Source by: Only Dinosaurs
Tropical rainforests, characterized by humid climate, pounding rainfall, bright sunlight, exist all over the globe. From the Island of the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, Australia, Africa, Southeast Asia, and of course, South America, which hosts the largest tropical rainforest globally, The Amazon.
Owing to the conducive weather conditions of the tropical rainforest – warm temperature, humidity, sunlight, etc. –, it boasts of the most incredible biodiversity, variety of species in the world.
Just the Amazon Rainforest boasts over 40 000 different species of animals. Interestingly, scientists believed that might not be all there is to the Amazon rainforest. What’s more interesting is that Amazon rainforest animals cover about 30% of the world’s species. Quite impressive, you’d agree.
Hence, in this article, we will be exploring the unique rainforest animals. Precisely, the Mammals. This group of animals is incredibly varied, and we will do well to talk about 20 of these impressive creatures and some facts. We should get started already!
Amazon River Dolphin
Source by: Delfin Amazon Cruises
The Amazon River dolphin, also called the Pink river dolphin, is a freshwater dolphin. It is one of the five river dolphins belonging to the group of animals known as Odontoceti.
From its name, this animal is one of the many Amazon rainforest animals. The color of this rainforest animal varies with age. Newborns are usually dark grey, and as they grow, the color changes to light grey, only to become pink as adults. Hence the name Pink river dolphins.
These animals are at risk of extinction due to water pollution, fishing, ever-expanding lodging, amongst many others.
The pink dolphins feed mainly on river turtles, crabs, Piranhas.
Source by: The Atlantic
The beautiful Jaguar is next on our shortlist of rainforest mammals. It is the largest cat native to the South American continent and the third in the world, only behind the tiger and African lion. It has a 5 to 6-feet long tan to an orange body covered with black rosettes.
Weighing about 56 – 96 kg (300 pounds), this unique rainforest mammal is known for some impressive tails, which can grow up to 80 cm in length.
The jaguar is not afraid of getting wet or of heights. On the contrary, the biggest mammal in the Amazon Rainforest hunts in the Amazon River and climbs trees to ambush animals roaming the forest floor.
Source by: Treehugger
Ocelot is a sleek animal and one of the prettiest Amazon rainforest mammals. The most distinctive feature of these rainforest animals is their solitary life. They live within a home range of 4,200 soccer fields.
They are nocturnal animals; they are primarily active at night. This mammal lives in a wide range from the Amazon Rainforest to Texas in North America. However, habitat loss is an increasing concern among biologists.
Weighing about 8 – 20 kg, Ocelots are carnivores that feed on Monkeys, rabbits, monkeys, birds, reptiles, and fish species.
Source by: Google
The next rainforest mammal is the capybara. It is the largest rainforest rodent and South America’s largest rodent and can weigh up to 200 pounds. It has a barrel-shaped body and reddish-brown fur.
Capybaras feed mainly on grasses, aquatic plant species, fruits, and tree bark. The capybaras’ jaw hinge is not perpendicular, so they chew food by grinding back and forth rather than side-to-side.
However, Capybaras are often prey for jaguars, pumas, ocelots, caimans, and big Amazon snakes like the green anaconda.
While this Amazon mammal has its stronghold in the tropical rainforest, it can also be found in the Brazilian Pantanal and many Brazilian cities’ rivers.
Source by: Cocha Cashu Biological Station
This rainforest mammal is particularly distinct for its very dense fur. Hence, it’s one of the most endangered species, especially in the Amazon rainforest, due to poaching for fur trading. The giant river otter is about 6-feet in length, with chocolate brown skin, which, sometimes, changes to reddish. It is very dense fur ensures the animal skin is dry, even when it has its body underwater.
The giant otter is about 24 kg in weight and quite close to being an apex predator as it feeds on fish, including the piranha, which makes up most of their diet.
Giant river otters hunt primarily alone and sometimes in groups, prey to jaguar, caiman, and green anaconda.
Source by: Wild View
Babirusas are the most primitive of all pig species. The males of all four species of babirusa have four curved tusks. These are elongated canine teeth that grow through the skin of the snout
Babirusas are found in the swamps and rainforests of Indonesian islands, and they have barrel-shaped bodies balanced on delicate, deer-like legs. The most well-known species of babirusa is distinguished by its naked body and massive, curving tusks.
