The tropical Andes of Ecuador are at the top of the world list of biodiversity hotspots in terms of vertebrate species, endemic vertebrates and endemic plants. Ecuador contains more diversity than the entire United States.
Scientists from Brazil and the United States have discovered a huge coral reef in the Amazon river that stretches for more than 600 miles -- a surprising finding due to the fact that such marine structures thrive only in salty ocean and sea waters with access to sunlight. However, scientists have warned the newly discovered reef is threatened by oil drilling in the area.
The findings were published in the journal Science Advances on April 22 and revealed that the reef spans from the southern tip of French Guiana to Brazil's Maranhao State.