Terrain shapes and bedrock
According to COUNTRYAAH, Nigeria is on the lower part of the African mountain plateau. The country consists mostly of plateaus that are old erosion surfaces at different heights and the central river valley system of the Niger and Benue Rivers, which occupy 60% of Nigeria’s land area. The coastal plain with the great Niger Delta, like the Sokoto area in the northwest and the Chad Lake basin in the northeast, consists of young sandstones. Wavy plains, which are often waterlogged, are typical of this region. To the north of the coastal plains is a backland in tertiary bedrock with hills and ridges up to 500 m above sea level. In the north, older rocks are found, among other things. in the form of a mountain, and the most common landform here is high plains and broad, shallow valley sinks, with numerous hills and inselbergs. Particularly prominent relief is the Biu and Jos Plateau, which is marked by lava blankets with remains of extinguished volcanoes. Several of the well-preserved volcanoes have volcanic lakes. At the border with Cameroon, it shoots about 3,000 meters above sea level. the high Adamaoua range into Nigeria, and several high mountain ranges form sharp cuesta-type edges down towards Benue’s valley.
Along the coast, the soil is sandy or swampy and leached as in the rainforest belt. Laterite soils are also found on sloping surfaces in areas with rainy season and marked dry time and are often too hard to grow. The soil erosion is particularly difficult on the Jos plateau and in parts of the Sokotor region. Wind erosion also occurs in the northern parts during the dry season.
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Nigeria has tropical climate with rainy season and dry season. It varies from rainforest climate in the south, over savannah to steppe climate in the north. Near the coast, especially in the southeast, the humidity is very high and the precipitation amounts to 3,000–4,000 mm per year. The rainy season in the south falls during April – October. To the north, the dry season is getting longer and is dominated by the Harmattan, the dry and dusty wind from the Sahara. The rainfall varies regionally inland from 1,750 to 500 mm per year. The average temperature in the south is 25–28 °C, in the north 21–31 °C.
Three main types of vegetation can be distinguished: the swamp forests in the Niger Delta and along the coast, the lowland rainforest in the humid southern parts and the increasingly cultivated dry forests and savannas in the middle and northern parts of the country.
The swamp forests on the coast and in the outer parts of the Niger Delta consist of mangroves, but further inland there are tall trees along the rivers such as Mitraʹgyna ledermaʹnnii and Alstoʹnia boonei [bo: ʹ-].
The lowland rain forest is dominated in the western parts by the tree genus such as Stercuʹlia, Coʹla, Mansoʹnia, Ceʹltis and figusar. To the east, other trees take over, e.g. the pea plants Brachysteʹgia and Piptadeniaʹstrum. Forests with really abundant rainfall are characterized by the species Lophiʹra alaʹta, Klainedoʹxia gaboneʹnsis and Nauclea [na u ʹ-] diderriʹchii.
The forests of the drier areas are characterized by Anogeissus [-ge in ʹ-] and Isoberliʹnia.
The fauna is, or at least has been, very rich with both West and Central African features. On the savannas in the north there are several species of antelopes, including. horse and cow antelope. Giraffes and African elephants are rare. Lions and spotted hyena are rare, while serval, leopard, mangosteen and gold shawl are more common.
In the few untouched rainforests there are many species of primates, including ground mats, drill and chimpanzees. There are also diving antelopes, bush boar, forest elephant and several species of wanderrides. There are many rodent species, including hamster rats and sugar cane rats. The bird fauna is rich with many species of turakos, parrots, rhino birds, beards, pigeons and sunbirds.
In the savannah areas there are, among other things, francolines and stairs, furthest in northern ostrich. Typical reptiles are chameleons, agams, black and white lip cobra (Naʹja melanoleuca [-le u ʹka]) and rhino puff adder.
The fish fauna is rich, especially in the Niger River. fennel and other pike, elephant nosefish and in the northern lung fish species Protoʹpterus anneʹctens. Nile crocodile, hippopotamus and senegal manate (Tricheʹchus senegaleʹnsis) are also found in the river.
Insects include goliath beetles, migratory ants and many species of day butterflies.
In 2010, Nigeria had eight national parks, including Kainji, forest savannah in the northwest with elephant, African buffalo, hippopotamus and antelope, and Cross River rainforest park in the southeast. In addition, there were a large number of game reserves. The national parks occupy about 3% of the land area.