The Pantanal is the world’s largest area of wetlands , a flat landscape, with gently sloping and meandering rivers. The region, whose name derives from the Portuguese word “pântano” (meaning “swamp” or “marsh” ), is situated in South America, mostly within the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul. There are also small portions in Bolivia and Paraguay. In total, the Pantanal covers about 195,000 square kilometers (75,000 sq mi).
The Pantanal floods during the wet season, submerging over 80% of the area, and nurturing the world's richest collection of aquatic plants. It is thought to be the world’s most dense flora and fauna ecosystem. It is often overshadowed by the Amazon Rainforest, partly because of its proximity, but is just as vital and interesting a part of the neotropic.
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