Ans. The Amazon Basin stretches directly on the equator and is characterized by hot and wet climate throughout the year. Both day and nights are almost equally hot and humid. The skin feels sticky. It rains almost every day, that too without much warning. The day temperatures are high with very high humidity. At night the temperature goes down but the humidity remains high.
Ans. The basin area has varied topography. The environment plays a dominant role in the distribution of the population. The mountain areas with steep slopes have inhospitable terrain. Therefore less number of people live in the mountain area of the Ganga- Brahmaputra basin. The plain area provides the most suitable land for human habitation. Therefore, the density of population of the plains is very high.
Ans. There is a variety of wildlife in the basin. Elephants, tigers, deer and monkeys are common. The one-horned rhinoceros is found in the Brahmaputra plain. In the delta area, Bengal tiger, crocodiles and alligator are found. Aquatic life abounds in the fresh river waters, the lakes and the Bay of Bengal Sea. The most popular varieties of the fish are the rohu, catla and hilsa.
Ans. The vegetation cover of the area varies according to the type of landforms. In the Ganga and Brahmaputra plain tropical deciduous trees grow, along with teak, sal and peepal. Thick bamboo groves are common in the Brahmaputra plain. The delta area is covered with the mangrove forests. In parts of Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, coniferous trees like pine, deodar and fir can be seen because the climate is cool and the slopes are steep.
Ans. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people. The main crop cultivated is paddy. Wheat, maize, sorghum, gram and millets are the other crops that are grown. Cash crops like sugarcane and jute are also grown. Banana plantations are seen in some areas of the plain. In West Bengal and Assam tea is grown in plantations. Silk is produced through the cultivation of silk worms in parts of Bihar and Assam. In the mountains and hills, where the slopes are gentle, crops are grown on terraces.
Ans. Tourism is another important activity of the basin. Taj Mahal on the banks of River Yamuna in Agra, Allahabad on the confluence of the Rivers Ganga and Yamuna, Buddhists stupas in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, Lucknow with its Imambara, Assam with Kaziranga and Manas with wild life sanctuaries and Arunachal Pradesh with a distinct tribal culture are some of the places worth a visit.
Ans. Slash and Burn is a way of cultivating land where farmers clear a piece of land by slashing or cutting down trees and bushes. These are then burnt, which releases the nutrients into the soil. Now crops are grown in this cleared field for a few years. After repeatedly using the patch of land, the soil looses its nutrients. So it is abandoned. Then they clear another plot of land to plant. In the meantime young trees grow in the old field. In this way soil fertility is restored. People can then return to it and start cultivating it again.
Ans. The rainforest is rich in fauna. Birds such as toucans, humming birds, bird of paradise with their brilliantly coloured plumage, oversized bills for eating make them different from birds we commonly see in India. These birds also make loud sounds in the forests. Animals like monkeys, sloth and ant-eating tapirs are found here. Various species of reptiles and snakes also thrive in these jungles. Crocodiles, snakes, pythons abound. Anaconda and boa constrictor are some of the species. Besides, the basin is home to thousands of species of insects. Several species of fishes including the flesh eating Piranha fish is also found in the river. This basin is thus extraordinarily rich in the variety of life found there.
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