Rainforests cover an estimated 7% of the Earth’s land area. It is one of the oldest living ecosystems. Rainforests are found on all continents of the world except Antarctica, with the Amazon and Congo Rainforests two of the largest.
There are a lot of interesting species of plants and animals that can only be found in the rainforests of our world. Check out these amazing and visually-stunning rainforest animals.
- Mountain Gorilla
- Poison Dart Frog
- Pink River Dolphin
- Green Anaconda
- Blue Morpho Butterfly
- Scarlet Macaw
- Yucatan White-Tailed Deer
The largest member in the primates family, mountain gorillas can weigh up to 400lbs and can grow up to 67 inches in height. They are commonly found in the forests and mountain-sides of east-central Africa. While considered to be powerful mammals, their numbers are decreasing and they have been labeled as an endangered species.
Humans share almost the same DNA as gorillas, making them vulnerable to diseases that we too can acquire. Like humans, they live as a group and have close familial ties. The adult mountain gorillas take care of their infants by feeding, carrying, hugging, and playing with them.
Mountain gorillas sure have a huge appetite as they eat shoots, leaves, small insects, sometimes bark, all day. When night falls, they assemble together to sleep as a group wherein the mother gorilla will keep the babies warm and safe.
These hunters live mainly in the jungles of the Amazon rainforest. Jaguars are known to be fierce predators who can kill their prey in a single jump. Their strong and powerful bite can get through hard-shelled turtles and thick-skinned crocodiles.
Jaguars are considered to be the third-largest in the feline family after the tigers and lions. They can grow in length up to 5.5 feet and can weigh up to 265 pounds. Also, jaguar cubs are known to grow quite quickly.
Unlike their other cat relatives who are afraid of the water, jaguars are great swimmers. They can get across deep rivers. This makes their territory for hunting extremely wide. Whether from land or water they can eat almost everything.
The only living species related to giraffes, the okapi is an elusive rainforest animal with reddish-brown velvety and oily skin. They are natural herbivores who feed on over a hundred plant species.
They were only discovered in the early years of the 1900s as they are native to the forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo. When first seen, they were called the leg-striped donkeys. These stripes serve a great purpose for camouflage to avoid predators such as leopards.
Okapis share the same quiet communication manners that giraffes are also known for. They are highly sensitive to their habitat as they are territorial and live in small family groups. The female okapis are capable of producing 14Hz infrasonic sound to communicate with their mate and calves.
Poison Dart Frog
Their bright-colored skins may be stunning, but poison dart frogs can stun you literally as they carry poison in their skin. Even though they do not use their color to attack, it still not advisable to come into contact with this deceptive amphibian as their poison can kill 20 fully-grown men.
Poison dart frogs only use their bright-colored skins to deter predators. It works as a threatening signal that predators should not come near them as they are dangerous. They love to show off their colors and stand out among the green leaves.
Also, they are not scared to go out during the daytime to eat, making them diurnal creatures, which is rare for frog species, which are typically nocturnal. Poison dart frogs, whose average size is just less than one inch, are commonly found in the forests of Central and South America.
Pink River Dolphin
The Amazon pink river dolphin is the largest among the five freshwater dolphin species. They are common in the Peruvian Amazon area yet they are elusive because dolphins are naturally shy animals. This is why they are often regarded as mythical creatures in folktales around the area.
They are not born with pink skins, it is just a result of scars from playing and fighting. They are naturally gray but can have a variety of skins from pink patches, pink stripes, or even full flamingo pink. The color pink intensifies when they are blushing.
Aside from being the largest in size, Amazon pink river dolphins are also the smartest. Their brains are unusually large with 40% more capacity than a human brain. Also, they are flexible because their neck vertebrae are not structured allowing them to turn up to a 90-degree angle.
The Green Anaconda is one of the longest snakes in the world. They can grow up to six meters long, weigh up to 485 pounds, and have a girth of 12 inches. They are native to South America and swamps and marshes are their usual habitats.
They usually live alone and spend most of their time underwater looking for food. They can move quicker in water than slithering on land. Even though green anacondas are not venomous, they catch and kill their prey through constriction using their massive length and bodily strength.
According to some records, female anacondas practice cannibalism as they sometimes eat smaller male anacondas. They can go weeks of not eating once they have a good amount of food from larger prey.
Blue Morpho Butterfly
These stunning butterflies are commonly found in the forests of North America and sometimes in Northern Mexico. Morpho butterflies need to be in a tropical environment to thrive. The brightly-colored blue morpho butterflies are commonly males.
These male butterflies acquire bright colors during their metamorphosis. One function of the color is to be clearly seen to mark their territory. Also, blue morpho butterflies try to intimidate other butterflies with their color when finding a mate because female butterflies are attracted to wing colors.
As stunning as they seem up close while at rest, wait until you see them fly. There are some blue morpho butterflies whose wing colors change shades while flying. Interestingly, these beautiful insects are attracted to the sweetness of grape juice and are attracted to sunlight.
A close relative of guinea pigs, the capybara is the largest rodent in the world. They live a semi-aquatic life where their diet is mostly found, usually water plants, and grasses. Some compare them to hippopotamus because they eat while being subdued in water making them good swimmers.
Even though they live most of the time near water resources, they are also fast runners and can record speeds up to 21miles per hour! They can run as fast as horses. What’s incredible is that these rodents weigh 110 pounds on average.
Capybara can be found in the Amazon rainforest across South American countries. They are known as social animals because they live usually as a large group of 10-20 members, and they can be found interacting with other animals.
This Neotropical bird is considered to be one of the largest and most beautiful in the parrot family. Scarlet macaws are a great sight in the forests and woodlands of Mexico and other neighboring Central American countries.
The scarlet macaw is an omnivore feeding on fruits, seeds, nuts, small insects, larvae, and sometimes clay. They use strong, curved beaks to break hard shells and nuts. Its average weight is just under 5 pounds and its height is 32 inches.
This bird has a brightly-colored yellow, orange, red, and blue body, a white head with yellow eyes, and black feet and claws. The scarlet macaw has a wingspan of one meter which lets them fly at speeds of 35 miles per hour.
Yucatan White-Tailed Deer
Probably one of the most endeared rainforest animals, deer are seen as majestic species for their stance, antlers, and movement. Yucatan white-tailed deer are relatively smaller members of the deer family as they only average three feet in height and only four to five feet in length.
Yucatan white-tailed deer live in tropical forests of North, Central, and South America. They are usually seen in inland plains feeding on grass and leaves. They find food day and night with a small family group.
Due to their small stature, they are the favorite prey of cougars and jaguars. This is why they are considered to be endangered. Aside from that, the continued hunting for their meat makes their number dwindle.
Rainforests house countless species of flora and fauna which contribute to maintaining the world’s climate and ecosystems. These animals that are in the jungle may seem dangerous for their predatory nature, but it’s undeniable that some of them are visually stunning.
Most of the animals in the rainforests have interesting characteristics and traits to adapt to their habitat. May it be their predatory skills or defense mechanism, it’s unique and fascinating. These animals must be protected and conserved.