Before mankind’s arrival on Earth, much of the planet was covered in thick forests. Some of these forests were located in hot and humid environments that we know as rainforests. Here, the high humidity means that there is usually plenty of water present. While the rainforests have been cut back drastically by mankind over recent decades, there are still some of these rich habitats on Earth. Animals here have evolved to survive and thrive in what is a plentiful environment, and they have diverged into a varied and wonderful array of different species.
A lot of the rainforest’s animals are so exotic in appearance that they have fascinated us for many years. Many are brightly colored or have appearances that make them seem to be the work of fiction. Some have potent toxins that leave us in fear of them. Others are large and powerful, while others are tiny yet still formidable. Sadly though, many of these magical creatures are threatened by mankind’s destructive influence on the planet. If we are not careful, we may lose some altogether.
There are so many wondrous animals in the rainforest that it is difficult to choose a favorite. Here’s a look at some of the most popular.
Rainforest Animal #10: Jaguar
Arguably the most impressive beast to live in the rainforest is the jaguar. Jaguars are large cats and are the largest cat species in the Americas and the third largest worldwide. They are often mistaken for leopards because of their spotted coats, but jaguars are larger and more heavily built. They are very powerful hunters and are apex predators throughout their range. They prey on a range of animals such as capybaras, tapirs and deer. They will even prey on other powerful predators such as anaconda and caiman.
The jaguar’s preferred habitat is in the thick tropical rainforests of South America. They have excellent camouflage and will stalk their prey silently, moving in for the opportunity to pounce. They have exceptionally strong bites, and will often kill their prey by delivering a fatal bite to the neck. They have also been known to kill prey with a bite to the skull, and will sometimes kill smaller prey with a blow to the head from their powerful paws.