentina-Brazil border and the interior of the Atacama desert. In addition to that, the winter presents mostly cool temperatures, strong and constant wind and high humidity is what brings low temperatures in the winter. The Atacama is the driest place on Earth, one of the most peculiar plants of the region is the Araucaria tree, which can be found in southern Brazil, Chile and Argentina. The only native group of conifers found in the southern hemisphere had its origin in the Southern Cone, Araucaria angustifolia, once widespread in Southern Brazil, is now a critically endangered species, protected by law. The steppe region of central Argentina, Uruguay and southern Brazil is known as the Pampas, Central Chile has Mediterranean vegetation and climate, grading southward into oceanic climate. The Atacama, Patagonian and Monte deserts form a diagonal or arid lands separating the woodlands, croplands and pastures of La Plata basin from Central and Southern Chile. Apart from the diagonal, the north-south running Andes form a major divide in the Southern Cone and constitute, for most of its part in the southern cone. In the east the river systems of the La Plata basin form natural barriers, besides sharing languages and colonial heritage, the residents of the states of the Southern Cone are avid players and fans of football, with top-notch teams competing in the sport. Argentina and Uruguay have both won the FIFA World Cup twice, they are the national teams along with Brazil outside Europe to have won the cup. Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Brazil have all hosted the World Cup, Americas Cup 2015 was won by the hosts, Chile. Additionally, national teams from the region have won several Olympic medals in football, the asado barbecue is a culinary tradition typical of the Southern Cone. The asado developed from the horsemen and cattle culture of the region, more specifically from the gauchos of Argentina and Uruguay, in the Southern Cone, horsemen are considered icons of national identity, they are featured in the epic poem Martín Fierro. Mate is popular throughout the Southern Cone, especially in Argentina, in Chile mate is popular in the southern regions and south-central rural areas. They helped organize labor movements and popular movements for democracy but also participated in the dictatorships, the overwhelming majority, including those of recent immigrant background, speak Spanish or Portuguese in the case of Southern Brazil. It is sometimes referred to as Castellano Argentino/Argentinean Spanish due to the majority of the speakers being Argentinians. Buenos Aires, Rosario, and Montevideo had an influx of Italian immigrant settlers from the mid-19th until mid-20th centuriesSouthern Cone – Landforms in the Monte Desert at Ischigualasto, Argentina. Much of the southern cone is covered by the Arid Diagonal of which Monte Desert is part of.
11. Tierra del Fuego – Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland, across the Strait of Magellan. The archipelago consists of the island, Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, with an area of 48,100 km2. Tierra del Fuego is divided between Chile and Argentina, with the controlling the eastern half of the main island. The southernmost extent of the archipelago is at about latitude 55 S, the earliest known human settlement in Tierra del Fuego dates to around 8,000 B. C. Europeans first explored the islands during Ferdinand Magellans expedition of 1520, Tierra del Fuego, today, petroleum extraction dominates economic activity in the north of Tierra del Fuego, while tourism, manufacturing, and Antarctic logistics are important in the south. The earliest human settlement occurred around 8,000 B. C, the Yaghan were some of the earliest known humans to settle in Tierra del Fuego. Archeological sites with characteristics of their culture have found at locations such as Navarino Island. The name Tierra del Fuego derives from the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, sailing for the Spanish Crown and he believed he was seeing the many fires of the Yaghan, which were visible from the sea, and that the Indians were waiting in the forests to ambush his armada. In 1525 Francisco de Hoces was the first to speculate that Tierra del Fuego was one or more islands rather than part of what was then called Terra Australis, francis Drake in 1578 and a Dutch VOC expedition in 1616 learned more about the geography. The latter expedition named Cape Horn, on his first voyage with the HMS Beagle in 1830, Robert FitzRoy picked up four native Fuegians, including Jemmy Button and brought them to England. The surviving three were taken to London to meet the King and Queen and were, for a time and they returned to Tierra del Fuego in the Beagle with FitzRoy and Charles Darwin, who made extensive notes about his visit to the islands. During the second half of the 19th century, the archipelago began to come under Chilean, both countries sought to claim the whole archipelago based on de jure Spanish colonial titles. Salesian Catholic missions were established in Río Grande and Dawson Island, anglican missions were established by British colonists at Keppel Island in the Falklands in 1855 and in 1870 at Ushuaia on the main island, which continued to operate through the 19th century. Thomas Bridges learned the language and compiled a 30, 000-word Yaghan grammar and it was published in the 20th century and considered an important ethnological work. An 1879 Chilean expedition led by Ramón Serrano Montaner reported large amounts of gold in the streams. This prompted massive immigration to the island between 1883 and 1909. Numerous Argentines, Chileans and Croatians settled in the main island, julius Popper, a Romanian explorer, was one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the region. Granted rights by the Argentine government to exploit any gold deposits he found in Tierra del Fuego, despite the missionaries efforts, many natives diedTierra del Fuego – Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the bottom half of the image
12. Patagonia – Patagonia is a sparsely populated region located at the southern end of South America, shared by Argentina and Chile. The region comprises the section of the Andes mountains as well as the deserts, steppes. Patagonia has two coasts, a western one towards the Pacific Ocean and an eastern one towards the Atlantic Ocean, the Colorado and Barrancas rivers, which run from the Andes to the Atlantic, are commonly considered the northern limit of Argentine Patagonia. The archipelago of Tierra del Fuego is sometimes included as part of Patagonia, most geographers and historians locate the northern limit of Chilean Patagonia at Reloncaví Estuary. The name Patagonia comes from the word used by Magellan in 1520 to describe the native people that his expedition thought to be giants. It is now believed that the people he called the Patagons were Tehuelches, the hypothesis was accepted and published in the New Review of Spanish Philology in the 2011 article. In the hollows of the plains are ponds or lakes of fresh and brackish water, towards the Andes, the shingle gives place to porphyry, granite, and basalt lavas, animal life becomes more abundant and vegetation more luxuriant. It is characteristic of the flora of the western coast, and consist principally of southern beech and conifers. Among the depressions by which