dry, grassy region in S South America, east of the Andes, including the S parts of Argentina and Chile: often restricted to the portion, c. 250,000 sq mi (647,498 sq km), in Argentina
A tableland region of South America in southern Argentina and Chile extending from the Río Colorado to the Straits of Magellan and from the Andes to the Atlantic Ocean. The study of its indigenous inhabitants, the Tehuelche, and its unusual wildlife have attracted many scientific expeditions, including that of Charles Darwin (1831-1836).
- (A description of the Patagonian part of Argentina will be found under Patagonia.) Rivers and Lakes.
- Farther south, in Patagonia, the prevailing wind is westerly, in which case the Andes again " blanket " an extensive region and deprive it of rain, turning it into an arid desolate steppe.
- The greater part of Patagonia is comparatively barren and has no arboreal growth, except in the well-watered valleys of the Andean foothills.
- The " nandu " or American ostrich (Rhea americans), inhabiting the pampas and open plains of the Chaco, has in Patagonia a smaller counterpart (Rhea Darwinii), which is never seen north of the Rio Negro.
- Hudson's Idle Days in Patagonia, and Naturalist in the La Plata; G.