Advisory: The National Aquarium is a private nonprofit organization and remains open during the federal government shutdown.

Happy World Rivers Day!

It’s World Rivers Day—a global celebration of Earth’s expansive waterways and the life they support!

Published September 29, 2014

Did you know that at 4,195 miles long, the Amazon River basin is one of the largest in the world? In fact, about one-fifth of the world’s freshwater is contained in the Amazon River basin. Encompassing 15,000 tributaries and spanning a massive 2.7 million square miles, the basin covers about 40% of South America. The width of this vast waterway ranges anywhere from one to 35 miles.

discus-fish

Like many rivers, the Amazon supports an array of plant and animal life—the basin is home to about 10% of the world’s known species. Between the months of June and October, the river floods, forcing its inhabitants to adapt to a changing landscape.

Species migrate into the flooded forests to reproduce and eat. Some feed on the fruit of trees growing in the floodplain, which in turn aids seed dispersal, helping to continue the forest’s lifecycle.

Want to learn more about the animals that call the Amazon River basin home? Click here.

Previous Post

Featured Stories

Baby striped burrfish Animal Update: Baby Striped Burrfish

The National Aquarium is now caring for three baby striped burrfish!

Read the full story

Cold-stunned turtle patient Animal Rescue Update: Cold-Stunned Sea Turtles

The 32 cold-stunned rescue sea turtles in the National Aquarium’s care are improving after a few weeks under the watchful eyes of our staff.

Read the full story

Related Stories

Happy World Rivers Day!

Published September 24, 2017

Animal Update: Freshwater Angelfish

Published January 20, 2017