the plateau is intersected transversely, the ones are the Gualichu, south of the Río Negro, the Maquinchao and Valcheta, the Senguerr. There, erosion which is caused principally by the sudden melting, best in evidence where in contact with folded Cretaceous rocks which are uplifted by the Cenozoic granite. It generally separates the plateau from the first lofty hills, the ridges generally called the pre-Cordillera, to the west of these, a similar longitudinal depression extends all along the foot of the snowy Andean Cordillera. This latter depression contains the richest and most fertile land of Patagonia, Lake basins along the Cordillera were also excavated by ice-streams, including Lake Argentino and Lake Fagnano, as well as coastal bays such as Bahía Inútil. There have been discrepancies among geologists on the origin of the Patagonian landmass, víctor Ramos has proposed that the Patagonian landmass originated as an allochtonous terrane that separated from Antarctica and docked in South America 250 to 270 Ma in the Permian era. A2014 study by Robert John Pankhurst and coworkers reject any idea of a far-travelled Patagonia claiming it is likely of parautochtonous origin, the Mesozoic and Cenozoic deposits have revealed a most interesting vertebrate fauna. The Patagonian Myolania belongs to the Upper Chalk, having been associated with remains of Dinosauria. In the Cenozoic marine formation, a number of cetaceans has been discovered. At a state level, Patagonia lies inside two countries, Chile and Argentina, both countries have organised their Patagonian territories into non-equivalent administrative subdivisions, Provinces and departments in Argentina, and regions, provinces and communes in Chile. Being a unitary state Chiles first level administrative divisions—the regions—enjoy far less autonomy than Argentine provinces, Argentine provinces have elected governors and parliaments, while Chilean regions have government-appointed intendantsPatagonia – Patagonia
13. Pampas – These vast plains are a natural region only interrupted by the low Ventana and Tandil hills near Bahía Blanca and Tandil, with a height of 1,300 m and 500 m, respectively. The climate is warm, with precipitation of 600 to 1,200 mm, more or less evenly distributed through the year and this area is also one of the distinct physiography provinces of the larger Paraná-Paraguay Plain division. These plains contain unique wildlife because of the different terrains around it, some of this wildlife includes the rhea, the pampas deer, several species of armadillos, the pampas fox, the white-eared opossum, the elegant crested tinamou, and several other species. The climate of the Pampas is generally temperate, gradually giving way to a subtropical climate in the north. Summer temperatures are more uniform than winter temperatures, generally ranging from 28 to 33 °C during the day, however, most cities in the Pampas occasionally have high temperatures that push 38 °C. This occurs when a warm, dry, northerly wind blows from southern Brazil, autumn arrives gradually in March, and peaks in April and May. In April, highs range from 20 to 25 °C and lows from 9 to 13 °C, the first frosts arrive in mid-April in the south, and in late May or early June in the north. Winters are generally mild, although cold waves do occur, normal temperatures range from 12 to 19 °C during the day, and from 1 to 6 °C at night. With strong northerly winds, days of over 25 °C can be recorded almost everywhere, whereas during cold waves, frost occurs everywhere in the Pampas, although it is much more frequent in the southwest, and less so around the Parana and Uruguay Rivers. Temperatures under −5 °C can occur everywhere, whereas values of −10 °C or lower are confined to the south, snow never falls in the northernmost third, and is rare and light elsewhere, except for exceptional events where depths have reached 30 cm. Springs are very variable, it is warmer than fall in most areas, violent storms are more common, as well as wide temperature variations, days of 35 °C can give way to nights of under 5 °C or even frost, all within only a few days. Precipitation ranges from 1,200 mm in the northeast, to about 500 mm in the southern and western edges. In the west, it is seasonal, with some places recording averages of 120 mm monthly in the summer. The eastern areas have small peaks in the fall and in the spring, however, where summer rain falls as short, heavy storms, winter rain falls mostly as cold drizzle, so that the amount of rainy days is fairly constant. Very intense thunderstorms are common in the spring and summer, and it has among the most frequent lightning, the severe thunderstorms produce intense hailstorms, and both floods and flash floods, as well as the most consistently active tornado region outside the central and southeastern US. Frequent wildfires ensure that only small plants such as grasses flourish, the dominant vegetation types are grassy prairie and grass steppe in which numerous species of the grass genus Stipa are particularly conspicuous. Pampas grass is a species of the Pampas. Vegetation typically includes perennial grasses and herbs, different strata of grasses occur because of gradients of water availabilityPampas – Landscape in the Pampas at eye level
14. Pantanal – The Pantanal is a natural region encompassing the worlds largest tropical wetland area. It is located mostly within the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul and it sprawls over an area estimated at between 140,000 and 195,000 square kilometres. Various subregional ecosystems exist, each with distinct hydrological, geological and ecological characteristics, the name Pantanal comes from the Portuguese word pântano, meaning wetland, bog, swamp, quagmire or marsh. By comparison, the Brazilian highlands are locally referred to as the planalto, plateau or, literally, the Pantanal is a huge, gently-sloped basin that receives runoff from the upland areas and slowly releases the water through the Paraguay River and tributaries. The formation is a result of the large, concave pre-Andean depression of the earths crust and this area is also one of the distinct physiographic provinces of the larger Parana-Paraguay Plain area. The Pantanal is bounded by the Chiquitano dry forests to the west and northwest, by the Arid Chaco dry forests to the southwest, the Cerrado savannas lie to the north, east and southeast. The Pantanal has a yearly rainfall of 1, 000–1,400 mm. Its average temperature is 25 °C, but temperatures can fluctuate from 0 to 40 °C, floodplain ecosystems such as the Pantanal are defined by their seasonal inundation and desiccation. They shift between phases of standing water and phases of dry soil, when the table can be well below the root region. Soils range from high levels of sand in areas to higher amounts of clay. Elevation of the Pantanal ranges from 80 to 150 m above sea level, annual rainfall over the flood basin is between 1,000 and 1,500 mm, with most rainfall occurring between November and March. In the Paraguay River portion of the Pantanal, water levels rise between two meters to five meters seasonally, water fluctuations in other parts of the Pantanal are less than this. Flood waters tend to flow due to the low gradients. When rising river waters first contact previously dry soil, the waters become oxygen-depleted, many natural fish kills can occur if there are no oxygenated water refuges available. Forests usually occur at altitudes of the region, while grasslands cover the seasonally inundated areas. The key limiting factors for growth are inundation and, even more importantly, the Pantanal ecosystem is home to 3500 known plant species. The Pantanal ecosystem is thought to be home to 1000 bird species,400 fish species,300 mammalian species,480 reptile species. The apple snail is a species in Pantanals ecosystemPantanal – UNESCO World Heritage Site
