The animals in the rainforest are those species of animals that have developed cells, tissues, and organs that can survive in the rainforest habitat. This article like the previous one (the arctic animals) takes a close look at these amazing animals’ habitat, diet, reproduction, threats, conservation, and description.
Table of Contents
- List of 30 amazing tropical rainforest animals
- Okapi (Okapia johnstoni)
- Howler monkey (Alouatta caraya)
- Spider monkey (Ateles fusciceps)
- Giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)
- Two-toed sloths (Choloepus hoffmanni)
- Three-toed sloths (Bradypus variegatus)
- Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris)
- Leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis)
- Jaguars (Panthera onca)
- Ocelots (Leopardus pardalis)
- Lemurs (Lemur catta)
- Green anacondas (Eunectes murinus)
- Green Iguana (Iguana iguana)
- Macaw (Psittacidae)
- Gibbons (Hylobates moloch)
- Armadillo (Dasypodidae)
- Siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus)
- Tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus matschiei)
- Red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas)
- Poison dart frog (Dendrobatidae)
- Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)
- Orangutan (Pongo)
- Western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)
- Tapir (Tapiridae)
- Blue morpho butterfly (Morpho peleides)
- Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris ssp. sumatrae)
- Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus)
- Caiman (Caiman crocodilus)
- Bonobo (Pan paniscus)
- Hummingbird (Trochilidae)
List of 30 amazing tropical rainforest animals
- Howler monkeys
- Spider monkeys
- Giant anteaters
- Two-toed sloths
- Three-toed sloths
- Green Anacondas
- Green Iguana
- Tree kangaroo
- Red-eyed tree frog
- Poison dart frog
- Western lowlands gorillas
- Blue Morpho butterflies
- Sumatran Tiger
- Keel-billed Toucan
Okapi (Okapia johnstoni)
The okapi is a mammal that is a member of the animals of the rainforest, and it is characterized as having an average weight of 440 to 660 pounds. This herbivorous animal has a life span of 30 years in captivity. The size of this tropical rainforest animal is 8 feet in length and 5 feet in height. The okapi, also widely recognized as the “forest giraffe,” resembles a cross between a deer and a zebra. This only living relative of the giraffe is only found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Ituri Rainforest, where it has thick, oily fur that keeps it dry in the rain.
This animal of the rainforest also has scent glands on the bottom of its hooves that aid in territorial marking. The okapi has short horns that are skinned except for the tips. Although all the males have these short-skinned horns, the majority of the females only have knobby bumps and not short-skinned horns.
The okapi lives in the rainforest, among dense plants of the tropics and it can blend in with its surroundings thanks to the brown and white stripes on its rump, which resemble sunlight streaks passing through the trees. Fruits, buds, leaves, twigs, and other vegetation make up the plant-based diet of this magnificent tropical rainforest animal.
The okapi, like the giraffe and cow, has four stomachs that aid in the digestion of tough plants, and like its giraffe cousin, has a long, dark tongue capable of stripping leaves from branches. Every day, an okapi consumes 45 to 60 pounds of food, including riverbed clay for minerals and salt. There are rarely times that the okapi consumes bat excrement to supplement its nutrient uptake.
The elusive okapi prefers to be alone during the day. Its hooves secrete sticky territorial markings, and males spray urine on their territory. Okapis can however congregate in small groups to eat, groom, and even play, but this behavior happens occasionally.
Female okapis usually only have 1 calf in every pregnancy, and an okapi calf can walk just 30 minutes after birth, but it can’t defecate until it’s at least a month old. This is because the smell of feces attracts predators.
Adult okapis do not vocalize much (except when they are ready to breed), but calves will bleat, cough, and whistle when their mother is not present. Okapi mothers communicate with their calves through infrasound, which are noises that the human ear cannot detect. Female okapis are fiercely protective of their young, and they will pound the ground with their hooves to fend off potential predators. A calf, however, must fend for itself once it reaches the age of six months.
Howler monkey (Alouatta caraya)
This mammalian rainforest animal is a loud crier and it is normally found in a group called a troop. The average life span of this tropical rainforest animal is 15 to 20 years in the wild. The howler monkey has a head and body size of 22 to 36 inches, with a tail that is 23 to 36 inches long. The weight of the animal of the tropical rainforest is 15 to 22 pounds.
Howler monkeys have long beards and thick hair that can be black, brown, or red. The red howler is the most common, but it is frequently targeted by hunters looking for bushmeat. Other howler monkey species may be critically endangered in parts of their ranges.
They are appropriately named due to their cacophonous cries. When a troop of howlers decides to cry at the same time, usually at dawn or dusk, the din can be heard up to 3 miles away. The male howler monkeys have large throats and specialized, shell-like vocal chambers that aid in amplifying their distinct call. The commotion sends a clear message to the other monkeys like this territory is already occupied by a troop.
These large, vocal primates are the largest of the New World monkeys. Howlers have wide, side-opening nostrils and no rumps pads, and a prehensile tail as well. This tail is used as an extra arm to hold on to or even hang from branches. Because howler monkeys rarely descend to the ground, a gripping tail is especially useful in swinging from one tropical plant to another. They prefer to remain aloft, munching on the leaves that comprise the majority of their diet.
Spider monkey (Ateles fusciceps)
This omnivorous mammal animal of the tropical rainforest is characterized by its long forearms. The spider monkey has an average lifespan of 22 years in the wild of the amazon tropical rainforest. It has an average size of 14 to 26 inches and weighs 13.25 pounds. It moves in groups called a troop like other monkeys. These animals in the rainforest have long, lanky arms and prehensile (gripping) tails that allow them to move from place to place and tree to tree beautifully. These agile monkeys spend the majority of their time in the air and have a strong grip on branches despite the fact that they lack thumbs.
Spider monkeys can be found as far north as Mexico in the tropical rain forests of Central and South America.
These social New World primates congregate in groups of up to two or three dozen animals. At night, these groups disperse into smaller sleeping parties of a half dozen or fewer. They are often noisy animals that communicate with a variety of calls, screeches, barks, and other sounds.
Foraging occurs in smaller groups as well and is usually most active early in the day. Spider monkeys forage for food in the treetops, where they eat nuts, fruits, leaves, bird eggs, and spiders.
Females typically give birth to one young spider monkey every two to five years. Young monkeys are completely reliant on their mothers for about ten weeks, after which they begin to explore on their own and play with one another. Mothers care for their children for the first year of their lives, and they frequently move around with their children clinging to their backs.
Indigenous people of the tropical rainforest frequently hunt spider monkeys for food, and the animals are usually agitated when they come into contact with humans. Other threats are logging and deforestation and it continues to reduce the amount of space spider monkeys can occupy.
Giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)
This giant mammalian anteater is part of the amazon rainforest animals with a long nose. The life span of the giant anteater is 14 years in the wild of the tropical rainforest. It has an average head and body size of 6 to 49 inches with a tail of about 7 to 35 inches in length. This animal of the rainforest weighs an average of 40 to 140 pounds with an insectivorous diet.
This tropic animal is an edentate animal, which means they lack teeth. Its long tongue, however, is more than enough to consume the 35,000 ants and termites it consumes each day. The anteater has a grayish-brown colored fur on its back and front legs, with a white-colored fur on its front legs. It also has black stripes running from its chest to its back, and a bushy tail.
