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25 Rainforest Animals that you should know about

25 Rainforest Animals that you should know about

Want to know more about Rainforest Animals? The rainforests are home to more than 50% of all animal species in the world, so it’s quite fascinating to learn about the animals living in the rainforests around the world. 

Ever since I was a little kid and watched documentaries from Nat Geo Graphic, I’ve been mesmerized by the rainforests and its inhabitants. The colors, characteristics, and skills the animals have developed is truly amazing. 

Here are 25 Rainforest Animals that will amaze you as well!

1. Black Howler Monkey

Whenever you visit a rainforest in South America, you’re likely to hear the Black Howler Monkey. Their calls can be heard as far as 5 kilometers, and they have one of the most characteristic sounds of the South American rainforests. 

Black howler monkey

Photo: Shutterstock

2. Rhinoceros Hornbill

This peculiar looking bird can be found in rainforests in Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Singapore as well as the Malay Peninsula and Thailand.

They can get quite large and reach a size of 80-90 cm. And the weight varies from 2-3 kilos depending on male/female. Habitat destruction and poachers are the main threats for the rhinoceros hornbill.

Rhinoceros Hornbill

Photo: Shutterstock

3. Colugo (Sunda Flying Lemur)

The Colugo are also known as flying lemurs, but they are not really lemurs, just a close relative. The Cologu is a tree-dwelling animal that can glid as far as 70 meter (230 ft) from one tree to another.

They live in Southeast Asia. 

Sunda Flying Lemur

Photo: Shutterstock

4. Jesus Christ Lizard

Its real name is the common basilisk, but since it can run on the water it has got a nickname as the Jesus Christ Lizard. They are endemic to Central America and South America and is without a doubt one of the coolest animals in the rainforest. 

Jesus Lizard

Photo: Shutterstock

5. Orangutan

One of our closest relatives can be found in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra.

This ape spends most of its time in trees and is characterized by its reddish-brown hair. Males and females are very distinguished in their appearance, and the dominant males have distinctive cheek pads.  

Orangutan

Photo: Shutterstock

6. Pink Dolphin (Boto)

Yes, there is such a thing as a pink dolphin, and they are known as the Boto. They live in the Amazon river. 

Pink Dolphin

Photo: Shutterstock

7. Cassowary

The cassowary is one of the most dangerous birds in the world, and also one of the most ancient rainforest animals. They live in New Guinea, East Nusa Tenggara, the Maluku islands and northeastern Australia. 

They are often nicknamed living dinosaurs because of their long history and evolvement from the dinosaur era. 

Cassowary

Photo: Shutterstock

8. Green Anaconda

This non-venomous snake lives in South America and is the heaviest and one of the longest known snake species. They live mostly in and around water, and the longest recorded anaconda was 7,6 meters.

Green Anaconda

Photo: Shutterstock

9. Poison Dart Frog

The native tribes have used the poison from these frogs on their arrows for a long time, and they still do when hunting in some parts of the Amazonian rainforest. 

Most of the species are not deadly but are considered very toxic to humans. The same goes for predators, all except one, a specific type of snake that is immune to the poison dart frog’s toxines.

Poison Dart Frog

Photo: Shutterstock

10. Capybara

The world’s largest rodent can be found in South America. They are a close relative to the guinea pig. 

Capybara

Photo: Shutterstock

11. Electric Eel

Another South American rainforest animal, the electric eel that is in fact not an eel, but a knifefish. They are known for their ability to produce electricity, which they use to kill prey.

Electric Eel

Photo: Shutterstock

12. Mountain Gorilla

The gorilla is another close relative to humans, and one of the largest rainforest animals. They live in central Sub-Saharan Africa, and the mountain gorillas live in the cloud forests around Virunga. 

Mountain Gorilla

Photo: Shutterstock

13. Coati

Coati or coatimundis are native to South America, Central America, and the southwestern United States. They are specifically known for producing one of the world’s most expensive coffees. 

Coati coffee is made in Peru from the dung of the coati, which eats the coffee beans. 

Coati

Photo: Shutterstock

14. Okapi

It might look like a zebra with its stripes, but it’s a kind of forest giraffe living in Africa, more precisely in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Okapi

Photo: Shutterstock

15. Sloth

The sloth is one of my favorite rainforest animals, just because they are so darn cute. 

Sloth

Photo: Shutterstock

16. Leafcutter Ant

There are many types of ants living in the rainforests, but the leafcutter ant is particularly amazing. They are known as the workers of the rainforest, and they cut through all kinds of leaves. 

The leafcutter ant is very strong and can carry weight x times their own body weight. 

Leafcutter Ant

Photo: Shutterstock

17. Jaguar

If the lion is the king of the Savannah, the jaguar is the king of the rainforests in South America and Central America. It is the largest cat native to the Americas and is characterized by its spotted fur. 

Jaguar

Photo: Shutterstock

18. Tree-kangaroo

Thought that kangaroos were all jumping around? Not this one. The tree-kangaroo lives in tropical rainforests in New Guinea and Queensland (Australia).