15. Gran Chaco – This land is sometimes called the Chaco Plain. The Gran Chaco is about 647,500 km² in size and it is located west of the Paraguay River and east of the Andes, and is mostly an alluvial sedimentary plain shared among Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina. It stretches from about 17° to 33° South latitude and between 65° and 60° West longitude, though estimates differ, locals sometimes divide it today by the political borders, giving rise to the terms Argentinian Chaco, Paraguayan Chaco and Bolivian Chaco. The Chaco Boreal may be divided in two, closer to the mountains in the west, the Alto Chaco, sometimes known as Chaco Seco, is very dry and sparsely vegetated. It has an open savanna vegetation consisting of palm trees, quebracho trees and tropical high-grass areas. The landscape is flat and slopes at a 0.004 degree gradient to the east. This area is one of the distinct physiographic provinces of the Parana-Paraguay Plain division. The areas more hospitable to development are along the Paraguay, Bermejo and it is a great source of timber and tannin, which is derived from the native quebracho tree. Special tannin factories have been constructed there, the wood of the palo santo from the Central Chaco is the source of oil of guaiac. Paraguay also cultivates mate in the part of the Chaco. Large tracts of the central and northern Chaco have high fertility, sandy alluvial soils with elevated levels of phosphorus. Soils are generally erosion prone once the forest has been cleared, in the central and northern Paraguay Chaco, occasional dust storms have caused major top soil loss. Prior to national independence of the nations that compose the Chaco, the Gran Chaco had been a disputed territory since 1810. Officially, it was supposed to be part of Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay, Argentina claimed territories south of the Bermejo River until Paraguays defeat in the War of the Triple Alliance in 1870 established its current border with Argentina. Over the next few decades, Bolivia began to push the natives out and settle in the Gran Chaco, Bolivia sought the Paraguay River for shipping oil out into the sea, and Paraguay claimed ownership of the land. This became the backdrop to The Gran Chaco War between Paraguay and Bolivia over supposed oil in the Chaco Boreal, in the end, no oil was found in the region. Mennonites immigrated into the Paraguayan part of the region from Canada in the 1920s, more came from the USSR in the 1930s and these immigrants created some of the largest and most prosperous municipalities in the deep Gran Chaco. The region is home to nine million people, divided about evenly among Argentina, Bolivia, BrazilGran Chaco – Landscape in the Gran Chaco, Chaco Boreal, Paraguay
16. Chiquitano dry forests – The Chiquitano dry forests is a tropical dry broadleaf forest ecoregion in Bolivia and Brazil. The Chiquitano dry forests cover an area of 230,600 square kilometers, the ecoregion lies east of the Andes in the lowlands of eastern Bolivia and the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Rondônia. The World Wildlife Fund includes the Chiquitano dry forests in the Amazon biome, the ecoregion adjoins the Dry Chaco ecoregion to the south and the Pantanal ecoregion to the southeast. To the northeast it blends into the Cerrado ecoregion, to the northwest it adjoins the Madeira-Tapajós moist forests and Southwest Amazon moist forests ecoregions. The climate of the Chiquitano dry forests is tropical, with a dry season during the southern hemisphere winter. Animal species found in the include, Goodfellows tuco-tuco During the period from 2004 to 2011 the ecoregion experienced an annual rate of habitat loss of 0. 62%Chiquitano dry forests – Contents
17. Valdes Peninsula – The Valdes Peninsula is a peninsula on the Atlantic coast in the Biedma Department in the north east of Chubut Province, Argentina. Around 3,625 km2 in size, it is an important nature reserve which was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, the nearest large town is Puerto Madryn. The only town on the peninsula is the settlement of Puerto Pirámides. There are also a number of estancias, where sheep are raised, most of the peninsula is barren land with some salt lakes. The largest of these lakes is at an elevation of about 40 m below sea level, until recently thought to be the lowest elevation in Argentina, Valdes Peninsula has a semi-arid climate. It has a typical of northern Patagonia that is modified with interactions between atmospheric circulation patterns and the adjacent ocean. The peninsula is located between the high pressure belt and the subpolar low pressure zone, resulting in the wind being predominantly from the west. The mean annual temperature is 10.6 °C, ranging from a mean temperature of 8 °C in winter to 18 °C in summer. During winter, temperatures fluctuate between 0 to 15 °C with frosts being common, averaging 12–20 days during the season, temperatures in the summer can fluctuate between 15 to 35 °C. Mean annual precipitation is low, averaging 240 mm although this is variable from year to year. The interior of the peninsula receives slightly lower precipitation than the coastal areas, precipitation is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year though April–June receives the most precipitation. The El Niño Southern Oscillation strongly influences the climate of the peninsula, during an El Niño year, precipitation is higher from November to February. The coastline is inhabited by mammals, like sea lions, elephant seals. Southern right whales can be found in Golfo Nuevo and Golfo San José and these baleen whales come here between May and December, for mating and giving birth, because the water in the gulf is quieter and warmer than in the open sea. Orcas can be found off the coast, in the sea off the peninsula. In this area, they are known to themselves on shore to capture sea lions. The inner part of the peninsula is inhabited by rheas, guanacos, a high diversity and range of birds live in the peninsula as well, at least 181 bird species,66 of which migratory, live in the area, including the Antarctic pigeon. Chile - Argentina 2000, Peninsula ValdezValdes Peninsula – UNESCO World Heritage Site
