The Amazon rainforest has been a huge source of oxygen for the whole world. Unfortunately in the recent past, there are instances which have reduced the greenery of the Amazon forest. There are multiple reasons which have led to this situation. The very first reason is deforestation. The Amazon rainforest suffers a massive amount of deforestation every year. Due to this reason, some of the Amazon rainforest animals are on the verge of extinction. The second reason is global warming which has affected the entire world. Apart from these two, there are instances of a wildfire breaking into the Amazon.
In the recent past, there have been two major incidents where you will get to see that a certain part of the Amazon forest has burnt down to ashes. These incidents have led to the death of various Amazon rainforest animals and plants. The Amazon forest has always been one of the major bio-diverse repositories for plants and animals. This rainforest covers an area of 55,00,000 square kilometers which stretches from Brazil to Peru, Columbia, Ecuador, and some other South American countries.
Amazon Rainforest Animals List
The Amazon rainforest is an enormous area of land which homes lots of animal, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects. There hundreds of animal species in the Amazon and you can experience their true beauty if you ever go for a jungle safari at any stretch of the Amazon rainforest. In Peru, Amazon rainforest covers a minimum of 60% of the country. Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest animals sum up to more than that of animal species available in Canada and the US combined. A minimum of 70,000 insect species can be found in per-acre land of the Amazon forest. As much as 40% of South America is covered by the Amazon forest. Here is a list of things you can find in the Amazon.
- More than 425 species of mammals
- Around 1300 bird species
- 5500 + species of fishes
- More 1000 species of amphibians
- At least 40,000 types of plants and trees
- More than 400 species of reptiles
Amazon Rainforest Animals
Here is a list of animals that were found in abundance in the Amazon rainforest:
Measuring up to a size of 4 feet, the Capybara is the largest rodent in the world. It is only found in the Brazilian part of the Amazon forest. Generally, a Capybara weighs up to 140 pounds and can eat up 8 pounds of grass in a day. The name Capybara is derived from a native language Tupi. The people who inhabited the coastal region of Brazil named these rodents Capybara which means grass eater in Tupi. Normally a female Capybara is a bit bigger and weighs little more than a male Capybara.
Capybaras like to stay near the waters and can be easily sighted in swampy areas, near rivers and lakes. In the rainforest animals list, Capybaras are the most social mammals. They are often found in a group of 10 to 30. During the dry seasons, don’t be amazed if you see a group of 100 or more Capybara. This is done for protection during those days. If you ever opt for an Amazon River cruise, you can see them resting near the river banks.
The biggest members of the cat family found in South America are the Jaguars. The Jaguars have a stronghold in the Amazon rainforest and this happens to be the only area where you can find them in abundance. Although, the number of jaguars found in the rainforest area is decreasing drastically for several reasons. Firstly, the increase in the amount of illegal hunting is a prominent reason. Secondly, loss of habitat due to deforestation and fire accidents has added up to the cause.
A current survey on jaguar Amazon rainforest has reported that only 6000 of them can be found in the entire area. It is pretty much evident that sooner or later they will become extinct. Jaguars are known for their hunting, climbing and swimming skills. It is difficult to locate a jaguar in the jungle due to the dense canopy found in the Amazon area.
3. Mountain Gorillas
The mountain gorillas are the closest relatives of humans just like the orangutans, bonobos and chimpanzees. They are the largest living primate on earth but almost at the verge of extinct. Among the family of chimpanzee, bonobo, orangutan and mountain gorilla, the gorillas have the most developed brain. You can locate a mountain gorilla in Central Africa, Uganda and the national park of Rwanda. Generally, mountain gorillas can be found in a group of 30 members. They have a male leader who leads the troop and is called silverback. This is due to the silver color found in the coat of the leader.
Another member of the cat family which can be found in huge numbers among the Amazon rainforest animals is the ocelot. They are the3rd largest member of the cat family after Jaguar and Puma. You can locate an Ocelot at night when they are out for hunting fishes, small mammals, and birds. During the day, Ocelots tend to sleep or rest on the trees. On average, a minimum of 150 Ocelots can be found per 62 square miles of the Yasuni National Park in Amazonian Ecuador. Ocelots are quite similar to large domestic cats and have golden fun with spots. They are also called the dwarf leopard for their similarity in fur with leopards.
5. Squirrel Monkey
Travelling through the Amazon basin, you can locate multiple Squirrel monkeys. These monkeys are named as squirrel monkeys because they are small in size and agile. The squirrel monkeys spend most of their life on trees and feed on insects, fruits, etc. A squirrel monkey weighs around 1.8 pounds to 2.4 pounds and the size is limited to 14 inches only. This species of monkey cannot use their tail to climb trees like other monkeys.
They have yellow-ochre fur on their back and other parts of the body while short grey fur on their head and shoulders. The squirrel monkey has white and black fur on their face as well. The Germans have named them Totenkopfaffen which means Death’s Head Monkey. This is because of their look which indistinctly resembles a skeleton.
