A tropical rainforest animals list, with pictures, facts and links to further information.
Rainforests are home to an incredibly diverse range of animals and plants. This page contains a list of many of the most famous rainforest animals, but there are many more: it is estimated that there may be millions of species of plants, insects and microorganisms living in the rainforest that are still to be discovered.
Maybe you could discover a new animal and add it to a future rainforest animals list!
You can find out more about many of the animals listed below by clicking on the pictures or following the links.
Discover the World’s Rainforests at Active Wild …
- View / download a FREE Rainforest Animals worksheet for this page: Free Printable Worksheets
- Find out more about the world’s rainforests at our main Rainforests Page.
- Interested in the Amazon Rainforest in particular? You’ll find pictures and facts about its animals and plants here: What is in the Amazon Rainforest?
- Discover some incredible rainforest monkeys here: Rainforest Monkeys.
- Rainforest plants are just as exciting as rainforest animals! Find out why here: Rainforest Plants List.
- See more incredible animal lists here: Amazing Animal Facts.
- New! Download Active Wild Rainforest Worksheets.
- Find out more about the animal kingdom here: Animals: The Ultimate Guide.
List Of Rainforest Animals
Anteaters are members of a group of animals that has the latin name Vermilingua, which means ‘worm tongue’.
There are four species of anteater: the giant anteater, silky anteater, southern tamandua and the northern tamandua. Some live in trees, some are more at home on the ground, but all of them enjoy eating ants and other insects.
- You can find out more about anteaters here: Anteater Facts.
Aye-ayes are found in the rainforests of Madagascar. They are a species of Lemur, and are the world’s largest nocturnal primate. They eat grubs, which they find by tapping on trees. They have specially-adapted middle fingers for hooking grubs out of holes.
Binturongs are viverrids. A Viverrid is a member of the Viverridae family of small mammals. Binturongs are also known as ‘Bearcats’. They live in the forests of South and Southeast Asia.
Blue Morpho Butterfly
The blue morpho is a beautiful blue butterfly that feeds (among other things) on rotting fruit found on the floor of South and Central American rainforests.
- Read more about Blue Morpho butterflies here.
Boa constrictors are large rainforest snakes. They ambush their prey, then constrict (squeeze) it before swallowing it whole. These fearsome reptiles are found in Central and South American rainforests.
- Find out more about boa constrictors here.
Caimans are predatory reptiles that live in the rivers and lakes of Central and South American rain forests. Together with crocodiles, alligators and gharials, they form a group of animals known as ‘Crocodilians’.
- Find out more about caimans here: Caiman Facts & Information.
Capybaras are the world’s largest species of rodent. They live in South and Central American forests.
Capybaras have several adaptations for a semi-aquatic lifestyle, and are always found close to water.
- You can read more about capybaras here: Capybara Facts.
Civets are cat-like mammals that are found in rainforests in Asia and Africa. They produce a strong-smelling substance that is used to make perfume. Like Binturongs (see further up the page), they are members of the Viverridae family.
Coatimundis are also known as ‘coatis’. They are members of the raccoon family and are cat-sized. Coatis are found in South, Central and parts of North America.
Green anacondas are the world’s heaviest type of snake. Although not the longest type of snake (that’s the reticulated python), they can still grow over 5 metres! They are excellent swimmers, and can be found in the lakes and rivers of the Amazon Rainforest.
- You can find out more about the green anaconda here.
Harpy eagles are the largest birds of prey found in the Americas. They live in the tops of the trees in rainforests — a habitat known as the ‘canopy’.
- Read more about harpy eagles here.
All fifteen species of howler monkey live in the rainforests of South and Central America. Howler Monkeys use their loud voices to let rival troops know where they are. A howler monkey’s cry can be heard through 3 miles of rainforest. Despite this, Howler Monkeys are sometimes kept as pets!
- Read more about howler monkeys here.
Iguanas are large lizards that live in the forests of Central and South America. Although they look fierce, they mainly eat plants.
- Discover more about iguanas here.
Jaguars are the third-largest big cat — only tigers and lions are bigger. Jaguars live in South American rain forests, where they are apex predators. They have powerful jaws and are excellent swimmers.
