List of Amazon Rainforest Animals

List of Amazon Rainforest Animals
The Amazon rainforest produces 20 percent of all oxygen on Earth. At the current rate of consumption, more than half of the rainforest will be destroyed by 2030. Over 100 animal species--from mammals to insects--face permanent extinction each day in the rainforest. As one of the most diverse locations on the planet, Amazon rainforests house about 40,000 animals.


The black caiman grows to 4 m long, not unlike other similar reptilian species. It lives in the fresh water of the Amazon River, eating a variety of Amazon animals such as fish, other reptiles and mammals. The nocturnal predator is the largest animal in the family Alligatoridae.



Jaguars are a secretive cat that lives in the trees and dappled shade of the Amazon. The spotted cat looks like a leopard but with a bulkier build. It eats whatever it can catch, such as capybara or even caiman and small anaconda.

Poison Dart Frogs

Several species of poison dart frogs live in the Amazon, including the red and black strawberry dart frog. The bright colors warn predators away, and 2.5 g of its poison, which is released through the skin, can kill an average-sized human. For the most part, the frogs live on the forest floor, but several species thrive in the trees. Their name stems from the native people using the poison to make their arrows even deadlier.

Golden Lion Tamarin

The small golden lion tamarin lives in the trees of the Amazon rainforest. The gold color of the monkey's coat and its thick mane account for the name. Ninety percent of the animal's range has been destroyed for cattle and other cash crops, so it is an endangered species.

Amazon River Dolphin

The Amazon river dolphin, a distinctive freshwater dolphin, begins life with grayish white color and turns pink as it ages. Both males and females grow between six to nine feet in length. The Amazon river dolphin gives birth to live young nine to 12 months after gestation. The species preys on fish such as Amazon catfish and piranhas. The dolphin is found throughout the river systems of north and central South America.


As a four-foot-long, nearly two-feet-tall rodent, the capybara is a favorite prey for major predators of the Amazon rainforest, including jaguars and anacondas. Capybaras live in groups that are led by a dominant male. They can remain underwater for five minutes at a time. The rodents eat grasses and aquatic plants.


The anaconda is the longest snake in the world, growing up to 30 feet long. It's a constrictor, so it swallows its prey whole. It lives in or around water and hunts at night. Large anacondas are known to catch jaguars and caiman. The name "anaconda" refers to the large, common anaconda, but several species of anaconda live in the Amazon.


The omnivore piranhas often hunt in packs. They eat just about anything, from plants to flesh, using their sharp razor-like teeth. Piranhas are only found in the Amazon basin area. Several varieties of the fish exist, but the exact number is unknown. They range from six to 18 inches in size.


Article Written By Amy L. Gouger

Amy L. Gouger holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from East Stroudsburg University. Previously a technical agent, she now serves as a ghostwriter and contributor to various online publications.

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