Animals of the Amazon Rainforest

Amazon rainforest animals are some of the most unique species on the planet. The Amazon is very unknown to a large portion of the world. This article will give you a better insight on to what species of animals live in the amazon rainforest.

According to the World Wildlife Foundation Scientists to this day, the Amazon is home to at least 40,000 plant species, 427 mammals, 1,300 birds, 378 reptiles, more than 400 amphibians and around 3,000 freshwater fishes have been discovered in the Amazon.

Most of the Amazon has never been left undiscovered. There are still vast amounts of the rainforest and jungle that have never been seen or researched. This is just like the bottom of the ocean not being explored. There is still a good chance more species are still hidden beneath the cover of the great Amazon rainforest.

Animals in the Amazon

Animals in the Amazon Rainforest. Here is a list of the most unique and cool animals found in the Amazon. We broke the list up into two sections. First, a list of animals in the Amazon and then a list of animals in the Amazon river.

Some of the animals have a video included so you can have a better insight as to what they are and how they act in the wild!

List of Animals in the Amazon

Mountain Gorilla

Mountain gorilla from the amazon rainforest
“Silver Back” Mountain Gorilla

The Mountain Gorilla is one of the two subspecies of the Eastern Gorilla. They are the largest Primate on the planet. These animals are among the closest relatives to humans. These gorillas have the most developed brain of any primate.

These Gorillas are known to live in packs of up to 30, having one gorilla as the pack’s leader. The leader is known as a “Silverback” because of the colour of his back coat.

These gorillas live in the mountains. That’s how they got there name “mountain gorilla”. The first being located in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and the other in the Virunga Mountains in three adjacent national parks inside the Congo.

Unfortunately, this species is critically endangered. It is estimated to have a total population of just 1,004 individuals among the two locations listed above.


jaguar from the amazon rainforest

The Jaguar is among the most stealthy predators in the wild. These animals are known for the magnificent fur coats which are highly sought after in the fur market. It is also the third biggest cat in the entire world.

They have become extinct in the United States with most of the remaining population living in the Amazon rainforest. This predator is at the top of the food chain and keeps prey populations in control. Its spots resemble those of a leopard, but this cat is much larger. They eat anything with meat from armadillos to fish.

The Jaguars are known to swim in the rivers and even catch fish!

Amazonian Giant Centipede

Giant amazonian centipede
Amazonian Giant Centipede

This is one of the worlds largest centipedes, located in the Amazon rainforest. This species can reach lengths up to 12 inches (1 ft).

This massive insect preys on other small animals including amphibians, mammals, and reptiles. Large individuals have been known to imitate bats and hang of cave ceiling in order to eat them.

Giant Armadillo

Giant armadillo located in the amazon rainforest
Giant Armadillo

The giant armadillo is found in the Amazon. It is the largest living species of an armadillo on earth. These animals weigh between 40 – 70 lbs but have been found to grow to almost 200 lbs! They grow in length of 30 – 40 inches with the tail adding another 20 inches!

Their diet consists of termites and ants. They have been found to consume entire termite populations and mounds. They have unique front claws which are very large and have 80 – 100 small teeth.

Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth

Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth in the amazon rainforest
Brown-Throated Three-toed Sloth

This slow-moving sloth is found in the trees of the Amazon rainforest. This animal sleeps most of its life as it usually sleeps anywhere from 15 – 18 hours a day. Its diet consists of young leaves from different species of trees.

The Three-toed Sloth only weighs 6 – 14 lbs. Also, it only leaves the trees once every 8 days to defecate in the soil below.


Okapi located in the congo in the amazon.

The Amazonian Okapi also is known as the forest giraffe or zebra giraffe. It is a mammal found in the Congo region of the Amazon. This animal is more related to a giraffe than a zebra surprisingly.

It stands 5 ft tall and is about 8 ft in length, while weighing anywhere from 450 – 800 lbs. It is a solitary animal and only comes together with others to breed. The Okapi is a herbivore so its diet consists of tree leaves, grass, fruits and more.

Brazilian Wandering Spider

Brazilian wandering spider on a green leave
Brazilian Wandering Spider

These spiders wander the Amazons jungle floor at night in search of prey. They hide in bananas earning them the nickname banana spiders.

There prey consists of insects and small mammals like mice! This spider also holds the title for the worlds most deadly venom.

Toco Toucan

toco toucan in a tree looking for food. in the jungle.
Toco Toucan

The Toco Toucan is one of the most famously known tropical birds. Its extraordinarily large vibrant orange bill is an eye-catcher. This bill grows anywhere from 5 – 9 inches alone!

