Tropical rainforest animals – diet, habitat, facts and lifespan with images

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Updated: March 26, 2017

The climate of a place is what determines the scarcity or density of the population of both human beings and animals. The tropical rainforest is described as an ever wet, ever warm and evergreen forest. This is where you will find many tall trees, green grass, and green vegetation. Whether it is raining or not you will neither find ice nor snow in the tropical rainforest. Tropical rainforest is the area that borders the equator.  Numerous species of mammals, birds, and reptiles are found there.

You will find animals which have never stepped on the ground.  They live and feed on the tall trees.  They do not come down from the trees for fear of their predators.  There are numerous variety of fruits and the birds which feed on these fruits.   Rainforests can only be described as being tremendously rich in all types of animals. The animals in the rainforests have enough foods, and because of this they often breed and increase in numbers. There is plenty of water too because it rains often times.  There is thick vegetation, and therefore, the animals both small and large can hide from their predators.


Description of tropical rainforest

Tropical rainforest covers almost every part of the world.  It is the area along the equator.  The temperature is high about 80 degrees.  The humidity is very high around 77%, and as a result, there is plenty of rainfall. You need not be surprised to find rain falling daily in the tropical rainforest.  The amount of daily rainfall can vary. All kinds of vegetation are found there, and almost all types of animals are also found there. Some animals are found in the under where it is cool and very dark.  That is under the ground, under the leaves, and under the logs.  Other animals especially insects and moving animals are found in the open areas where there is light, it is windy and warm.  Other animals like the birds and some insects are found on the trees.

The types of animals found in tropical rainforest

Tropical rainforest are the home to a large number of animals and some of them are as follows:


Butterflies come in different beautiful colors.  You are likely to find a lot of beautiful butterflies during the rainy season flying aimlessly around green tall grass.  They make an area look very beautiful. Let us look at facts about them.


  • A butterfly lays eggs. The eggs mature after sometime to a larva or a caterpillar.  The larvae later on mature to a pupa or chrysalis.  The pupa after sometime matures to an adult butterfly.  This is the life cycle of a butterfly.
  • Butterflies produce some special glue with which they attach the eggs to the leaves to prevent them from falling even when the leave is shaken.
  • The caterpillars are plant eaters and they often come into headlock with farmers who will do all they can to get rid of them.
  • Butterflies live in this adult stage for a week although some species can live for up to a year.
  • They have four brightly colored wings
  • The taste receptors of butterflies are on their feet.


This is a reptile which is a close relative of crocodiles and alligators.

  • Busking in the sun is an activity caiman enjoy very much. They later deep themselves in water to cool.
  • Caiman have scales which are armor-like. The head is flat and have sharp claws.
  • They eat small mammals, fish, birds and insects. They also eat other small reptiles.
  • Caimans are solitary animal. Just like their cousins, the alligators and crocodiles. They are also very aggressive.
  • After mating, the female prepares a large nest where it lays between 10 and 50 eggs for about 6 weeks. The incubation period is about 115 days after which young caimans are hatched.
  • The young caimans become sexually mature at the age of 5 years. This sexual maturity lasts for up to when they are 15 years.
  • The lifespan of caiman ranges between 30 and 40 years. Some species of caiman are known to live up to 60 years.
  • Dwarf caiman which is the smallest of the species is about 1.5 meters long. Black caiman is the largest and its length ranges between 4 meters and 6 meters.



Great apes

Great apes are said to be human beings’ closest animal relatives.  Before I did the recent research, I thought I knew everything about our closest animal relative, but I was wrong.  I know you too, will learn things you didn’t know about them.

  • Great apes have the same blood types as those of human beings. They have blood type,A,B,AB and O.   Surprised! I know you are, but that is true.  The Rhesus factor is also the same as the human beings.
  • Great apes catch common cold very easily. They can even catch cold from human beings.
  • Great apes have a higher voice box. The space between the larynx and the palate is too small to allow the great ape to speak.
  • They have brains and can understand signs. Those in the zoo have a way of communicating with the human beings who look after them.
  • Great apes have no tails.
  • Their sexual behavior is closely related to the human beings, where they court, mate, conceive, gives birth to a young one. The female great ape carries and takes care of her young one just like the humans.
  • The great apes don’t mate with their close relative like for example, the father, brothers and so on. The females make the choice and will travel far from its relatives to look for a suitor.




Cuckoo is a bird named after the sound it produces.  Cuckoo is a bright and tricky bird. Incubating the eggs is time consuming and having to protect the young birds from predators is a tedious job which the cuckoo tries to avoid in all possible ways.  This lazy, tricky bird will not do any of those but will enjoy the end result.

