South America | archiboldclutterbuck

Discover fascinating fun facts about South America, it's geography, animals and much more below...

Population: 422 million +

Number of Countries: 12

Highest Point: Mount Aconcagua 6901m

Lowest Point: Valdes Peninsula -40m

Longest river: Amazon 6400km

Biggest country: Brazil

Smallest country: Suriname

DID YOU KNOW

South America is home to both the largest rainforest in the world and the second largest river, both named the Amazon.

THE COUNTRIES OF SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina

Bolivia

Brazil

Chile

Columbia

Ecuador

Guyana

Paraguay

Peru

Suriname

Uruguay

Venezuela

DEPENDANT TERRITORIES THAT MAKE UP SOUTH AMERICA

Falkland Islands • French Guiana • South Georgia and the South • Sandwich Islands

QUICK FACTS ABOUT SOUTH AMERICA

THE HOME OF CARNIVAL

It's fair to say that South America does Carnival like no other. Every year at the start of the Christian celebration of Lent the whole continent gets together for celebration. 

 

Everyone dresses up in fantastic, colourful costumes and parades through the streets. If you fancy having a go try the world's largest in Rio De Janiero,  Brazil, the world's longest in Baranquilla, Colombia or you could even try the wettest in Ecuador where everyone is encouraged to have a huge water fight in the streets!
 

Geography of South America

The long continent of South America is mostly in the Southern Hemisphere reaching all the way from the Equator, through the Tropic of Capricorn right down to the polar regions. Because of how close it is to Antarctica the South of the continent makes a great point to set sail for a visit to the great frozen continent.

There are lot's of different environment in South America from the great Atacama desert to the rich tropical rainforests including the largest rainforest in the world the Amazon. Read more about different countries environments and weather below:

Columbia  - Situated just above the Equator this nation has many environments including diverse and rich rainforests that hold over 10% of the world's plants and animals. It is also home to the Northern section of the Andes mountain range.

Brazil - Home  to the largest portion of the Amazon rainforest, Brazil is the largest country in South America. The Amazon rainforest boasts over 50% of all the world's plants and animals and grows strong thanks to the mighty Amazon river.

Galapagos Islands - These unique islands were created by under sea volcanoes millions of years ago. Having always been cut off from the mainland it has developed some unique animals and plants including the Giant Tortoise.

Chile - Stretching all the way from the centre of the continent to the very bottom this narrow country is the world's longest at 4,600km! From the dry Atacama Desert in the North, via the Andes Mountains to the icy South where it's nearly reaches Antarctica.

ACTIVITY

1. Search for 'animals of the Galapagos Islands' on the internet.

2. Imagine you're the first explorer on the island and you want to share your findings with the world.

3. Make a poster advertising the amazing animals that you've found! Include a drawing of them and 3 facts that best describe them.

Giant Tortoise

Type of animal - Mammal

Maximum Length - 1.5m

Region - Galapagos Islands

Diet - Grass and Fruit

Llama

Type of animal - Mammal

Maximum Height - 1.2m

Region - Andes Mountains

Diet - Plants and Grass

Scarlet Macaw

Type of animal - Bird

Maximum Wingspan - 1.4m

Region - Amazon Rainforest

Diet - Nuts and Seeds

Condor

Type of animal - Bird

Maximum Wingspan - 3.2m

Region - Andes Mountains

Diet - Decaying Animals

Poison Dart Frog

Type of animal - Amphibian 

Maximum Length - 2.5cm

Region - Amazon Rainforest

Diet - Insects

Giant Anteater

Type of animal - Mammal

Maximum Length - 1.2m

Region - Bolivia

Diet - Ants and Termites

Angel Falls in Venezuela is the highest waterfall in the world, reaching a dizzying height of 979 metres!

The Galapagos Islands is one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth, with lot's of unique wildlife. It's home to the Giant Tortoise, that lives an average of 100 years!

Don't get confused!

The Llama-like Guanaco’s of Patagonia are the domesticated cousin of the well know Llama and live in Chile.

Machu Picchu in Peru was built over 500 years ago by the Incas in South America. Built of stone, it stands an incredible 2,430 metres above sea level!

Over 50% of all plants and animals can be found in the rainforests of South America!

Averaging 13ft and 13 tons the Moai statues of Easter Island are thought to have been walked using ropes to their final resting places over 800 years ago!

Many people who live in the North of South America descend from the Inca. An ancient civilisation that amassed great wealth and created huge cities 1000s of years ago. Some of which you can still see today!

When flooded the Amazon River can grow up to 30 miles wide.

Best pack your canoe!

The biggest carnival in the world hosts 2 million per day and is celebrated in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil each year.

Search the internet to see all the amazing and colourful costumes!

La Mano (The Hand), in Punta del Este, Uruguay is a warning to swimmers of the rough waves at the beach. 

SOUTH AMERICA ON FILM

ACTIVITY

1. Take a look and read about my travels in South America below.

2. Put some of the interesting information into a search engine and see if you can find which country the image is from!

Fun Facts about the La Mano

Fig. 12

Resting on La Mano (The Hand), in Punta del Este. Made by Mario Irarrázabal the sculpture is a warning to swimmers of the rough waves at the beach. He went on to create similar sculptures in Madrid, Venice and Atacama Desert!

Fun Facts about the Scarlet Macaw

Fig. 91

Scarlet Macaws are a colourful parrot found in the Amazon Rainforest. They are very intelligent birds that can even mimic a humans voice! Their bright red, blue and yellow feathers help them blend into the rainforest and with each other to confuse any foes.

Fun Facts about the Rio De Janiero Carnival

Fig. 65

A woman takes the lead in her schools samba parade at the Rio De Janeiro carnival. A school is made up of a single community that parade and celebrate the Christian celebration of lent each year.

Fun Facts about the Llama

Fig. 35

A Patagonian Guanaco stands proud atop a rocky precipice. Guanaco’s are the domesticated cousin of the well known Llama.

Fun Facts about the Moai Statues of Easter Island

Fig. 178

Beans poses with the ancient Moai carvings. Averaging 13ft and 13 tons they are thought to have been walked using ropes to their final resting places!

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