Many people who live in Florida don’t know a lot about the Everglades, even though it makes up a huge part of the lower third of the state.
For example, while most people consider the Everglades to be a swamp, it’s actually a very slow-moving river that spreads out over 8 million acres, reaching from the Kissimmee River to Lake Okeechobee, where its waters slowly flow south toward Florida Bay.
Everglades Airboat Tours — Shrouded in Mystery
Much of the Everglades is impenetrable to humans. Its ubiquitous grassy plants are mostly sawgrass, also known as sedge, which has a serrated, razor-sharp edge that can rip through clothing.
But it is home to more than 73 threatened or endangered species of animals, birds, and reptiles. In fact, it is the only place in the world where the American Alligator and the American Crocodile exist side by side.
There are so many birds in the Everglades that it was said they “darkened the sky” when they took flight all at once.
Despite being home to so many animals, the dominant life form in the Everglades is actually periphyton, a mossy golden-brown substance that floats on top its abundant waters.
Everglades Airboat Tours — A Delicate Ecosystem
The Everglades is one of the largest remaining unspoiled wilderness areas in the US. But it also is a very delicate ecosystem. One of the most important creatures is also one of the smallest.
The mosquito plays a critical role in the Everglades’ natural food chain. Its larvae provide food for a wide variety of native fish, which in turn are the primary food source for many of the area’s wading birds.
The Florida Everglades is one of the most mysterious and picturesque areas in all of the world. And it is right here in our very own backyard ready to be explored.