The giant anteater is frequently found in tropical and dry forests where the ants on which they feed are plentiful. It can be found in South and Central America, though their numbers have declined significantly in the latter. They must be able to move across large areas with patches of forest in order to thrive.
The giant anteater tears an opening in an anthill with its sharp claws and then works it with its long snout, sticky saliva, and efficient tongue. However, it must consume food quickly, flicking its tongue up to 150 times per minute. Ants respond with painful stings, so an anteater may only spend a minute feasting on each mound. Giant anteaters never destroy their nests, preferring to return and feed later. These animals locate their prey not through sight because theirs is poor but through their sense of smell, which is 40 times stronger than that of a human.
Giant anteaters are typically solitary creatures with females having a single offspring once a year, which can also be seen riding on the back of their mother. Puppies are considered fully grown after two years and leave their mother.
These rainforest animals aren’t particularly aggressive, but they can be fierce especially when it is cornered. When this happens, it will rear up on its hind legs, using its tail for balance, and express anger out with its dangerous four inches long claws.
One of the most serious threats to giant anteaters is the loss of their habitats as a result of fires. These fires not only have an impact on the habitat but also on the animals.
Other threats include hunting both for food and because some humans regard giant anteaters as pests. This act threatens them because of their low reproductive rate. In the Brazilian Cerrado biome, where a vast network of roads has disrupted their habitat, giant anteaters are also frequently killed by road traffic.
Two-toed sloths (Choloepus hoffmanni)
This mammalian rainforest animal is commonly known as the Hoffman’s two-toed sloth. This animal of the tropical rainforest weighs 17.5 pounds with an average size of 24 to 27 inches. The two-toed sloth is amongst the slowest mammals on earth. So slow that green algae grow on its furs, and this plant is used as a cover from predators. This species is slightly larger than the three-toed sloth, and it can live in captivity, unlike the three-toed sloth that cannot live in captivity.
The Hoffman’s two-toed sloth has an herbivorous diet, feeding on the tropical plants found in the Amazon.
This animal of the tropical rainforest is found in the tropics of the central and south American rainforest.
All sloths are designed to live in the treetops. They spend nearly all of their time in the air, clinging to branches with a powerful grip made possible by their long claws. They can even sleep in trees, and they sleep a lot about 15 to 20 hours every day. Even when awake, two-toed sloths are often motionless, and they are generally silent. They eat tree leaves, shoots, and fruit at night and get almost all of their water from juicy plants.
The two-toed sloths find it difficult to move on land, and they do so by digging into the ground with their front claws and pulling themselves along with their strong front legs, dragging their bellies across the ground. Due to their slow movement on land, they are easily cornered by predators on land. When such happens, they have no way of running from their predators such as big cats, and must try to defend themselves by clawing and biting.
But sloths are surprisingly good swimmers, despite their clumsiness on land. They dive directly from rain forest trees into rivers, where they stroke efficiently with their long arms.
Sloths mate and give birth while hanging in the trees, with the young two-toed sloth frequently seen hanging onto their mothers for the first five weeks of their lives.
Three-toed sloths (Bradypus variegatus)
This rain forest animal like its cousin the two-toed sloth is a member of the mammalian class of the animal kingdom. The three-toed sloth weighs 8.75 pounds and is 23 inches in size. This animal of the rainforest has an herbivorous diet. This jungle animal makes a long, high-pitched call in the form of (ahh-eee) that can be heard all the way through the forest. Because of this cry, sloths are sometimes referred to as ais.
Three-toed sloths have an advantage that few other mammals have, especially with extra neck vertebrae that allow them to turn their heads 270 degrees.
This member of the jungle animals feeds on most of the tropical plants found in the tropical rainforest region.
Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris)
This mammalian animal of the tropical rainforest is part of the rodent family. It is usually found in groups of its kind known as a herd. This animal of the amazon rainforest is 4.6 feet long and up to 2 feet high at the shoulders. The capybara weighs an average of 77 to 143 pounds and has a lifespan of up to 7 years in the wild.
The capybara is the world’s largest rodent and is related to guinea pigs and rock cavies, but less so to chinchillas and agoutis. This amazon animal is characterized by its partially webbed toes for paddling, and its reddish to dark brown fur that is long and brittle, ideal for quickly drying out on land. This tropical rainforest animal has small eyes, noses, and hairless ears that are located high on its head. This organ arrangement allows the face of the capybara to remain exposed and alert even when the majority of its body is submerged.
This impressive semi-aquatic jungle animal can be found all through northern and central South America, with a small invasive population in Florida.
Capybaras, like beavers, are excellent swimmers. Their pig-like bodies are learned to survive in bodies of water found in forests, seasonally flooded savannas, and wetlands.
Being vigilant is essential to the behavior and survival of this animal of the tropical rainforest. This is simply because the capybara is a frequent prey for jaguars, pumas, and, in the water, caimans. Young capybaras face additional danger because they are a favorite snack food of snakes such as the boa constrictor, crab-eating foxes, small cats, and birds of prey such as the caracara and black vulture.
The presence of predators influences the time-of-day capybaras are active which can be day or night but is most common at dawn and dusk.
The capybara has an herbivorous diet, particularly grazing on aquatic plants, grasses, and other abundant plants of the tropical rainforest. This grazing helps them wear down the continuous growth of their teeth like every other rodent.
In the morning, they also eat their own feces because of the richness in protein it contains and the difficulty in digesting some of the grasses. This rich protein poop is a result of the high number of microbes that are tasked with digesting the meal of the previous day.
Capybaras prefer to be alone, but they can also live in groups of up to 40. Their breeding season varies throughout the year, depending on their habitat and the availability of mates. Females have one litter of four to five young per year on average.
Though capybaras are thought to have a stable population in general, they are severely threatened in some areas by people who hunt them for their skin, and some local populations have been wiped out.
Leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis)
This mammalian member of the big cat family weighs an average of 66 to 176 pounds. This jungle animal has a size of 4.25 to 6.25 for the head and body. It also has an average tail size of 3.5 to 4.5 feet. The majority of these carnivorous rainforest animals are light in color with distinct dark spots called rosettes because they resemble the shape of a rose. There are black leopards also known as black panthers which appear almost solid in color because their spots are difficult to tell.
They can be found in sub-Saharan Africa, northeast Africa, Central Asia, India, and China’s tropical rainforests.
The leopard is so strong and at ease in the trees that it frequently drags its prey up into the branches. In doing so, it hopes to keep large animals (its kill) safe from scavengers like hyenas by dragging their bodies aloft. Leopards can also hunt from trees, where their spotted coats blend in with the leaves until they spring with a lethal pounce. These nocturnal predators use stealthy movements in the tall grass to stalk antelope, deer, and pigs. These rainforest animals frequently attack dogs and, on rare occasions humans, that is when human settlements are present in their habitat. These jungle animals are strong swimmers who thrive in water, where they occasionally eat fish or crabs.
Female leopards have the ability to give birth at any time of year. Typically, they have 2 grayish cubs with barely noticeable spots. The mother conceals her cubs and moves them from one secure location to another until they are old enough to play and gain knowledge to hunt. Leopard cubs spend about two years with their mothers; anything other than that, leopards are solitary animals.
