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Amazon Rainforest Animals

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Rainforest toucan

The Amazon Rainforest is home to more than 10,000 species of mammals, with a great majority comprised by bats and rodents. Bats account for about 950 of the mammal species. The Amazon is the only place in the world where the three species of blood drinking vats are found as well as the only fish-eating bat.

More than 1,500 species of birds are found in the Amazon Rainforest, most are migrant birds on their way north or south.

Frogs outnumber the rest of the amphibians at more than 1,000 species. The brightly colored poison dart frog has the most powerful poison known to man, it can kill up to 100 men but it is harmless if left alone.

The Amazon River and its tributaries carry the most freshwater species of fish, 3,000, more than any other freshwater source in the world. The largest freshwater fish, the Arapaima, is found in the Amazon River as well as the flesh eating pirahna. See animals of the Amazon River.

Insects account for 90% of all the animal species in the Amazon. It has been reported that 1,300 species of butterflies live in the Tambopata National Park in Peru.

Scientists believe that perhaps 30% of all the world species of plants and animals are found in the Amazon rainforest.

Amazon Rainforest mammals

Monkey, Bearded SakiChiropotesThree of the four species of Bearded Sakis are recognized by IUCN as endangered. Sakis have a pronounced beard that extends from its jaw down to its chest, and is strongly pronounced in the males.
Monkey, Capuchin CebusExplorers in the 15th century found small monkeys who resembled Capuchin friars and named them capuchins. White-fronted capuchin,Ecuadorian capuchin,Shock-headed capuchin, Trinidad white-fronted capuchin, white-headed capuchin, Kaapori capuchin and Wedge-capped capuchin belong to the Cebus classification.
Monkey, Capuchin SapajusBlack-capped, brown or tufted capuchin, Guiana brown capuchin, Blond capuchin, Black-striped capuchin, Black capuchin and Golden-bellied capuchin belong to the Sapajus classification of Capuchin monkeys.
Monkey, Common Squirrel Saimiri sciureusSquirrel monkeys live in the tropical forests of Central and South America in the canopy layer. The common squirrel monkey is captured for the pet trade and for medical research.
Monkey, Common Woolly Lagothrix lagothrichaWoolly monkeys have coat colour variations including dark brown, red-brown, gray and olive. They have black faces, and the palms of their hands are a deep pink color. Their tails are long and thick and are strong enough to support their full body weight.They usually reside in high-elevation cloud forests, seasonally flooded rainforests and forests.
Monkey, Dusky Titi Callicebus molochTiti monkeys are small to medium-sized primates, typically about the size of a rabbit. Their color ranges from blackish, brown, grey to orange, red, or yellow and combinations of the colors.It rarely interacts with other primates. Bonding between male and female pairs is extremely strong. Once this relationship is established, partners remain very close to each other.
Monkey, Bolivian Squirrel Saimiri boliviensisThey live in groups of 40 to 50 members and may reach up to 200. This species has a large, widespread population with no current threats that would affect its population.
Monkey, Saki Pithesia monachusSakis are small-sized monkeys growing to an average lenght of 30 to 50 cm and weight up to 2 kg. They are diurnal animals and live in the trees of the Amazon rainforest. Saki monkies can jump long distances.
Monkey, Tamarin SaguinusDifferent tamarin species vary considerably in appearance, a mustache-like facial hairs is typical for many species. In captivity, tamarins can live for up to 18 years.
Monkey, Night or Owl AotusThese primates live near the canopies of deciduous forests,have big, brown eyes and therefore have increased ability to be active at night. Their ears are rather difficult to see, and their genus name, “Aotus,” means “earless” because of this.
