What animals live in the Amazon Rainforest? From high flying birds to agile amphibians, discover the animals that call the Rainforest home.
As if there weren’t already enough reasons to advocate for the protection of the Rainforest (storing carbon, stabilising the climate, protecting the future of humanity etc.), we’ve got another sexy reason to get behind our Rainforest protection scheme. The animals living in the Amazon Rainforest, by default, receive the same protection as the trees and plants – and we’re here to tell you exactly what animals live in the Amazon Rainforest!
If we were getting down to it, this could be a really, really, really long article. Because of its vastness, scientists can only estimate what animals live in the Amazon Rainforest – and how many – but when over 100,000 invertebrate species have been described by scientists in Brazil alone, it’s safe to say that there are quite a lot.
When you think of animals, you probably think of four-legged, warm blooded furry creatures like a cat or a monkey. Well, the Amazon has more than 430 species of mammals roaming through the trees, one of the most famous being the jaguar. Apart from their king-cousins – lions and tigers – jaguars are the biggest cats in the world. They’re certainly the largest in the Americas. They look quite similar to their other cousins, the leopards of the African savannah, but have a slightly more complex spotted pattern on their coat.
Being an apex, top-of-the-food-chain predator, it would be nice to assume that jaguars have nothing to worry about in terms of surviving in the Rainforest. Unfortunately, Brazilian researchers have found that deforestation, predominantly in the form of humans using fires to clear land for cattle, is leaving jaguars without a hunting ground or territory to roam. They are technically ‘Near Threatened,’ as opposed to listed as ‘Endangered,’ but this has been the case since 2002, and jaguar conservation efforts are more critical now than ever before.
Mammals aren’t the only animals in the Amazon – what about the ones that can fly? It is estimated that the Amazon Rainforest is home to over 3,800 species of birds, from tiny hummingbirds to chatty macaws and every fabulous feathered species in between.
An icon among the South American treetops is the toucan, identifiable by its large yolk-colored bill. Indigenous tribes traditionally considered toucans to be sacred, soaring between the worlds of the living and the spirits. Like most animals living in the Amazon, the number of toucans is declining.
From snakes to chameleons, alligators to turtles, over 450 species of reptile live in the Amazon Rainforest. Among them are some pretty impressive ones – you’ve probably heard of the boa constrictor, the snake that winds itself around its prey so tightly it cuts off their blood supply. These guys can grow up to 13 feet long and snack on prey as big as wild pigs.
What animals live in the Rainforest, are smaller than a pinky finger, but have the capacity to kill an adult human? Poison dart frogs may be one of the smaller famous animals living in the Amazon Rainforest, but they are also one of the most deadly. These photogenic little guys gets their name from a group of Amazon indigenous people who cover the tip of their darts with the poison that is excreted from the poison frog’s skin to kill their prey.
Even tinier than the poison dart frogs are the insects of the Amazon Rainforest. Among the 2.5 million insect species that are predicted to be living in the Amazon Rainforest are the leafcutter ants. As their name suggests, these little guys can be spotted hauling pieces of leaf – we’re talking 50 times the weight of the ants themselves – across the Amazon Rainforest floor back to their colonies. Leafcutter ants are an integral part of the Rainforest ecosystem, and vice versa – so as the leaves disappear through deforestation, so do the ants.
Hollywood certainly hasn’t done piranhas any favours, thanks to its cult film ‘Piranha’ (and its 3D remake) which includes a practical piranha purging, but these guys are seriously the titans of the Amazon river. More than 20 different piranha species inhabit the lakes and rivers of South America today, and fossil evidence puts piranha ancestors in the Amazon river 25 million years ago. Modern piranha genera appear to have been around for 1.8 million years (measly, right?)
137 species or life forms are driven to extinction every day through habitat loss and climate change. That’s a flipping lot of species. Without immediate intervention, the animals in the Amazon will be the subject of history lessons, rather than biology!
Part of One Tribe’s commitment to protecting the Rainforest is its involvement in various schemes that simultaneously act as wildlife conservationist projects. With the practicality and ease of our One Tribe ecommerce technology, protecting the animals living in the Amazon Rainforest can become ‘business as usual’ for people all around the world.
Take a look at how to become a member of the Tribe, and start saving trees, animals and the future today.
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