Rain Forest Canopy Animals

Rain Forest Canopy AnimalsThe canopy of the rain forest is a cacophony of noise; some of the loudest animals on the planet live there. Many of the animals who find food in the canopy are also very territorial, but since they have a hard time seeing each other through the dense leaves, grunting, screaming and chattering are the primary ways they communicate.

In the leafy treetops of the rain forest canopy, herbivores find plenty of leaves and greenery to eat. Predators, on the other hand, find plenty of prey. Many species living among the canopy are rarely seen by humans.

Amphibians and Reptiles

There are many varieties of tropical frogs found in the rain forest canopy. Frogs must keep their skin moist and the environment of the canopy is the perfect habitat with its constant humidity and frequent rainstorms. Tree frogs lay their eggs underneath leaves in the treetops. Sometimes their eggs make a welcome snack for snakes or wasps.

Snakes are common in the rain forest and there are plenty to be found among the treetops. The most common type of snake found high in the canopy is the constrictor. These snakes are well camouflaged and bide their time on branches until prey comes along. They like to eat birds, rodents, frogs and even small monkeys.

The most common venomous snake in the rain forest canopy is the eyelash viper. It can be many colors, including green, orange or yellow.

Lizards have bodies that are well-suited for the rain forest canopy. Iguanas are able to fall over 60 feet from trees and remain unharmed. Chameleons are able to change color quickly depending on their environment and when they feel threatened by predators.


Primates (howler monkeys pictured at top)

Monkeys and chimpanzees can be found in the rain forest canopies of the world. They search out trees that are flowering or have nuts or fruit; there they spend time eating and socializing. Many monkeys have prehensile tails that help them navigate from tree to tree in the forest. Other primates, such as the gibbon, have long arms to help them swing on trees and reach for fruit and other food.

The world's smallest monkey, the pygmy marmoset, can be found in the canopy of the South American rain forest. It drills little holes in the bark of trees with its sharp teeth, then feeds on the sap.



There are many other species of mammals found in the canopy of the rain forest, and some of them hunt the herbivore species that live there. The coatimundi is a small animal similar to a raccoon. It mainly hunts lizards, but also feeds on worms and grubs.

Small cats are agile climbers and can be found in the shade of the canopy where they nap or wait for prey. The ocelot, clouded leopard and golden cat are just a few of the species that enjoy eating tropical birds, small mammals, lizards and snakes.


Article Written By Cate Rushton

Cate Rushton has been a freelance writer since 1999, specializing in wildlife and outdoor activities. Her published works also cover relationships, gardening and travel on various websites. Rushton holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Utah.

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