Animals in Tropical Rainforest Biomes

By Mike Koehler
Rainforest animals, the top, the canopy, the forest floor
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Tropical rainforest biomes around the world, including South America, Africa and Southeast Asia, are hosts to a wide variety of animals big and small. Rainforest biomes are often as dense vertically as they are horizontally, on the ground; birds and arboreal animals thrive, along with insects.


The toucan, its brightly colored and large-sized beak
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Some of the most colorful and exotic birds live in tropical rainforests around the world. Among the most notable birds found in the trees of the rainforests are parrots such as blue and yellow macaws, red macaws, green parrots and larger birds like the rainbow-beaked toucan. In South America the large predator harpy eagle lives in the rainforest canopy. The flightless cassowary, which lives in the rainforests of New Guinea, is one of the largest birds in the world.


The narrow mouth, the caiman, it, the alligator
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Reptiles are among the most dangerous creatures in the rainforest biome. In Africa, the rainforest jungles are home to deadly vipers, such as the green bush viper, while in South America the waters in the rainforest can host the caiman, a smaller cousin of the alligator and crocodile, or the anaconda. Among the branches of the rainforest trees are large lizards like geckos, iguanas and chameleons. In Southeast Asia the rainforest is home to the largest lizard in the world, the Komodo dragon.

Large Mammals

Orangutans, rainforest dwellers, Asia
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Large mammals also find a home in the rainforest biome. Among the most well-known and endangered are orangutans, who live in the jungles of Indonesia. In South America the rainforest biome can be home to predatory large cats such as jaguars and ocelots. Also in South America are unique species like the hog-like tapir and the tree-dwelling sloth. Madagascar's rainforests are home to large populations of lemurs while bats, including the large Flying Fox, also populate rainforests.


Rainforests, thousands, species, butterflies
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Tens of thousands of insects exist in just about any space in a rainforest biome. Among the most popular species in the rainforest are butterflies. According to, "Whereas all of Europe has some 321 butterfly species, the Manu National Park in Peru has 1,300 species." These butterflies often blend in with the colorful birds among the rainforest canopy. Beetles also populate rainforests, including the largest, the longhorn beetle, which can be 6 1/2 inches long.

About the Author

Mike Koehler is a full-time public relations and new media strategist. He has 15 years of experience as a reporter, editor and journalist. He has spoken across the country about the intersection of journalism, social media and the Web. He lives in Oklahoma City with his wife and three kids. Koehler has written for,,,, and