Brazilian Animals & Plants

Updated July 20, 2017

Brazil is home to 60 per cent of the Amazon rainforest, and this rainforest accounts for around 1/10 of all species of wildlife in the world. Because of this, Brazil is considered to have the greatest biodiversity of any county on the planet and has the most known species of plants, freshwater fish, and mammals to date.


Toucans are short birds with large, brightly coloured beaks that can reach up to 7 or 8 inches long. They are forest-dwelling birds that can be found in tropical and subtropical forests in South America, mainly in Brazil. There are around 40 different species of this bird. Toucans nest in holes in trees, and prefer to remain in the trees, bathing in pools of rainwater high up in the tree trunks. They are one of the nosiest animals in the Amazon, as their sound can be heard up to half a mile away.

White Whiskered Spider Monkeys

The white whiskered spider monkey is an endangered species of monkey native to Brazil. It has long, slender limbs and great agility for leaping from tree to tree. This monkey is primarily black in colour with a white patch on the forehead and sideburns. They live in the tops of trees, almost never coming to the ground, using their tails to swing them across branches. They feed on a diet of 90 per cent fruit and seeds; when feeding, they hang by their tails and reach for food with their hands. They live in medium-sized groups of around 30 monkeys.

Hoary Fox

The hoary fox is a species of fox native to south-central Brazil. The fox has a short muzzle, small teeth, a short coat, and slender limbs. It is grey in colour, normally with a pale underside. Hoary foxes are small compared to regular foxes, weighing only 2.72 to 4.08 Kilogram, and grow to lengths of only about 24 inches, but this small size makes them agile and fast at running. They are nocturnal animals and live on a diet mainly insect-based.

Pau Brasil

The Pau brasil tree is the national tree of Brazil and a species of Brazilian timber. The plant has a dense, orange and red heartwood that takes a high shine and is often used to make bow string instruments. Due to excessive exploitation in the past to produce dyes, Pau brail is listed as an endangered species by the IUCN.

Giant Water Lily

The giant water lily is the biggest flower in the world and can reach 6 feet in diameter. Despite this size, they are very thin and can float on water. It is native to the warm climate of Brazil and grows year-round. The flower is white in colour and only blooms at night. When the flower is pollinated, it turns a pinky-purple colour and, to attract beetles to pollinate it, the flower emits a butterscotch and pineapple scent. While the lily can hold up to 135 Kilogram, it only lives for about three days.

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About the Author

Claire Louise started writing professionally in 2007. She has written for the "Newcastle Morning Herald" and had diet and fitness-related articles published in "Slimming and Health" magazine. Louise holds a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Newcastle.