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Louisiana slowly developed, over millions of years, from water into land, and from north to south.The oldest rocks are exposed in the north, in areas such as the Kisatchie National Forest.There are also many species of tree frogs, and fish such as sturgeon and paddlefish.In more elevated areas, fire is a natural process in the landscape, and has produced extensive areas of longleaf pine forest and wet savannas.Before the American purchase of the territory in 1803, the current Louisiana State had been both a French colony and for a brief period, a Spanish one.In addition, colonists imported numerous African people as slaves in the 18th century.Much of the state's lands were formed from sediment washed down the Mississippi River, leaving enormous deltas and vast areas of coastal marsh and swamp.These contain a rich southern biota; typical examples include birds such as ibis and egrets.
The sediments were carried from north to south by the Mississippi River.
The alluvial region includes low swamp lands, coastal marshlands and beaches, and barrier islands that cover about 20,000 square miles (52,000 km).
This area lies principally along the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River, which traverses the state from north to south for a distance of about 600 miles (1,000 km) and empties into the Gulf of Mexico; the Red River; the Ouachita River and its branches; and other minor streams (some of which are called bayous).
There has never been an official language in Louisiana, and the state constitution enumerates "the right of the people to preserve, foster, and promote their respective historic, linguistic, and cultural origins," whether English, French, Spanish, or otherwise.
The suffix -ana (or -ane) is a Latin suffix that can refer to "information relating to a particular individual, subject, or place." Thus, roughly, Louis ana carries the idea of "related to Louis." Once part of the French Colonial Empire, the Louisiana Territory stretched from present-day Mobile Bay to just north of the present-day Canada–United States border, including a small part of what is now the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.