These unique pigs eat just about anything that comes their way, from fruits, berries, nuts, mushrooms, bark, insects, fish down to small mammals. Surprisingly, adult babirusas also feed on smaller ones.
Babirusas use their hooves to dig for roots and insect larvae in the ground and can support themselves on their two back feet to stand up and feed on higher leaves.
Babirusas live on the banks of tropical rainforest rivers. They are found on the Indonesian islands of Sulawesi, Togian, Sula and Buru.
Source by: The Animal Facts
Also known as the black-capped capuchin monkey, the tufted capuchin is named after friars dressed in brown robes with hoods covering their heads. These little mammals are curious and tend to play with anything they find.
This tiny Amazon mammal species has brownish-gray fur, and its belly is a little lighter colored. Beyond that, its thick tail is as long as its body or sometimes slightly longer.
Beyond that, their diet relies heavily upon eggs, insect species, other small mammals, some species of birds, squirrels, small reptiles, nuts, and nectar. Also, tufted capuchins are a confirmed predator of the titi monkey.
Source by: Animal Spot
The bush dog is a scarce animal. It was believed to have gone extinct. They were first discovered using fossil records in caves in Brazil, and, having never been seen before, it was thought they no longer existed. They are primarily found in Central and South America.
Except in the Amazon rainforest, you might not easily find these mammals in other habitats. The bush dog, weighing about 6kg, has a squat body with reddish-brown fur and is 22-29 feet long.
Curiously, bush dogs are monogamous and live in extended family groups. They prey primarily on large rodents, such as agoutis, capybaras, and rheas.
Up till now, only little is known to science about this rainforest mammal due to its low population density and reclusive habits. And the problems of illegal poaching and deforestation leading to habitat loss are the main threats to this mammal, just like many rainforest mammals.
Brown Woolly Monkey
Source by: Wikipedia
Brown woolly monkey is the next on our shortlist of amazing rainforest mammals. This animal, unlike its name, Brown Woolly Monkey, has a grey or black body. Brown woolly monkeys have long limbs and prehensile tails, which help them move quickly through the forest. Most male Brown woolly monkeys have short soft thick fur, except on their face.
Males are usually larger when compared to females and typically live in groups of 2 to 70. The groups are further split down into two subgroups, mainly consisting of family members.
This Amazon mammal weighs about 5.5kg – 11 kg and can grow to a length 0f about 40 – 60 cm. They are arboreal, diurnal and typically use all four legs when walking, running, or climbing.
Their diet is mainly made up of several species of plants, insects, and small animals.
Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth
Source by: University of Chicago News
The brown-throated three-toed sloth is the slowest mammal in the Amazon Rainforest and the slowest animal globally. Quite a feat! It moves through the canopy of Central and South America at a rate of about a whopping (not!) 40 yards (91 m) per day and spends between 15-20 hours per day sleeping.
Brown-throated sloths can rotate their heads like owls. They can turn their heads up to 300 degrees due to their unique neck structure. They have nine cervical vertebrae (the bones in the spine that support the head), as opposed to the seven that most mammals have.
Because they can hang onto branches with their long claws, these Amazon Rainforest mammals can feed on leaves found too high for other animals to reach. And only descend once a week to defecate and urinate. This is because their long claws make it very difficult to walk on the ground. For that reason, the Brown-throated three-toed sloths are primarily arboreal, living in trees.
The typical lifespan of brown-throated sloths in the wild ranges from 30-40 years
Source by: People’s Trust for Endangered Species
Known for its eyes and extremely long, sticky tongue, the giant anteater swallows about 35,000 ants and termites daily. It is found in South America, especially in Brazil. This rainforest mammal is not so aggressive, but it can be very fierce if angry.
Weighing about 27-41 kg, this Amazon rainforest animal has a long, bushy tail and short, strong legs. The Giant anteater’s head is narrow and long, having a small, black snout on end.
These animals are specialist carnivorous (insectivorous) predators, hunting on termites and ants. However, they can also consume soft-bodied grubs, eggs as well as fruit. Although not so big as jaguars, their impressive claws of about 4 – 10 cm long ensure they can fight off predators, especially jaguars.
