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The Wild Andes

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The Andes mountains were born from the volcanic fire nearly 25 million years ago, they are the longest mountain chain on earth. The mountain range is pushed up by tectonic forces and continue to rise up to create new and beautiful landscapes and habitats for the variety of creatures that roam them. Take a journey through the mountains' extremes and learn about the animals that call the 4,000-mile expanse their home. Take the paths along the western edge of South America from Southern Patagonia's icy expanse to the oxygen-deprived Altiplano plateau all the way to the northern's tropical landscape.

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The Altiplano sits at more than 12,000 feet above sea level, a vast, treeless plateau with thin air, toxic soda lakes and weather that can turn at the drop of a hat; related to the alpaca, the vicuna has evolved to survive in these conditions.
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The Patagonia region is filled with vast glaciers, towering peaks, volcanoes, and prehistoric forests, forming a backdrop to the lives of condors, foxes and pumas; the Valdivian rainforest is home to a secret world of creatures found nowhere else.
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In a northern stretch of the Andes, tectonic forces coupled with downpours have carved sharp peaks and deep valleys, each one an isolated pocket of evolution; high in the cloud forest lives the olinguito which was identified by scientists in 2013.

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