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What kind of animals live in the Amazon Rainforest?
Many kind of animals inhabit the Amazon Rainforest. In fact, it is the forest that has one of the richest biodiversity in the world, with most of its species still unknown to the scientific world and even to the humanity.
List all species or appoint any number about the Amazon Rainforest animals would be an approximation, since new species are discovered all the time. However, we can certainly point out some animals that represents the Amazon fauna. Animals that only exist because of the forest, but that also has an important role in maintaining the Amazon ecosystem.
Animal with exuberant coat, the jaguar (onça pintada in Portuguese) is the largest feline in the Americas (3rd in the world) measuring up to 1.85 meters without count the tail. Its coat has a tawny yellow base color, covered with dark spots in the form of rosettes, creating an camouflage in the jungle.
They are solitary animals and inhabit the hollows of large fallen logs or grottos inside the forest. Can also be seem on trees where they soar to rest.
With great agility and one of the strongest bites among all animals, the jaguar is a first-class hunter and eats other mammals like tapir and paca.
It also has nocturnal habits, besides being a great jumper and swim very well. It can cross rivers over 1 km wide.
Brazilian Name: Onça pintada
Scientific Name: Panthera onca
The macaws (araras in Portuguese) are among the most beautiful animals of the Amazon fauna. One of the species with more occurrence in Brazilian Amazon Rainforest is the hyacinth macaw (arara azul in Portuguese), a beautiful bird that comes to measuring one meter long. It has a blue plumage with a yellow circle path around the eyes and also a yellow patch in the base of the beak. The blue macaws live in couples in the cops of the most leafy trees and feed primarily of the kernel of hard nuts and seeds. They can even crack coconuts with their strong beaks.
Macaws usually are seen in pairs or groups in the Amazon. The females lay their eggs in hollow trees. Incubation lasts about 30 days. Period in which the female will nearly not leave the nest and be fed by the male. After the baby macaws are born, usually two, they still stay in the nest for 3 months. The family life lasts up to a year and a half, when the pups begin to deviate from their parents.
The hyacinth macaw is an endangered specie.
Brazilian Name: Arara Azul
Scientific Name: Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus
Amazon river dolphin
The boto is an aquatic mammal, a freshwater river dolphin. The most known specie is the Amazon river dolphin or pink river dolphin (boto vermelho or boto cor-de-rosa in Portuguese), an animal that basically only exists in the Amazon forest rivers.
As the marine dolphins the Amazon river dolphin is quite docile and tourists can get close to them at the Amazon Rain forest jungle hotels or at inns in natives communities that develop the ecotourism.
Because of the Amazon folklore, the legends and myths about the boto, which has pieces of his body used as amulets, it is one more Amazon Rainforest animal threatened with extinction.
Brazilian Name: Boto vermelho
Scientific Name: Inia geoffrensis
Other aquatic mammal, the amazonian manatee (peixe-boi da Amazônia in Portuguese) is an animal that is found only in rivers and lakes of the Amazon basin. It is a big animal sometimes measuring almost 3 meters and weighing up to 450 kg. It can live more than 50 years.
Different from other manatee species, the amazonian manatee lives exclusively in freshwater. Its gray leather is thick and sturdy. And it can be visually distinguished from the other species by a white patch in the ventral region, present in almost all subjects, and the lack of nails in the pectoral fins. Furthermore it is smaller than their marine cousins.
Is threatened with extinction despite being protected by law in Brazil since the 1970s.
Brazilian Name: Peixe-boi da amazônia
Scientific Name: Trichechus inunguis
Considered one of the most developed reptiles, the black caiman (jacaré-açu in Portuguese) is a crocodilian that inhabits the rivers and lakes of the Amazon Rainforest. It is a big animal which can reach six meters long and nearly half of a ton in weight.
It is a top predator. The adults specimens who on average measure 3.5 meters and weighs over 300 Kg are able to prey any other animal of the Amazon Rainforest, including other top predators. However, their regular diet consists of fish, turtles, capybaras and deer.
The black caiman is black covered with some small yellow paths. Its eyes and nostrils are large and designed in such a way that it can keep the body submerged.
Reproduction occurs once a year and the females lay an average of 40 eggs. Reaching adulthood the black caiman can live up to eighty years.
Brazilian Name: Jacaré-açu
Scientific Name: Melanosuchus niger
Brazilian longest and world's heaviest snake, the green anaconda (sucuri-verde in Portuguese), often referred only as anaconda is an animal typical of the Amazon Rainforest, where it finds its ideal habit in rivers and wetlands. With small eyes and nostrils located on top of the head it can clearly see and breathe while moving in water without exposing its body. They are excellent swimmers.
In the Amazon forest this animal is 5 meters long, with records indicating that can reach over 11 meters. The females are usually larger than males.
The anaconda is not a venomous snake. It bites and curls up the body of its prey pressing it, causing the death by suffocation. Once dead, the prey is swallowed as a whole. The anaconda in the Amazon Rainforest usually eat alligators and capybaras, but may occasionally eat larger animals.
Brazilian Name: Sucuri-verde
Scientific Name: Eunectes murinus
Amazon Animals' Photos Credit
- Jaguar - Onça pintada - Panthera onca by Cburnett - CC BY-SA 3.0 - link
- Hyacinth Macaw - Arara Azul - Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus by Richard - CC BY 2.0 - link
- Amazon river dolphin - Boto vermelho - Inia geoffrensis by Zemlinki! - CC BY 2.0 - link
- Green Anaconda - Sucuri-verde - Eunectes murinus by Lutz Dirksen - Public Domain - link