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The River - Nutrients And Life

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River; River Channel and Tributaries; Source of River; River Gorge; Freshwater For Life; Waterfalls; Rapids In River; Torrent Ducks – Live and Find Food in Rapids; Salmons – the Anti-rapids of river; River Meander; Nutrients And Life; Sediments And The Mud; Floodplains; River Deltas; Junction of Rivers; Damage by Rivers; Dams Over Rivers; Spoiling of Rivers

Soil that erodes from the banks of the river travels in the water as tiny mud particles. This soil provides important nutrients that help plants grow under the water and along the riverbanks. Butterflies dragonflies and other insects live among plants along the riverbanks. The water in a river, which is warmer than water in a deep lake, produces plenty of food for many different kinds of fish. Fish-eating birds like rivers, too. The kingfisher hovers just over the surface of the water. Then it quickly dives to catch a fish. A long-necked bird called a ‘heron’ fishes by standing very still. When a fish rises to the surface of the water, the heron grabs it.



Some animals that live near rivers are such good swimmers that they feel as much at home in the water as on the land. ‘Otters’ are good at swimming and diving in the river. They have short, strong legs and webbed feet, and they can close their nostrils and stay underwater for as long as five minutes.


Some of the busiest animals along the river are ‘beavers’. Their strong teeth can cut down trees to build homes. A beaver drags the trees it cuts and fallen logs it finds to make a dam across the river. The beaver's dam forms a pond. The beaver then builds its home, called a lodge, in the pond.


Along African rivers live the hippopotamus and its small cousin, called the pygmy hippo. The name "hippopotamus" means "river horse". During the hottest part of the day, a hippopotamus stays in the river. Only its eyes and ears show above the surface of the water.



Crocodiles and alligators lurk in the swampy water of tropical rivers. They wait for an animal to come to the river's edge for a drink. A hungry crocodile grabs its prey and drags it to the river. Using its tail like a club, the crocodile can stun an animal and then drown it. Crocodiles and alligators, which are alike in many ways, often swallow stones. They may do this because the stones' weight helps them stay underwater longer.

Many different kinds of water rats and mice live along riverbanks all around the world. Water rats and mice all swim well, but the best swimmer of them all is the South American water rat. It can dive underwater to catch fish.

People have always needed rivers. Some of the earliest known human settlements were between two rivers in Asia, the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some people try to change the paths of rivers so they can use the water or protect themselves.

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