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The park itself covers nearly 800 square miles. There is not an area of the same size that can match the diversity of plants and animals. There are nearly 18,000 species that have been found in the parks area. Scientists believe that there is an additional 20,000 to 80,000 species that possibly live in the area. They believe that there is so much diversity because of the mountains, glaciers and the weather of the area. There are close to 100 species of trees that grow in the area. That’s more than any Northern state park. Nearly ninety five percent of the park is covered in forest. There is over 1,500 plant species that scientists have found in the park. It is also the epicenter for lung less salamanders and houses more than two hundred types of birds, sixty six types of land animals, 67 different types of fish, 39 types of reptiles, and 43 different families of amphibians. There are also mushrooms, mollusks and millipedes that have reached records in diversity.
The parks elevation ranges from 875 to nearly 7 thousand feet. This range in altitude is in close relation to the altitude that you might see if you were driving from Florida to the tip of Maine. The animals that you might find in the south of Georgia can be found in the lowlands of the Smokey Mountains and the species common in the north can be found in higher elevated areas.
There are several places on the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains. The Heritage Center is an awesome place to learn about the history of the area. It is one of the many ways that the history of the area is being preserved. At the Heritage Center a person can see artifacts that go all the back to 3000 B.C. There is also plenty of Native American artifacts like pottery, weapons that the native Americans used to hunt with, clothing, houses and masks that represent the 7 different clans of the Cherokee Indians. By visiting the heritage center one can learn all about the Native American life in the Smokies and the area’s

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