From OpenwaterpediaLake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario and form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth, containing 21% of the world's surface fresh water.
The Great Lakes began to form at the end of the last glacial period around 10,000 years ago, as retreating ice sheets carved basins into the land and they became filled with meltwater. The lakes have been a major source of trade through their region, and are home to a large number of aquatic species. Many invasive species have been introduced due to trade in the area, and some threaten the region's biodiversity.
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