Usually, giant anteaters are diurnal animals. However, they can become nocturnal during specific weather conditions or living nearby human settlements. They are wandering animals, frequently moving from one Meaning the giant anteater is a jungle mammal with no teeth.
The life expectancy of a giant anteater is around 10.5 years for females and 14.8 years for males.
Source by: National Geographic
These rainforest mammals are primarily found in Asia, Australia, and East Africa. They are called flying foxes because of their fox-like appearance – reddish-brown coat, characteristically long snout, and large eyes. Indeed, this animal resembles a little fox with wings. You could easily mistake this bat for a fox, if not its leathery wing and the habit of sleeping in an upside-down position.
Flying foxes cannot hunt using echolocation. They find food using their acute senses of vision and smell. Flying foxes are herbivores and eat fruits, nectar, and flowers.
When sleeping, these rainforest mammals hang by their feet in an upside-down position, wrapping their wings around themselves. At sunset, they wake up and leave the tree to forage. They spend their nighttime hours looking for food, feeding, digesting their meal, resting as well as socializing and moving around the tree.
With a head-body length of up to 45 cm (17.75 in), a wing-span of 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in), and a weight of 1.6 kg (3 lb 12 oz), flying foxes are the world’s largest bats.
Source by: CGTN
Brazilian tapir, a species of rhinoceros family with a characteristic fleshy trunk, which is prehensile and able to grasp objects such as leaves, is mainly found in the Amazon rainforest. Brazilian tapir was recognized as a separate species in 1758 by Western scientists. They are primarily nocturnal animals, spending their daytime hours in shelters located in the forest.
They grow up to 77 -108 cm in height, 1.8 – 2.5m in height, and weigh about 150 – 320 kg. Their appearance varies with age. Newborns exhibit dappled spots on their bodies which disappear after six months, and then they take on their adult appearance.
Brazilian tapirs generally lead solitary lifestyles, except for the mating season, when they live in pairs and mothers and their young, who often travel together. Although these rainforest mammals are somewhat peaceful and shy, they can be very aggressive and fierce when defending their territories and mating rights.
These Amazon mammals are herbivores (folivores and frugivores), and their diet is generally composed of plant material such as fruits, leaves, and buds.
Source by: FactsofIndonesia.com
The critically endangered Javan rhinoceros is one of the rarest large mammals in the world. In fact, in the world today, there are only about 40 to 60 left in the wild. They are found in Ujung Kulon National Park on the western tip of Java, which explains why it is critically endangered.
However, over the last few years, the numbers have been slowly increasing. The establishment of a second population may soon mean that the species will have much-needed extra capacity.
The Javan rhinoceros was hunted for its horn, which is used in Chinese medicine. Because there are so few Javan rhinoceroses left, it may be too late to save them. Should these present species in Java be lost, we might lose these rainforest mammals to extinction.
These animals are herbivores (folivores, frugivores); they primarily eat by browsing, consuming leaves, twigs, young shoots, and fallen fruit.
Source by: Lonely Planet
The next on our shortlist of rainforests is the fourth biggest cat species; The Leopard. This graceful predator has a broad and large skull with firm and powerful jaw muscles. The ears are small and round. The eyebrows exhibit long hairs, protecting the eyes of the animal as it moves through dense vegetation. There are also long whiskers, stretching from dark markings on the upper lip of the animal.
The overall coloration and markings of their coat greatly depend on the environment. Thus, leopards living on open grasslands typically exhibit a light yellow background fur. Meanwhile, the skin of those found in forests is usually darker and covered with more markings.
The leopard has the largest range of all big cats, being found in Asia and Africa. However, its population is thinly spread and fragmented. It weighs up to 28 – 90 kg and can cover a distance of 58 km/hr.
The leopard hunts a wide range of prey, including antelopes, monkeys, deer, rodents, birds, and fish. It is known to drag its target up a tree to prevent it from being stolen by other predators such as lions and hyenas.
Source by: Pangolin Secilist Group
The pangolins are quite very unique mammals. They have tough, protective keratin scales. These prehistoric animals have existed for 80 million years. They also have prehensile tails, which they use to climb trees. TRows of scales and fibrous hair cover their body. The scales on the back and sides are olive-brown to yellow.
