Enshrouded under the clouds in thick blankets of green, the rainforest is a rich ecosystem that consists of more than half of the Earth’s unique and interesting species of animals. From clear marvel creatures such as glass frogs to powerful jaguars, a rainforest is the hub of diversity that will never give you a dull moment of your life.
If you love animals and are ready for adventure, a rainforest is the perfect place to explore. But to give you an idea of what to expect when you visit one, we’ve covered wildlife in rainforests in this article.
So, without any further delay, grab your hat with a pack of snacks, and let’s take a peek into the top 10 animals you can find in the rainforest, in no particular order (because who needs order in the deep wild forest, right?)
Top Animals Found in the Rainforests
1. Glass Frog
Glass frog is the perfect example of transparency and clarity in nature. These tiny creatures have a bright lime-green color and see-through skin. Yes, you read that right! These frogs possess a glass-like body with which you can view their organs without a microscope. Sounds like a great animal for your biology experiment class. These cute frogs live in the humid rainforests of South and Central America and can grow up to no more than 25 millimeters.
But don’t get fooled by these unique breathing glasses as they are carnivorous in nature and feed on small insects such as ants, flies, and cricket. Unlike other frogs who lay eggs in water, these frogs lay eggs on the underside of the leaves.
2. Poison Dart Frog
Among the list of our top ten animals that you can find in the rainforest is the poison dart frog. These amphibians are the toxic counterparts of regular frogs. Crowned to be the jewels of the rainforest, these frogs are brightly colored in nature. These pretty critters carry a warning sign on them saying, “Touch me once, and you are dead!”.
They have lethal skin, naturally coated with poison as a self-defense mechanism against predators. The interesting thing about these frogs is that they are immune to their toxic poison. So, in case you wish to grab and kiss them like a fairy tale princess, just be careful and admire them from a safe distance.
Poison dart frogs have more than 170 species and can grow between 1.5cm to 6cm in size. Their diet consists of ants, termites, and other invertebrates.
3. Banana Slug
If you happen to see a banana peel on the ground somewhere in the forest, try not to throw it away, for it might be the banana slug. The banana slug lives in the temperate rainforest or conifer forest. These mollusks are the epitome of laziness, earning them the title of being the slowest creatures on the planet. With their bright yellow color and unusual appearance, these slugs may not be the most attractive animals, but they are quite resourceful in the rainforest.
Banana slugs are herbivores, and their diet includes leaves, fungi, and fecal matter, which makes them act as a decomposer for the soil of the forest. Hence, these slugs are not that useless after all. The coolest fact about them is that they can measure up to 10 cm large in size, which again entitles them to be the largest slugs in the world. Earning two grand titles of the world, now that is an achievement!
4. Australian False Vampire Bat
Australian false vampire bats, also known as ghost bats, live in the rainforests of Australia. Ironic to its name, these bats are a laughing stock for their other relative bats. Having an uncanny resemblance with a vampire bat, including sharp teeth and claws, these bats are, in fact, harmless, so they will not suck your blood out as they consider humans to be a threat. Feeling relieved?
These bats live in moist, dark places such as caves or hollow trees. They stay in groups where 20-30 bats live together like a family. Although these bats are carnivorous and consume fish, lizards, frogs, and birds as their food, the most intriguing fact that makes these bats stand out from the crowd is that they eat fruits. Yes! You can consider these bats to be quite health-conscious.
5. Howler Monkey
Another animal that makes it to this list is the howler monkey. These mammals are the loudest residents in the rainforest. Their high-pitched howling sounds can be heard even from 4.8 miles away. Howlers are usually black, brown, or even red- hairy skinned.
They are herbivores in nature and feed on nuts, fruits, and flowers. Howler monkeys live on the upper branches of trees in large social groups consisting of 5-16 mammals. They have a prehensile tail that helps them grab the tree branches while swinging or eating food.
6. Pink River Dolphin
Dolphin, which is pink in color, sounds quite fascinating, right? Well, these wonderful marvels of nature are found in the rivers of the Amazon. Pink river dolphins are also called “botos” and are considered to be mythical creatures in South American folklore. Measuring up to 9 feet and having the largest brain in the fish world, these dolphins undoubtedly make a great competitor to human intellect.
