I promised my younger readers I would post about the animals we’ve seen and here it is!
Thus far we have traveled over 14,000 MILES in Chile and Argentina!!! This is an astounding statistic for me. (I could come up with so many math problems about it) Such a massive distance, we have covered so much land.
Since leaving Seattle it’s been 20,000 MILES! Crossing the USA was 6,000 miles. So, we’ve definitely seen a lot of wildlife.
Before I dive into my super cute animal pictures we need a quick geography lesson. Context is everything. Why am I grouping these two massive countries into just 3 groups?
Well, Argentina’s and Chilé’s climates are actually quite similar because they are both surrounded by oceans, share the Andes Mountains, and are within the same latitudes. Thus, their geography and climate create similar habitats of plants, animals, and insects.
So, I will divide Argentina and Chile into 3 regions:
Coastal/Ocean: Humboldt Penguins, King Penguins, orcas, dolphins, and sea lions
This is a lush environment. Almost anything can grow here because there is a lot of rain and also nutrients coming from the ocean. It’s very similar to Seattle’s coastal habitats.
Dry/Pampa: armadillo, guanaco, llamas, lizard, beetle, rhea/ostrich family, fox, flamingo, hares, condors
Imagine a hot, dry desert wind sweeping across a massive flat valley. Great. You’re in the pampas! They look barren because sage brush is barely hanging on and you really have to look for animals, but there is a lot of variety occurring here. Cacti, short wispy grasses, and lots of small animals.
Mountains/ Lakes: huemul deer, hummingbird, ibis, trout*, salmon*, beaver*
Again, a lush wet place. This is the land of glaciers, tall mountains, massive rivers and streams. It is cooler here than in the pampas, but the temperature doesn’t vary much unless you climb in altitude. Sunny days are rare, overcast skies are the norm along with frequent rains.
*= A non-native species. Introduced by humans for food or fur trapping benefits. Today some of these animals have posed big risks for their ecosystem and the government is trying to control their population.
This is not an extensive list, but rather animals we came in contact with and were quick enough to take a photo of. I searched far and wide for the elusive puma, but didn’t see one. Perhaps on my future travels to Patagonia!
I may have also misnamed some of the animals. Do you see any mistakes?