The Edge of Time©
Ecuador: The Edge of Time©
Ecuador is about the same size as Nevada. It is located in the northwest part of South America on the Pacific Ocean. The Andes Mountains transverse the country from north to south and the run off from the Andes is the origins of the Amazon River. The Galapagos Islands are also part of Ecuador and are located about 600 miles west of the mainland. They were the subject of Charles Darwin's scientific literary works, "Origins of the Species". The Galapagos are a living laboratory that has shaped and continues to shape our current scientific thought.
Ecuador is also the home of the Yasuni National Park, a lush and largely unexplored part of the Amazon Rainforest. It has been designated as a World Biosphere by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization or UNESCO. It is also home to the Tagaeri and Taromenane indigenous peoples. They have lived in isolation from the modern world for thousands of years. It is forbidden to make contact with the tribes unless a designated tribe member, who has experience with the outside world mitigates contact. Below the Yasuni is approximately 846 million barrels of crude oil that Ecuador plans to extract. The Tagaeri and Taromenane indigenous people have another plan. See a related story in our conservation room.
Ahoy! Join Us As We Go Deep Into The Yasuni To Learn The Secrets Of The Rainforest
Africa: Enchanted Lands©
Africa is the world's second largest continent. It encompasses about 11.7 million square miles which represents 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of its total land area. There are 1.1 billion people that inhabit Africa which accounts for about 15% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by water, with the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Africa is considered by most paleo-anthropologists to be the oldest inhabited territory on Earth. Current scientific thought, is that, the human species originated from this continent.
Africa is also home to massive Freshwater Lakes in the Great Rift Valley which contain some of the most diverse life forms on the planet. Only the Great Lakes of North America are larger. It also has two of the largest and the longest river systems on Earth, the Nile in the northeast and the Congo River in the center of the continent. The Congo is the third largest river, just behind the Amazon and is considered the deepest of all rivers reaching depths of 720 feet. On either side of the Congo is the second largest and most diverse rainforest on Earth. It contains 70% of Africa's plant cover. The rainforest also makes up a large portion of Africa's biodiversity with over 600 tree species and 10,000 animal species.
Ahoy! Join Us As We Go Under The Waves, Up The Rivers And Through The Rainforests Of The Dark Continent
Southeast Asia: Ancient Lands©
Southeast Asia stretches some 4000 miles from the south of China to New Guinea and encompasses 5,000,000 square miles of land and sea. All of Southeast Asia falls within the tropical and subtropical climate zones. The coral reefs of the region have the highest diversity of aquatic life on Earth. The region is also known for its lush rainforests full of endemic vegetation and animal life. The forests and reefs are home to some of the rarest animals on the planet, such as, the Java Rhinoceros, Sumatra Tiger, Komodo Dragon, Coelacanths and the Orangutan.
Many of the plant species found in Southeast Asia are used to produce modern medicines, such as, antibiotics, cancer fighting drugs and drugs for neuromuscular diseases. There is a great concern that the human activity in the area will cause plant and animal populations to vanish. This would be a devastating turn of events due to the largely unexplored areas and all the potential they may hold for humankind. To date, scientists have only investigated about 5% of the rainforest and explored 2% of the reef systems. Efforts are under way to catalog the rich biodiversity before the information they contain is lost.
Ahoy! Join Us As We Explore The Diverse Flora And Fauna Of Southeast Asia