Jaguars (Panthera onca)
The jaguar is a mammalian animal of the tropical rainforest with an average life span of 12 to 15 years in the wild. This big cat has a head and body size of 5 to 6 feet and a tail size of 27.5 to 36 inches. This carnivorous animal in the jungle weighs 100 to 250 pounds. This animal in the forest resembles the leopard, which is found in Africa and Asia, but jaguars’ spots are more complex and frequently have a dot in the center point.
Jaguars once ranged widely from central Argentina to the southwestern United States. They’ve lost more than half their territory since the 1880s. The Amazon Basin is where they can be found in large numbers, but they can still be found in smaller numbers throughout Central America. They are most commonly found in tropical rainforests, but they can also be found in savannas and grasslands.
Jaguars, unlike many other cats, do not avoid water. They are, in fact, excellent swimmers. They hunt fish, turtles, and even caimans, piercing the animals’ skulls with their incredibly powerful jaws. This jungle animal also preys on deer, peccaries, capybaras, tapirs, and other large mammals, which they chose to attack at night.
Jaguars enjoy living alone and are territorial; they mark their territory with waste or by scratching trees.
Females have litters ranging from 1 to 4 cubs, who are blind and vulnerable when they are born. The mother remains with them and fiercely defends them from any animal that comes near, including their own father. Young cubs learn to hunt from their mother by spending two years.
This amazon rainforest animal is threatened by a variety of factors, including habitat loss and fragmentation, and illegal hunting. The high rates of deforestation in South and Central America; for grazing land, agriculture, and other purposes; have not only destroyed but also fragmented jaguar habitats. The jaguar gets stuck in patches of the forest by fragmented forests and can’t travel far to find new mates. Isolation of this magnitude can result in inbreeding and local extinctions.
Retaliatory killings by ranchers are another threat to jaguars. Jaguars are more likely to hunt cattle as grazing land replaces forests. Cattle owners kill jaguars in response, and sometimes in anticipation.
Another growing issue for jaguars is poaching. They’ve long been attacked and killed for their pelts, and there’s now a growing illegal international trade in jaguar teeth and bone products headed to China.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature considers jaguars to be near-threatened. The species is protected at the national level in almost every country where it is found, and trade in its parts is prohibited by CITES, a global treaty that governs cross-border wildlife trade. Poaching and illegal trade continue, so law enforcement must be strengthened.
There are significant efforts underway to support and develop jaguar corridors to connect isolated populations, as well as to collaborate with ranchers to reduce human-jaguar conflict. Training courses help ranchers learn proper husbandry practices, and a growing number of programs reimburse ranchers when their cattle are killed by jaguars, making it less likely that they will kill the cat in retaliation.
Combating deforestation, in which a number of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and indigenous groups are involved, is critical.
Ocelots (Leopardus pardalis)
This mammalian member of the cat family weighs an average of 24 to 35 pounds. It has an average body size of 28 to 35 inches, equivalent to twice the size of a normal house cat. This sleek carnivorous rainforest animal has a beautiful dappled coat.
These mostly nocturnal cats hunt rabbits, rodents, iguanas, fish, and frogs with keen vision and hearing. They will also climb trees to pursue monkeys or birds. They don’t really avoid water and therefore can swim well, unlike so many other cats.
Ocelots, like other cats, have evolved to eat meat and they have pointed fangs for delivering a lethal bite and sharp back teeth for tearing food like scissors. Because ocelots lack chewing teeth, they tear their food into bits and gulp down it whole. Their raspy tongues can clean every last tasty morsel from a bone.
Numerous ocelots live beneath the leafy canopy of the South American rain forests, but they also survive in brushlands and can be noticed as far north as Texas. These cats can acclimate to human environments and are sometimes found near villages or other settlements.
Because of their fine fur, ocelots have become the target of countless hunters, and they are now quite rare in many areas, including Texas, where they are endangered. Ocelots are protected in the United States and in the majority of other countries where they live.
Female ocelots have two or three darkly colored kittens in their litters. Females in northern areas den in the autumn, whereas in tropical areas the breeding season may not be fixed.
Lemurs (Lemur catta)
This member of the amazon rainforest is always found in groups of 6 to 30 named a troop with a dominant female that presides over all of them. This herbivorous mammalian animal in the rainforest has an average lifespan of up to 18 years in the wild. It has an average head and body size of 17.75 inches, with a tail size of 21.75 inches. This jungle animal weighs 5 to 7.5 pounds. Ring-tailed lemurs are easily identified by their long, brightly striped black-and-white tails.
These rainforest primates can only be found on the African island of Madagascar and a few small neighboring islands.
Lemurs roam for fruit, which accounts for the majority of their diet, but they also consume leaves, flowers, tree bark, and sap.
These jungle animals move through the trees with their hands and feet, but they cannot grip with their tails like some of their primate cousins. Ring-tailed lemurs spend lots of time on the ground, which is unusual for lemurs. This tropical rainforest animal has potent scent glands and uses its distinct odor as a form of communication and even as a weapon. Lemurs mark their territory with scent, alerting anyone who can smell them to their presence. During mating season, male lemurs compete for dominance by outstinking one another. They cover their long tails with stinky secretions and wave them in the air to see which animal is stronger.
Green anacondas (Eunectes murinus)
This reptilian animal of the amazon rainforest is part of the boa family and is known to be the largest snake on earth. This carnivorous jungle animal has an average life span of 10 years in the wild. The green anaconda has an average size of 20 to 30 feet, with a weight of up to 550 pounds with the females being considerably larger than males. Twice as heavy as its cousin the reticulated python. A group of green anacondas is known as a bed or a knot of anacondas.
The green anaconda is found in the swamps, marshes, and slow-moving streams of the Amazon and Orinoco basins tropical rainforest in South America.
The green anaconda is big on land but subtle and sleek in the water. Because of its eyes and nasal holes that are on top of its head, it can wait patiently for prey while still being well almost fully underwater.
The green anaconda increases in size by feeding on wild pigs, deer, birds, turtles, capybara, caimans, and even jaguars. These tropical rainforest animals are nonvenomous constrictors that coil their muscular bodies around captured prey and squeeze it until it asphyxiates. The green anaconda can go weeks or months without food after a large meal because its jaws are attached to stretchy ligaments and it can swallow its prey whole.
Female anacondas lay and keep their eggs to produce two to three dozen live young. When a baby snake is born, it is about 2 feet long and can swim and hunt almost immediately.
Green Iguana (Iguana iguana)
This reptilian rainforest animal is part of the largest lizards in the Americas averaging 6.6 feet in body size. The green iguana weighs 11pounds and has an average life span of 20 years in the wild. This herbivorous jungle animal can live in captivity as pets despite being quite difficult to care for properly, they are also among the most common reptile pets in the United States.
The green iguana is found in the rain forests of Central America, northern Mexico, southern Brazil, and the Caribbean Island. They spend the majority of their lives in the canopy, only coming down to mate, lay eggs, or change trees on rare occasions.
Iguanas are primarily herbivores that feed on leaves, flowers, and fruit during the day.
These tropical rainforest animals prefer to live near water and are good swimmers. Iguanas leap from a tropical tree branch of great heights and splash into the water below, whenever they feel threatened. They are also tough enough to land on solid ground from heights of up to 40 feet.
The stout build of these animals in the forest gives them a clumsy appearance, but they are quick and powerful on land. The amazon forest animal (iguana) has powerful jaws with razor-sharp teeth and sharp tails that are half the length of their body and can be used as whips to fend off predators. If these animals of the rainforest are caught, they can detach their tails and grow another without permanent damage.
