The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest. Tropical rainforests exist because of a combination of warmth from the equatorial sun and water from equatorial rains. The Amazon rainforest has more biological diversity than any other place on earth. It is home to millions of different species of plants, trees, flowers, spiders, insects, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. Many of these living things, like jaguars, kapok trees, scarlet macaws, and bromeliads, are uniquely adapted to life in the rainforest. Today, the Amazon rainforest is in danger of destruction as people overuse its land and resources for commercial purposes.
Photos (© 1999 Kirk Johnson):
A. A cabaclo man holds a leaf of the giant Amazonian lily.
Many types of fish live in the Amazon.
C. Native plants thrive in the flooded forests.
D.A forest of buttressed trees grows along the Rio Solimoes.