The rainforest is the most diverse ecosystem in the world. Central and South America, Africa, India, Indonesia, and Australia all support tropical rainforest ecosystems. Biologists and ecologists have estimated that almost half of all animal species live in the rainforest, including several dangerous species.
The Bengal tiger is found in the rainforests of Southeast Asia, especially in India and Bangladesh. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates there are only about 2,000 Bengal tigers left in the wild. The Bengal will attack humans for territorial defense or food. In some national parks in India, tigers regularly kill more than 30 people a year.
Poison Arrow (Dart) Frog
Poison arrow frogs include several frog species located in Central and South American rainforests. Extremely toxic, one frog contains enough venom to kill several adult humans. Indigenous American Indians would use the toxin produced by these frogs to tip their darts used in hunting and warfare. Thus the name, poison arrow frogs.
Pit vipers are poisonous snakes primarily found in the rainforests of East and West Central Africa. Mostly feasting on birds and small animals, pit vipers have fangs that can grow to more than 2 inches long, and their venom is fatal to humans. Using heat sensitive organs to sense their prey, pit vipers lie still as they await the moment to strike.
Once worshipped by the indigenous peoples of Central and South America, the jaguar is a large cat with jaws that can crush skulls. Eating almost everything it can catch, the jaguar is one of the most dangerous big cats in the world. Preferring to stalk and ambush prey like a tiger, jaguars rarely give chase. Those that kill humans are usually old cats that can't easily catch or eat normal prey.
In Southeast Asia, the king cobra makes its home on the edges of the rainforest in clearings and swampy areas. Reaching the length of up to 13 feet and weighing upward of 14 pounds, king cobras are known for the hood formed near the top of their heads when about to strike. One of the world's most venomous snakes, the king cobra has earned its feared reputation. That chance of surviving a strike from a king cobra is less than 25 percent.
Article Written By Jason Gordon
Jason Gordon is a professional writer and editor. In addition to online work, he has written for "Texas Highways," "AAA Southwest," "Glimpse," the "University of Washington Daily" and the "Dallas Morning News." Gordon's passions include animals, reading and finding the perfect pairings of pastry and espresso.