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Jamaica

Things to Know

Parliamentary democracy
Third-largest island in the Caribbean
A member of the British Commonwealth.

Island in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba

Capital: Kingston
Jamaica's chief port

  Map of Jamaica

Language: An unique version of English which has been labeled " patois ."
Hear and learn to speak Jamaican .

Currency: Jamaican dollar (JMD)

Animals

Jamaica has more than 200 species of birds.

The Swallow-tail Hummingbird (Doctor Bird -Jamaica's National Bird)
The "Doctor Bird" lives only in Jamaica and is one of the most outstanding of all the species of Humming Birds. Also abundant are parrots, cuckoos, and green todies .

There are nine species of snakes known in Jamaica; all of them are non-poisonous. The largest is the Jamaican boa , or Yellow Snake. Also abundant are bats, mongooses, frogs, lizards, and crocodiles.

Jamaican Iguana
The Hellshire Hills provide the last known habitat for the rediscovered (1990) Jamaican Iguana.

Jamaican Fruit Bat

Indian Coney (large brown rodent)
The only endemic terrestrial mammal, the Hutia or Indian Coney.  The Indian Coney lives in holes in the ground and feeds on plants.

The American Crocodile . One of the larger crocodilian species.

There are over 133 species and subspecies of butterflies in Jamaica . The most famous is the giant swallow-tail butterfly one of the largest butterflies in the world with a forewing size of 3 inches.

Explorers

Christopher Columbus

Climate

Tropical; hot, humid; temperate interior

Land

The island of Jamaica consist of mountains inland to beautiful beaches on the coast. In the east is the most rugged area and the highest elevations. The Blue Mountains rise to 7,402 feet at Blue Mountain Peak , the island's highest point.

Plants

National Flower Lignum Vitae
A beautiful blue flower whose wood is used for propeller shaft bearings.
National Fruit, the Ackee

Three thousand species of plants grow on the Jamaican island, and 27 percent of them are found nowhere else on Earth. Agriculture products: sugarcane, bananas, coffee , citrus, potatoes, vegetables; poultry, goats, milk.

Read

Anancy Stories
Five Jamaican folklore stories. These stories orginated in West Africa.

Jamaican Recipes

Jamaican Music
Reggae is the name of the Jamaican music.

 

Color Pages

Jamaica Flag

Fun Facts

The Coconut Palm is not native to Jamaica. Nor are sugar cane, bananas, mangoes, breadfruit or bamboo. They were all brought to the island at various stages in its history. The original Arawak inhabitants lived mainly on corn, fish and yams.

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