The Missouri River is a tributary of the Mississippi that flows east and south for 2,341 miles before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri. It drains a semiarid and sparsely populated watershed and is home to over 25 species of wildlife. Learn more about the Missouri River and its unique ecosystems. You’ll be happy you did. Read on to learn about its history, wildlife, and current conditions.
The Missouri River is a tributary of the Mississippi
The Missouri River is a tributaries of the Mississippi River and flows through the center of the United States. It is a major waterway that drains an area of about 500,000 square miles. It starts in southwest Montana and flows through Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas before entering the Gulf of Mexico. The Missouri River is the second longest river system in the world, at 2,341 miles (3,767 km).
The Missouri River used to be a wide braided channel that shifted and slowed down with every flood. Dams and levees built upstream have helped to minimize this turbidity, limiting the river’s range and making it much easier to navigate. The bottom of the Missouri River is primarily composed of shifting sand and gravel, though there are also some deep deposits of silt.
The Missouri River is the longest tributary of the Mississippi and the second longest river in North America. The Missouri is fed by several hundred smaller streams and tributaries. The Missouri River is named after the Missouri Tribe, who lived in the region. The river has a range of elevations, from 14,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains to just four feet at the Mississippi River. It is situated in southwestern Montana and flows through some of the world’s most fertile valleys before meeting the Mississippi River ten miles north of Saint Louis.
Historically, the Missouri River was known as the Peki-tan-oui. It was later renamed the Oumessourit, meaning “Big Muddy.” It is believed that Native Americans lived in this area during the Pleistocene era, when it was used for trade by fur traders. French explorers first encountered the Missouri River’s mouth in 1673.
It flows east and south for 2,341 miles before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis
The Missouri River is a tributary of the Mississippi, and its basin covers over five hundred and twenty thousand square miles in the United States. This waterway originates in the Great Plains and flows east and south to the Mississippi. The river is fed by over ninety significant tributaries and hundreds of smaller streams, and the watershed of the Missouri River is over five hundred and twenty thousand square miles.
The Missouri River makes its final eastward turn and then continues to flow until it joins the Mississippi about ten miles (16 km) north of St. Louis. The Missouri is the second longest river in the United States and the second-longest river in the world, but is less well-known than its sister rivers. Despite the long distance between the Missouri and the Mississippi, they are remarkably similar in size and shape.
Before the development of modern transportation systems, people lived in Missouri and its surrounding regions. For thousands of years, the region was home to more than ten major Native American tribes. The Missouri River served as their primary migration path and supported the lifestyle of many of these tribes. After European settlement, the river area passed through the hands of French and Spanish explorers and finally the United States.
It drains through a sparsely populated and semi-arid watershed
The Missouri River drains through a sparsly populated and semi-arid water basin. Its origin is in the Rocky Mountains and flows for more than 2,300 miles. It drains into the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri, and is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. The Missouri River is also one of the most widely used transportation routes in the country.
The Missouri River’s watershed has been significantly impacted by human activity since the early 19th century, resulting in increased pollution. Most of the floodplain habitat along the Missouri River has been converted to farmland. This has led to increased nitrogen levels, which have affected the upper Mississippi, Ohio River, and Illinois River. These nitrogen levels have also contributed to the low oxygen levels in the Gulf of Mexico. The Missouri River has been channeled, making it deeper and narrower. This has caused decreased access to riparian flora and fauna.
The Missouri River begins near the confluence of the Madison and Jefferson Rivers in Three Forks, Montana. The Missouri then flows eastward across the border into North Dakota and meets the Yellowstone River. At the confluence of the two rivers, the Yellowstone is larger than the Missouri, but the Yellowstone is a larger river. Once in North Dakota, the Missouri meanders eastward, past Williston. After Lake Sakakawea is formed by Garrison Dam, it flows southward to Bismarck. It then slows, flowing into Lake Oahe reservoir and the Cannonball River confluence.
It is home to over 25 distinct species of wildlife
The Missouri River is a renowned habitat for numerous amphibians and fish species. The river has many uses such as drainage, fishing, and hunting. Many species of fish live along the Missouri, and some are even found in urban areas. Bull sharks, for example, have been spotted in this river after swimming up from the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River. Even St. Louis is home to these creatures!
Over 25 species of wildlife call the Missouri River home. Large mammals that live along the river include the American bison, grizzly bear, black bear, and fox. The river also is home to a variety of small animals including mice, squirrels, beavers, and prairie dogs. These animals also have specialized habitats in the area, making it a haven for a number of different species of wildlife.
The Missouri River is also an important migratory route for a large number of bird species. Many of them use the bottomland of the river as breeding, wintering, and staging grounds. Some of the most prominent species of birds include the endangered Piping Plover, the elusive Interior Tern, and the majestic American Bald Eagle. Because the river has three different reaches, fisheries are distinct between them. The endangered pallid sturgeon lives in both reaches of the park. Unfortunately, the river has decreased in habitat quality and turbidity, and the effect of the mainstem dams on the migration of the native fish.
It is home to over 12 different types of snakes and turtles
The Missouri River is a natural habitat for over 12 different species of snakes and turtles. Many of these animals have very distinct characteristics. The red-eared slider turtle is a common pet for families with children. It can live up to 20 years and has olive to brown top shells with yellow undershells. The red-eared slider turtle has a distinctive red stripe behind the eyes and spends most of its time in the water. These turtles often come out to bask on logs.
The largest turtle in the area is the Blanding’s turtle. This species was once common in the southeastern parts of South Dakota. It may have migrated there from the Sandhills of Nebraska. They are omnivorous and have one of the highest rates of multiple paternity among all turtle species. Females often take multiple male partners during mating season. Occasionally, a female will seek out the same male year after year.
There are several different species of snapping turtles that live along the Missouri River. The most common of these turtles is the painted turtle. These turtles have distinctive colors, red and black markings along their carapace, and olive-colored lines along their head. These turtles are most commonly seen basking in groups. They also regularly feed on insects and vegetation. However, their numbers are dwindling due to habitat loss.
It was named after the Siouan Indian tribe
The Missouri River was named for an American Indian tribe that lived in the region before European contact. The tribe’s name means “people of dugout canoes” in Illinois and the Siouan language family. Before European contact, this tribe lived in what is now Saline County, Missouri, and parts of Oklahoma. Today, the Missouria live in Oklahoma and are federally recognized as the Otoe-Missouria Indian tribe.
In 1673, the Marquette-Jolliet expedition discovered the river. Marquette’s Illinois-speaking guides replied to his questions with “people of canoes” and “muddy water.” The French cartographers and explorers simplified the word to Missouri and people. The Otos used different names for the river, and the French eventually settled on the name. The tribe’s name, however, stuck and is used today.
In 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark crossed the river, and met the Otoe and Missouria tribes. The Otoes were from the area near the mouth of the Platte River, where the Missourias lived. The Otoes met with Lewis and Clark in 1804 and gave them a name, “Niutachi,” meaning “those who drowned.”
According to a Native American tradition, the Missouri River was named after canoes. The northern Siouan called it Awathi, which means “canoe river.” The Crow, on the other hand, named it A-ise, which means “big river.” The Missouri river flows from northern Montana to the Gulf of Mexico, where it has its largest tributary, the Mississippi.