Animals on the forest floor of a rain forest

Written by blakeryan
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Animals on the forest floor of a rain forest
Many animals make their living on the rainforest floor. (rainforest image by Aleksander from Fotolia.com)

The rainforest is a magnificent area in our world. It is made up of many diverse and beautiful plants, waterfalls, rivers, and animals. The rainforest is divided up into four different layers. The first is the emergent layer, followed by the canopy layer. The understory layer is next, followed by the final layer, the floor of the rainforest. The forest floor is home to many different forest floor animals. Some of the largest animals make a living on the rainforest floor.

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Cats, armadillos and anteaters

Cats are some of the most common species on the forest floor. Tigers, jaguars, leopards and mountain lions are some of the cats found living on the forest floor. Armadillos and the giant anteater are other carnivores that dwell on the forest floor. Armadillos use their sense of smell to help them locate mice, lizards, snakes, and insects on which to feed. Giant anteaters are strong swimmers and good climbers. They feed on ants and termites on the forest floor.

Omnivores

Many species of omnivores are part of the animal life on the forest floor as well. These include wild forest pigs, who root around for food in the soil of the forest. This process creates pits that fill up with water whenever it rains, which provides a home to insect larvae, some fish species and frog tadpoles. Peccaries, wild boars, warthogs, and the babirusa make up the remainder of the pig and omnivore family that live on the forest floor.

Forest birds

There are many forest birds that live on the forest floor of the rainforest. They feed on insects and tend to be elusive creatures. Some of the birds included in the bird family dwelling on the forest floor are peafowls, jungle fowls, the common peacock, the green peacock, megapodes and bower birds. The largest bird that lives on the rainforest floor is the cassowary, which can reach up to 1 m (40 inches) in height. The cassowary is well adapted for running a high speeds. All species of this type of bird have odd features, including a horny head growth, a turquoise head colour, dark body plumage, a bright red throat and a metallic blue neck.

Reptiles

Reptiles are the predators of the forest floor that are most abundant. These animals include snakes and lizards, most commonly. Some of the better known snakes are giant constrictors, pythons and boas. Most of the snakes on the forest floor are small or of medium size, mildly poisonous and nocturnal. They feed off mammals, small birds, amphibians and insects. Komodo dragons also live on the forest floor of rainforests. Komodo dragons are of the lizard family, and other members of the lizard family that live on the floor include chameleons and geckos. Crocodiles, turtles and tortoises also call the forest floor home.

Amphibians

Amphibians are another common animal on the forest floor. These include the colourful poison arrow frogs, the yellow-gold Phyllobates terribilis or golden poison frog, the horned toad, the Amazonian leaf toad, the mottled forest frog and the tree frog.

Invertebrates

The most diverse and abundant animals on the rainforest floor are invertebrates. Invertebrates are small. Included in the invertebrate family are beetles, termites, earthworms, centipedes, millipedes, scorpions and leeches.

Ants

Ants are the most feared group of animals in the rainforest. Most of the ants living in the rainforest inflict excruciating pain in their bites and stings. The ant family can consist of army ants, leaf cutter ants and driver ants.

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