18. Andes – The Andes or Andean Mountains are the longest continental mountain range in the world. They are a range of highlands along the western edge of South America. This range is about 7,000 km long, about 200 to 700 km wide, the Andes extend from north to south through seven South American countries, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. Along their length, the Andes are split into several ranges, the Andes are the location of several high plateaus – some of which host major cities, such as Quito, Bogotá, Arequipa, Medellín, Sucre, Mérida and La Paz. The Altiplano plateau is the worlds second-highest after the Tibetan plateau and these ranges are in turn grouped into three major divisions based on climate, the Tropical Andes, the Dry Andes, and the Wet Andes. The Andes are the worlds highest mountain range outside of Asia, the highest mountain outside Asia, Mount Aconcagua, rises to an elevation of about 6,961 m above sea level. The peak of Chimborazo in the Ecuadorean Andes is farther from the Earths center than any other location on the Earths surface, the worlds highest volcanoes are in the Andes, including Ojos del Salado on the Chile-Argentina border, which rises to 6,893 m. The etymology of the word Andes has been debated, the majority consensus is that it derives from the Quechua word anti, which means east as in Antisuyu, one of the four regions of the Inca Empire. In the northern part of the Andes, the isolated Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta range is considered to be part of the Andes. The term cordillera comes from the Spanish word cordel, meaning rope, the Andes range is about 200 km wide throughout its length, except in the Bolivian flexure where it is about 640 kilometres wide. The Andes are the result of plate tectonics processes, caused by the subduction of oceanic crust beneath the South American plate. The main cause of the rise of the Andes is the compression of the rim of the South American Plate due to the subduction of the Nazca Plate. In the south, the Andes share a boundary with the former Patagonia Terrane. To the west, the Andes end at the Pacific Ocean, from a geographical approach, the Andes are considered to have their western boundaries marked by the appearance of coastal lowlands and a less rugged topography. The Andes Mountains also contain large quantities of iron ore located in mountains within the range. The Andean orogen has a series of bends or oroclines, the Bolivian Orocline is a seaward concave bending in the coast of South America and the Andes Mountains at about 18° S. At this point the orientation of the Andes turns from Northwest in Peru to South in Chile, the Andean segment north and south of the orocline have been rotated 15° to 20° counter clockwise and clockwise respectively. The Bolivian Orocline area overlaps with the area of maximum width of the Altiplano Plateau, the specific point at 18° S where the coastline bends is known as the Arica ElbowAndes – Aerial photo of a portion of the Andes between Argentina and Chile
19. Tropical Andes – The Tropical Andes are the northern of the three climate-delineated parts of the Andes, the others being the Dry Andes and the Wet Andes. The Tropical Andes area spans 1,542,644 km2, the Tropical Andes are located in South America following the path of the Andes. They run, mainly, through five countries, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, the land initially was roughly 1,258,000 km2 but has decreased to 314,500 km2, leaving 25% of the original land. Due to the amount of area the landscape is diverse. Diverse landscapes lead to diverse habitats and the ability to provide needed resources for many species, the diverse landscape includes snow-topped mountains down to canyons and valleys. The most diverse cloud forests found in Peru and Bolivia covers 500,000 km2, Dry forests and woodlands are also found throughout the Tropical Andes. The range is home to the deepest gorge in Peru at 3,223 meters deep and Lake Titicaca. The Tropical Andes are a biodiversity hotspot named the global epicenter of biodiversity according to the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, the Tropical Andes are an area of rich biodiversity. This location contains about 45,000 plant species of which 20,000 are endemic, there are over 3,000 vertebrate species with about 1,500 endemic. Besides plants and vertebrates,1,666 bird species,479 reptile species, all hotspots are important for conservation biology, but especially the tropical Andes with so many endemic species. The biodiversity within the Tropical Andes is dwindling down in numbers due to threats, the diversity between vegetation throughout altitudes was further studied in Colombia. Chengyu Weng studied how pollen diversity is affected by different temperatures due to changing altitudes, the team studied different vegetations, the subandean forest, Andean forest, subparamo and grassparamo located in the Andes. There was more plant diversity as altitude increased throughout the vegetations, pollen diversity positively correlated with more diversity at lower altitudes. With these findings, they were able to see changes in plant diversity in the past 430000 years, during hot temperatures, pollen diversity increased at higher altitudes from plant species moving up. While cooler temperatures saw pollen diversity in lower altitudes, the study explains how temperature influences plant diversity. The location must also have lost a significant amount of land, the term hotspots was used by Norman Myers written to describe ten tropical forests. The forests contained the characteristics of high levels of plant endemism, Norman Myers went on to add eight more hotspots by 1990. The Conservation International reassessed Myers definition of a hotspot and by 1999 criteria for a hotspot developed to be used globally, a hotspot needs 1,500 endemic vascular plant species and a loss of at least 70 percent of original landTropical Andes – Bolivian tropical Andean foothills, Coroico
20. Wet Andes – The Wet Andes is a climatic and glaciological subregion of the Andes. Together with the Dry Andes it is one of the two subregions of the Argentine and Chilean Andes, the Wet Andes runs from a latitude of 35°S to Cape Horn at 56°S. According to Luis Lliboutry the Wet Andes can be classified after the absence of penitentes, in Argentina well developed penitentes are found as south as on Lanín Volcano. The glaciers of the Wet Andes have a far more stable line of equilibrium than those of the Dry Andes due to summer precipitations, low thermal oscillations and an overall high moistureWet Andes – View of Cardenal Antonio Samoré Pass during winter, latitude 41°S
21. Dry Andes – The Dry Andes is a climatic and glaciological subregion of the Andes. Together with the Wet Andes it is one of the two subregions of the Argentine and Chilean Andes, the Dry Andes runs from the Atacama Desert in northern Chile and Argentina south to a latitude of 35°S in Chile. In Argentina the Dry Andes reaches 40°S due to the effect of the Andes. According to Luis Lliboutry the Dry Andes can be defined by the distribution of penitentes, the southernmost well developed penitentes are found on Lanín Volcano. Though precipitation increases with the height, there are semiarid conditions in the nearly 7,000 metres towering mountains of the Andes and this dry steppe climate is considered to be of the subtropic type at 32-34° S. In the valley bottoms only dwarf scrubs grow, the largest glaciers, e. g. the Plomo glacier and the Horcones glacier, do not even reach 10 kilometres in length and have insignificant ice thickness. During glacial times however, c.20,000 years ago, on the east-side of this section of the Mendoza Andes they flowed down to 2,060 metres and on the west-side to c.1,220 metres. Its dendritic glacier arms, i. e. components of valley glaciers, were up to 112.5 kilometres long, over 1,250 metres thick, the climatic glacier snowline was lowered from the current 4,600 metres to 3,200 metres during glacial timesDry Andes – Field of penitentes on the upper Río Blanco, Central Andes of Argentina
