Rainforest Animals List

Rainforest Animals List

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 …

List Of Rainforest Animals


Rainforest Animals List Anteater

There Are Four Types Of Anteater; the animal shown above is a giant anteater. Click on the image to visit our anteater facts page.

Anteaters are members of a group of animals with the latin name Vermilingua, which means ‘worm tongue‘. The name comes from their long, thin tongues, which are used to gather up ants and termites.

There are four species of anteater: the giant anteater, silky anteater, southern tamandua and northern tamandua.


Aye Aye In The Rainforest

Aye Aye In Its Rainforest Habitat. Its elongated middle finger is used for plucking grubs out of holes.

Aye-ayes are found in the rainforests of Madagascar. They are a species of lemur (see further down the page), and are the world’s largest nocturnal primates.

Aye-ayes eat grubs, which they find by tapping on trees. They have specially-adapted middle fingers for hooking grubs out of holes.

  • You can find out more about the mysterious aye-aye here: Aye-aye Facts



Binturong: click the photo to find out more about the ‘bearcat’.

Binturongs – otherwise known as ‘bearcats‘ – are the largest members of the animal family Viverridae. (Members of this family are known as viverrids).

The binturong’s long tail is ‘prehensile‘, which means that it can hold onto things. It is used as an ‘extra hand’ when the binturong is climbing.

In fact, the binturong is the only Old World mammal with a prehensile tail. (‘Old World’ is a term for the continents of Europe, Asia and Africa combined.)

Binturongs live in the forests of South and Southeast Asia.

Blue Morpho Butterfly

Blue Morpho Butterfly

Blue Morpho Butterfly At Home In The Rainforest

The blue morpho is a brilliant 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 Constrictor

Boa Constrictor

Boa Constrictor: click image for information about these beautiful rainforest snakes.

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.


Caiman List Of Rainforest Animals

Caiman: click image for caiman facts, pictures and information.

Caimans are predatory reptiles that live in the rivers and lakes of Central and South American rain forests. There are six species of caiman.

Together with crocodiles, alligators and gharials, caimans form a group of animals known as ‘Crocodilians‘. The spectacled caiman is the world’s most common crocodilian.




Capybaras are the world’s largest rodents. They live in South and Central American forests.

Capybaras have several adaptations for a semi-aquatic lifestyle, and are always found living close to water.




Civets are cat-like mammals found in rainforests in Asia and Africa. They produce a strong-smelling substance that can be used to make perfume.

Like Binturongs (see further up the page), civets are members of the Viverridae family.




Coatimundis are also known as ‘coatis’. These cat-sized carnivores are members of the raccoon family, Procyonidae.

Coatis are found in South America and in southern North America.

Green Anaconda

Green Anaconda

Green Anaconda

Green anacondas are the world’s heaviest species of snake, but not the longest (that’s the reticulated python). However, they can still grow to over 5 metres in length!

Green anacondas 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 Eagle

Rainforest Bird Harpy Eagle

The Biggest Eagle Of The Americas!

Harpy eagles are the largest birds of prey found in the Americas (the continents of North and South America combined). They live in the tops of the trees in rainforests — a habitat known as the ‘canopy’.

  • Read more about harpy eagles here.

Howler Monkey

Howler Monkey

No List Of Rainforest Animals Would Be Complete Without A Howler Monkey!

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 world’s third-largest cat species — only tigers and lions are bigger. Jaguars live in South American rain forests, where they are apex predators (i.e. top of the food chain).

Jaguars have extremely powerful jaws and are excellent swimmers – not even caimans are safe from these majestic predators!

  • Find out more about this beautiful rainforest predator here: Jaguar Facts.

Leafcutter Ant

Rainforest Animals Leafcutter Ant

Leafcutter Ant – click image to learn about these incredible insects.

They may be small, but leafcutter ants are some of the most amazing rainforest animals. Their huge nests can be home to over 8 million insects (there are many countries in the world with smaller human populations than this)!

Perhaps even more amazingly, leafcutter ants grow their own food in special ‘fungus gardens‘ within their immense nests!

  • You can find out 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!


