The rainforest is an exciting habitat that is home to many different animals. Its unique climate and the plant life that it harbours can make the rainforest the ideal base for many different species. Let’s explore some of the most fascinating animals that live in the rainforest.
Three Percent of the World is covered by rainforests and they span across a grand total of six million square kilometers, the biggest rainforest in the World is The Boreal Rainforest which circles right around the northern hemisphere.
When you think about it, all of these factors mean that there are bound to be some extravagant creatures living within the rainforest which deserve our attention. Some of these are mentioned below.
One of the most well known mammals which calls the rainforest home is the spider monkey. There are seven different species of spider monkeys all of which now face the threat of extinction.
The spider monkey got its name from its long spider-like limbs. Groups of spider monkeys are known as troops and usually consist of 20-40 members. They are generally very close to one another and will groom each other to pick out dirt and insects.
They are laid back creatures and generally only move about half a mile a day; this is because they are too busy eating nuts and berries.
Sloths are another much loved mammal which reside in the rainforest. There are six species of sloth which can be found in Central and South America. Sloths have a low metabolism and move at a very slow pace, this is a clever adaptation as they live off leaves which are low in energy.
They move so slowly that algae often begins to grow in their fur, as gross as this may sound it actually benefits them as it allows them to camouflage. Generally speaking sloths are nocturnal meaning that they sleep in the day and they are awake at night.
There are three species of vampire bat each of which are found in North and South America.
Their creepy name is also a clue as to what they feed off, they live off the blood of other animals. Impressively, they figure out where to bite their prey by using Infrared Radiation to see where the blood is flowing closest to the surface in order to take a bite.
Wild vampire bats can live for up to 12 years and have even been known to live up to 19 years when held captive. Despite their initially aggressive identity they are the only bat that is known to adopt the young of other vampire bats if something is to happen to them.
They are very community led and usually live in colonies of around 100 bats, this number can even sometimes reach more like 1000.
Poison Dart Frog
The poison dart frog is one of the rainforest’s most popular amphibians. There are more than 170 different species and they can be found across Central and South America.
These frogs are renowned for their brightly colored skin which serves the purpose of warning other animals away by letting them know that they are poisonous. These frogs are so poisonous that tribal people used to use the poison from their skin to put on the end of their blowdarts.
The Golden Poison Frog is one of the World’s most poisonous animals which just shows how dangerous some Poison Dart Frogs can be.
No one knows the exact amount of species of Piranha but it is thought to be somewhere between 30 and 60+. When we think of Piranha’s we all think of the flesh eating demons. Pirhanas live in freshwater bodies in the rainforest.
These freshwater fish are only found in South America and have lots of teeth to enable them to destroy their prey. Interestingly, Piranhas are noot top of the food chain and they are just as likely to be eaten as other fish within the rainforest.
Attacks on humans are actually very rare and it is even rarer that they result in serious injury.
When we think of rainforest inhabitants one of the first to come to mind is usually the toucan. There are 43 species of Toucan and they are all found in Central and South America.
They are easy to recognise as they all have large and colorful bills, they use these to allow them to reach for food without having to do much moving around. Impressively, the bills also allow the toucans to keep themselves cool by emitting heat to the air.
Toucans can fly but they only have small wings so they prefer to hop and glide around.
Blue Morpho Butterfly
There are only six species of blue morpho butterflies and they are found in Central and South America. They live off rotten fruits which they find on the grounds of the rainforest. They live in large groups and sometimes they fly in such large numbers that even pilots can see them.
The blue morpho butterfly is one of the largest species of butterfly and has a wingspan of 12.5-20 cm. Interestingly despite the wings appearing to be a metallic blue sort of color they are not actually blue at all, the blue is created by the light reflecting off the wings.
When they feel threatened they defend themselves by releasing a strong odor from between their front legs.
Final Thoughts on Rainforest Animals
The rainforest is a wonderful and arguably even magical place filled with all sorts of creatures from mammals, to birds, to insects. Many of these animals have undergone several adaptations in order to survive in their tropical climate.
A lot of the animals also travel in large groups and packs this is due to safety in numbers as there are many different animals in the rainforest this meaning that the vast majority of them have to be constantly on the lookout for predators.
Having said this, some of the creatures such as the Blue Morpho Butterfly only eat fruit and are therefore not really a big threat to any of the other inhabitants.