22. Pariacaca mountain range – The Pariacaca mountain range or Huarochirí mountain range lies in the Andes of Peru. It is located in the Junín Region, in the provinces of Jauja and Yauli and it is part of the Cordillera Central of Peru. The highest mountain in the range is Pariacaca at 5,750 metresPariacaca mountain range – Paryaqaqa, south peak
23. Altiplano – The Altiplano, Collao, Andean Plateau or Bolivian Plateau, in west-central South America, is the area where the Andes are the widest. It is the most extensive area of high plateau on Earth outside Tibet, the bulk of the Altiplano lies in Bolivia, but its northern parts lie in Peru, and its southern parts lie in Chile and Argentina. The plateau hosts several cities of three nations, including El Alto, La Paz, Oruro, and Puno. The northeastern Altiplano is more humid than the southwestern area, the latter area has several salares, or salt flats, due to its aridity. At the Bolivia–Peru border lies Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America, South of that in Bolivia was Lake Poopó, which was declared dried up and defunct as of December 2015. It is unclear if this second-largest lake in Bolivia can be revitalized, the Altiplano was the site of several pre-Columbian cultures, including the Chiripa, Tiawanaku and the Inca Empire. Spain conquered the region in the 16th century, major economic activities in the Altiplano include mining, llama and vicuña herding, and services in the cities. The Altiplano is an area of inland drainage lying in the central Andes, occupying parts of northern Chile and Argentina, western Bolivia and its height averages about 3,750 meters, slightly less than that of the Tibetan Plateau. The Atacama Desert, one of the driest areas on the planet, lies to the southwest of the Altiplano, the Altiplano is noted for hypoxic air caused by very high elevation. At various times during the Pleistocene epoch, both the southern and northern Altiplano were covered by vast pluvial lakes, remnants are Lake Titicaca, straddling the Peru–Bolivia border, and Poopó, a salt lake that extends south of Oruro, Bolivia. Salar de Uyuni, locally known as Salar de Tunupa, scientists classify the latter as commencing at an elevation of approximately 4,500 meters. Alternate names used in place of altiplano in this context include puna, the diurnal cycle of temperature is very wide, with maximum temperatures in the order of 12 to 24 °C and the minimum in the order of -20 to 10 °C. The coldest temperatures occur in the portion of the Altiplano during the months of June and July. The seasonal cycle of rainfall is marked, with the rainy season concentrated between December and March, the rest of the year tends to be very dry, cool, windy and sunny. Snowfall may happen between April and September, especially to the north, but it is not very common, such weaknesses would cause the partition of tectonic deformation and uplift into the eastern and western cordillera, leaving the necessary space for the formation of the altiplano basin. Altiplano - Where Bolivia meets the skyAltiplano – Puno, Peru
24. Atacama Desert – The Atacama Desert is a plateau in South America, covering a 1, 000-kilometre strip of land on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes mountains. It is the driest non-polar desert in the world, according to estimates, the Atacama Desert proper occupies 105,000 square kilometres, or 128,000 square kilometres if the barren lower slopes of the Andes are included. Most of the desert is composed of terrain, salt lakes, sand. The National Geographic Society considers the area of southern Peru to be part of the Atacama Desert. Peru borders it on the north and the Chilean Matorral ecoregion borders it on the south, to the east lies the less arid Central Andean dry puna ecoregion. The drier portion of this ecoregion is located south of the Loa River between the parallel Sierra Vicuña Mackenna and Cordillera Domeyko, to the north of the Loa lies the Pampa del Tamarugal. The Coastal Cliff of northern Chile west of the Chilean Coast Range is the topographic feature of the coast. The geomorphology of the Atacama Desert has been characterized as a low-relief bench similar to a giant uplifted terrace by Armijo and co-workers. The intermediate depression forms a series of basins in much of Atacama Desert south of latitude 19°30’ S. North of this latitude the intermediate depression drains into the Pacific Ocean. Although the almost total lack of precipitation is the most prominent characteristic of the Atacama Desert, in 2012, the altiplano winter brought floods to San Pedro de Atacama. On 25 March 2015, heavy rainfall affected the part of the Atacama desert. Resulting floods triggered mudflows that affected the cities of Copiapo, Tierra Amarilla, Chile, Chanaral, the Atacama Desert is commonly known as the driest non-polar place in the world, especially the surroundings of the abandoned Yungay town. The average rainfall is about 15 mm per year, although some locations, such as Arica and Iquique, moreover, some weather stations in the Atacama have never received rain. Periods of up to four years have been registered with no rainfall in the sector, delimited by the cities of Antofagasta, Calama and Copiapó. Evidence suggests that the Atacama may not have had any significant rainfall from 1570 to 1971, the Atacama Desert may be the oldest desert on earth, and has experienced extreme hyperaridity for at least 3 million years, making it the oldest continuously arid region on earth. The long history of aridity raises the possibility that supergene mineralisation, under the conditions, can form in arid environments. This desert is so arid, many mountains higher than 6,000 m are free of glaciers. Only the highest peaks have some permanent snow coverage, the southern part of the desert, between 25 and 27°S, may have been glacier-free throughout the Quaternary, though permafrost extends down to an altitude of 4,400 m and is continuous above 5,600 mAtacama Desert – A flat area of the Atacama Desert between Antofagasta and Taltal
25. Brazilian Highlands – In addition, the vast majority of Brazils population lives in the highlands or on the narrow coastal region immediately adjacent to it. Ancient basaltic lava flows gave birth to much of the region, however, the time of dramatic geophysical activity is long past, as there is now no seismic or volcanic activity. Erosion has also played a part in shaping the Highlands, forming extensive sedimentary deposits. It was once almost completely covered by the Atlantic Rainforest, one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world, southern Plateau, advancing inland in the southern and southern-central portions of the country. Sedimentary rocks covered partially by basaltic lava spills that form the ground known as purple land. Large portions of this region were covered by the Atlantic Rainforest, while araucaria highland forest. Central Plateau, occupying the central portions of Brazil, with sedimentary, approximately 85% was once covered by cerrado vegetation, of which only a small portion remains intact. In addition to the regions, several adjoining or enclosed mountain ranges are considered to be part of the Brazilian Highlands. Plateaus of Brazil Guiana Shield Serras de SudesteBrazilian Highlands – Pedra da Mina, a mountain in the state of São Paulo.