Monkey, Pygmy Marmoset Cebuella pygmaeaPygmy marmosets live 11–12 years in the wild and over 20 years in captivity. It is one of the smallest primates, and the smallest monkey. Its body length range from 14 to 16 centimetres (5.5 to 6.3 in) (excluding the 15-to-20-centimetre (5.9 to 7.9 in) tail). Males weigh around 140 grams (4.9 oz), and females only 120 grams (4.2 oz).
Monkey, SpiderAtelesThe genus contains seven species, all of which are under threat; the black-headed spider monkey and brown spider monkey are critically endangered. Spider monkeys are among the largest New World monkeys.
Monkey, Red Handed HowlerAlouatta belzebulis a vulnerable species of howler monkey. dense forest separated by drier areas. These animals can live up to 20 years
Monkey, Black HowlerAlouatta carayaOnly the adult male is black; adult females and juveniles of both genders are overall whitish to yellowish-buff. Some adult have patches of reddish-brown fur. These monkeys sleep or rest up to 70% of the day, making it one of the least active monkeys in the New World. Black howlers are folivorous, eating mostly leaves.
Capibara RodentHydrochaeris hydrochaerisThe capibara is the largest extant rodent in the world. It inhabits savannas and dense forests and lives near bodies of water. It is a highly social species and can be found in groups as large as 100 individuals, but usually lives in groups of 10–20 individuals. It is not a threatened species, though it is hunted for its meat and skin.
Dolphin, Grey River (Tucuxi)Sotalia fluviatilisThe tucuxi looks like a bottlenose dolphin with dark gray to light gray coloration but much smaller in size. It is locally known as bufeo gris or bufeo negro. On average a tucuxi grows between three to five feet long and their weight range is between 95 to 120 pounds. Their diet consists mainly of fish.
Dolphin, Pink River Inia geoffrensisThe average pink dolphin is 8.25ft to 9.75ft long (2.5 to 3 meters) and weights 200lbs (90 kilos).They are very rarely seen and are found only in the Amazonian rivers around Iquitos. Their pink color is due to blood capillaries near its skin and unlike other dolphins they have a hump instead of a fin and a long bottle nose snout instead of a short one.
AgoutyDasyprocta fuliginosaThis rodent is related to guinea pigs and looks quite similar, but are larger and have longer legs. Agoutis may grow to be up to 60 centimetres (24 in) in length and 4 kilograms (8.8 lb) in weight. Most species are brown on the back and whitish or buffy on the belly.
AcouchiesMyoproctaAcouchies are commonly called tailed agoutis
Mountain PacaCuniculus taczanowskiiThis rodent lives in the high altitude South American forests. Pacas are nocturnal, sedentary, and solitary animals with territorial tendencies. It eats mostly fruits and seeds. The mountain paca is hunted for its meat, which is high in calories and is considered a delicacy particularly in rural communities.
Lowland PacaCuniculus pacaThey are also known as spotted paca, they are mostly nocturnal and solitary and do not vocalize very much. They live in forested habitats near water, preferably in the smaller rivers of the Amazon basin.
Spiny RatEchimyidaeMost species have stiff pointed hairs, or spines, that serve for protection from predators. They can break off their tails when attacked to confuse predators but their tails do not regenerate.
Painted tree-ratCallistomys pictusWith a total length of ca. 30 cm (12 in), it is a relatively large species of spiny rat. They can be found living in cocoa plantations in the Amazon rainforest.
Yellow-crowned Brush-tailed Tree RatIsothrix bistriataThey are nocturnal and arboreal animals found in lowland evergreen rainforest. This species is difficult to observe and little of them is known. They reach an average length of 24 to 27.5 cm (9.5 – 10.8 in) and weight of 320 – 570 g (11 – 20 oz).
Amazon Bamboo RatDactylomys dactylinusThe Amazon bamboo rat is nocturnal, emitting its shrill cry throughout the night. Because they live in dense rainforest vegetation they are difficult to observe and not much is known about its habits.
Amazon Dwarf SquirrelMicrosciurus flaviventerThis rodent is a small chipmunk-size tree squirrel. It is diurnal and arboreal, they use all levels of the forest, from ground level to the canopy.