This bird is part of the amazon rainforest animals with an average weight of 4.5 ounces to 3.75 pounds. This brightly colored tropical rainforest animal is a member of the parrot family with an average size of 11.8 to 39.5 inches. The macaw has an average lifespan of up to 60 years in the wild. This omnivorous animal of the rainforest is found in groups known as a flock.
The macaws are characterized by having large, powerful beaks that they use to crack nuts and seeds easily. They also possess dry, scaly tongues that have a bone inside, and this presence of the bone in the tongue makes them an effective tool for squeezing fruits. These amazon animals are characterized to have toes that they use to latch onto branches as well as to grab, hold, and examine items known as gripping toes. The birds also have graceful tails that are usually quite long.
Many of these rainforest animals have colorful plumage and the color scheme is best suited for life in Central and South American rain forests, which have green canopies and colorful fruits and flowers.
These magnificent entertaining birds of the tropical rainforest are at least 17 species with many of them being endangered. This is because they are illegally trapped as pets and their habitat (tropical rainforest) is disappearing at an alarming rate. The critically endangered species of the macaws are the red-fronted and the blue-throated macaws, while the glaucous and Spix’s macaws may be extinct in the wild.
Macaws are smart, social birds that frequently congregate in groups of 10 to 30 individuals. Their shrill calls, squawks, and screams reverberate through the forest canopy. Macaws use vocalization to communicate among themselves, mark territory, and identify one another. Some species are even capable of mimicking human speech.
These rainforest birds sleep in the trees at night and may fly long distances in the morning to feed on fruit, nuts, insects, and snails. Some species also consume damp soil, which may aid in the neutralization of chemicals in their fruity diet and the relief of their stomachs.
Macaws are known to mate for life. They not only breed with their mates, but they also share food and groom each other. The fathers hunt and bring food back to the nest while the macaw mothers incubate their eggs during the breeding season.
Gibbons (Hylobates moloch)
The gibbon is a rainforest animal that is regarded as the swinging pirate because of its love of swinging from one tropical plant to the other. This mammalian omnivorous animal of the tropical rainforest has an average life span of up to 25 years in the wild. The gibbon is always found in groups known as a family. The average size of this jungle animal is 17 to 25 inches with an average weight of 9 to 29 pounds.
The over 12 different species of gibbons are all without tail, and the color of their coats vary from brown to black. These animals of the jungle have many white marks on their faces, hands, and feet.
The different species of the gibbons live in the rainforest regions of northeastern India, southern China, and Borneo.
These acrobatic mammals are excellently adapted to survive in the trees and seldomly come down to the ground. They have hook-shaped hands that are powerful for grasping branches and their ridiculously large arms for reaching distant limbs. The gibbons also have long, strong legs for propelling and gasping. Their shoulder joints are even modified to allow for a greater range of motion when swinging.
These jungle animals have a dramatic form of movement known as brachiating and it can propel them through the jungle at up to 35 miles per hour and can bridge a gap of 50 feet with a single swing. This form of locomotion (brachiating) also provides gibbons with the distinct ability to swing out and grab fruits growing at the ends of branches, limiting competition for their favorite meals.
The gibbons walk on two feet, whether walking along tree branches or on the ground, and while walking they throw their arms above their heads for balance. These tropical rainforest animals are the most bipedal of all nonhuman primates and are frequently studied for clues as to what evolutionary processes steered to human walking.
These jungle animals are monogamous (live in family groups of an adult couple and their young offspring) this practice is a rare trait among primates. The family will stake out a territory and defend it with haunting calls that can be heard for miles through the forest. Long, complex songs will be sung by mated pairs and even entire families. To amplify their calls, some species have developed large throat pouches.
Gibbons survive on the ample amount of fruit trees in their tropical range, particularly figs. They will occasionally eat leaves and insects to supplement their diet.
These iconic tree-dwelling primates are among the most endangered primates on the planet. This is because of the rapidly declining habitat and the frequent capture and sale of these jungle animals as pets or for use in traditional medicine.
This mammalian armored-looking rainforest animal is a cousin to the giant anteater and the sloths. The armadillo has an average life span of 12 to 15 years in the wild. The average size of this animal of the rainforest is 5 to 59 inches with an average weight of 3 ounces to 120 pounds. This omnivorous tropical rainforest animal has about 20 species and all except one is found in Latin America. The only species found in the united states of America is the nine-banded armadillo. The armadillo is characterized by a bony plate that covers the back, head, legs, and tail. It is therefore the only living mammal that possesses such shells on its body.
The body structure of this animal in the rainforest consists of a pointy snout or otherwise known as a shovel-shaped snout. The armadillo has small eyes and the color on the body ranges from black, red, yellow, gray, salmon-colored pink, and dark-brown.
Armadillos prefer temperate and warm environments, such as rain forests, grasslands, and semi-deserts. Cold is their enemy because of their low metabolic rate and lack of fat stores, and outbreaks of intemperate weather can wipe out entire populations.
Armadillos dig burrows and sleep for up to 16 hours per day, with the remaining hours used in foraging of beetles, ants, termites, and other insects in the early morning and evening. They have poor eyesight and hunt using their keen sense of smell. Armadillos dig with their strong legs and huge front claws to extract bugs and ants. They also use their sticky tongues to eat termites from their tunnels. Apart from insects, these jungle animals eat tropical plants, fruits, carrion, and small vertebrates.
Siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus)
These rainforest animals are the biggest species of the gibbon family, and they stand at 29 to 35 inches tall. The siamang weighs about 23 pounds a little larger than the gibbons. These jungle animals have long shaggy black coats all over their bodies with an exception around their mouth and chin that is having pale hairs. The males are characterized by having along with a tuft of hair around their genital region.
Just like their cousins the gibbons, these animals of the tropical rainforest also practice bipedal locomotion. One distinctive feature of these animals in the rainforest is the inflation of their throat sac that is either gray or pink in color. This inflation of the throat sac to the size of a grapefruit is for a louder vocalization and communication.
Some physiological or physical characteristics of these jungle primates are the presence of canine teeth in both males and females. The siamangs also have thumbs that are opposite and a toe that is separated from their other toes. These tropical rainforest primates have a slightly developed brain than their other cousins.
These jungle animals live in the rainforest and monsoon forest region of the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra mountains. They have small ranges of about 60 acres (0.24 square kilometers) that the defendant as a group.
These omnivorous animals in the rainforest eat fruit and new leaves. Their diet contains a higher proportion of leafy matter than that of most other gibbons. Siamangs can also consume insects, bird eggs, and small vertebrates.
These arboreal jungle animals divide their feeding time, for example, approximately 44 percent of their time is spent eating fruit and 45 percent eating leaves.
Siamangs are distinguished by their greater coordination and contact during daily activities. Typically, the family forages for food as a unit. Siamangs are fiercely territorial and use daily singing rituals to defend their territory. High-speed chases through trees are involved in border disputes. Though these disputes are rare, they are fierce and it includes biting and slapping.
Siamangs have a daily routine or pattern. They get up at sunrise and conduct their morning event before heading out to find food and it takes a siamang about 5 hours to finish its meal. They find a place to rest or sleep after eight to ten hours of activity (They are diurnal).
