Since I am traveling to Ecuador over Christmas break I thought it appropriate to do some research over the Amazon. In a little over a week I will be flying into Quito, Ecuador, and hopping on a domestic flight to Lago Agrios the next day. Several tours to part of the Amazon depart from this city to different national parks in the Amazon region. I will be going on a 4 day tour to Cuyabeno Wildflife Reserve and am super excited!
The Amazon basin covers about 2.9 million square feet and nearly 40 percent of South America, covering parts of Ecuador, Brazil, Guyana, Venezuela, Peru, Suriname, and Columbia. Brazil contains most of it, nearly 60%. The Amazon basin is the largest rainforest in the world and covers most of the basin; if it were a country it would be the 9th biggest. It produces over 20% of the worlds oxygen. There are roughly 3000 edible fruits in the rainforest and there are about 6 -9 million natives. The toucan is the loudest animal in the rainforest and can be heard up to half a mile away. The Amazon river is about 4000 miles long and is home to Anacondas, the largest species of snake in the world. It can reach 30 feet and wiegh almost 550 pounds. They dont attack with fangs, rather they are constrictors that squeeze their victims to death.
One of the days of our tour to the Amazon we are going to go Caiman watching. Caimans are relatives to alligators and crocodiles and can reach between 5 and 20 feet long. Most Caiman species are endangered and are also nocturnal. They are pretty fast swimmers, reaching speeds of up to 30 mph. Their lifespan is about 30 – 40 years in the wild. The temperature of the nest determines the gender of the caiman, low temperatures general result in a female being hatched.