These rainforest mammals make up for their poor sight with a highly sensitive sense of smell. They also lack teeth but do have a very long, sticky, tongue which they use to collect ants and termites
Growing up to 40 – 65 cm in length and weighing about 10 kg, the males in this species are usually larger than females. Pangolins are very timid animals and don’t do well when scared. When threatened, pangolins curl up in a ball, protected by their scaly armor.
Pangolins walk on their hind legs with support from their tails. They have powerful claws, which are used for burrowing and for digging into termite mounds. Pangolins are generally solitary but sometimes can be found in pairs. A large part of their life is spent in trees
They are rarely found in the Amazon but rainforests and other habitats in Africa and Asia. All are threatened due to being hunted for bushmeat and used in traditional medicines. They also suffer from habitat loss due to deforestation.
Source by: Britannica
Silky anteater is next on our shortlist of rainforest mammals. This white-headed capuchin, weighing just a little above 400g, is the smallest anteater and lives in the forests of Central America and northwest South America. It is one of the most familiar monkeys and is the traditional companion to an organ grinder.
They have dense and soft fur, which ranges from grey to yellow, with a silvery sheen. Many subspecies have darker, often brownish, streaks and paler underparts or limbs. The eyes are black, and the soles of the feet are red. Silky anteaters have partially prehensile tails.
White-headed capuchins live in groups of up to 40 individuals led by an alpha male. Females stay with the same troop for their whole lives, but males often migrate from group to group. Males compete for dominance within a group, and fighting is the leading cause of death.
When threatened, Silky anteaters defend themselves by standing on their hind legs and holding their forefeet close to their faces so they can strike any animal that tries to get close with its sharp claws.
Like many monkeys, the white-headed capuchin is intelligent and has used sticks and stones as tools and weapons. They are largely carnivores (insectivores). They feed mainly on ants. Sometimes, they also feed on other insects, such as termites and small coccinellid beetle.
Source by: CBS Local
The pygmy hippopotamus is one of the rainforest mammals that are rarely found. They have a similar appearance to the common hippopotamus and even belong to the same family; However, the pygmy hippo, weighing about 180 – 275 kg, is about 7seventimes less than its larger cousin.
The closest living relations of hippopotamuses are the cetaceans – the group of animals including whales and dolphins. They are semi-aquatic creatures, although they spend a considerable part of their time on the ground close to rivers in the rainforests of western Africa.
Pygmy hippos are strictly herbivores and feed on herbs, broad-leaved plants, grasses.
Source by: Daily Herald
The Giant armadillo is one of the largest species of armadillos. This animal is easily recognizable due to its powerful, enlarged central claw and carapace, covered with tough bony scales.
Giant armadillos are widely distributed across South American countries and live in varied habitats, including rainforests, rainforests, grasslands, and semi-deserts. However, they prefer habitats with a large population of termites.
Giant armadillos are mainly nocturnal animals. They are solitary animals and only walk in groups or socialize only for mating. Giant armadillos are terrestrial mammals and are carnivores (insectivores). Their usual diet primarily consists of termites, though they can also consume ants, spiders, larvae, and worms.
Lesser Mouse Deer
Source by: Kidadl
The last animal on our shortlist of rainforests mammals is the lesser mouse deer. They are found in rainforests across Asia. They are not mainly found in the Amazon.
The lesser mouse deer is the world’s smallest hoofed animal. It stands just 45 cm (18 in) tall and weighs about 2kg when fully grown. It is also known by several other names, such as lesser Malay chevrotain.
Lesser mouse-deer are shy and generally solitary animals; however, they may sometimes be seen spending time in pairs. They are herbivorous mammals, feeding on shoots, leaves, and fruits. It is most active at dawn and dusk.
When sensing danger, lesser mouse-deer “freeze” and remain motionless, and when alarmed, they may repeatedly and rapidly stamp their hind legs.
That’s a wrap on our shortlist of 20 amazing rainforests mammals. While this list is not exhaustive, we hope you have learned a few things about rainforests mammals.
More so, we have animatronics products of all the animals discussed, such as the leopard, Hippopotamus, and many others. Do well to check them out.