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Large river ecosystems

Faunas adapted to high flow regimes of large rivers are uncommon and best developed in the Yangtze, Colorado, lower Mississippi, and lower Congo rivers. A relatively small area of rapids in the latter region supports 22 endemic species of rapid specialist fish.

The Mekong, Congo, Paranáand Amazon-Orinoco Rivers harbour the 4 great large tropical river fish faunas2). The waters of the Lower Mississippi River contain outstanding examples of large river fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates, including glacial relicts and many endemics.