26. Amazon basin – The Amazon basin is the part of South America drained by the Amazon River and its tributaries. The Amazon drainage basin covers an area of about 7,500,000 km2 and it is located in the countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. Most of the basin is covered by the Amazon Rainforest, also known as Amazonia, with a 5,500,000 km2 area of dense tropical forest, this is the largest rainforest in the world. The Amazon River rises in the Andes Mountains at the west of the basin with its tributary the Marañón River in Peru. It is usually considered to be the second longest river in the world, however, a team of Brazilian scientists has claimed that the Amazon is the longest river in the world. It covers about 6,400 km before draining into the Atlantic Ocean, the Amazon and its tributaries form the largest volume of water. The Amazon accounts for about 20% of the water carried to the oceans by rivers. Some of the Amazon rainforests are deforested because of the increasing of cattle ranches, the highest point in the watershed of the Amazon is the peak of Yerupajá at 6,635 m. The Amazon basin formerly flowed west to Pacific Ocean until the Andes formed, politically the basin is divided into the Brazilian Amazônia Legal, the Peruvian Amazon, the Amazon region of Colombia and parts of Bolivia, Ecuador and the Venezuelan state of Amazonas. Plant growth is dense and its variety of inhabitants is comparatively high due to the heavy rainfall. Little sunlight reaches the ground due to the roof canopy by plants. The ground remains dark and damp and only shade tolerant vegetation will grow here, orchids and bromeliads exploit trees and other plants to get closer to the sunlight. They grow hanging onto the branches or tree trunks with aerial roots, not as parasites, species of tropical trees native to the Amazon include Brazil nut, rubber tree and Assai palm. More than 1,400 species of mammals are found in the Amazon and its larger mammals include the jaguar, ocelot, capybara and South American tapir. About 1500 bird species inhabit the Amazon Basin, the biodiversity of the Amazon and the sheer number of diverse bird species is given by the number of different bird families that reside in these humid forests. An example of such would be the family, to which the Guianan cock-of-the-rock belong. Birds such as toucans, and hummingbirds are found here. Macaws are famous for gathering by the hundreds along the cliffs of the Amazon RiverAmazon basin – Aerial view of part of the Amazon rainforest.
27. Atlantic Forest – The Atlantic Forest is characterized by a high species diversity and endemism. Restinga Forests are generally closed canopy short forests with tree density, open Restinga is an open, savanna-like formation with scattered clumps of small trees and shrubs and an extensive layer of herbs, grasses, and sedges. Seasonal tropical moist forests may receive more than 2000 mm of rain a year and these include Tropical Moist, Lowland Forests, Submontane Forest, and Montane Forests. Tabuleiro forests are found over very moist clay soils and Tabuleiro Savannas occur over faster-draining sand soils and these are humid areas that rely on water vapor from the ocean. Further inland are the Atlantic dry forests, which form a transition between the arid Caatinga to the northeast and the Cerrado savannas to the east. These forests are lower in stature, more open, with abundance of deciduous trees. These forests have between 700–1600 mm of precipitation annually with a dry season. This includes Deciduous and Semideciduous Seasonal Forest each with their own lowland, Montane forests are higher altitude wet forests across mountains and plateaus of southern Brazil. The Mussununga forests occur in southern Bahia and northern Espirito Santo states, the Mussununga ecosystem ranges from grasslands to woodlands associated with sandy spodosols. The word Mussununga is Amerindian Tupi-Guarani meaning soft and wet white sand, shrubby montane savannas occur at the highest elevations, also called Campo rupestre. The Atlantic Forest is unusual in that it extends as a tropical forest to latitudes as far as 24°S. This is because the trade winds produce precipitation throughout the southern winter, in fact, the northern Zona da Mata of northeastern Brazil receives much more rainfall between May and August than during the southern summer. The Atlantic forest is a rain forest, some maps even suggest the forest actually survived in moist pockets well away from the coastline where its endemic rainforest species mixed with much cooler-climate species. Unlike refugia for equatorial rainforests, the refuges for the Atlantic Forest have never been the product of detailed identification, despite so little forest remaining, the Atlantic Forest remains extraordinarily lush in biodiversity and endemic species, many of which are threatened with extinction. Approximately 40 percent of its plants and up 60 percent of its vertebrates are endemic species. The official threatened species list of Brazil contains over 140 terrestrial mammal species found in Atlantic Forest, in Paraguay there are 35 species listed as threatened, and 22 species are listed as threatened in the interior portion of the Atlantic Forest of Argentina. Nearly 250 species of amphibians, birds, and mammals have become extinct due to the result of activity in the past 400 years. Over 11,000 species of plants and animals are considered threatened today in the Atlantic Forest, over 52% of the tree species and 92% of the amphibians are endemic to this areaAtlantic Forest – Atlantic Forest in Serra do Mar.
