is the name of the largest tropical rain forest in
the world. Originally, more than 2 million square
miles of the region were covered by dense tropical
forest. For centuries, its vastness and inaccessibility
have protected the preponderant part of the forest,
and still do so today.
rapid development, and deforestation during the last 30
years, the Amazon rain forest is still a vast region of
largely undisturbed greenery covering almost 25% of the
South American continent. The region includes parts of 9
different countries, and falls across the equator. The majority
of this area, almost 62%, lies within Brazil, and is often
called Legal Brazilian Amazon, or "Amazônia Legal
has the world's largest river system, and is home to half
of the earth's species and almost one-third of the world's
250 primates. The rain forest is an incredibly diverse ecosystem
fed by bright sunlight and huge amounts of rainfall.
the last 500 years the Amazon rainforest has seen a large
influx of European cultures. The indigenous people of the
rain forest who flourished before that time still survive,
despite a huge reduction in their numbers and habitat. On
the upper Negro River one can still meet people who remember
their first contact with outside modern cultures.