What Kinds of Animals & Birds Live in the Rainforest?

Updated February 21, 2017

A rainforest is a tall, thick tropical jungle that receives an average of 68 and 78 inches of rainfall every year. Rainforests cover only 6 per cent of the planet's surface but are home to more than half of the world's plant and animal species. The 30 million species of plants and animals that live in rainforests are all adapted to live in hot and humid climates.


Bengal tigers, capybaras, chimpanzees, gorillas, jaguars, lemurs, okapi, orang-utans and spider monkeys are all mammals that live in rainforests. Most of the larger rainforest mammals, such as gorillas and okapi, usually live on the forest floor. Smaller mammals, such as lemurs and sloths, are arboreal and live in the trees.


Rainforests are home to both ground-dwelling and arboreal reptiles. Anacondas, black caimans, boa constrictors, vipers and reticulated pythons all live in rainforests.


Frogs are the most abundant amphibians in the rainforests; the Amazon alone boasts over 1,000 frog species. One of the most well-known types of frog in the rainforest is the colourful poison dart frog.


Blue morpho butterflies, damselflies, rhinoceros beetles, grasshoppers and golden orb spiders are all rainforest species. Most of the insects that live in the rainforests are ants.


Rainforest species include the great hornbill, harpy eagle, hoatzin, parrot, resplendent quetzal, southern cassowary and toucan. Some rainforest birds, such as parrots, have strong beaks for cracking and eating seeds. Others, such as the harpy eagle, hunt small prey instead.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Hannigan began writing freelance articles in 2005. Her work can be found in "Orientations" magazine. She holds a Master of Arts in art history from the University of Delaware.