- Find out more about this beautiful rainforest predator here: Jaguar Facts.
They may be small, but leafcutter ants are some of the most amazing rainforest animals. From the size of their immense nests, which can hold over 8 million insects, to the fact that they grow their own food in special ‘fungus gardens’.
- Learn more about leafcutter ants here.
Lemurs are small primates that are found in Madagascan rainforests. In fact, they’re ‘endemic’ to the island of Madagascar, which means they aren’t found anywhere else!
Leopards are felines that are famous for their spotted coats. Leopards look like jaguars, but are slightly smaller, and live in Africa, rather than South America. There are also leopard colonies in parts of Asia.
- Read more about leopards here: Leopard Facts.
Ocelots are wild cats that are also known as ‘dwarf leopards’ because they have similar markings to their bigger cousins. As well as living in the rainforests of South America, they are also found in Central America, and even as far north as Texas.
- Find out more about ocelots here.
Orangutans are members of the great ape family. They are found in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. The name orangutan means ‘man of the forest’ in local languages. Orangutans are endangered, mainly due to deforestation.
- Read more about orang-utans here: Orangutan Facts.
Piranhas are fish found in the lakes and rivers of South America. They are carnivorous (meat-eating) and have sharp teeth and powerful jaws.
Despite their big teeth, piranhas are just as often prey as they are predators.
- You can find out more about piranhas here: Piranha Facts.
Poison Dart Frog
There are several different types of poison dart frog. Most of them have brightly-coloured bodies, which warn potential predators that the frogs are poisonous. They are found in Central and South America.
- Find out more about poison dart frogs here.
Red Eyed Tree Frog
Red eyed tree frogs are among the most recognizable of all amphibians! These iconic frogs live in rainforests in Central America.
The red eyed tree frog’s bright colors are part of a defence mechanism called ‘startle coloration’. The frog hopes that a quick flash of its bright red eyes will momentarily confuse any potential predators, giving it time to escape.
- Learn more about red eyed tree frogs here.
Sloths are medium-sized rainforest mammals of the Americas. They are famous for being slow-moving, and have developed a slow metabolism because the leaves that they eat contain little energy.
- Read more about sloths here.
Spider monkeys have long, thin arms and legs. It’s not hard to see how they got their name; their long limbs and tail make them look like giant spiders. Spider monkeys live in the rainforests of South America.
All seven species of Spider Monkey are threatened; one is Vulnerable, five are Endangered, and two are Critically Endangered.
- Find out all about spider monkeys here.
Tapirs are fairly large (about the size of a donkey), hoofed animals. They have prehensile snouts that they use to grasp foliage. (Prehensile means adapted for grasping or holding.)
Tapirs are related to rhinoceroses and horses. The only species of tapir found outside of the Americas is the Malayan tapir, which is found in Asia.
- You can read more about these awesome rainforest animals here: Tapir Information.
Tarsiers are small primates that live in rainforests in Southeast Asian islands. They have extremely large eyes and long tails. They move around by leaping through the trees.
Several tiger subspecies live in rainforest regions in Asia. Tigers are an endangered species, with some tiger subspecies being critically endangered.
- You can find out more about tigers here: Tiger Facts.
Toucans are charismatic Central and South American rainforest birds, famous for their huge, colourful bills.
- Discover more about toucans here: Toucan Facts.
Bats are mammals whose arms have evolved into wings, allowing them to fly. There are three types of vampire bat, all of which feed on the blood of other animals. They are found in the Americas.
Vampire bats use infrared radiation to detect where the blood flows closest to their victim’s skin.
- You can find out more about vampire bats here.
Rainforest Animal Habitats
As their name suggests, rainforests are forests that have a high rainfall. There are two types of rainforest: tropical rainforest and temperate rainforest. This list includes animals from both types.
Many of the animals have links that you can click on to ind out more information. Click on the individual animal to find out more about it, and also its habitat and which country or countries it is found in.
Rainforest Animals List Conclusion
We hope that you have found this list of rainforest animals helpful. Please bookmark this page so you’ll always be able to come back to it, and tell your friends about us!
- Now learn about amazing animals from all over the world! Visit our main animals page: Animals: The Ultimate Guide.
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