Peru is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peruvian territory was home to the Norte Chico civilization, one of the oldest in the world, and to the Inca Empire, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the country in the 16th century and established a Viceroyalty, which included most of its South American colonies. After achieving independence in 1821, Peru has undergone periods of political unrest and fiscal crisis as well as periods of stability and economic upswing. Peru is a presidential representative democratic republic divided into 25 regions. Its geography varies from the arid plains of the Pacific coast to the peaks of the Andes mountains and the tropical forests of the Amazon Basin. It is a developing country with a medium Human Development Index score and a poverty level around 40%. Its main economic activities include agriculture, fishing, mining, and manufacturing of products such as textiles. The Peruvian population, estimated at 28 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Europeans, Africans and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages.
The cougar (Puma concolor), also puma, mountain lion, or panther depending on region, is a mammal of the Felidae family, native to the Americas. This large, solitary cat has the greatest range of any wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere, extending from Yukon in Canada to the southern Andes of South America. An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in every major New World habitat type. It is the second heaviest cat in the New World, after the jaguar, and the fourth heaviest in the world, along with the leopard after the tiger, lion, and jaguar, although it is most closely related to smaller felines.
A capable stalk-and-ambush predator, the cougar pursues a wide variety of prey. Primary food sources include ungulates such as deer, elk, and bighorn sheep, as well as domestic cattle, horses, and sheep, particularly in the northern part of its range, but it hunts species as small as insects and rodents. It prefers habitats with dense underbrush and rocky areas for stalking, but it can live in open areas. The cougar is territorial and persists at low population densities. Individual territory sizes depend on terrain, vegetation, and abundance of prey. While it is a large predator, it is not always the dominant species in its range, as when it competes for prey with other predators such as the gray wolf, black bear, and the grizzly bear. (more...)
Photo credit: Ericbronder
The main square of Abancay, capital of the Apurímac Region, has several palm trees which have adapted to the city's elevation of 2378 meters above sea level. Most cities in Peru have main squares, which are called Plaza de Armas in Spanish. They are usually surrounded by the principal city buildings such as the town hall or the main church. (more...)
The Battle of Ollantaytambo took place in January 1537 between the forces of the Inca emperor Manco Inca and a Spanish expedition led by Hernando Pizarro during the Spanish conquest of Peru. A former ally of the Spaniards, Manco Inca rebelled in May 1536 and laid siege to a Spanish garrison in the city of Cusco. To end the stand-off, the besieged mounted a raid against the emperor headquarters, located in the town of Ollantaytambo. The expedition was commanded by Hernando Pizarro and included 100 Spaniards and some 30,000 Indian auxiliaries against an Inca army of more than 30,000. (more...)
- August 9, 1970 - Flight LANSA 502 crashes en route from Lima to Cusco killing all but one of the 100 crew and passengers on board.
- August 15, 2007 - A major earthquake originating off the coast of Peru destroys the city of Pisco.
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