These dolphins usually live alone and are rarely in groups. The reason for hitting them on our top 10 animals in the rainforest list is their attractive and transforming pink color. As babies, they are born with a gray hue. However, with time, their color changes into pink when they grow up. The coolest factor about these pretty delicate animals is that they blush too. It is purely natural. Sweet right? These cute dolphins are quite sociable as well. So, if you happen to see one, don’t forget to say hi and play with them.
Anacondas are basically Arnold Schwarzeneggers of the rainforests. The Green Anacondas are the largest snakes in the world, growing up to 30 feet and weighing over 500 pounds. They live in the murky swamps and marshes under the water, which makes these giants excellent swimmers.
They are not venomous, unlike other snakes. Instead, they use their strong muscles to constrict their prey and swallow it whole. Anacondas do not lay eggs but give birth to live little snakes. If you are really eager to see these nature’s bodybuilders, prepare yourself for an intense workout.
Jaguars are the rulers of the rainforest. These majestic cats reside in the Amazon rainforest and the wetlands of Brazil. Jaguars rank as the third largest cat in the world. Wearing shades of yellow with black and tan spots on the body, these cats weigh up to 160 kilograms. That sure is quite heavy!
These cats are the feline version of Aquaman, as they are confident swimmers and expert climbers. So, don’t try to outrun them in any way because they will catch you easily. Possessing the instincts of a killer, these cats are carnivorous and hunt basically anything meaty, like monkeys, deer, tortoises, fish, etc. Not a picky eater actually! A bizarre fact about these powerful cats is their ability to mate since they can mate up to 100 times a day with their partners.
Toucans are the human version of “party lovers” in bird form. These vibrant-looking birds are the heart and soul of the rainforest. They prefer to stay in warm places with a lot of rainfall. Their beak (bill) is the most interesting part, which makes toucans the center of attention. They are omnivorous and can eat small birds, lizards, berries, and insects. One surprising fact about these birds is that they are not good at flying like other birds.
If you wish to have a quiet moment with yourself, visiting them might not be a great idea as they will ruin your peaceful time with their noisy attitude. So remember to put your earplugs in your backpack.
10. Orange Albatross Butterfly
Last but not the least, the animal which ends this list is the orange albatross butterfly. These intricate butterflies are the fashion icons of the insect world. Their beautiful bright orange color with black and white patterns makes them the ultimate divas and role models for other butterflies to envy.
But don’t get carried away by their innocence and sparkling appearance as they fly at lightning speed and often move in huge groups. So, if you find a chance to see any, try not to scare it off.
What’s So Fascinating About Rainforests
Rainforests are crucial for Earth’s survival. The ability of these plants to absorb greenhouse gases from the environment makes them one of our finest natural defences against climate change. Rainforests also provide a multitude of living beings with access to food, water, medicine, shelter, and air.
Not only do they control global temperatures, but they also control local microclimates, lower Earth’s reflectivity, and stabilise wind, rain, and ocean current patterns. Climate experts found that natural climate solutions, such as forest protection and restoration and sustainable agriculture, might supply more than one-third of the global climate mitigation to stabilise warming to below 2 °C.
Here’s why rainforests are so fascinating:
- Tropical forests emit more carbon than they absorb.
- More than half of the planet’s terrestrial animal species live in tropical rainforests, even though they cover just 3% of the planet’s surface.
- The limited amount of fresh water on Earth is maintained in large part by rainforests.
- Some of the most significant, life-saving medicines in the world are made from plants found in rainforests.
- At least 250 cm of rain falls on rainforests each year. Sometimes, it measures 450 cm, almost twice as much.
- The Amazon rainforest in South America is so large that it would rank ninth in the world if it were a nation.
- Over 80% of the flowers in the Australian rainforests are unique to that region.
Rainforest is home to an incredible array of animals, each with bizarre and interesting personalities and traits. From the clarity of the glass frogs to the show stoppers orange albatross butterfly, there is always something in it for everyone to admire. In this article, we have listed down the top animals in the rainforest so that you can get the chance to view and appreciate the natural wonders of the world when you go on your wild adventure.