Ancient giant dolphin discovered in the Amazon

Paleontologists from the University of Zurich have announced the discovery of a new species of freshwater dolphin in the Peruvian Amazon region. Surprisingly, its closest living relatives can be found in the river dolphins ...

What's causing the Amazon's ongoing record drought?

The devastating drought in the Amazon River Basin that reported in October has continued into Northern Hemisphere winter, which is the heart of the wet season in the southern part of the basin. The drought is cutting off ...

Ancient Amazonians intentionally created fertile 'dark earth'

The Amazon river basin is known for its immense and lush tropical forests, so one might assume that the Amazon's land is equally rich. In fact, the soils underlying the forested vegetation, particularly in the hilly uplands, ...

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Amazon River

The Amazon River (Portuguese: Rio Amazonas; Spanish: Río Amazonas; pronounced /ˈæməzɒn/ (US); pronounced /ˈæməzən/ (UK)) of South America is the largest river in the world by volume, with a total river flow greater than the next eight largest rivers combined. The Amazon, which has the largest drainage basin in the world, accounts for approximately one fifth of the world's total river flow. During the wet season parts of the Amazon exceed 120 miles (190 km) in width. Because of its vast dimensions, it is sometimes called The River Sea. At no point is the Amazon crossed by bridges. This is not because of its huge dimensions; in fact, for most of its length, the Amazon's width is well within the capability of modern engineers to bridge. However, the bulk of the river flows through tropical rainforest, where there are few roads and even fewer cities, so there is no need for crossings.

While the Amazon is the largest river in the world by most measures, the current consensus within the geographic community holds that the Amazon is the second longest river, just slightly shorter than the Nile. However, some scientists, particularly from Brazil and Peru, dispute this (see section below).

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