Grooming is an important social activity for siamangs, as it is for most primates. Adults groom themselves for 15 minutes per day on average. Grooming is a demonstration of power with the dominant animals being groomed more. The females and sub-adult males are groomed by an adult male. During the breeding season, adult males will pay more attention to females.
The gestation period for siamang is approximately seven and a half months. Every two or three years, a single offspring is born. For the first three to four months, offspring cling to their mothers’ bellies constantly. After the infant reaches the age of two years, fathers may begin to carry the infant at the time of weaning. Siamangs mature at the age of 6 or 7. A female hardly ever has more than 10 children in her entire life.
Tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus matschiei)
This mammalian rainforest animal has an average size of 37 to 70 inches. The Matschie’s tree kangaroo lives for up to 20 years as its average life span in captivity. This herbivorous tropical rainforest animal weighs an average of 15 to 22 pounds. The tree kangaroo has 10 species, all of which are natives of the rainforest region.
Tree kangaroos can only be found in Australia, West Papua, and Papua New Guinea’s rain forests. 6 of the 10 species can be found in Papua New Guinea, which has some of the world’s last undisturbed rainforest habitat. The Matschie’s tree kangaroo is found only on the Huon Peninsula on Papua New Guinea’s northeast coast.
These jungle animals spend most of their time in the trees eating mostly tree leaves, flowers, grass shoots, ferns, moss, and tree barks.
The social behavior of wild tree kangaroos is poorly understood. Matschie’s tree kangaroos are thought to be solitary animals, according to researchers. Males and females have non-overlapping home ranges, but a male’s range will overlap the ranges of several females making the claim of it being a polygamous interaction by researchers. Males do not appear to form harems, and females on the other hand appear to be self-sufficient. These animals’ only strong social bond is between mother and offspring. When females in captivity are separated from all other animals after becoming pregnant, their offspring almost always survive. These findings indicate that Matschie’s tree kangaroos are mostly solitary creatures.
Female tree kangaroos have one progeny after a gestation period of about 44 days. Following the birth of the young known as a joey, crawls to a teat inside the mother’s pouch and attaches itself to be nursed. During this stage of lactation, the majority of the infant’s development takes place.
The joey spends approximately 10 months in the pouch. During this stage, the mother will frequently clean her pouch and groom the infant. After the little one leaves the pouch for the first time at eight months, it will return to be nursed. This phase of the joey’s incomings and outgoings into the pouch lasts about a month. In the final stage, the young continue to nurse but never entirely enter the pouch.
When young tree kangaroos reach the age of 13 months, they are weaned. They remain with their mothers until they are around 18 months old, at which point they scatter and set up a home base.
Red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas)
This amphibious rainforest animal is found in a group called an army. The red-eyed tree frog has an average size of 1.5 to 2.75 inches. This carnivorous jungle animal has an average life span of 5 years in the wild. This rainforest animal is not venomous despite its coloration.
In the daytime, these iconic rainforest animals sleep under the leaf (leaf bottoms) with their marking on the body hidden and closed eyes. When disturbed, they reveal their huge, webbed orange feet and bright blue-and-yellow flanks, as well as their bulging red eyes known as startle coloration. This tactic, of startle coloration, may cause a bird or snake to pause, allowing the frog to spring to safety.
The neon-green-colored bodies of these rainforest animals may have a similar effect on predators. several of the animals that prey on red-eyed tree frogs are nighttime hunters with keen eyesight. The eyes of predators like snakes are overwhelmed by the frog’s shocking colors. This shocking color may result in a perplexing shadow image that stays behind as the frog leaps away.
They can be widely distributed in tropical lowlands of southern Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. They are nighttime carnivores that hide in the rain forest canopy and use their long, sticky tongues to attack crickets, flies, and moths.
Poison dart frog (Dendrobatidae)
The poison dart frog is an amphibious animal in the rainforest that has a size of 1 inch. This tropical rainforest animal has an average life span of 3 to 15 years in the wild. This carnivorous jungle animal lives in groups called an army. Poison dart frogs, which are members of the Dendrobatidae family, are amongst the jungle animals with the most vibrant and beautiful colors on the planet earth. They can sometimes be yellow, gold, copper, red, green, blue, or black in color. Their intricate patterns and colors are purposefully flamboyant in order to deter potential predators, a strategy known as aposematic coloration.
Habitats range from Costa Rica’s tropical forests to Brazil and ants, termites, and beetles are among their prey.
A few other species have unique parenting behaviors, such as carrying eggs and tadpoles on their backs. Though it is not unique among amphibians, male poison dart frogs are phenomenal in their care, attending to the clutch, often solely, and conducting vital transportation responsibilities.
Among the most toxic animals on the planet are dendrobatids. The poison in the two-inch-long golden poison frog is enough to kill ten grown men. But poison dart frogs that are raised in captivity and separated from insects in their natural environment never develop poison.
Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)
The chimpanzee is among the great apes in the rainforest. This jungle animal is one of the closest relatives to humans sharing an estimated 98.7% of the human genome blueprint. This rainforest animal lives in a group called a community and they have an average life span of 45 years in the wild. The chimpanzee is an omnivorous mammal with an average size of 4 to 5.5 feet and weighs approximately 70 to 130 pounds.
Chimpanzee has long arms, hands, and fingers that it uses to climb trees and swing from branch to branch.
The chimp is commonly known as a highly intelligent primate and has been known to use tools for its daily activities. some of these activities include using stone to break nuts, using leaves as a sponge to soak water for drinking, and the use of sticks to dig for grubs or retrieve insects.
These animals in the rainforest are extremely social and they live in groups of several dozen animals that are led by a dominant male and his alliance of male allies. Male and female chimps have distinctive qualities, according to studies, with females being far more willing to trust and shy. The crucial component of chimp social life known as grooming helps them create bonds by removing ticks and dirt from their bodies.
Chimpanzees can stand and walk upright while usually walking on all fours known as knuckle-walking and they sleep in trees (usually, the sturdy Ugandan ironwood tree), which provides the most firm and stable sleeping environment and builds themselves leaf nests.
Chimpanzees have the most diverse vocal repertoire of any great ape with many populations living in tropical rainforests, but they can also be discovered in woodlands and grasslands from central to western Africa.
Chimps also spend the majority of their time eating in trees. Their diet is diverse and includes insects, eggs, nuts, and hundreds of other things, even though they tend to favor fruits and tropical plants. They also enjoy meat and have been observed killing and eating monkeys, tiny antelope, and sometimes even tortoises, that they smack against trees to rip open their shells.
Female chimps can bear children at any time of year, usually to a mono infant who sticks to its mother’s fur and afterward rides on her back till weaning, which occurs between the ages of 3 and 5. Females attain breeding age at 13, whereas males do not reach adulthood until they are 15 years old.
The primary cause of the declining population of these tropical rainforest animals is the world’s expanding human population. Humans completely eliminate the chimp’s forest habitat when they tend to expand their geographical range to make the land for agriculture. Other human practices like logging, mining, oil extraction, and new road and highway developments all pose a threat to the habitat of these animals in the tropical rainforest. People kill chimps in retaliatory action for past attacks and to protect their families from future attacks.
Chimpanzees are targeted by bushmeat hunters since they provide so much meat than relatively small mammals, and their offspring are sometimes collected as pets for humans to be sold into the illegal pet trade. Chimpanzees are also vulnerable to infectious diseases like the Ebola virus that has killed a significant number of them since the 1980s.