28. Caatinga – Caatinga is a type of desert vegetation, and an ecoregion characterized by this vegetation in interior northeastern Brazil. The name Caatinga is a Tupi word meaning white forest or white vegetation, Caatinga is a xeric shrubland and thorn forest, which consists primarily of small, thorny trees that shed their leaves seasonally. Cacti, thick-stemmed plants, thorny brush, and arid-adapted grasses make up the ground layer, many annual plants grow, flower, and die during the brief rainy season. Caatinga falls entirely within earths Tropical zone and is one of 6 major ecoregions of Brazil, including the Amazon Basin, Pantanal, Cerrado, Caatinga, Atlantic Forest and it covers 850,000 km², nearly 10% of Brazils territory. It is home to 26 million people and more than 2000 species of plants, fishes, reptiles, amphibians, birds. Caatinga covers the portion of northeastern Brazil bordering the Atlantic seaboard. The Caatinga includes several enclaves of humid tropical forest, known as the Caatinga enclaves moist forests, the Caatinga comprises 850,000 km², about 10% of the surface area of Brazil. By comparison, it is nine times the surface area of Portugal, whence came its early European settlers. The Caatinga has only two distinguishable seasons and these are the winter, when it is very hot and dry, and the summer when it is hot and rainy. During the dry periods there is no foliage or undergrowth. The vegetation is dry and the roots begin to protrude through the surface of the stony soil. They do this in order to water before it is evaporated. All leaves fall off the trees to reduce transpiration, thus lessening the amount of water that is lost in the dry season, during the peak periods of drought the Caatingas soil can reach temperatures of up to 60 °C. With all the foliage and undergrowth dead during the periods and all the trees having no leaves the Caatinga has a yellow-grey. The Caatinga is very dry place in Brazil, with frequent droughts, the drought usually ends in December or January, when the rainy season starts. Immediately after the first rains, the grey, desert-like landscape starts to transform, small plants start growing in the now moist soil and trees grow back their leaves. At this time, the rivers that were dry during the past 6 or 7 months, start to fill up. The Caatinga is poorly represented in the Brazilian Conservation Area network, with only 1% in Integral Protection Conservation Areas, Caatinga harbors a unique biota, with thousands of endemic speciesCaatinga – Caatinga in Pernambuco, Brazil.
29. Cerrado – The Cerrado is a vast tropical savanna ecoregion of Brazil, particularly in the states of Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Tocantins 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 also included, the second largest of Brazils major habitat types, after the Amazonian rainforest, the Cerrado accounts for a full 21 percent of the countrys land area. Since then vast amounts of research have proved that the Cerrado is one of the richest of all tropical regions and has high levels of endemism. There are nearly 200 species of mammal in the Cerrado, though only 14 are endemic, the Cerrados climate is typical of the rather moister savanna regions of the world, with a semi-humid tropical climate. The Cerrado is limited to two dominant seasons throughout the year, wet 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 and 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. 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. Probably around 800 species of trees are found in the Cerrado, among the most diverse families of trees in the Cerrado are the Leguminosae, Malpighiaceae, Myrtaceae, Melastomataceae 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 usually reaches about 60 cm in height and is composed mainly of the Poaceae, Cyperaceae, Leguminosae, Compositae, Myrtaceae and Rubiaceae. Much of the vegetation in the forests is similar to nearby rainforest, however. 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, nitrogen and phosphorus has been found to be correlated with tree trunk basal area in Cerrado habitats. Cerrado vegetation is believed to be ancient, stretching back perhaps as far in a prototypic form during the Cretaceous before Africa, a dynamic expansion and contraction between cerrado and Amazonian rainforest has probably occurred historically, with expansion of the Cerrado during glacial periods like the Pleistocene. These processes and the resulting fragmentation have probably contributed to the species richness both of the Cerrado and of the Amazonian rainforest. The insects of the Cerrado are relatively understudied, a yearlong survey of the Cerrado at one reserve in Brazil found that the orders Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera and Isoptera accounted for 89. 5% of all captures. The Cerrado also supports high density of leaf cutter ant nests which are very diverseCerrado – Vegetation in northwest Minas Gerais, Brazil.
30. Latin America – Latin America is a group of countries and dependencies in the Americas where Romance languages are predominant. It is therefore broader than the terms Ibero-America or Hispanic America—though it usually excludes French Canada and it has an area of approximately 19,197,000 km2, almost 13% of the Earths land surface area. As of 2015, its population was estimated at more than 626 million and in 2014, Latin America had a combined nominal GDP of 5,573,397 million USD and a GDP PPP of 7,531,585 million USD. The term Latin America was first used in 1861 in La revue des races Latines, a further investigation of the concept of Latin America is by Michel Gobat in the American Historical Review. The term was first used in Paris in an 1856 conference by the Chilean politician Francisco Bilbao and this term was also used in 1861 by French scholars in La revue des races Latines, a magazine dedicated to the Pan-Latinism movement. Latin America is, therefore, defined as all parts of the Americas that were once part of the Spanish. By this definition, Latin America is coterminous with Ibero-America and this definition emphasizes a similar socioeconomic history of the region, which was characterized by formal or informal colonialism, rather than cultural aspects. As such, some sources avoid this oversimplification by using the phrase Latin America, the distinction between Latin America and Anglo-America is a convention based on the predominant languages in the Americas by which Romance-language and English-speaking cultures are distinguished. Latin America can be subdivided into several subregions based on geography, politics, demographics and it may be subdivided on linguistic grounds into Hispanic America, Portuguese America and French America. *, Not a sovereign state The concept of Latin America has been criticized by a number of intellectuals, the earliest known settlement was identified at Monte Verde, near Puerto Montt in Southern Chile. Its occupation dates to some 14,000 years ago and there is disputed evidence of even earlier occupation. Over the course of millennia, people spread to all parts of the continents, by the first millennium CE, South Americas vast rainforests, mountains, plains and coasts were the home of tens of millions of people. Some groups formed more permanent settlements such as the Chibcha and the Tairona groups and these groups are in the circum Caribbean region. The Chibchas of Colombia, the Quechuas and Aymaras of Bolivia, the region was home to many indigenous peoples and advanced civilizations, including the Aztecs, Toltecs, Maya, and Inca. The Aztec empire was ultimately the most powerful civilization known throughout the Americas, with the arrival of the Europeans following Christopher Columbus voyages, the indigenous elites, such as the Incas and Aztecs, lost power to the heavy European invasion. Hernándo Cortés seized the Aztec elites power with the help of local groups who had favored the Aztec elite, epidemics of diseases brought by the Europeans, such as smallpox and measles, wiped out a large portion of the indigenous population. Historians cannot determine the number of natives who died due to European diseases, due to the lack of written records, specific numbers are hard to verify. Many of the survivors were forced to work in European plantations, intermixing between the indigenous peoples and the European colonists was very common, and, by the end of the colonial period, people of mixed ancestry formed majorities in several coloniesLatin America – Presencia de América Latina (Presence of Latin America, 1964–65) is a 300 square meters (3,200 sq ft) mural at the hall of the Arts House of the University of Concepción, Chile. It is also known as Latin America's Integration.
