With more than half of Earth's animals living in tropical rainforests, these lush, wet regions are some of the richest and most diverse. They are also some of the most vibrant and life-giving biomes in the world, producing more than one-third of the world's oxygen, even though they cover less than 10 percent of its landscape. There are three main types of large rainforests, the American, African and the Asian. All contain different species of animals, but there are still common characteristics of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians that live in all of them. For example, bright colors and loud vocalizations are widespread, and many animals are adapted to tree life.
Found in Mexico and Brazil, this monkey is among the world's loudest. Its bellow can be heard from two miles away. They roar for various reasons, in the morning to notify other monkeys of their location and when they are molested by other animals or humans. These red-fur vegetarians weigh up to 20 pounds and have 2-foot-long, prehensile tails, which help them navigate the tall trees in which they live. Their food sources---fruits, leaves and flowers---grow in the treetops. Unfortunately, these animals are over-hunted, and their habitat has been severely depleted. They may become extinct before the turn of the century.
Weighing between 150 and 300 pounds, the 5- to 8.5-foot-long jaguars are the largest, most powerful and fiercest cats in the Western Hemisphere. They live in Central and South American rainforests, where they like wet habitats---they are great swimmers. Elusive and shy, they prefer to be alone, staying hidden in caves or brush until they mate at the end of the year. Females have an average of two cubs, each of which weigh less than 2 pounds. These creatures eat dozens of different animals, from crocodiles to fish and birds, and rarely attack humans. Rather, humans are the only real threat to jaguars. Hunters covet the pelts, and ranchers destroy these cats because they occasionally eat cattle and sheep. The avid adventurer need not worry when wandering the rainforest.
Poison Arrow Frog
Though smaller a nickel, the Central/South American poison arrow frog packs enough poison to paralyze or kill 100 animals. The poison is secreted through its skin. However, because of its bright blue, red or green colors, other rainforest animals know to stay away from it. These frogs have unique mating styles and parenting techniques. They mate by jumping around or on top of each other. And when tadpoles hatch, the father often takes on parenting duties, carrying the babies to plants that have funnel-like leaves that hold water.