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• Amazon - Cruises

The term rainforest describes forests that grow in constant humid conditions. They can occur wherever the annual rainfall is above 2,000 millimeters (80 inches), even if it is spread throughout the year. The rather high temperatures favor plant development – i.e., above 20 degrees Celsius.
The main characteristic of this humid, dense forest is the fact that the plants congregate in groups, which are organized in a distinctive manner within the ecosystem. Contrary to popular belief, tropical trees are not over-sized. Average total height in the Amazon Rainforest ranges 30 to 40 meters (100 to 133 feet).
The Amazon Rainforest is the largest tropical forest in the world, covering 6 million km2 in 9 different countries (in Brazil, circa of 60%). At a first look, the Amazon forest seems to be rather uniform in physiognomy but in fact there are many typological variations and ample species diversity. The forest canopy is frequently discontinuous, giving space for special ecological niches. At the heart of this region lies the huge Amazon River, the second longest watercourse of the world. The Amazon holds more than 20% of the planet's fresh water, has at least 1,000 tributaries. The Rio Negro is its largest tributary. The Amazon Rainforest actually includes four major vegetation types:
Terra Firma Forest (upland forest) – located on higher grounds with no direct influence from rivers
Várzea Forest (marshland forest) – seasonally flooded lowland forest.
Igapó Forest – permanently flooded lowland forest.
Catinga Forest – along Rio Negro, called Campirana as well.
The extraordinary wealth of plant and animal life in the Amazon basin has attracted explorers and scientists since the dawn of the 16th century. At leas 30,000 out of 100,000 species of plants in Latin America are found in the Brazilian Amazon. The wildlife is equally diverse: there are thousands of creatures, amazingly different but each ideally suited for this particular way of life in the jungle. Clearly, this is a world of enormous fascination to everyone interested in nature. The Amazon with is legends and myths are still an enigma for humanity.

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