Bicolor-spined PorcupineCoendou bicolorIts body is covered with dense spines, pale yellow at the base and black-tipped, and significantly darker on the midback. It is slow moving but can climb swiftly.
Collared PeccaryTayassu tajacuA peccary is a medium-sized animal, with a strong resemblance to pigs. They are known as javelina.
White Lipped PeccaryTayassu pecariWhite-lipped peccaries have a scent gland on their back, which emits a scent making a strong bond between members of the herd.The White-lipped peccary is listed as near threatened by the IUCN.
Three-Toed SlothBradypusThere are four living species of three-toed sloths. Pale-throated (Bradypus tridactylus), Brown-throated(Bradypus variegatus), Maned(Bradypus torquatus) and Pygmy(pygmaeus). They are very similar to the somewhat larger and faster two-toed cousins. They usually eat, sleep, and even give birth hanging from limbs. They sometimes remain hanging from branches after death.
Two-toed sloth ()Choloepus hoffmanni and Choloepus didactylusThe difference between the two families of two-toed sloths (Linnaeus's and Hoffmann's) is in their chromosomes. Two-toed sloths and are larger than their three-toed cousins. Two-toed sloths are generally faster moving than three-toed sloths.
OcelotLeopardus pardalisAlso known as the dwarf leopard. The ocelot is a wild cat similar in appearance to a domestic cat. Its fur resembles that of a clouded leopard or jaguar. The ocelot legth ranges from 68 to 100 centimetres (27 to 39 in) in length, plus 26 to 45 centimeters (10 to 18 in) in tail length, and typically weighs 8 to 18 kilograms (18 to 40 lb).
Giant River OtterPteronura brasiliensisIt is the longest member of the Mustelidae, or weasel family, a globally successful group of predators, reaching up to 1.7m (5.6 ft). It lives mostly in and along the Amazon River, It is the noisiest otter species.
Giant AnteaterMyrmecophaga tridactylaIt is one of four living species of anteater also known as ant bear. This is a large insectivorous mammal that can be found in multiple habitats including grassland and rainforest. It forages in open areas and rests in more forested habitats. It feeds primarily on ants and termites.
Silky AnteaterCyclopes didactylusSilky anteaters are the smallest living anteaters, and also have a proportionately shorter face and larger cranium than other species. Adults have a total length ranging from 360 to 450 millimetres (14 to 18 in), including a tail 17 to 24 centimetres (6.7 to 9.4 in) long, and weigh from 175 to 400 grams (6.2 to 14 oz).
Collar Anteater or Southern TamanduaTamandua tetradactylaIt is a solitary animal, that feeds on ants, termites and bees. Their habitats are found near streams and rivers of the Amazon basin.
Marsh DeerBlastocerus dichotomus It is the largest deer species from South America reaching a length of 2 m (6.6 ft) and a height of 1.2 m (3.9 ft) at the rump. It is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. Formerly found through all of tropical South America today it is reduced to small isolated populations in the Amazonian region of Peru where it is protected in Bahuaja-Sonehe National Park. It is listed as a vulnerable species.
JaguarPanthera oncaThe jaguar is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere.The jaguar is a near threatened species and its numbers are declining.
Amazonian ManateeTrichechus inunguisThis mammal lives in the freshwater habitats of the Amazon Basin. An almost unique feature (amongst mammals) of the manatee is the constant replacement of molar teeth; new teeth enter at the back of the jaw and replace old and worn teeth at the front.
Kinkajo or Honey BearPotos flavusThe kinkajo is an arboreal mammal that is seldom seen by people because of its strict nocturnal habits. It is not an endangered species. They are in high demand as they are hunted for their fur (to make wallets and horse saddles) and for their meat.
MargayLeopardus wiediiThe spotted wild cat is a solitary and nocturnal animal that prefers remote sections of the rainforest.They are hunted mainly for their fur and this has resulted in a large population decrease.
