Animals

A diverse range of millions of different animal species live in the rainforests because there is plenty of: food, water and warmth for them.

Arboreal animals that live among the branches need to be able to move from tree to tree whilst only small creatures live on the forest floor because they can move about the tangled shrubbery more easily than larger animals.
  • Eagles sit on the branches of the tallest trees, looking for animals below who they can swoop down on to eat.
Golden Eagle in flight - 5
  • Parrots have strong, curved bills (beaks) to break open nuts and seeds from giant trees. They have multi-coloured feathers to help them stay camouflaged (hidden) among the colourful blossoms of the trees.
Ara ararauna Luc Viatour
  • Sloths have hook-like claws to help grip the branches. They move very slowly and sleep hanging upside down.
Bradypus
  • Flying squirrels glide between trees using a flap of loose skin that connects its front and hind legs.
FS1
  • Spider monkeys have a powerful tail which they use to help them swing quickly from branch to branch.
Spider monkey -Belize Zoo-8a
  • Tree frogs are light in weight and have discs at the tips of their fingers and toes to help them grasp tree leaves.
Laubfrosch cropped
  • Jaguars have a dark, spotted body so that they can creep up on and ambush prey without being seen. To kill, they bite directly through the skull between the ears and into the brain.
Standing jaguar
  • Chameleons can change the colour of their skin to help them camouflage (hide) from any predators. They also have long tongues that can flick out and stretch up to twice their body size to catch insects.
Bradypodion pumilum Cape chameleon female IMG 1767 (cropped)
  • Howler monkeys make lots of noise to tell each other where they are in the gloomy forest floor. They are the loudest land animal in the world and their growls can be heard clearly for 20 miles.
Allouataadulto 500px
  • Tapirs are active at night and they have a long snout to pull food into their mouth, such as fallen fruits and nuts.
Brazilian tapir
  • Leafcutter ants cut out tiny pieces from leaves and carry them back to their nest.
Leafcutter ants transporting leaves
  • Weevils like to feed on the decaying wood of fallen tree trunks.
Gonipterus scutellatus from Coira, Portosín, Porto do Son, Galicia, Spain - 20100830-3