The Endangered Species Act of the United States is part of the international law that protects chimps. Some of their habitats have also been designated as sanctuaries or reserves. Conservation groups are looking at expanding these conservation lands while also advocating for an end to the illegal animal killing and taking.
Enhancing the chimp’s relationship with humans, on the other hand, is critical to its survival. Many organizations work with communities to raise awareness about the threats to chimp habitats, develop action plans to protect them, and assist community members in developing alternative livelihoods that do not endanger the animal’s habitat.
The orangutan is among the highly intelligent primate of the tropical rainforest. This orange-colored-haired person of the forest as interpreted from the Malay word (orangutan) is 4 to 5 feet in size when standing. The orangutan is a jungle animal that has an average life span of 30 to 40 years in the wild and weighs 73 to 180 pounds. This omnivorous mammal of the rainforest is among the closest relative of humans.
The orangutan has a very large arm span stretching an estimated 7 feet from fingertip to fingertip. This enormous arm span makes its hands almost touch the ground when it stands.
Because orangutans spend approximately 90 % of their time in the trees of their tropical rain forest home, their arms are well suited to their lifestyle. They sometimes sleep up high in leafy branch nests. To protect themselves from the rain, they use large leaves as umbrellas and shelters.
Orangutans live more alone than other apes. Males prefer to be alone and they make a lot of rumbling, howling calls as they move through the forest to keep each other out of each other’s way. The vocalization known as the long call is audible from 1.2 miles away.
These tropical jungle animals can only be found in the tropical rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo. During the day, these cerebral primates forage for food. The majority of their diet consists of rainforest tree fruit and leaves. They also eat bark, insects, and meat on rare occasions.
Mothers and their children have a strong bond. Infants will remain with their mothers for 6 or 7 years till they acquire the skills necessary to thrive on their own. Female orangutans only give birth once every eight years, the longest run of any animal to stay without giving birth.
Because orangutans only live in a few places and are so reliant on trees, they are especially vulnerable to logging in these regions. Sadly, deforestation and other anthropogenic activities like hunting have put the orangutan in jeopardy of extinction.
Western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)
This tropical rainforest animal is the smallest of 4 gorilla species. This animal of the rainforest has an average lifespan of 35 years in the wild with a standing height of 4 to 6 feet. The western lowland gorilla weighs approximately 150 to 400 pounds. This omnivorous mammal of the rainforest is found in groups called a troop.
These jungle animals are characterized by their short black-brown hair, long arms, and a more noticeable ridge along their brow. The matured and older gorillas have a streak of silver in their hair while infants have a tuft of white hair on their backside.
The western lowland gorilla is the most widely spread gorilla subspecies, spanning well over 270,000 sq mi of central and West Africa, which would include the tropical rainforest of Equatorial Guinea, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The tropical rainforest region of Cameroon, Gabon, the Central African Republic, and the Republic of the Congo are also included. These gorillas live in dense tropical rainforests, where they can feed on a vegetarian diet. They consume roots, shoots, fruit, wild celery, as well as tree bark and pulp.
Gorillas have the ability to climb trees, but they prefer to live on the ground in groups of up to 30 (a troop). Troops are directed by a dominant, older adult male known as a silverback due to a spectrum of silver hair that graces his normally dark hair. Other several young males, a few females, and their progeny are also included in the troops.
The leader plans troop activities like eating, nesting in leaves, and traveling around the group’s native habitat. Although these jungle animals can walk upright, the gorillas prefer to travel on all four limbs, in a system that requires them to push forward with the knuckles and soles of their feet.
A troop leader will show his strength by standing up straight, throwing objects, making serious charges, and banging his massive chest while barking powerful hoots or releasing a roar when confronted by some other male. Despite these displays and the apparent physical strength of these jungle animals, they are commonly known to be non-aggressive and calm except if they are disturbed.
Western lowland gorillas have a wide range of speech patterns, including at least 22 distinct hoots, barks, and screams, each with its own interpretation. Gorillas in captivity have exhibited remarkable intellectual ability and have even learned general human sign language.
Female gorillas bear children to 1 infant after a nearly nine-month pregnancy. In comparison to their powerful parents, newborns are tiny (about 4 pounds) and capable of nothing other than clinging to their mothers’ coats. From the age of 4 months to the first 2 – 3 years of their lives, these newborns ride on their mothers’ backs. Young gorillas, ages 3 to 6, dedicate the majority of their time playing, climbing trees, chasing each other, and swaying from branches.
Even as western lowland gorillas are among the more densely populated gorilla subspecies, they encounter a series of threats, prompting the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to list them as critically endangered.
Deforestation poses a two-pronged threat: it obliterates gorilla habitat and makes it easier for people to catch and kill gorillas for food. Almost 80percent of the total western lowland gorillas live in unprotected areas where they are susceptible to illegal hunting.
Agriculture, pastureland, and expanding human territories are reducing the space available to western lowland gorillas. Climate change is affecting their habitat even more because rising temperatures dry out the area, making it more prone to fire and forest decline.
Infectious diseases have also decimated gorilla communities, with Ebola killing one-third of them during the early 2000s
Despite the fact that western lowland gorillas are guarded by legal provisions, enforcement has historically been lax. Conservation organizations hope to change this by collaborating with government entities to fortify consequences for illegal hunting and optimize land-use planning to effectively protect gorilla habitats.
This mammalian rainforest animal has the look of a pig with a trunk. But in reality, the tapir is closely related to the horse and rhinoceros. The tapir has an average life span of 25 to 30 years in the wild and is found in groups called a candle. This herbivorous jungle animal has an average size of 29 to 42 inches at shoulder height and it weighs an estimated 500 to 800 pounds.
The tapir is of diverse species which include the woolly or mountain tapir and the black and white Malay tapir to mention a few.
Tapirs live in forests of South and Central America, the Andes Mountains, and Southeast Asia (Malaysia and Sumatra to be specific).
Tapirs have a prehensile (clenching) trunk that is actually an elongated nose and upper lip. These rainforest animals use this trunk to hold branches and clean them of leaves, as well as to assist in the plucking of tasty fruit. Tapirs eat in the dawn and dusk. During these hours, they travel through the dense brush on tunnel-like paths worn by many tapir footsteps to reach water holes and evergreen feeding grounds. They deposit the seeds they have consumed as they roam and take a dump, promoting prospective plant growth.
Tapirs, despite their dense build, are still at home in the water and frequently submerge to cool off. These tropical rainforest animals can dive to feed on aquatic plants and are excellent swimmers. The tapir also basks in mud, possibly to rid themselves of pesky ticks from their thick hides.
Blue morpho butterfly (Morpho peleides)
The blue morpho butterfly’s wings are bright blue with a black edge, as its common name suggests. This jungle insect has an average wingspan ranging from 5 to 8 inches therefore, it is known to be one of the largest butterflies in the world. Their bright, opalescent blue coloring is caused by microscopic scales on the backs of their wings that reflect light. The underside of its wings is a dull brown color with many eyespots, providing camouflage against predators such as birds and insects When they are closed.
