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About 260 million years ago, every region where today is the semiarid was seabed, but the Caatinga biome is very recent.
Just ten thousand years ago it was a huge rainforest, like the Amazon. To get to know this Brazilian semiarid biome, just visit the Serra da Capivara Archaeological Site, in the south of Piauí. There are the rock panels, with designs of huge sloths, gigantic birds, saber-toothed tigers, wild horses and so many others. In the Museum of American Man are many of his fossils. With the end of the ice age, ten thousand years ago, the rainforest was over. It is what our caatinga is today.
The caatinga officially occupies 844,453 km² of the Brazilian territory. Today we talk about more than one million km². It extends throughout the state of Ceará (100%) and more than half of Bahia (54%), Paraíba (92%), Pernambuco (83%), Piauí (63%) and Rio Grande do Norte (95%), almost half of Alagoas (48%) and Sergipe (49%), as well as small portions of Minas Gerais (2%) and Maranhão (1%).
The caatinga is very rich in biodiversity, both plant and animal, especially insects. This is why southern Piaui, for example, is very supportive of bee keeping.
In periods without rain, about 8 months a year, she "falls asleep" and her leaves fall. Then, with the first rain, she "rises". It is to this logic that its inhabitants have to adapt. Therefore, those who still find this region unviable, or have it as a desert, demonstrate a deep ignorance of the Brazilian reality.
About 28 million Brazilians live in this biome, and approximately 38% live in rural areas. This population has one of the worst HDIs on the planet.