Week 5 South America

Laphi and Welcome to Soth America

South America Facts

40,000 plant species, 1,300 bird species, 3,000 types of fish, 430 mammals, and 2.5 million different insects call the Amazon Rainforest home. South America has so many unique bird species its some times called the Bird Continent.

There are 12 countries in South America. These are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

As far as we know there are still people who have never made contact with the outside world living deep in the Amazon rainforests of Brazil. Some of these Indigenous tribes have made contact or have been met by outsiders in recent years but it is believed that there are still many out there we know nothing about. The amazon is very large and difficult to travel through so much of it is completely unexplored. Unfortunately, in many cases, Indigenous People who make contact often get very sick due to having the same immunity most people have due to their isolation. for instance, a slight cold for us could turn deadly for them.

English, Spanish and Portuguese are the most common languages, but there are still some indigenous languages spoken, such as Quechua (8,9 million speakers), Guarani (4,9 million speakers), and Aymara (2,8 million speakers).

The Amazon rainforest is huge taking over much of Brazil but also large parts of Columbia, Venisualia, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, British Guana, Dutch Guana, and French Guana. The Amazon rainforest contains about 10 percent of the world’s known species. Although rainforests cover less than 2 percent of Earth’s total surface, they are home to 50 percent of Earth’s plants and animals! Almost every type of animal lives in rainforests. This is one of the many reasons the rainforest needs to be protected.

The Amazon Rainforest is the biggest in the world but there are others in South America too, in fact 22% of the continent is forest. Those forests are very important not just to all the amazing animal’s plants and insects that live in them but to all life on earth. 20% of all the oxygen produced on the earth is from the forests of South America.

Animal of the Week: Sloth

Sloths live in the tropical forests of Central and South America. Sloths may look a bit like monkeys but there actually related to armadillos and anteaters! The two major species of sloth are the two-towed and three towed sloth, they have their differences but the most distinct difference is the number of claws on each appendage. Scientists believe that one of the reasons sloths developed to be such slow-moving creatures is to avoid the attention of predators such as hawks and cats, which rely heavily on their eyesight when hunting. Sloths spend most of their time hanging from trees in the canopy but do make their way down to the ground about every 7 days to use the restroom. This is when they are most venerable to attack so they will do their business and get right back up into the trees. If they are caught by a predator they will fight back with their teeth and claws and even scream.

Don't miss out on this week's Around the World Adventure. Learn about South American animals, people, partake in fun activities, and make your own sloth!