Amazon Rainforest Birds
Here is a list of the beautiful birds that Amazon Forest has always been proud of:
1. Hyacinth Macaw
To measure a parrot by length, you must visit the Amazon rainforest area. Here you will get to see the Hyacinth Macaw which measures 3.3 feet from the head t the tail. The word Hyacinth refers to the color of the feather which is blue with tints of yellow on the feathers and head. You can see a Hyacinth Macaw soaring in the Amazon forest sky along with the Blue-Throated and Scarlet Macaw. Generally, these macaws feed on the Amazon rainforest plants, nuts and fruits. This species of macaw is currently endangered due to illegal trading.
2. Harpy Eagles
Heavily found in the Amazon jungles and Central America, the Harpy Eagles are the most beautiful raptors. Deforestation for land development, loss of habitat due to clearing large swaths is some of the reasons why the Harpy Eagles are under threat. These eagles weigh around 20 pounds and are sexually dimorphic. The female counterparts are normally double in size and weight when compared to the male Harpy Eagles.
The Hoatzins are also called the punk-rock bird or the Canje Pheasant. This is due to the Mohawk like crest they have. The Hoatzins are genetically enigmatic and have evolved with other species in recent years. Hoatzin has claws on their wing digits and is informally known as Stink bird. The name is so because of the odor which is similar to manure. The odor comes from their unique digestive system. Besides, the noises they make are pretty odd and can frighten you at night. The noises normally include hisses, various groans and croaks. These noises develop along with their body movements.
4. King Vulture
The most beautiful birds found among the Amazon rainforest animals are the King Vulture. A king Vulture measures up to 32 inches with a wingspan of 4 to 7 feet. These vultures are the second largest in the world after the Condors. According to ancient Mayan history, legends considered King Vultures as the messenger between the god and humans. The King Vultures have a white body with a long black feather on their tail and wings. The most beautiful part of their body is their head and neck. The head and neck have no feather on them. The head is covered with skin which has red and purple shades while the throat has shades of yellow and orange on the neck.
5. Toco Toucan
Out of the seven species of Toucan found on earth, the Toco toucan is the largest one. You can see a couple of Toco Toucan in the Amazon rainforest region. These colorful birds have a black body, white face and rings of blue and yellow around the skin of the eyes. The bill of this species of Toucan is the most striking feature they possess. It is a mixture of yellow and orange. The bill measures around 6 to 9 inches in size.
The total size of the bird is around 20 inches and this makes them look awkward when they fly across the sky. The toucans are omnivorous and feed on Amazon rainforest plants, fruits, insects, eggs of other bird and small reptiles. They are a species of sociable birds as they can be seen flying in groups during sunset.
Amazon Rainforest Reptiles and Amphibians
Here are some of the most common reptiles in the Amazon forest:
1. Green Anaconda
Found in great numbers in the Amazon region, this species of snakes is one of the longest and heaviest. They normally weigh around 70 to 150 pounds and the size is something between 14 to 16 feet. The Green Anacondas are robust but they are non-venomous too. They kill their prey by suffocating them and later on swallow them completely. The common preys of Green Anacondas are Tapir, Capybara, Jaguar, etc. The Green Anaconda is popularly known as the Water Boa as they spend most of their time near water.
2. Poison Dart Frog
These frogs are generally poisonous as the name suggests but they are not deadly. There are a total of 3 frog species which are deadly and among these 3, the golden poison arrow frog is the most dangerous. On the contrary, the poison dart frog is a beautiful creation of nature. This species of frog has an amazing feature which is aposematism. They have a countless number of color grades which include red, black, yellow, gold, green, blue and copper. This is called the aposematic coloration which is used to keep the predators away.
3. Peanut Head Bug
When looking for the Amazon rainforest animals, do look at the Peanut Head Bug. The other names of this bug are snake cicada, flying snake, lanternfly and alligator bug. It is one of the most mysterious creations on earth because it looks pretty weird. The head of the bug looks like an unshelled peanut and its scientific name is Fulgora Laternaria.
The head has a bulbous protuberance which pops out of it. The purpose of this protuberance is still unknown. It is considered that this shape is a mimic of a lizard which helps them escape from predators. The spots on the wings of this bug are similar to the eyes of an owl. Generally, this bug is harmless and defenseless but the native suggests a bite of the bug can be deadly.
4. Glass Frog
The skin of the glass frog is lime green in color which makes it translucent to human eyes. This, in turn, makes the internal parts visible to human eyes such as the heart, abdomen, liver, etc. it is like having an x-ray vision to see through their skin. The glass frogs stay in the water most of the time.
5. Jesus Lizard
The ability to run on waters though being a significant part of the Amazon rainforest animals, have let them get the name Jesus Lizard. When the catholic explorers got to know about this species of lizard, they related it to Jesus walking on water from the Gospel stories. These lizards can run on the surface of the water at a speed of 5 miles per hour. The maximum distance a Jesus Lizard can run in one go is 20 meters.
To conclude, the Amazon rainforest animals are the most beautiful creations but a lot of them are on the edge of extinction due to various reasons. The sudden outbreak of fire in these regions has damages the habitat of these creatures. Besides, deforestation for the land is a major cause for the loss of habitat.