The Grand Canyon Facts

The Grand Canyon Facts
The Grand Canyon is in the United States of America. Millions of years ago, instead of a deep canyon, this area was a giant flat slab of layered rock that we call the Colorado Plateau. Rain and melted snow forming the Colorado River have flowed over this plateau for millions of years, cutting into the rock surface and forming the Grand Canyon.
Interesting The Grand Canyon Facts:
The Grand Canyon is one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World.
The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long located in the state of Arizona.
Being desert country it doesn't rain a lot. Few plants can live there to keep the soil and rocks in place. When it rains and the snow melts, the water washes away more rocks and soil, making the canyon deeper.
As we go down into the Canyon the rocks get older. The bottom rocks are the oldest 1. 84 billion years old (1 864 000 000 years old). The rocks at the top of the plateau are the youngest at 270 million years old (270 000 000 years).
The North Rim of the Grand Canyon at an average height of 8,000 feet is higher than the South Rim by 1,000 feet.
The North Rim gets more rain and snow melt, making the canyon on the North Rim more jagged and steep.
The South Rim averages 7,000 feet in height and people can visit there all year round. It is drier and warmer than the North Rim. Its slopes are not so eroded and easier to hike down.
The deepest point of the Grand Canyon is just over a mile deep.
The rocks of the canyon contain fossils of plant and animals. As we hike down the canyon, the fossils in the rocks get older. Studying these fossils tells us about the animals and plants that lived there millions of years ago.
In the last ice-age 11,000 to 80,000 years ago, animals such as Woolly Mammoths and Giant Sloths standing 12 feet tall lived in and around the Grand Canyon. Their bones have been dug up in caves of the Grand Canyon.
Today there are 1, 500 different plants, 355 different birds, 89 different mammals, 47 different reptiles, 9 different amphibian and 17 different types of fish that live in and around the canyon. Some are found nowhere else in the world.
Animals that live in the Grand Canyon include Coyotes, Squirrels, Raccoons, Bobcats, Mountain Lions, Bald Eagles, Chuckwalla Lizards and the Diamond Back Rattler snake.
The animals and plants live in different places in the Grand Canyon. On top of the North Rim, evergreen trees such as pine, spruce grow because it is cooler and wetter. On the South Rim which is warmer and drier, Ponderosa Pine, Oaks and Juniper woodlands grow. Within the canyon itself, it is hot and dry so Cactus plants grow there. Willow and Cottonwood grow along the river banks.
The first people living in the Canyon were the Paleo-Indian (ancient Native American peoples) 12, 000 years ago. They left behind stone tools.
The Cohonina people lived in the Canyon 1,500 years ago and grew food such as corn and beans, hunted for food and gathered edible plants. They also made pottery and weapons and these are found buried in the caves in the Canyon.
The Ancient Pueblo people built stone villages within the Canyon 1,000 years ago. Since that time other Native American people have continued to live around the Canyon area = such as the Navajo (Dine`), Hualapai and Havaupai tribes.
The first Europeans to visit the Grand Canyon were Spanish and they arrived 473 years ago.
Throughout the 1800's pioneering farmers, ranchers and miners came to the area.
Tourists started visiting the Grand Canyon in the late 1800's.
President Theodore Roosevelt visited the canyon in the early 1900's. He pledged to preserve this special place for future generations. In 1908 the Grand Canyon became a National Monument and then in 1919, President Woodrow Wilson turned the Grand Canyon into a National Park.
More than 5 million people visit the Grand Canyon every year.
The Grand Canyon is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1979.

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