Leopard In The Rainforest

Leopard In The Rainforest

Leopards are big cats famous for their spotted coats. A leopard’s spots are called ‘rosettes‘. One way of telling leopards and jaguars apart is by looking at their rosettes. Those of a leopard are empty, whereas a jaguar’s rosettes are filled with smaller black marks.

Leopards are also slightly smaller than jaguars, and live in Africa and parts of Asia, rather than in South America.

Leopards are incredibly strong, and can drag their prey up trees. (They have to do this, otherwise lions and hyenas might try to steal it from them!)



Ocelot: Click image to find out more about ocelots.

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.


Orangutan Rainforest

Orangutans live in rain forests.

Orangutans are members of the great ape family, Hominidae – just like us! Orangutans are found in the rainforests of the Southeast Asian islands Borneo and Sumatra. The name ‘orangutan’ means ‘man of the forest’ in the local language.

Sadly, all three species of orangutan are now critically endangered, mainly due to deforestation.


Piranhas Rainforest Fish

Piranhas Swim In The Rivers Of The Rainforest.

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 and fearsome looks, piranhas are just as often prey for other animals as they are predators.

Poison Dart Frog

Poison Dart Frog

Poison Dart Frog – Click photo for more information

There are around 170 species of poison dart frog. Most of them have brightly-coloured skin, which warns potential predators that the frogs are poisonous. Some poison dart frogs, such as the golden poison frog, are among the world’s most poisonous animals!

Poison dart frogs are found in Central and South American rainforests.

  • Find out more about poison dart frogs here.

Red Eyed Tree Frog

Red Eyed Tree Frog

One of the more colorful animals in our rainforest animals list. Click the image for red eyed tree frog facts!

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.


Rainforest Animals List Sloth

Sloths see the rainforest upside-down!

Sloths are medium-sized rainforest mammals of the Americas. They are famous for being slow-moving, and have developed a slow metabolism (the rate at which their body processes work)  because the leaves that they eat contain very little energy.

  • Read more about sloths here.

Spider Monkey


Spider monkey. Click image to learn more about these agile rainforest monkeys.

It’s not hard to see how spider monkeys 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 now threatened; one is rated Vulnerable, five are Endangered, and two are Critically Endangered.

  • Find out all about spider monkeys here.




Tapirs are large hoofed animals. They have long, prehensile snouts that are used to grasp and manipulate foliage and other food. (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.




Tarsiers are small primates that live in rainforests in Southeast Asian islands. They have extremely large eyes and long tails. Tarsiers move around by leaping through the trees.


Rainforest Tiger

Tigers are an endangered species; will they even be in future rainforest animal lists?

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.


Rainforest Animals Toucan

Toucan – click image to find out more about this colourful rainforest bird.

Toucans are distinctive Central and South American rainforest birds, famous for their huge, colourful bills.

Vampire Bat

Vampire bat.

Rainforest Vampire Bat

Bats are mammals whose arms have evolved into wings, allowing them to fly. There are three species of vampire bat, all of which feed on the blood of other animals.

Vampire bats know exactly where to bite their victims – they use infrared radiation to see where blood flows closest to the skin!

Vampire bats are found in the Americas.

  • 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!

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16 thoughts on “Rainforest Animals List

    1. admin Post author

      The tapir in the photo is a Malayan tapir. It’s the only tapir found outside of the Americas, and is a different color to the other tapirs (which are brown).

  1. Chloe

    I had a school project on a rainforest animal and I found all the info right here!! This website is amazing!!

    1. admin Post author

      Hi Ceanna,

      That’s a good question!

      Everything in a rainforest is part of a big, complicated system. Therefore it’s impossible to identify the most important organism.

      It’s also extremely difficult to predict how the ecosystem will react to the introduction / disappearance of a species: the affects can be surprising and seemingly random!

      The correct answer is probably ‘man’; only man has the power to protect or destroy the rainforest.

  2. Megan

    They are such wonderful animals and they are very cute. I always thought of a capybara as a huge guinea pig and they are very cute in real life. also ant eaters and monkeys are very cute.

Comments are closed.