Camouflaged Animals in the Rainforest

Updated November 21, 2016

Many rainforest animals use camouflage to blend in with their surroundings and protect themselves from predators. Some animals do this by changing the shape of their bodies, while others use colours so that predators have difficulty seeing them. According to the Tropical Rain Forest Information Center, rainforests cover about 7 per cent of the earth's land surface, but about half of the earth's animals live in rainforest environments.

Two-Toed Sloth

The two-toed sloth is a mammal that lives almost its entire life in the rainforest's canopy. These animals leave the canopy about once a week to urinate and defecate; they even give birth in the treetops. Two-toed sloths move so slowly that green algae grows on their brown fur. The green algae and brown fur help these animals, which can be up to 9.07 Kilogram and 30 inches long, blend into the brown and green foliage around them.


The chameleon is a reptile that is well known for its ability to change colours based on its environment. The many different species and types of chameleons display a variety of sizes and colours. Despite the widespread belief that chameleons can change colour to match any environment, in truth the animals are limited to a range of shades depending on the species. Chameleons may change colours because of temperature, time of day or lighting. They also may change shades as a result of pregnancy, aggression or as a signal to other chameleons that they are ready to breed. These reptiles commonly live in the rainforest's trees.

Owl Butterfly

The owl butterfly dwells in the dense rainforests of South America and northern Africa. These butterflies are so named because of their habit of flying around mostly at dawn and dusk. They do so because their dark colouring helps them to blend in during those times of day. During the day, owl butterflies rest on tree trunks. Their brown and tan colouring helps disguise them from animals and other insects that might prey on them during the day. These butterflies have a wingspan of 5 1/2 to 6 1/4 inches, and they eat mostly rotting fruit.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author