Which continent is the focus of the passage?
How many physical regions can South America be divided into?
What is a biome?
What is the primary mountain system in South America?
Which river basin in South America is defined by dense, tropical rain forest?
What contributes to South America's large number of biomes?
What is the highest peak in the Andes mountain range?
Which biome in the Andes is characterized by small, frost- and drought-resistant plants?
What is the primary biome of the Orinoco River basin?
Which river basin covers most of southeastern Brazil and supplies water to the Pampas?
Which region is trapped between the cold Peru Current and the Andes Mountains, resulting in the Atacama Desert?
What is the home to 2 million insect species, 2,000 bird species, and numerous primates?
'The Brazilian Highlands' refer to which highland area in South America?
'The Patagonia region' is located in which countries?
Which river basin covers 80% of Venezuela and 25% of Colombia?
What is the largest herb found in the alpine biome of the Andes?
Which highland area is characterized by high plateaus like the altiplano of Peru and Bolivia?
Which river basin supplies water to the Pampas?
- The Andes mountain range stretches from the southern tip to the northernmost coast of South America, with hundreds of peaks over 4,500 meters tall, including the highest peak, Aconcagua (6,962 meters).
- The Andes feature high plateaus like the altiplano of Peru and Bolivia (3,700 meters) and the Patagonia region of Argentina and Chile.
- The alpine biome in the Andes is characterized by small, frost- and drought-resistant plants, and the largest herb, Puya raimondii, which can grow over 9 meters tall.
- Outside the Andes, South America has other highland areas: the Brazilian Highlands (1,006 meters average elevation) and the Guiana Highlands.
- South America has three major river basins: the Amazon (7 million square kilometers, feeds the Amazon rainforest), the Orinoco (948,000 square kilometers, home to the Llanos savanna), and the Paraguay/Paraná (2.8 million square kilometers, supplies water to the Pampas).
- The Amazon rainforest has unmatched biodiversity, with 100 different tree species per acre, including the rubber tree, silk cotton tree, and Brazil nut tree. It is home to 2 million insect species, 2,000 bird species, and numerous primates.
- The Orinoco River basin covers 80% of Venezuela and 25% of Colombia, and its primary biome is the Llanos savanna, which is home to various bird species, including the scarlet ibis, bellbird, and umbrellabird.
- The Paraguay/Paraná River basin covers most of southeastern Brazil and parts of Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina. It is the water source for the Pampas, the most important grazing and cropland areas on the continent.
- South America has coastal plains, found on the northeastern coast of Brazil (extremely dry) and the western coast of Peru and Chile (trapped between the cold Peru Current and the Andes Mountains, creating thermal inversion and resulting in the Atacama Desert, the driest region in the world).
Test your knowledge of South America's physical geography, environment, resources, and human geography with this overview quiz. Learn about the continent's mountains and highlands, river basins, and coastal plains.
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