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Word Count: 527
Colombia The distinguishing topographical feature of Colombia is the Andes mountain chain The Andes are situated in the central and western parts of the country and extend north south across almost the entire length of Colombia The western two-fifths of the country lies in the highlands of the Andes The ranges of the Andes are separated by deep depressions Almost all of Colombias population lives in the narrow valleys and basins nestled among the mountains East of the Andes three-fifths of the country consists of portions of the llanos or grasslands and selva or rain forest The llanos lie on the plain that drains northeast into the Orinoco River and the selva drains southeast into the Amazon River basin Along the shore of the Caribbean Sea is a strip of lowland Climate The low regions along the coast and the deep Pata and Magdalena river valleys are torrid with average annual temperatures of 24 to 27 C From about 500 to 2300 m the climate is subtropical and from about 2300 to 3000 m it is temperate Above about 3000 m the cold-climate zone where temperatures range from -18 to 13 C The average January and July temperatures in Bogot are the same 14 C The averages for the same months in Barranquilla are 27 C 80 F and 28 C 82 F Throughout the year three-month periods of rain and dry weather alternate Along the Pacific coast precipitation is heavy At Bogot the annual rainfall averages about 1060 mm and in Barranquilla it averages about 800 mm Dry weather prevails on the slopes of the Cordillera Oriental Animals Among the wildlife is the larger South American mammals such as jaguars pumas tapirs peccaries anteaters sloths armadillos and several species of monkey and red deer Alligators once numerous along the principal rivers have been intensively hunted and are becoming scarce Many varieties of snakes inhabit the tropical regions
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