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Life in the Amazon Basin

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Life in the Amazon Basin - Lesson Summary

The Amazon basin stretches across the equator and is characterised by a hot, wet and humid climate and thick and dense forests.

The Amazon river basin has the largest variety of plant species on the earth and a rich source of flora and fauna. Most species of plants and animals are found here. Orchids and bromeliads grow as plant parasites. Birds such as toucans, birds of paradise and Humming birds are found here.

The animals include monkeys, sloths and ant-eating tapir. The anaconda and the boa constrictor are some species of snakes found here. The Amazon river and its tributaries are home to more than 3000 species of fish like piranha and the dreaded electric eel.

The indigenous people people rely on the forest for their food, clothing and shelter. Slash and burn is a method of land cultivation is practiced here to grow crops tapioca, pineapple and sweet potato. Cash crops like coffee, maize and cocoa are also grown.

The natives live in thatched houses or Malocas. The Trans-Amazon highway was built in 1970 for easier access to the region.

Due to easier access for outsiders, the indigenous population was forced to settle in new areas. This also led to gradual destruction of the rainforest.

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