South America is a continent that forms the southern part of the American
double continent, with the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the
east, Antarctica to the south and the Caribbean Sea to the north. South America
has a land area of approximately 17,840,000 km2, which is almost 3.5 percent
of the earth's total area.
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The land border between Colombia and Panama is usually counted as the border
with North America, but sometimes it is counted that the border runs along the
Panama Canal. Central America is therefore included in North America. In the
case of Latin America, the border between Mexico and the United States is drawn
instead, as the concept of Latin America is more culturally and linguistically
Map of South America
The classification of South America as a continent is debated, as some parts
of the world see America as a large continent, and North, Central and South
America as subcontinents. In other parts of the world, North and South America
are classified as continents, while America is seen as a supercontinent.
Classifying South America as a subcontinent, continent, or part of a
supercontinent is entirely based on regional preferences.
South America is home to many species of, for example, parrots, bird spiders,
insects, snakes and mammals. The tropical rainforest area of the Amazon is the
world's largest rainforest and the world's richest species, both in terms of
plants and animals. The most exceptional example is the insects. New, previously
unknown, insect species are still being discovered in the Amazon.
Countries in South America
The South American subcontinent can be divided into three main areas:
- The Andes as high mountains on the western side of the continent
- Three river plains east of the Andes
- Three mountainous countries east of the Andes
On the west coast lies the Andes, the longest overseas mountain range in the
world. The high mountains stretches along the Pacific for over 7500 km from
Venezuela to the southern tip of Patagonia. The highest mountain in the Andes,
at the same time the highest mountain in South America and the highest mountain
outside of Asia, is the Aconcagua at 6961 m. It lies on the border between
Argentina and Chile. The Laguna del Carbón, at 105 meters below sea level the
deepest point in South America, is located in the San Julian Basin in Patagonia.
Cape Horn is usually referred to as the southernmost point of South America.
The largest river level forms the Amazon basin (Amazonia), an equatorial
rainforest low level that is drained by the Amazon with its approximately 10,000
tributaries. The Amazon, which flows eastward from the Andes across the entire
continent, is the longest river in South America with about 6448 km and the
river with the most water on earth. To the north lies the Orinoco Plain, which
is bounded to the Amazon basin to the south by the mountainous Guiana and to the
north by the Venezuelan coastal mountainous region. Another river level lies in
the south of the continent, where the river system from Río Paraguay and Río
Paraná from the Pantanal Coming in the north, in the south it merges into a
subtropical alluvial landscape.
The mountainous lands are the Guiana Mountainous Country, the Brazilian
Mountainous Country, and the Eastern Patagonian Mountainous Country. The
mountainous region of Guiana is divided into the rainforest mountainous region
of southern Venezuela, the central highlands of Guiana and the eastern mountain
region of Guyana, extending between the Orinoco and the Amazon with a maximum
elevation of up to 2800 m. The central Brazilian mountain country dominates
central South America and extends to the coast of Brazil and the pampas of
Argentina in the south. The East Patagonian mountains rise in the east of the
Andes at the southern tip of South America.