  • Cuckoo is larger in size than smaller birds of the air.
  • Like any other bird, when it matures, it mates with a male cuckoo.
  • Cuckoo does not build nest but will watch as other birds build theirs.
  • It identifies the nest with the eggs closely similar to its eggs and will lay eggs in that nest when the owner is away looking for food.
  • Cuckoo will destroy some of the eggs of those birds to give room to its eggs.
  • It them leaves that bird to incubate the eggs for the cuckoo.
  • It keeps a close watch to see if the bird is still incubating the eggs.
  • After the birds are hatched the cuckoo will visit the nest to see if its eggs have hatched. If they haven’t, the cuckoo will destroy the entire nest and expose the young birds to the predators.
  • If the young cuckoo has hatched, then it leaves the work of feeding the young cuckoo to the foster bird until the young cuckoo is old enough to fly away.
  • The young cuckoo is born tricky in such a way that if it is hatched before the other birds, it will push away the other eggs or even destroy them so it will be the only one left to be taken care of by the foster bird.
  • The mother cuckoo will keep visiting the young cuckoo when the foster bird is away to look for food until the bird is old enough to take care of itself.



Iguanas are large lizards, have saggy skin protruding from the head, throat, spine and tail.  They are referred to as Bamboo chicken by the Central American people who eat their meat.

  • The largest Iguana also known as the green iguanas is about 6.5 feet or 2 meters long. The smallest iguana is 12.5 cm to 100 cm.
  • When attacked iguanas defend themselves using their tail. When the attack is fierce they do detach part of their tail and run away leaving the attacker confused.
  • Iguana has three eyes. The third eye is attached to the brain’s’ pineal gland.
  • After mating the female iguana lays fertilized eggs and covers them. She then leaves them alone to hatch.
  • Iguanas are social creatures. They live and eat most of the time together.
  • Iguanas breathe using their lungs. They can stay underwater without breathing for close to half an hour.
  • The most amazing thing about iguanas is that they can fall in pits 30 to 40 feet deep and not break one of their limbs.


Tropical Rainforest Animals Diet

The main reason why those animals mentioned above as well as the other animals living in a tropical rainforest remain in there is because of the availability of food.  The herbivorous animals like the elephants, wild horses, rabbits, antelopes, just to mention a handful, feed on the plenty grass, and vegetation found there. The carnivorous animals like the lion, leopards, cheetah, just to mention a few, feed on the herbivorous animals.  The insects feed on the plants and flowers.  Some reptiles like the snakes, some fish and even birds, feed on the insects.


The tropical rainforest animals have plenty of food within themselves.  There is fierce competition for the same food amongst the species.  As a result, some animals have decided to prey on the foods that have less competition. The breeding rate is what has enabled there to be food for all animals throughout the year.  The dense vegetation has acted as a hiding place for the animals from their predators.

Tropical Rainforest Animals Pictures


Tropical Rainforest Animals Reproduction

The primary factor that determines animal and even human reproduction are the availability of food and warm temperature.  In the tropical rainforest, there is plenty of food for the animals, and the weather is warm throughout the year.  This is the best climate for breeding for all animals.  Most animals can go into heat and mate.  The animals live according to their species.  This makes it easy during mating and reproduction.  Different animals and species go through their courtship rituals and eventually mate.  They prepare their breeding place.  The ones that lay eggs do so in their respective areas, the mammals which conceive and after the gestation period give birth to their offspring do so.  Tropical rainforest covers a wide area throughout the world and therefore, there is plenty of space for all animals to breed and bring forth young ones.


Tropical Rainforest Animals Predators

The tropical rainforest animals live together with their prey and their predators.  The young animals, those newly born and the birds which have just been hatched including young insects or larvae are the ones at the highest risk from their predators.  This is because they are too weak and have not learned the tactics of defending themselves from their predator.   Some of their predators are animals from their species.  All animals have a daily task of looking for food and running away from the predators.  The mothers have a duty to protect their young ones from the predators.




As the human population increases, there is a need for more room for expansion.  The people cut trees and clear vegetation to build infrastructure and homes or for agricultural use.  In so doing they destroy the tropical rainforest animals’ habitation.  Most of the insects’ eggs and larvae are killed in the process.   Young animals are exposed to their predators and are killed.  Nests and some birds’ eggs are destroyed.  The climate of most parts of tropical rainforests has changed due to deforestation. There is no much rainfall as there was before and the vegetation has dried up.  The animals which feed on this vegetation have died, and those other animals which feed on these animals have also been affected because there is a scarcity of food.  The streams, water pools, and rivers have dried up.  The reptiles which lived in this water have died because most snakes cannot live on dry land.  The cutting down of trees by the human being has caused the extinction of most tropical rainforest animals.

Some people have had the habit of killing wild animals for their personal gain.  For instance, some people kill elephants to get the tusks. These tusks are sold at a very high price.  Others kill so that they can get the skin of the animal, for instance, the Leopard’s’ skin. Others make bags, ornaments, and decorations and sell it at a high price.

Animals breed when there is plenty of food and the climate is conducive.  With the scarcity of food and the climatic change brought about by deforestation, most animals cannot breed. There is, therefore, extinction of most animal species.

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