Nine-banded ArmadilloDasypus novemcinctusThe nine- banded armadillo is a medium-sized mammal and the most widespread of the armadillos. It is a solitary, mainly nocturnal animal and are typically hunted for their meat, which is said to taste like pork.
Northern Amazon Red SquirrelSciurus igniventrisA rodent family of squirrel species of South America, this species live in the Amazon rainforest.
Red Brocket DeerMazama americanaThis is the most widespread species of brocket. Its body is reddish-brown in color, with a lighter grayish-brown head and neck, and partially blackish legs
TayraEira barbaraTayras have an appearance similar to weasels and martens, growing to a size of about 60 cm, not including a 45 cm long tail. Tayras grow to weigh around 5 kilograms (11 pounds), ranging from 2.7 to 7.5 kg (6-16.5 pounds). Tayras feed mainly on rodents, but also consume carrion, other small mammals, reptiles, birds and fruits.
South American CoatiNasua nasuaDiurnal mammals that live both on the ground and in trees and primarily eat fruit, invertebrates, other small animals and bird's eggs. Coatis search for fruit in trees high in the canopy, and use their snouts to poke through crevices to find animal preys on the ground. The South American coati has 13 recognized subspecies.
Brazilian TapirTapirus terrestrisThe Brazilian tapir is one of four species in the tapir family. Its habitat is near water in the Amazon Rainforest and River Basin in South America, east of the Andes. It is recognized as an endangered animal species.
Scientists estimate that there are over 950 types of bats in the Amazon, the most diverse mammal group of the Amazon rainforest. It is estimated that they represent over 50% of all mammal species. Several families of bats are more prominent than others, each of species is different having its own habitat and food. The following are the most representative and interesting bat species in the Amazon rainforest.
Greater Fisherman or Bulldog BatNoctilio leporinusThe only bat-eating fish. This bat skims the surface of water and catches fish in its claws. They can catch between 20 and 30 fish in one night but they also feed on insects. They can live to 20 years, which is a longer lifespan than many other types of bats.
Common Vampire VatDesmodus rotundusOnly three bat species feed solely on blood. The vampire bat lands on its prey without being detected and feeds on its blood, but it doesn't suck. Instead, it lands on a mammal's skin and uses its razor-sharp teeth to gouge a section large enough to draw blood, which it proceeds to lap up. The mammal's blood will not clot due to the coagulants in the bat's saliva.
Hairy-Legged Vampire batDiphylla ecaudataDespite the common conception of vampires feeding only on mammals, this species mainly feeds on the blood of birds. It also has good sight, but poor echolocation. It is often found in caves with the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus), but it is a solitary bat and does not form groups like Desmodus.
White-Winged Vampire BatDiaemus youngiThey seem to prefer the blood of birds to that of mammals,not as agile on the ground as the common vampire bat, they are quite proficient at climbing branches. White-winged vampires are much more docile than common vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus) and are also extremely vocal.
Short-Tailed, Leaf-Nosed BatsPhyllostomidaeThey are ecologically the most varied and diverse family of bats. Though they prefer dark caves like other bats, they have also been known to make homes in the open along trees and shrubs. Their diet consists of flying insects, tropical fruit and foliage. Their average lifespan is 2.5 years but some are known to live up to 10 years.
Tent-Making BatUroderma bilobatumIts face is characterized by a fleshy noseleaf and four white stripes it covers itself ("tents" itself) with a leaf when it sleeps during the day. These leaves serve as their habitats, though when the right one is not available, they make roosts in caves or trees. Tent-making bats eat insects, fruit and nectar.
Dwarf little fruit batsRhinophylla pumilioThey are widespread, and generally present in large numbers where they are found. Dwarf little fruit bats are exclusively herbivorous, eating a wide range of fruits.

