More than 10% of the world's flora varieties are found in Argentina. The magnificent grasslands have figured prominently in the development of Argentina's world-famous cattle industry. Evergreen beeches and Paraná pine are common. From yerba maté comes the national drink immortalized in gaucho literature, while the shade-providing ombú is a national symbol.
Many tropical animals thrive in the forests and marshes of northern Argentina; among them are the capybara, coypu, puma, and various wildcats. In the grasslands and deserts are the guanaco, rhea, and many types of rodents. The cavy, viscacha, tuco tuco, armadillo, pichiciago, otter, weasel, nutria, opossum, various types of fox, and hog-nosed skunk are common. The ostrich, crested screamer, tinamou, and ovenbird are a few of the many species of birds. Caimans, frogs, lizards, snakes, and turtles are present in great numbers. The dorado, a fine game fish, is found in larger streams, and the pejerrey, corvina, palameta, pacu, and zurubi abound in the rivers.
Spanish cattle on the pampas multiplied to such an extent that the role of wild cattle herds in Argentine history was the same as that of the buffalo herds in the US West. Argentina is richly endowed with fossil remains of dinosaurs and other creatures.