The biggest threats are hunting and habitat loss. Their habitat is being replaced rapidly to make way for various plantations. 

Tree-kangaroo

Photo: Shutterstock

19. Macaw

Perhaps the most famous of all animals in the rainforest. The Macaws are a type of parrot native to Central and South America and are especially known for its colorful feathers. 

The most prominent ones are the Scarlet Macaw, Hyacinth Macaw, and the Ara. 

Scarlet Macaw

Photo: Shutterstock

20. The Giant Otter

The Giant otter is the largest of all otters, and they live mostly in and along the Pantanal and Amazon River in South America. They have been listed as an endangered species since 1999, and the wild population is estimated to be below 5000.

Giant Otter

Photo: Shutterstock

21. Red-Eyed Tree Frog

One of the most recognizable rainforest animals, the red-eyed tree frog. They live in various rainforests ranging from Colombia to Central America. 

Red-Eyed Tree Frog

Photo: Shutterstock

22. Giant Anteater

If you like to watch nature documentaries you’ve probably seen this fascinating animal. The Giant Anteater is like a vacuum cleaner when it comes to eating ants and termites. 

They munch on them all day long and can eat up to 35,000 ants and termites in a single day. 

Giant Anteater

Photo: Shutterstock

23. Caiman

One of the scariest rainforest animals, lurking in the waters of the Amazon river. They are close relatives to the alligator, and obviously to the crocodile as well, even though it’s smaller than both of them. 

There are six different species of caiman, and they range from 2 to 2.5 meters long (6.6 to 8.2 ft).

Caiman

Photo: Shutterstock

24. Hummingbird

Hummingbirds are native to the Americas, and they are known for their humming sound when they flap their wings. The hummingbird is one of the smallest birds, and there are various types of species of hummingbirds in different colors and sizes. 

Hummingbird

Photo: Shutterstock

25. Proboscis Monkey

This monkey is endemic to Borneo and co-exists with the orangutan.

The Proboscis monkey is also known as the long-nosed monkey due to its “abnormally” long and big nose. The bigger the better as the females find the males more attractive.

Proboscis Monkey

Photo: Shutterstock

Facts about Rainforest Animals

Rainforests can be found in every continent, except Antartica, and they are home to more than half of the animal species in the world.

Many of these have adapted to the harsh living conditions of the rainforests through centuries. And until humans started to destroy their habitat and kill or catch them, they have thrived and developed beautiful characteristics and fascinating skills.

Some of the most amazing and unique animals in the world can be found in the rainforests. Nowadays, only 6% of the land area on our planet consists of rainforests. That number used to be 14% before deforestation began.

Biologists estimate that there are around 5 million animal species, including insects that live in the rainforests. 

Other Rainforest Animals

One of the most interesting facts about the rainforest is the fact that there is an abundance of animal species living there. In addition to the 25 Rainforest animals above, here are some other animals living in the rainforests.

Piranha Brazilian Wandering Spider
Goliath Bird-eating spider Ocelot
Mata-Mata (Turtle) Emperor Tamarin
Monarch Butterfly Toucan
Spider Monkey Harpy Eagle
Tapir Boa Constrictor
Large Flying Fox Paiche (fish)
Green Iguana Peanut Head Bug
Amazonian giant centipede Flannel Moth Caterpillar
Rhinoceros Beetle Tarantula

Photos of some of the other Animals in the Rainforest

Emperor Tamarin

Did you know that these are named after their resemblance to the German emperor Wilhelm II? Their “mustache” is definitely fascinating, and they are one of the most beautiful animals in the rainforest. 

Emperor tamarin

Photo: Shutterstock

Piranha

This “monster” fish has been featured in various movies, and they are known for their sharp teeth and appetite. 

Piranha

Photo: Shutterstock

Brazilian Wandering Spider

If you don’t like spiders, be wary of this one. The Brazilian Wandering Spider bits more people than any other spider in the world. It will likely not be life-threatening though, but it will hurt for sure. 

Brazilian wandering spider

Photo: Shutterstock

Toucan

Perhaps the most famous bird living in the rainforest beside the macaws. 

Toucan - rainforest bird

Photo: Shutterstock

Common threats to rainforest animals

  • Deforestation
  • Loss of habitat
  • Poaching
  • Conflicts with humans resulting in killing the animal
  • Illegal pet trade

How you can help the animals living in the rainforests

  • Support a reputable organization that helps protect their habitat
  • Raise awareness of what is happening to the rainforest animals
  • Stop purchasing products that are causing deforestation
rainforest animals habitat

Photo: Shutterstock


Which are your favorite rainforest animals? Leave a comment below!

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Doey Gordon

Wednesday 7th of October 2020

Your photographs are breathtaking! They make you feel as though you have entered a rainforest and are seeing very rare sights of remarkable animals who make their home there. Just beautiful! Thank you!