In the beautiful country of Chile there can be found ancient remnants of Antarctic flora called Nothofagus. The forest home of these antiquated natural treasures are in the southern Patagonia Andes of Chile. On the high elevations of the Patagonia special nothofagus pumilio trees can easily be found, the turning of a season changes their leaves to the color of brightest blood. Another kind of ancient tree called krummholz can be found in Chile’s Patagonia region. The tree is typically covered in lichen with a very stunted look to it. It truly gives the look and feel of being in an ancient forest. Indians sometimes in the past would eat the mold off these trees, which they considered a delicacy.
Other plants that can be found in Chile’s Patagonia Andes region are coigue, tepa, orchids, bromeliads, and manio trees. The constantly wet, humid conditions of this region give rise to the mostly year-around green foliage. Wide diversity of plant and animal life in this region is due to the various landscapes. From waterfalls to snow-capped mountains and to the coastal steppes, southern Patagonia boasts them all. This special place has the Pacific ocean to its west, Antarctica to the south, Andes mountains to the east, and the Atacama desert to the north. It all makes for an incredible habitat and even more astounding view as you look down from above.
There are other plants making up the unearthly landscape of Patagonia. Conifers, such as the magnificent Cypress and Larch are found around the northern Patagonia lakes. Some of these conifers are 2000 years-old or older. It really is a remnant of the days when only indians roamed these obscure lands. Before the mountains lay a steppe of jarilla, berry bushes, chaura, neneo and coironales. Then there are the pastures-some created by humans as they wrought destruction on parts of Patagonia-where goats graze owned by local farmers who still inhabit the region. They were also created by excessive logging. Many trees in this land are highly prized for their unique wood.
Patagonia is a very famous place to bird-watch with the most famous birds being Magellan penguins, cormorants, seagulls and Antarctic doves. Other animals who inhabit the region are red deer, boar, pumas, guanacos, armadillos, ostrich, and the poisonous Viudita spider. Despite the rich environment there are practically no poisonous or exotic wildlife such as you would see in the Amazon rain forest. Patagonia is very close to Antarctica and has a definite winter season.
Patagonia has been inhabited by people since 10 BCE-the Holcene epoch when agriculture first appeared-with the first humans being Tehuelches along with other indigenous indian tribes. Later, these people would come under the domination of Mapuche-speaking tribes who taught them agriculture and animal domestication. The first European explorer in Patagonia was Ferdinand Magellan who named the region after a character in his favorite book. The year was 1520 when he stopped shortly at Patagonia before taking off to explore the rest of the world. In 1850 Welsh explorers from Great Britain would go where Magellan had left off. They were astounded by the otherworldly sights around them and the many different animals they came upon.