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Mesopotamia, Argentina

Mesopotamica or Litoral argentino ("littoral") is the humid and verdant area of north-east Argentina, comprising the provinces of Misiones, Entre Rios and Corrientes. The landscape and its characteristics are dominated by two rivers, the Parana River and the Uruguay River. This area is also a distinct physiographic province of the larger Parana-Paraguay Plain division.

The long parallel courses of the two rivers, and the verdant areas between them, drove comparisons to the region in modern-day Iraq called Mesopotamia , from which the Argentine region draws its name. Parts of the neighboring provinces of Formosa, Chaco and Santa Fe share Mesopotamia's features, as do the neighboring regions of nearby Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Mesopotamia has some of the most popular tourist attractions in Argentina, mainly the Iguazu Falls, the Iguazu National Park and the Jesuit monasteries in Misiones. The Ibera Wetlands in Corrientes are an extensive area of flooded forest similar to Brazil's Pantanal.

The region is part of the Brazilian central plateau. The whole region has high rainfall, particularly in August and September, up to 2,000 mm annually. Misiones, in the northern part of Mesopotamia, is largely covered by subtropical forest, with caiman, toucans and monkeys. Fast decomposition of organic matter gives the area a red soil with only a thin fertile layer that can easily be washed away. Corrientes is marshy and wooded, with low hills. Entre Rios is covered with fertile pasture land stretching into Uruguay.

The flora of Mesopotamia includes the yatay palm , which is a protected species in the El Palmar National Park, and the Araucaria angustifolia (Parana pine tree). Tree ferns, orchids and large trees can also be found.

Yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) is grown largely in Mesopotamia; 1,800 square kilometres of Misiones are devoted to its production. The region is also important for cattle and sheep, poultry, linseed, tobacco, citrus and rice.

Gualeguaychu in Entre Rios is popular for its carnival at the beginning of Lent. Corrientes is also known for its carnival celebrations and is a centre of music and festivals generally: the chamame music style has recently seen a resurgence in popularity.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Mesopotamia, Argentina

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