Tropical rainforests provide a home to some of the world’s most amazing animals. Amphibians, mammals, reptiles, insects, and birds all call the rainforest home. The rainforest looks like a jungle paradise, with rare plants, beautiful trees and animals you never see anywhere else. There is a lot to learn about the rainforest, and new species are still being discovered. Learning about the animals that live in the rainforest helps others better understand the world we live in.
Amphibians are cold-blooded animals. The most popular amphibians are frogs and toads. Many amphibians live in the rainforest. Some frogs and toads are bright and beautiful because they need to blend in with their colorful jungle environment. The red-eyed tree frog has bright red circles around the eyes and neon-colored orange pads on its feet. The body is a bright green, and there are yellow and blue stripes on the side. One of the most interesting characteristics is that the red-eyed tree frog has three eyelids. The red-eyed tree frog uses its bright colors to blend with plants and leaves when jumping from tree to tree. The colorful combination on the red eyed tree frog is just one example of how brilliantly colored the animals of the rainforest are.
- Red-Eyed Tree Frog
- Rainforest Amphibians and Reptiles
- Northern Glass Frog
- Poison Arrow Frog
- Amazonia Exhibit
Mammals are warm-blooded animals and are easy to identify. All mammals have fur, give birth to live young, and make milk for their babies. The rainforest is home to many rare and beautiful mammals. Most animals of the rainforest are mammals. Scientists say there are more than 430 types of mammals that call the rainforest home. These include large cats, primates, and rodents like bats and mice. Large cats such as leopards, ocelots, tigers, and jaguars live in the rainforest jungles. Primates that live in the rainforest include lemurs, squirrel monkeys, tamarins, red howler monkeys, orangutans, mandrills, and gorillas. Other animals include the borugo, tapir, elephants, bats, and sloths. Scientists continue to discover new mammals in the rainforest. This shows that it is important to protect the natural habitat and keep the rainforest a safe home for the animals that live there.
- Rainforest Animals
- Animals of the Rainforest
- Rainforest Animals
- Amazon Mammals
- A Sampling of Tropical Rainforest Animals
- Rainforest Animal Fact Sheets
- Brazil, its People, and its Animals
Reptiles and Insects
Reptiles are cold-blooded animals that lay eggs. The rainforest is home to many different reptiles that range in size from small lizards to large crocodiles. Snakes, tortoises, and turtles are abundant in the rainforest. There are layers to a rainforest, including the lower, ground region and the highest tree canopies. Many animals live in the rainforest canopy, but reptiles can be found in all of the rainforest. Some reptiles that live in the rainforest include caimans, lizards, brown snakes, the comb-crested forest lizard, the komodo dragon, anoles, anacondas, geckos, chameleons, the false coral snake, rat snakes, iguanas, and boas. Several reptiles that live in the rainforest have become sick with an unknown disease; scientists and biologists are working together to solve the mystery illness and save the reptiles.
Insects also live in the rainforest. There are more insects than any other type of animal species on earth. Scientists believe more than two million insects live in the rainforest. Rainforest insects include butterflies like the owl butterfly, which has spots like an owl’s eyes, the Rhetus periander butterfly, which is a bright blue with black spots, and the clear-winged Cithaerias butterfly. There are many spiders in the rainforest, and they range in size. Some spiders include the wolf spider, the rainforest spider, and the brown spider. Grasshoppers include the green grasshopper, the black grasshopper, and the green and brown grasshopper. There are dragonflies, crickets, katydids, and the leaf-mimicking praying mantis. Some rainforest insects are poisonous, while others are not.
- Incredible Invertebrates of the Rainforest
- 6,000 Insect Species Found in One Acre of Rainforest
- What Are Rainforests?
- Giant Amazon River Turtle
- Animals and Plants in the Rainforest
- Life in a Rainforest
Birds and More
A bird is a warm-blooded vertebrate that lays eggs and has wings, a beak, and feathers. Most birds fly, but not all do. The rainforest is home to many beautiful birds that enjoy the jungle environment and tropical atmosphere. There are many plants, berries, nuts, fruits, and insects for birds to eat in the rainforest, making it a wonderful home. Raptors (such as hawks, vultures, and eagles) also live in the rainforest and eat a diet consisting of small rodents. Some bird species that live in the rainforest include the kingfisher, black and yellow broadbill, nighthawk, trumpeters, toucans, macaws, and lorikeets. The abundance of parrots brought many people to the rainforest so they could trade or capture and sell them. It is important to protect the rainforest and the animals that live there. Many people feel strongly against buying animals that were captured in the rainforest and have passed laws to make it illegal.