The winding path of the Congo River serves to supply some of the richest wildlife around. It lies in the heart of Africa and with its tributaries drains more than 16,000,000 square miles, providing water to many of its inhabitants, including humans, animals, and plant life.
Dominant Ecosystem of the Congo:
The Tropical Rain Forest
The land of the Congo River reflects the Congoís true capacity to change the land. Rain forests have taken control over most of the land. The Tropical region of the river contains thick coverings of greens. The name that is given to this area is the Congolese forest. This forest is actually split into several layers, the first being low lying branches of large evergreen trees. The next level contains smaller trees and plants. Under that level lies bushes and ferns. The floor of this region consists of mainly ferns, vines, and roots that twist and turn throughout different vegetation.
Animals of the Rainforest Congo
Located in the Southern part of the basin are high rolling lands. Along side of the river are tall grasses called "barnyard grasses". These grasses are comprised of papyrus and Cyperacae/ sedge.
Animals of the Meadows:
In the southern part of the Congo lie high rolling hills of nothing but grass. Within the tall grass of these parts a variety of grazing animals can be found.
Within the Congo dwell more then one million people of different ethnic decent, who speak more then 400 different dialects and live within several tribal settlements. The people who live with along side the river use it to the best of their advantage. Instead of growing plants they use the water for fishing, hunting, and gathering the fruitful advantages of the river. Others use the river to irrigate crops such as corn, yams, peanuts, sugarcane, tobacco, and cotton. Because of the location and unique conditions that the river provides, crops are able to grow quickly in the hot moist air.
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Wendy Hildreth, Kim Vandenbulcke, Melissa Crosby, Sarah Soloman, Krystian Szczerbicki & Gaytha A. Langlois
Bryant College, Smithfield, RI 02917