31. Hispanic America – Hispanic America, more generally called Spanish America, is the region comprising the Spanish-speaking nations in the Americas. These countries have significant commonalities with other and with Spain. In all of these countries, Spanish is the language, sometimes sharing official status with one or more indigenous languages. Catholic Christianity is the predominant religion, Hispanic America is sometimes grouped together with Brazil under the term Ibero-America, meaning those countries in the Americas with cultural roots in the Iberian Peninsula. Hispanic America also contrasts with Latin America, which not only Hispanic America. Hispanic America became the part of the vast Spanish Empire. Napoleons takeover of Spain in 1808 and the consequent chaos initiated the dismemberment of the Spanish Empire, by 1830, the only remaining Spanish American and Asian territories were Philippine archipelago and the islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico, until the 1898 Spanish–American War. While relatively unknown, there is a flag representing the countries of Spanish America, its people, history and it was created in October 1933 by Ángel Camblor, captain of the Uruguayan army. It was adopted by all the states of Spanish America during the Pan-American Conference of the year in Montevideo. The deep lilac color of the crosses evokes the color of the lion on the coat of arms of the medieval Crown of CastileHispanic America – Asunción
32. American Cordillera – It is also the backbone of the volcanic arc that forms the eastern half of the Pacific Ring of Fire. From north to south, this sequence of overlapping and parallel ranges begins with the Alaska Range, the main belt of the Rocky Mountains along with the parallel Columbia Mountains and Coast Ranges of mountains and islands continue through British Columbia and Vancouver Island. In the United States, the Cordillera branches include the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevada, and the Cascades and coastal ranges of Washington, Oregon, and California. In Mexico, the Cordillera continues through the Sierra Madre Occidental and Sierra Madre Oriental, the Cordillera continues on through the mountain ranges of Central America in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama, and becomes the Andes Mountains of South America. In addition, the range can possibly be followed through the curved South Georgia Ridge across the Southern Ocean to the mountains of Graham Land on the Antarctic Peninsula, lithotectonic terrane map of the North American Cordillera. U. S. Department of the Interior, U. S. Geological SurveyAmerican Cordillera – Alaska Range
33. Ring of Fire – The Ring of Fire is a major area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. In a 40,000 km horseshoe shape, it is associated with a continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs. The Ring of Fire is sometimes called the circum-Pacific belt, about 90% of the worlds earthquakes and 81% of the worlds largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire. The next most seismically active region is the Alpide belt, which extends from Java to the northern Atlantic Ocean via the Himalayas, all but three of the worlds 25 largest volcanic eruptions of the last 11,700 years occurred at volcanoes in the Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire is a result of plate tectonics. The eastern section of the ring is the result of the Nazca Plate, the Cocos Plate is being subducted beneath the Caribbean Plate, in Central America. A portion of the Pacific Plate and the small Juan de Fuca Plate are being subducted beneath the North American Plate, along the northern portion, the northwestward-moving Pacific plate is being subducted beneath the Aleutian Islands arc. Farther west, the Pacific plate is being subducted along the Kamchatka Peninsula arcs on south past Japan. Indonesia lies between the Ring of Fire along the islands adjacent to and including New Guinea and the Alpide belt along the south and west from Sumatra, Java, Bali, Flores. The famous and very active San Andreas Fault zone of California is a fault which offsets a portion of the East Pacific Rise under southwestern United States. The motion of the fault generates numerous small earthquakes, at times a day. Bolivia hosts numerous active and extinct volcanoes across its territory, the active volcanoes are located in western Bolivia where they make up the Cordillera Occidental, the western limit of the Altiplano plateau. Many of the volcanoes are international mountains shared with Chile. The Central Volcanic Zone is a major upper Cenozoic volcanic province, apart from Andean volcanoes, the geology of Bolivia hosts the remnants of ancient volcanoes around the Precambrian Guaporé Shield in the eastern part of the country. The volcanoes in Chile are monitored by the National Geology and Mining Service Earthquake activity in Chile is related to subduction of the Nazca Plate to the east, Chile notably holds the record for the largest earthquake ever recorded, the 1960 Valdivia earthquake. Villarrica, one of Chiles most active volcanoes, rises above Villarrica Lake and it is the westernmost of three large stratovolcanoes that trend perpendicular to the Andean chain. A 6-km-wide caldera formed during the late Pleistocene, more than 0.9 million years ago, a 2-km-wide postglacial caldera is located at the base of the presently active, dominantly basaltic-to-andesitic cone at the northwest margin of the Pleistocene caldera. About 25 scoria cones dot Villaricas flanks, lahars from the glacier-covered volcanoes have damaged towns on its flanksRing of Fire – Llaima 's 2008 eruption