The Amazon Rainforest is fed by the Amazon River and its
tributaries. This area is known as the Amazon River Basin. The
river begins in the Peruvian Andes and flows east to empty in
the Atlantic Ocean. The Amazon River Basin spans throughout
9 countries in South America: Brazil, Peru, Columbia, Guyana
and French Guiana, Suriname, Boliva, Venezuela and Ecuador.
The Amazon Rainforest spans approximately 2,700,000 square
The Amazon River is among the largest rivers in the world,
comparable to the Nile in Egypt. Some scientists believe that
at one time, the Amazon River flowed westward and emptied
into the Pacific Ocean. Today, many rivers drain into the
Amazon River as it flows eastward into the Atlantic. The
Amazon River is so large that it is estimated that one-fifth of all
freshwater carried into the ocean is supplied by it. At times
during the wet season, the Amazon River can be over 30 miles
wide. Many species of animals depend on the river, and some
live in it, including Manatees and Piranhas.
The Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world.
The Amazon Rainforest is of great significance to the climate of
the world because it absorbs very large amounts of carbon
dioxide present in the atmosphere. Due to its large size, it is
also the most subject to deforestation. Uses of cleared Amazon
Rainforest land include growing crops and raising cattle. As
more rainforest is cut down for these purposes, the Amazon will
be less capable of absorbing carbon dioxide and other
The Amazon Rainforest is also home to many unique animals.
Animals that can be found in the Amazon Rainforest include
Jaguars, Spider Monkeys, Poison Dart Frogs and Anacondas.
These and other animals found in the Amazon Rainforest have
special adaptations that help them survive the conditions there.