Jamaica: History and Culture
Jamaica, a tropical island in the heart of the Caribbean, has a diverse and unique geography. Jamaica is a 146 mile long island with 4411 square miles of lush island. More than half Jamaica is mountains above 1000 feet high, making it an island with a very rugged terrain. While the mountains are mostly on the interior, the coastlines are flat beaches that stretch for as long as the eye can see. The northwest is pitted landscape due to the many sinkholes that settled on the limestone surface. There are over 120 rivers that flow from the interior to the coast. Jamaica is believed to have been formed from volcanoes billions of years ago. Originally Jamaica was a rough rugged land, but eventually the climate and soil changed to provide conditions very suitable for the lush flora that can be seen today. Most of the plants except for pineapple, and guava were brought over by humans or bird droppings. There are over 3000 varieties of flowers that can be found, including 800 species found only in Jamaica. The animal life, however is much plainer. There are rats, and mongooses, which are used to hunt the rats. There is also something known as the coney, a relative of the rat. There are also bats, crocodiles, and frogs. Far more impressive is the variety of birds on the island. There are over 200 species, ranging from the Doctor bird, to the brightly colored parakeets, parrots and finches.
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