Tremendously reach in animal life, the Amazon rainforest ecosystem is populated by insects, arachnids, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals. Here are some of them...
Inhabits the canopy of the rainforest eating fruits, seeds and leaves. It can grow up to two feet tall, excluding the tail.
The spider monkey likes to hang upside down using only its powerful tail to hold on to branches.
Other species include: squirrel monkey, capuchin monkey, woolly monkey, red howler monkey and pigmy marmoset.
Golden Lion Tamarin:
A type of monkey of the omnivore type, the golden lion tamarin eats fruits, insects, spiders, lizards, etc. It can reach up to 12 inches long (with a 12 inches tail) and a weight of about 2 pounds.
Lives in the Amazon rainforest canopy, rarely climbing down from the trees. Have huge, hooked claws and long arms. The sloth eats mainly fruits, leaves and bugs, spending most of the time hanging upside down.
Armed with a 2 foot long tongue, the anteater can swallow ants and termites very fast. An adult can reach up to 8 feet long and a weight up to 140 pounds.
Giant River Otter:
A highly endangered specie of the Amazon river, it can grow up to 6 feet long and a weight of around 70 pounds. Biggest of its kind in the world, the giant river otter eats mostly fish, small reptiles and birds.
Biggest rodent on Earth, the capybara is about 2 feet tall and a weight of around 100 pounds. An exellent swimmer, even under water, lives and sleeps in the water, showing only its nostrils above water level. Another endangered specie in the Amazon river. Its diet consist mainly of grass, aquatic vegetation, melons and squashes. Read more here...
Inhabits the canopy of the Amazon rainforest. With short, thick neck, the toucan is distinguished by its large and colorful beak (black, blue, red, white or combinations).
It can grow from about 7 inches to over 2 feet.
Largest of the parrot family, the macaw has a sharp, hooked beak ideal for eating nuts, fruits and seeds. It can reach from 1 foot to 3 feet in size, like the Hyacinth macaw.
The scarlet macaw - like most of tropical rainforest macaws - is endangered due to poaching, hunting and destruction of habitat through deforestation. Its lifespan is about 75 years in captivity.
A type of fish - not an eel - that can grow to about 8 feet long and weight of up to 60 punds.
Visit Amazon River Fish for more on the electric eel.
Perhaps the most feared creature in the Amazon river.
It has a powerful jaw and razor-like triangular teeth that can shred flesh from bone in a matter of seconds. Read more about piranha at Amazon River Fish page.
The largest predator in the Amazon river. It has no enemies other than man and can eat from piranha, capybara and giant river otters to humans.
The black caiman can grow to 20 feet long and reach up to 3,000 pounds in weight.
Snake of the boa constrictor type, the anaconda grows throughout its entire life, reaching up to 21 feet long and an astonishing 40 stone of mass.
It will squeeze its pray until it cannot breathe, then swallow it, not chewing at all. From capybara to humans, the anaconda doesn't eat often, as it will take one week or more to digest, according to the size of prey.
One of the most dangerous animals in the Amazon rainforest.
An exellent hunter able to swim after pirarucu or turtles ( see the video at Amazon River Fish for an example), climb trees or run after its prey. The jaguar is about 6 feet long and can reach up to 250 pounds in weight.
Poison Arrow Frog: Very small in size, but poisonous enough as to kill up to 100 people.
It has the most powerful poison known to man, but harmless if left alone. Traditionally, Amazon indians tribes have been using its poison in the tip of their arrows and darts for hunting reasons.