The opposing bright blue and dull brown colors flash, giving the impression that the morpho appears and disappears whenever the blue morpho starts flying. The wings of the males are larger and seem to be sharper in color than that of the females’. Blue morphos have 2 clubbed antennas, 2 fore wings and 2 hind wings, 6 legs, and 3 body segments (the head, thorax, and abdomen) like other butterflies.
Blue morphos can be found in Latin American tropical forests ranging from Mexico to Colombia. Adult blue morphos’ spend the majority of their time on the forest floor and in the lower shrubs and trees with their wings folded. In search of mates, this tropical rainforest animal will fly through all layers of the forest. Morphos are most commonly seen by humans in clearings and along streams, where their bright blue wings can be seen. Pilots flying over rainforests have even seen large groups of blue morphos above the treetops, basking in the sun. This tropical rainforest insect’s entire life span is only 115 days, which means they spend the majority of their time eating and procreating.
The diet of the blue morpho changes throughout its lifecycle. It eats a wide variety of leaves but prefers plants in the pea family when it is a caterpillar. When it transforms into a butterfly, it can no longer chew and must instead drink its food. The adult blue morpho uses its proboscis (a long protruding mouthpart) to sip the juice of rotting fruit, the fluids of decomposing animals, tree sap, fungi, and wet mud. Blue morphos taste fruit with sensors on their legs and taste-smell the air with their antennae, which function as a tongue and nose in tandem.
Blue morphos are increasingly impacted by tropical forest deforestation and habitat fragmentation. Humans pose an immediate threat to this magnificent creature because their beauty draws artists and collectors from all over the world who want to capture and showcase them. Aside from humans, the adult butterfly’s natural predators are birds such as the jacamar and flycatcher.
Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris ssp. sumatrae)
This tropical rainforest animal is the smallest of all living tigers, weighing an average of 260 pounds and growing to be up to 8 feet long. The orange and black stripes of this jungle animal, which are narrower than those found on other tiger subspecies, aid in distinguishing this feline. This rainforest animal is an excellent swimmer due to the webbing between its toes.
Despite its resemblance to other tigers, genetic testing has convinced some scientists that the Sumatran tiger is a distinct species.
This jungle cat can only be found in the wild on Sumatra, a large island in western Indonesia, where it roams from lowland forests to mountain forests and lives in a number of unprotected areas. Between 400 and 500, Sumatran tigers remain in reserves and national parks, with Gunung Leuser National Park in Sumatra having the largest population. Around 100 more are considered to live in unprotected areas afflicted by rapidly increasing forest loss and farmland conversion.
Tigers catch and kill at night and make a large kill about once a week. These rainforest animals can travel up to 18 miles in their barely audible hunt for prey, which has also decreased substantially due to habitat loss. Sumatran tigers prey on significantly bigger ungulates such as tapir, wild boar, and deer, as well as smaller animals such as monkeys, birds, and fish. These jungle animals may also prey on orangutans, but only rarely because the primates spend so little time on the ground.
According to reports, land clearing and agricultural conversion have resulted in the cleanup of approximately 30 million acres (12 million hectares) of Sumatran forest in the last 22 years, representing a nearly 50% loss. Aside from forest loss, the Sumatran tiger is also endangered due to habitat fragmentation, which happens even in protected areas (though to a lesser extent than in unprotected regions).
Human encroachment on tiger habitat has resulted in more frequent and fatal disputes between humans and tigers. Poaching and illegal trade in tiger parts (ground bone for folk remedies, genitalia for food, and skin for fur) remain a major threat. At least 51 tigers were killed per year, with 76 percent killed for trade and 15 percent killed due to human-tiger conflict according to a Shepherd and Magnus report, between 1998 and 2002.
Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus)
The keel-billed toucan is a large, colorful tropical rainforest animal with black plumage, a bright yellow throat and cheeks, vibrant red feathers under its tail, and a yellow-green face. This jungle bird is best known for its oversized bill. The keel-billed toucan is characterized by a light green, banana-shaped bill that is streaked with orange and tipped with red and blue. This large bill can grow to be one-third the size of the toucan’s 20-inch body. The bill is made of protein and supported by hollow bones therefore it is actually quite light despite its bulky appearance. On the other hand, the heavy broad wings of the toucan make it hard for it to fly.
These one-of-a-kind tropical rainforest birds can be widely distributed from southern Mexico to Venezuela and Colombia’s tropical and subtropical rainforests habitat. The keel-billed toucan is most active at sunrise and sunset (it is crepuscular). This jungle animal lives in groups of 6 to 12 birds and, due to its heavy wings, rarely flies long distances; however, it is quite agile hopping from branch to branch. The monogamous pairs incubate their eggs alternately after building their nests in natural or woodpecker-created tree holes.
These omnivorous tropical rainforest animals primarily eat fruits, but they have also been observed eating insects, lizards, tree frogs, and even eggs. The pattern of their feeding starts by grasping their food with their bill, flipping it up into the air, and catching it in their mouths. These rainforest animals eat their fruit whole and regurgitate the larger seeds while passing the smaller ones via their digestive systems. Because of this method, toucans play an important role in the reproduction of the fruit trees on which they rely. These lovely birds occasionally feed on shrubs or lizards by flying down from the canopy where they feed on fruits.
Although the species is not currently listed as endangered, it is however under threat from human activity. The loss of habitat is a constant threat to the species populations. These beautiful and amazing rainforest animals are still attacked and killed for their meat and ornamental feathers on occasion. They were once very popular in the pet trade, but it has since been revealed that their bad temperament actually makes them bad pets. They are valuable to Belize, where they are the national bird, bringing tourists hoping to see their gorgeous plumage.
Caiman (Caiman crocodilus)
Caimans have broad, laterally compressed bodies and a long, vertically flattened, heavily muscled tail that helps move them through the water with incredible force. The nostrils and eyes of these animals in the tropical rainforest are like those of other crocodilians that are located on the top of their snout and head, allowing them to breathe and see while almost completely submerged and camouflaged in the water.
These animals in the rainforest-like alligators have broad, flat heads with rounded snouts that enable them to easily prey on larger animal species. The powerful jaws of the caiman are equipped with a row of cone-shaped teeth that, when snapped shut, push them into their prey. These animals in the tropical rainforest are unable to chew, so they consume relatively small prey entirely. The caiman uses their sharp teeth and strong bodies to tear at the flesh of larger animals, and they are recognized to store larger prey species in submerged larders until they start to decompose and are thus easier to consume.
These tropical rainforest animals can grow from 1.5m to 6m in length, depending on the species. Black caimans are the largest caiman species, with plated skin that ranges from dark grey to black. Other caiman species range in color from dull olive to grey or brown, with a softer underside. They all have webbed feet with 5 toes on each front foot and 4 on each hindfoot.
These animals in the rainforest can be found in a variety of wetland habitats across the whole of Central and South America, with specific locations and habitat preferences varying depending on the species. The most common and widespread species, the Spectacled Caiman (also known as the Common Caiman), has been introduced into areas outside of its natural range, such as Puerto Rico and Cuba. They tend to favor calmer waters than black caimans, which are larger and can thus endure relatively strong currents.
This difference in habitat preference also means that in areas where the larger black caiman’s range overlaps that of smaller species, there is less competition for territory between species because they occupy different habitat niches. Because spectacled caimans favor calmer waters, they have been observed in man-made water bodies such as canals and reservoirs.
