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    Cool ~ Amazon Rainforest - Half of Worlds Rainforest ~

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    Amazon Rainforest :- Biodiversity
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    The Amazon Rainforest is a moist broadleaf forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America. This basin encompasses seven million square kilometers (1.7 billion acres), of which five and a half million square kilometers (1.4 billion acres) are covered by the rainforest. This region includes territory belonging to nine nations. The majority of the forest is contained within Brazil, with 60% of the rainforest, followed by Peru with 13%, and with minor amounts in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and France (French Guiana). States or departments in four nations bear the name Amazonas after it. The Amazon represents over half of the planet's remaining rainforests, and it comprises the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rainforest in the world.
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    Amazon Rainforest Images
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    While the Amazon is being whittled away on all sides by logging, agriculture, roads, cattle ranching, mining, oil and gas exploration, today's announcement of a new monkey species proves that the world's greatest tropical rainforest still has many surprises to reveal. Scientists with the National University of Colombia and support from Conservation International (CI) have announced the discovery of a new monkey in the journal Primate Conservation on the Colombian border with Peru and Ecuador. The new species is a titi monkey, dubbed the Caquetá titi (Callicebus caquetensis). However, the announcement comes with deep concern as researchers say it is likely the new species is already Critically Endangered due to a small population living in an area undergoing rapid deforestation for agriculture.

    This discovery is extremely exciting because we had heard about this animal, but for a long time we could not confirm if it was different from other titis. We now know that this is a unique species, and it shows the rich diversity of life that is still to be discovered in the Amazon, Defler said in a press release.


    The new species of titi monkey: the Caquetá titi ( Callicebus caquetensis), discovered in the Colombian Amazon. Photo by: Javier Garcia.
    About the size of a cat, the new monkey lacks the white bar on its forehead common to many closely-related titis. Titi monkeys are unique in that probably all species are monogamous, forming lifelong pair-bonds. Partners give birth to one offspring a year, and force the baby from last year to become independent at that point. They also employ highly complex call to communicate.

    This discovery is particularly important because it reminds us that we should celebrate the diversity of earth but also we must take action now to preserve it, José Vicente Rodríguez, head of science at Conservation International in Colombia and president of the Colombia Association of Zoology, said in a press release.

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    Amazon Rainforest Facts:

    More than 20% of Earth's oxygen is produced in this area, thus the name "Lungs of the Planet"
    With 2,5 million square miles, the Amazon rainforest represents 54% of the total rainforests left of the planet
    Amazon rainforest birds account for for at least one third of the world's bird species, being toucan the most popular icon
    More than half of the world's estimated ten million species of plants, animals and insects live in the tropical forest. Read more at Amazon rainforest animals
    70% of plants found to have anticancer properites are found only in the rainforest
    The number of edible fruits found in the rainforest is estimated in 3,000. Amazon natives consume more than 1,500, but only 200 are cultivated for use today
    An estimated 90% of Amazon rainforest plants used by Amazon natives have not been studied by modern science
    In 1500 there were an estimated 6 to 9 million Amazon natives. By 1900 the number has gone down to one million lelf in Brazil.
    Today, the number is believed to be of around 250,000 Amazon natives, comprising 215 ethnic groups with 170 different languages
    There may also be fifty or so Amazon tribes living in the depths of the Amazon rainforest that have never had contact with the outside world
    An estimated number of 2,700 million acres of the rainforest are burned each year
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