The Amazon river in South America is the world’s largest river system. Making its way more than 18,000 vertical feet from the mountains to the sea, this river cuts through some of the most diverse forest in the world. Seasonal rainfall in this region causes the river to swell, creating unique flooded forest habitat. During the dry season as the water levels drop, flood plain lakes become isolated from the main river. Animals living in the Amazon River have adaptations that enable them to survive the extremes of these seasonal habitats.
The river basin itself is home to a wide diversity of animals from river dophins to colorful cichlids to hundreds of species of amphibians and reptiles. In the Great Lakes Aquarium Amazing Amazon exhibit you will come face to face with piranha, a mata mata turtle, cichlids, tetras, Amazon puffer fish and more.
Did You Know?
- Sailors and scientists have found fresh water from the Amazon hundreds of miles into the Southern Atlantic.
- As a massive body of fresh water, the Amazon is critical globally. Water that moves through the Amazon River and Rainforest influences climate and weather patterns around the world.