Rainforests and Rivers - The Heart of Brazil - eat2explore

Rainforests and Rivers - The Heart of Brazil

The country of Brazil is home to some amazing terrain! Namely the rainforest and the Amazon River.

Let’s find out more about these unique areas of the world!

The Rainforest of Brazil

The rainforest of Brazil is enormous and spreads over way more than just Brazil.

It covers thousands of acres.

Stretching from Peru to Brazil, it’s part of Columbia, Ecuador, Guyana, Venezuela, Bolivia, Suriname, French Guiana, and Bolivia.

Though, Brazil does hold the “lion’s share” of the rain forest with a whopping 60%!

Called the Amazon jungle, or sometimes just the Amazon, it’s the world’s largest tropical rain forest!

dense canopy of the rainforest in Brazil

The canopy, what the dense foliage of the trees is called, it so incredibly thick, only 1% of the light from the sun can filter through. That means the forest floor is dark. All the time!

And when it rains, it will take up to 10 minutes in some areas for the rain to actually reach the ground!

The forest is dense and damp and dark. Hot and humid most of the time, temperatures usually stay right around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  

There is no such thing as a rainy season in the rainforest. Every season is a rainy season! The most rainfall recorded over a year was 180 inches!

That’s 15 feet of rain!

One of the most richly biodiverse places on our planet, it’s home to quite the collection of life!

Diversity of Life in the Amazon Rainforest

It’s estimated that there are over 400-500 different tribes who call the rain forest home. There are even as many as 50 tribes who’ve never met people outside their tribe!

Can you imagine that? You live in one town, and you’ve never, ever met anyone that you didn’t know?

People have inhabited the Brazilian rain forest for a long time, though. One of the earliest settlements uncovered so far goes back 11,200 years.

The Brazilian rain forest is best known for its plant and animal life.

Scientists' best guesses at the diversity is off the charts.

They know of

  • 500 species of mammals
  • 450 different types of reptiles
  • 500 kinds of amphibians
  • 1,300 kinds of birds
  • 3,000 kinds of fish
  • 40,000 different types of plants

that live in the rainforest, rivers, and tributaries of the Amazon.

Not to mention the 2.5 million… Million! …kinds of bugs. Yikes!

And new plants and animals are still being discovered! 

Animal Life of Brazil’s Rainforest

With all the different kinds of plants and animals living in Brazil’s rain forest, it would take forever to list them! Here’s a handful of the exotic life:

three-toed sloths in trees

The 3-toed Sloth

Hanging out and sleeping, there are 2 kinds of 3-toed sloths found in the rain forest. Super slow creatures, they only move at about 6 feet per minute!

Being so very slow, they have a pretty good method for going undetected by large predators. They blend in pretty well with the trees because algae can actually grow in their fur, giving it a green-ish tint.


black howler monkey in the amazon rainforest

The Howler Monkey

There are 3 varieties of this primate found in Brazil’s rain forest. Black, red, and red-handed. These noisy mammals are aptly named. Their chattering, screeching calls can be heard for miles!

They make nests high up in the trees. Howler monkeys live in groups of about 15-20.

jaguar and her two cubs

The Jaguar

This giant cat is the largest in the Panthera family.  With the males weighing in at up 240 pounds, they are one of the largest land predators in the Brazilian rain forest.

Even as big as they are, the jaguar can hide easily in the dense foliage.

giant river otter sunning on log

Giant River Otter

Giant otters are the biggest otters around! Males and females are usually around the same size. They can get 4 to 5 ½ feet long!

They’re big, strong, and fast!  They live on a diet of fish, but this predator is known to catch other predators. Animals like caiman (small, fast alligators of the Amazon river,) anacondas, and even piranhas!

red-bellied piranha of the amazon river


There are at least 20 species of piranha who call the Amazon River home. Piranhas have a reputation as a vicious fish. Though, of the 60 types, there are a few that are vegetarian.

Like most fish, they travel in schools. They live primarily in the Amazon River Basin, and in many of the white-water tributaries along the Amazon.

Amazon river pink dolphin leaping out of the water

Amazon River Dolphin

Also known as the pink dolphin and boto. These dolphins are only found in the Amazon River, though they are a distant relative to ocean dolphins.

When they are excited or surprised, their skin flushes a darker shade of pink. They can blush just like people!

At the Heart of it all- the Amazon River

view of the Amazon River in Brazil

The Amazon River is the second-longest river in the whole world! It’s over 4,000 miles long. 4,225 miles, to be exact.

When rainfall is at its highest volume, there are parts of the Amazon River that are over 120 miles wide! You wouldn’t even be able to see from one side of the river to the other.

The Brazilians call the Amazon the “river sea.”

Understandable because big ocean ships can sail the waters of the Amazon River all the way through Brazil! Smaller boats and sailing vessels can actually travel the entire length of the Amazon River, all the way from Brazil to Peru!

How long is that?

It would stretch from the west coast all the way to the east coast of the United States and still have miles and miles left over!

From the most west point, Point Arena in California, to the east most point, West Quoddy Head in Maine, is 2,800 miles.

Winding its way from the Andes Mountains in Peru all the way to the coast of Brazil, the Amazon River flows through most of the northern part of South America and empties into the Atlantic Ocean.

Cool Facts About the Amazon River

Did you know there are no bridges across the Amazon River? Why? It runs through the rain forest and there aren’t any roads to connect.

 Other awesome facts:

  • It’s a source of hydroelectric power.
  • It's used for trade and travel by the native peoples.
  • It’s a source of freshwater for the animal and people populations.
  • It accounts for 1/5 of the whole world’s total river flow!
  • It pours 3-5 million gallons every minute into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Amazon river and Brazilian rainforest is truly amazing spot on the planet and home to thousands of different species of plants and animals.

Imagine you're on a picnic in the rainforest of Brazil! You can enjoy a taste of the foods from the country when you try the recipes in our Brazil box at eat2explore! 

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