Animals of the Rainforest


Like rainforest plants, the animals of the rainforest have also adapted to a life in a moist place crowded with species.

And like the plants, the enjoy the warm and moist conditions in rainforests.





The most abundant animals, like in many other ecosystems, are insects.  In rainforests, some insects grow extremely large, like New Zealand's weta, which can be 8cm long and weigh 70gr.

Fijian Crested Iguana, Endemic to Fiji, Brachylophus Vitiensis, Kulu Wildlife Park
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Frogs and reptiles are also very abundant in rainforests. Many frogs are tree frogs, and many snakes are tree snakes. Most lizards can also climb trees. Waterholes are often inhabited by turtles and rivers by large killer crocodiles.



Mammals come in all shapes and sizes. Like with other animals, their species vary between the rainforests of different continents.

While crocodiles are the typical top predators in rainforest rivers, the typical terrestrial top predators are the "big cats".


Bengal Tiger, India
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The "king" of them - the lion - is found in Africa (Lion is not really a rainforest animal but it's hard to ignore it amongst the Big Cats). Other cat animals with similar distributions are leopards (Africa, India, China, and South-east Asia); cheetahs (Africa and Middle East); servals (Africa) and caracals (Middle East and Africa).

The next most impressive - the tiger - is found in India, Indonesia and South-east Asia. Other big cats that are found nowhere else but in Asia, are clouded leopard (south-east Asia), Bornean clouded leopard (Borneo and Sumatra); and snow leopard (Himalaya).

Another impressive one - the jaguar - is found in South America, Central America and Mexico. Other animals with similar distributions are ocelots (South and Central America); and cougars (puma) - they are found in South America, Central America, Mexico, and in the south-eastern US.

Portrait of a Juvenile Gorilla
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Another interesting group of animals of the rainforest are primates. There are a lot of them, but it is not too hard to remember that both schimpanzees and gorillas are only found in Africa, while orangutans are only found in Asia, more exactly Indonesia, Borneo and Malaysia.

Rainforest Insects

Rainforest Frogs

Rainforest Lizards

Endangered Rainforest Animals

Endemic Animals in the Rainforest





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