Amazon Rainforest Reptiles

Most of the world’s reptiles are found in tropical rainforest. There are 370 known species of reptiles in the Amazon Rainforest with potential for many more species yet to be discovered. Reptiles are cold-blooded animals unable to regulate their body temperature. Two main characteristics distinguish reptiles, their bodies are covered with scales and they are able to lay hard-shelled eggs. Reptiles in the Amazon include turtles, tortoises, lizards, snakes and caimans. Among the most impressive is the green anaconda, the largest and heaviest species of snakes in the world.

Black CaimanMelanosuchus nigerThe Black caiman has dark-colored, scaly skin that helps camouflage during its night hunts and also helps absorb heat. Once common, it was hunted to near extinction primarily for its commercially valuable hide. It is now listed as Conservation Dependent
Spectacled (White) CaimanCaiman crocodilusThe white caiman is a small to mid-sized crocodilian and can tolerate salt water as well as fresh. Caimans eat a variety of invertebrates such as insects, crustaceans, and mollusks. The larger caimans will eat fish and water snails.
Smooth-fronted CaimanPaleosuchus trigonatusKnown as Schneider's Dwarf Caiman, they are small in comparison with other crocodilians and live in shallower forest streams in the Amazon Rainforest.
Dwarf CaimanPaleosuchus palpebrosusKnown as Cuvier's Dwarf caiman, this species is more tolerant of cooler water conditions. It is the smallest species of crocodilian and caiman families.
Amazon Mata-mataChelus fimbriatusThe mata mata is a large sedentary turtle that has a large triangular flattened head, brown or black oblong carapace that can measure up to 45 cm (18 in) at adult age. The head, neck, tail, and limbs are grayish brown on adults.
White-lipped Mud TurtleKinosternon leucostomumThis species has an oval black or dark brown carapace that is slightly flattened on the top.They are generally found in quiet peaceful areas in marshes, lagoons, swamps and ponds that have dense aquatic vegetation and soft sandy bottom.
Giant Amazonian River TurtlePodocnemis expansaAlso known as the Charapa turtle or Arrau turtle. It is the largest of the side-neck turtles, adults often reach 1 m in length. Females have wide flattened shells and are larger and more numerous than the males. Adult Arraus feed entirely on plants.
Yellow-spotted Amazon River TurtlePodocnemis unifilisYellow spots on the side of its head give this species its common name. These spots are most prominent in juveniles and fade with age. Females can be up to twice the size of males.
Big-headed Amazon River TurtlePeltocephalus dumerilianusThe big-headed Amazon river turtle has a grey-brown to black carapace. The carapace scutes of young adults are marked with growth rings but those of older turtles often dissapear.
Common Rainbow BoaEpicrates cenchriaThe raibow boa is known for its attractive irridescent sheen caused by structural coloration.
Green AnacondaEunectes murinusIt is a nonvenomous boa species found in the Amazon Rainforest. It is the heaviest and one of the world's longest snakes, reaching more than 6.6 m (22 ft) long.
Amazon TreeboaCorallus hortulanusThis is a non-venomous boa species. Adults grow to an average of 5 and 6.5 feet (1.5–2 m) in length. These animals are notorious for being very aggressive, they have very long needle-like teeth which makes their bite quite painful.
Emerald BoaCorallus caninusThe emerald boa is a non-venomous boa species. Its color typically consists of an emerald green ground color with a white irregular interrupted zigzag stripe or so-called 'lightning bolts'.
Boa ConstrictorBoa Constrictor ConstrictorIt is also known as the "red-tailed boa". Their color varies with location, they are generally a brown, grey or cream base color, patterned with brown or reddish brown "saddles" that become more pronounced towards the tail. They can reach lengths of anywhere from 3–13 feet (0.91–4.0 m) coloring of Boa constrictors can vary greatly depending on the locality. However, It is this coloring that gives Boa constrictor constrictor the common name of "red-tailed boa", as it typically has more red saddles than other Boa constrictor subspecies. The coloring works as very effective as camouflage.

Amazon Rainforest Amphibians

Frogs are the most abundant amphibian in the Amazon Rainforest. There are more than 1,000 species of frogs. Amphibians require water to breed; their eggs are enveloped in a gelatinous substance that must remain moist. Their eggs do not have hard shells like reptiles’. Once the eggs hatch they release a larva that metamorphoses into adult.

Monkey Frog or Giant Leaf FrogPhyllomedusa bicolorMonkey frogs are about 9 - 12 cm long. Females are bigger than the males. They produce a waxy secretion that may have medicinal uses, this secretion is a poisonous substance which they spread over their skin to scare predators.
Glass FrogCentrolenidaeMost glass frogs are primarily lime green but the abdominal skin of some members of this family is translucent. The internal viscera, including the heart, liver, and gastrointestinal tract are visible through this translucent skin.
Poison Dart FrogDendrobatidaeMost species of poison dart frogs are small, sometimes less than 1.5 centimetres (0.59 in) in adult length, although a few grow up to 6 centimetres (2.4 in) in length. These species are diurnal and often have brightly colored bodies which is associated with their toxicity and levels of alkaloids. Although all wild dendrobatids are at least somewhat toxic, levels of toxicity vary considerably from one species to the next and from one population to another. Many species are threatened.
Nobles Pygmy FrogNoblella pygmaeaThe smallest frog yet known from the Andes, and one of the smallest amphibians known anywhere in the world. Females only lay 2 eggs - Hatch as froglets, not tadpoles. Females measure less than half an inch (12.5 mm), whereas males are just a bit longer than 1 cm.


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