These animals in the rainforest are fearsome predators that hunt and eat a wide range of animal matter such as catfish, piranha, crustaceans, and other small-sized aquatic animals. They are also known to hunt birds (especially waterfowl), amphibians, and small mammals. Many caiman populations rely on capybara and wild pigs for food, while large black caimans wander onto land at dark to catch and kill larger prey, which includes humans.
These animals in the rainforest hunt prey using a number of tactics, but the most common is to stay close to the river banks and wait for mammals to come to the water to drink or cross to the other side. The caimans are also renowned to glide up to the prey, silently swerving through the water with only their eyes and nostrils revealed in the hope of sneaking up on waterfowl unnoticed.
These tropical rainforest animals spend the majority of the day resting in the water or basking in the sun on river banks because they’re mostly nocturnal. Despite the fact that all caiman species are semi-aquatic, some spend more time on land than others. Spectacled caimans rarely leave the safety of the water, whereas black caimans frequently leave the water after dark to hunt for larger prey species on land. Spectacled caimans are dependant on the aquatic habitats such that they will burrow into the mud during times of drought and they can enter a dormant state here to avoid desiccation (extreme dryness). The male caimans are known to be extremely territorial and dominant, and in this dominance, they get the better part of the habitat and mate.
Caimans reach maturity between the ages of four and ten, depending on the species. The breeding season varies depending on the species: spectacled caimans breed during the wet season in May and June, whereas black caimans breed during the dry season. Females construct 1.5-meter-high nest mounds out of either vegetation or mud and lay about 35 to 60 eggs that will hatch in about three months. During this time, female caimans guard their nests, with spectacled caiman females are known to lay eggs in the same nest, which they then guard together.
Adult caimans have very few predators in their natural environments due to their large size and intimidating nature. The most common and successful predators of caimans are large big cats like jaguars. The small size of young caimans, on the other hand, makes them easier prey for other animal species. More vulnerable juveniles have been observed to be preyed upon by birds of prey, snakes, and omnivorous mammals such as wild pigs and cats. Caimans are also threatened by habitat degradation in the form of deforestation and water pollution across much of their natural range. They have also been the target of hunting for their skin and meat.
Caimans are now listed by the IUCN as being of Least Concern of becoming extinct in the near future. Despite massive population declines (the black caiman population is thought to have decreased by 99 percent in the last 100 years), they are still thriving in some areas.
Bonobo (Pan paniscus)
Bonobos, also known as pygmy chimps, are animals in the tropical rainforest that have dark brown or black fur and darker faces. Their lips are bright pink or red, giving them a distinct appearance. The head of the bonobo is flatter and smaller than that of other great apes. The bonobo has a height of 28 to 35 inches and a weight of 65 to 85 pounds. These animals in the rainforest are distinguished by their long legs and the fact that they retain their tail tufts even as adults.
In the wild, bonobos generally behave peacefully and they have been observed to have altruistic tendencies and to be willing to share food, shelter, and necessities with other bonobos. These animals of the rainforest also show compassion and empathy to those who have been injured in their communities.
Bonobos have a high level of intelligence and their communication consists of a series of sounds that other apes must translate based on their current environment. Indeed, based on the circumstances, the same sounds can mean a variety of things. These animals in the rainforest also use hand signals to convey meaning, and there have been reports of bonobos communicating with humans using these signals.
Unlike many other great ape species, the bonobos live in a matriarchal society in which a select group of elder females has the ultimate authority on where the group goes when they feed, and other key decisions. Despite their culture’s maternal focus, each community commonly has one alpha male who safeguards the group, leads hunting for food parties, and ascertains when, where, and what to eat.
This dominant male is able and willing to eat with the older females. The other males, on the other hand, will not eat until the matriarchs have finished. Surprisingly, a male bonobo’s status is frequently determined by his mother’s position and standing in the ranking. As a matter of fact, the son of an older female bonobo could outrank a young female bonobo.
Bonobos, unlike other ape species, are restricted to a single region of central Africa. These rainforest animals live in the jungle forests that run between the Congo and Kasai rivers. As a matter of fact, they are indigenous to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Bonobos eat predominantly fruits like figs, custard apples, berries, and other African fruits which account for roughly 60% of this primate’s diet. These omnivorous jungle animals have also been observed consuming honey, eggs, seeds, and other vegetation from the surrounding jungle.
Bonobos do not go out hunting for meat however, they consume forest antelopes known as duikers, flying squirrels, and other rodents. These jungle animals will often eat smaller monkeys, and there have been reports of cannibalism (eating each other) in captive bonobo colonies.
Female bonobos reach puberty at the age of 12 and they will end up leaving their mother’s group and seeking their own mates at that point. Every 4 to 5 years, each female has one child and, a single female can have 5 to 7 children during her lifetime.
The gestation period of a bonobo is typically between 230 and 240 days, or 8 months. Both male and female offspring typically take 5 to 6 years to wean and the male offspring will normally live with his mother for the rest of her life, and that can be up to 40 years or more.
Human illegal hunting and forest destruction are the two most serious threats to the survival of these rainforest animals. Even though these monkeys have been observed walking on all fours, they spend the majority of their time in trees. Humans’ expansion further into the jungle between the Congo and Kasai rivers in central Africa is likely to result in further population declines for this great ape.
These rainforest birds are quite small. Even the largest of these birds, the South American Patagona gigas, is only about 8 inches long. Hummingbirds come in a variety of sizes and the bee hummingbird is 2.25 inches long, while the calliope hummingbird is 3 inches long. Topaz hummingbirds, on the other hand, measure 3.1 to 3.5 inches in length.
These tropical rainforest birds have a slightly distinctive look than other birds, which adds to their beauty. They have gracefully long bills and wings despite their streamlined stubby bodies. While their incredibly small legs make walking incredibly hard, they don’t need to because their wings move approximately 10-15 times per second, enabling them to hover in place.
This tremendous speed is just one of the many ways in which their flight is both rare and intriguing. Because of the strength of their wings, they are the only birds that really can fly backward. The hummingbird can change directions in the blink of an eye, appearing to float in the air, and if they so desire, the bird can even fly upside down.
These animals in the rainforest are known to be aggressive and frequently try to scare attackers away. They are one of the nastiest birds, which often appears counterintuitive to their small size. They can not only drive away large birds but also attack other animals and even humans.
Because birds consume half their body weight in sugar, therefore sugar water is the most effective way to attract them to a bird feeder. These rainforest animals feed 5 to 8 times per day, getting their sugar from nectar and fruit. Hummingbirds will seek out insects and invertebrates for food when they aren’t grazing on sugar, sugar water, or natural nectar. Their favorite diet is insects and they include ants, spiders, beetles, mosquitos, gnats, weevils, fruit flies, and aphids, making them ideal house guests.
Because of their small size, these birds face a plethora of predators, which may explain why they must be so aggressive in order to defend themselves. Their eggs are constantly at risk of being eaten by predators, with humans being one of the most dangerous.
The natural habitats of these animals are dwindling as cities become more urbanized. Although habitat loss is a major issue for hummingbirds, the average bird watcher can help by providing a hummingbird feeder and plenty of foliage in their yard to lure the birds looking for a place to construct a nest and eat.
Joseph enjoys writing and learning about the fields of ecology and biology. He has experience teaching both of these subjects at a variety of universities as an adjunct professor. In his free time Joseph enjoys, surfing with his kids and going on multi-day backpacking trips.