Rainforest Animals

A vast majority of the world’s animals can be found in rainforests around the world. These forests on their part are true to their name, receiving a high amount of rainfall throughout the year, characterizing them by dense vegetation with trees reaching massive heights. The rainforest habitats can be divided into the tropical and temperate categories, found in South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, and North America.

Rainforest Animals

List of animals that live in the rainforest biome

What type of animals live in the tropical rainforests

Amazon Rainforest, South America

Scarlet macaw Red-eyed tree frog
Giant anteaters Amazon river dolphin
Two-toed sloth Squirrel monkey
Capuchin monkey Brown spider monkey
Pygmy marmoset Jaguarundi

Congo Rainforest, Africa

Moutain gorilla Okapi
African Leopard African civet
African forest elephant Bonobo

Daintree Rainforest, Australia

Cassowary Saltwater crocodile

Puerto Rico (El Yunque) Rainforest, North America

Puerto Rican parrot Common coquí

Southeast Asian (Indonesian) Rainforest

Bornean Orangutan Sumatran Rhinoceros
Asian palm civet Sumatran tiger

Philippine Rainforest, Asia

Giant Golden-Crowned Flying Fox Flame-crowned flowerpecker

Indian Rainforest, Asia

Indian Bison Lion-tailed macaque
Indian giant squirrel Big barn owl

What animals live in the temperate rainforests

Appalachian Rainforest, North America

Flatted muck turtle White-tailed deer

Valdivian Rainforest, South America

Kodkod Pudú

Layers of the rainforests

  • The emergent layer is the uppermost one, consisting of the tallest trees that outgrow the canopy.
  • The canopy is the next layer, where the biodiversity is the most. Large treetops are predominant in this layer.
  • The layer that follows is the understory.
  • The last layer of the rainforest is the forest floor, which gets the least amount of sunlight.

Animals of the rainforest emergent layer

Animals that live mostly in the emergent layer of rainforests are harpy eagles, macaws, capuchin monkeys, and sloths.

Animals of the canopy layer

Howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, green iguanas, two-toed sloths, and toco toucans are some of the animals that can be found in the canopy.

Animals of the understory

The layer under the canopy is teeming with animals like frogs, toads, snakes, and large mammals including red-eyed tree frogs, golden tree boas, greater bulldog bats, and jaguars.

Animals of the forest floor

The damp and dark forest floor is home to thousands of insects including a number of spiders and scorpions, while larger inhabitants like the tapir, giant anteaters, agouti, elephants are also there.

Rainforest Animal Image

Adaptations of the Rainforest Animals and Birds

  • Camouflage is an essential tool, and many animals, both predators, and preys use it to blend in with the dense forest backgrounds.
  • Due to a high level of competition in these forests, many animals have chosen a part of the day to be active, with some being completely sedentary during the daytime becoming busy only during the dark hours (nocturnal). Some may be at rest in the night and be active during the day (diurnal).
  • Nocturnal species have specially adapted eyes that help them see clearly in the darkness of the night, and also rather dark daytime hours as hardly any sunlight breaks through the upper level of trees to reach the understory and forest floor.
  • Many of the smaller animals, including insects, reptiles, and amphibians have bright coloring to warn their potential predators, as most often these creatures are poisonous. In the wild, including in rainforests, bright coloration is associated with toxicity.
  • Most primates living in rainforests have prehensile tails to aid them in climbing tall trees and locomote through the branches, especially in the emergent and canopy layers.

Food chain

The food chain in the rainforest follows the set pattern where vegetation is the primary producer. They are followed by the primary consumers who feed on grass, plants, fruits, and seeds. Herbivores like tapirs, monkeys, sloths, and toucans are some of the primary consumers. The secondary consumers follow, feeding on the primary consumers with jaguars, boa constrictors, anacondas and other carnivores being members of this part of the food chain. The last rung on the food chain is constituted by decomposers like fungi, insects, and other microorganisms.

Rainforest Animal Food Chain

Endangered rainforest animals

Many animals of the rainforest are considered endangered, with a major percentage having reached a critical stage. Sumatran tigers have been driven to being critically endangered, with two of their cousin species, the Javan and Balinese tigers having already become extinct. Sumatran orangutans also are critically endangered. As are yellow-crested cockatoos, brown spider monkeys, Lear’s macaw, mountain gorillas, and Javan rhinoceros, amongst others.

Why are they endangered

There are various reasons behind the endangerment of the rainforest animals and birds. Overhunting and habitat destruction are some of the major reasons behind the state of the animals living in these forests. However, people have come to realize the significance of preserving these habitats and its inhabitants; as a result, conservation efforts are underway to get their populations on an increasing trend so that they can be brought back from the brink of extinction.

Rainforest Animal Pictures

Interesting facts

  • The South American rainforests are home to over 200 species of butterflies.
  • Bats living in the rainforests are responsible for the pollination of many tropical fruits like mangoes.
  • Okapis are the closest relative of the giraffe. Looking like a cross between a zebra and a giraffe, they are also one of the most elusive inhabitants of the African rainforests.
  • The green anaconda is the heaviest snake in the world. It is also the second longest serpent after the reticulated python.
  • Howler monkeys are one of the loudest monkey species in the world.