Ahoy there! I’m reportin’ from the coast of Venice in Italy today, we've just come down the Tagliamento river to help some locals get their buoy's out. I’ve been sailin’ through all the canals spottin’ all the marine life, not ta mention the colourful houses! Have you ever sailed down a river? It’s bloomin’ amazin’, if ya ask me.
Rivers are located all over the world (in fact, they’re found on every continent!). They’re natural bodies of flowin’ water that can range from small narrow streams to huge waterways that cross lots of countries. They might wind down mountains or through valleys, they may be gushin’ with fresh cold water, or they can be warm and swampy.
But, there are a few characteristics that all rivers share. The source is the place where the river starts. It’s usually a lake, spring, glacier or snowfield.
Big rivers also get their water from tributaries. These are smaller rivers or streams that flow into larger rivers rather than endin’ in a lake or ocean.
The channel is probably what you imagine when you think of a river; it’s the unique course that the river follows through the landscape. The channel’s shape depends a lot on the environment that surrounds it and the amount of water flowin’ through it. Some rivers might be really windy, while others run straight.
The land on either side of the river is known as the riverbank, and it is usually an important habitat for various wildlife.
Lastly, the end of the river is called the mouth or delta. This is where the river meets the lake, wetland or wild seas.
At the source, water flows very rapidly. Throughout the channel, it can still be powerful and fast enough to carve into the landscape. As it moves towards the mouth, it slows down and can even become still enough for boats to sail across. The energy of flowin’ water is caused by gravity, which pulls water downwards towards the mouth. The steeper the river, the faster it flows.
Rivers are incredibly important for a number of reasons. Firstly, they carry water from the land to the ocean. Once the water is in the ocean, it can form clouds which deliver moisture – or rain – back to the land. Various animals including alligators, rhinoceroses, fish, eels, turtles, and frogs call rivers home. Rivers have also been used by humans for thousands of years for fishin’, drinkin’, bathin’, growin’ crops, transport, trade, and power.
Well, I'm off to explore this beauty of a river more. See ya later, maties!
Continent - big land masses, filled with lots of smaller countries, found all over the world. Europe and Asia are examples of continents.
Canal - a long waterway that allows boats and ships to travel inland.
Glacier - a giant mass of ice that moves around slowly.
Habitat - a place where an animal or plant naturally lives.
Wetland - very wet land (ha ha!) filled with swamps.
Gravity - a strong force that pulls things towards Earth (in other words, it stops you from floating into space!)
1. The nile is the longest river in the world at 6,650km long.
2. There are 19 countries in the world that don’t have any rivers including Monaco, Saudi Arabia, and the Bahamas.
3. The oldest river in the world is the finke river in australia. It is estimated to be around 350-400 million years old.
1. Rivers are found on every continent – true or false?
2. What is the name given to the place where the river starts?
3. The land on either side of the river is called the riverside – true or false?
4. Name three animals that might live in or near a river.
5. How many countries don’t have rivers?
Increase your knowledge by completing these activities.