Black Howler Monkey

Black Howler Monkey hanging from a tree
Black Howler Monkey

This monkey has a black fur coat. The howling monkey is known for its howling! During sunrise, they roar in groups of up to 19. This announces the position of the group so another rival doesn’t come close and cause conflict. Their howls are heard up to 5 km away!

Bullet Ant

Known as the bullet ant for its highly potent sting that creates painful sting comparable to what a bullet would make.

They grow from .7 – 1.2 inches in length, while the queen ant is much larger.

Tribes in Brazil have their people use bullet ant stings for their initiation rituals to become a warrior.

A list of animals in the Amazon Rainforest include:

  • Mountain Gorilla
  • Okapi
  • Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth
  • Jaguar
  • Capybara
  • Scarlet Macaw
  • Poison Dart Frog
  • Black Howler Monkey
  • Sulawesi Bear Cuscus
  • Green Anaconda
  • Black Caiman
  • Electric Eel
  • Red Bellied Piranha
  • Lancehead Pit Viper
  • Bull Shark
  • Assassin Bug
  • Harpy Eagles
  • Brazilian Wandering Spider
  • Amazonian Giant Centipede
  • Bullet Ant
  • Tree Boa
  • Vampire Bat
  • Amazon River Dolphin
  • Giant Armadillo
  • Giant River Otter
  • Ocelot
  • Puma
  • Pygmy Marmoset
  • South American Tapir
  • Squirrel Monkey
  • Hoatzin
  • King Vulture
  • Toco Toucan
  • South American River Turtle

List of Animals in the Amazon River

Green Anaconda

The green anaconda
Green Anaconda

The green anaconda is famously known to be the world’s largest and heaviest snake. These beasts have been known to grow up to lengths greater than 30 feet long!

These anacondas are a non-venomous boa species found in the Amazon. Their diet consists of lots of smaller prey, but these snakes have been found with massive animals inside their stomachs. These include deer, jaguars, crocodiles, and there are even reports of humans being consumed by them too!

Amazon River Dolphin

amazon river dolphin
Amazon River Dolphin

The Amazon river dolphin also is known as the pink river dolphin. This is the largest species of river dolphin on earth. These reach upwards of 400 lbs and 8 ft in length.

Their diets consist of freshwater creatures like fish and crabs. The river dolphin is considered a data deficient, meaning there isn’t a known population size or that much information on them.

Black Caiman

Black Caimen
Black Caiman

The Black Caiman one of the biggest reptiles on the planet. Growing in lengths up to 20 ft and reports of some growing over 2000 lbs!

It is the largest predator in the Amazon ecosystem, preying on virtually anything it can close its jaws on. This crocodile is black in colour as the name suggests.

It likes to dwell in slow-moving rivers, and lakes, which is why it strives in the Amazon – having access to the Nile.

Red Bellied Piranha

red bellied pirhana in the amazon river
Red Bellied Piranha

The piranha is abundant in the freshwater habitats in the Amazon like the Nile. These fish can grow upwards of 9 lbs and reach lengths of over 20 inches. Their diet consists of worms, insects, fish and more.

These fish are infamously known for “eating humans” but this is not the case. They are becoming a popular aquarium fish for pet owners.

Electric Eel

Electric eel in the amazon river
Electric Eel

The electric eel is actually not an eel at all. They are actually a South American (Amazon) Electric fish – in the Knifefish species. Also, it is the only species in its genus.

They grow in lengths of up to 7 ft and weigh up to 45 lbs. It consumes invertebrates, fish and small mammals.

How does the electric eel produce electricity ?

The electric eel is equipped with three pairs of abdominal organs that produce electricity. The organs are called the main organ, the Sach’s organ, and the Hunters organ. These organs cover 80% of the eel’s body.

The organs give the eel the ability to generate electricity. It has the power to add stack the electric charge of each organ to create a low or high power electric discharge.

What is destroying the Amazon

The Amazon is home to the world’s most diverse ecosystem and habitat. What is endangering the animals of the Amazon rainforest? In recent years human activities have begun to tear it down and destroy it. Countless species are becoming endangered and are on the verge of extinction.

There are two main causes that are causing catastrophic damage to the worlds largest rainforest.

1. Deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest

2. The Effects of Climate Change

5 Other Environmental Articles to Check Out!

  1. How to Reduce your Carbon Footprint
  2. Can Climate Change Cause Natural Disasters
  3. What is Global Warming
  4. How Polluted are the Oceans?
  5. 6 Ways Climate Change Affects the Economy

Leave a Comment