If you are the adventurous type, you may plan a trip to the Amazon to see rain forest animals when you visit Brazil. It's a truly amazing experience!
The Amazon rain forest is the home of several hundred species, many that you may never have heard about before. It can be a fun, educational experience on an once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Sixty percent of the Amazon rain forest is found in Brazil. You can experience the sights and sounds of the Amazon on tours that take you the heart of the rain forest. Manaus is the main city to stay in for your visit and you will find plenty of tours ranging from a day or two to a week or more.
Known as the Little Spotted Cat, the oncilla is a feline that lives in the Amazon. It is somewhat smaller than a typical housecat and lives on rodents. Its fur is light colored with black or brown rosettes that are open in the center; this helps them to blend in with the patchy sunlight on the rain forest floor.
The oncilla behaves similar to a housecat by stalking its prey and then pouncing on it. They also purr when they are contented and are agile climbers. While they are nocturnal, they can be seen during the day if they are looking for food.
Similar to the oncilla, the jaguarondi is another cat that makes their home in the Amazon rain forest. Visitors who choose to trek through the area may be lucky enough to see one of these beautiful rain forest animals since they like to be out during the day.
The jaguarondi is referred to as an otter cat because of the short legs and long body and tail. They also have little rounded ears and are solid in color. They mainly travel alone and will climb trees but prefer to be on the ground.
One of the most interesting animals you will find in the rain forest is the capybara. It is the world's largest rodent, weighing between 35 to 66 kg (77 to 150 lbs). Unlike many wild animals, they enjoy living in groups and during the dry season, you may find fifty to a hundred living together.
Capybaras are great swimmers and often sleep in the water with just their nose showing. When they are trying to escape from predators, they will head for the water where they can be completely submersed for up to five minutes.
The anaconda makes its home in the Brazilian rain forest and is one of the most intriguing rain forest animals. It is one of the largest snakes on the planet and is also known as the water boa because it spends much of its time in shallow water waiting for prey.
Anacondas are meat eaters and they hunt their prey at night. They squeeze their prey to death or drown it. This prey consists of animals such as deer, pigs, and capybaras, along with other rain forest animals. It is one of the most awesome creatures that you could see on a hike through the forest, but I'm sure you won't want to get too close!
No list of rain forest animals would be complete without the monkeys! Howler monkeys are among the largest monkeys in the New World. They live for fifteen to twenty years. They have earned their name because of their style of communication.
Howler monkeys make loud noises at dawn, at dusk, and other times of the day and are considered to be the loudest land animal. Its sound can be heard up to three miles away. Imagine walking through the forest and hearing their howl from high up in the trees!
Capuchin monkeys are considered the most intelligent monkey in the New World. They have been used in movies such as the Pirates of the Caribbean. They are named after the Order of the Friars Capuchin because they look like they are wearing robes.
Capuchin monkeys are kept as service animals much like seeing eye dogs to care for disabled people. They undergo extensive training and are placed with paralyzed people to get things for them and to help them with tasks like opening bottles.
The picarucu is the largest river fish in the world. Weighing in at over 100kg (220 lbs) for the largest of the fish, it is quite impressive to see. It can be up to 2m (6.6 ft) long, which makes it quite a prize for fishermen.
The Brazil government has banned commercial fishing for these fish because of their low population numbers. Locals can catch them for eating, and they can be caught and released in certain areas of the Amazon Basin.
They picarucuhave to be handled with care because of their size. The picarucu is an air breather and needs to be held for five minutes after catching before being released back into the water.The pink dolphin is a nickname for the Amazon River dolphin, the largest river dolphin in the world. It is listed as an endangered species due to overfishing, pollution, and loss of habitat.
The neck vertebrae of the pink dolphin are not fused, allowing it to turn its neck 180 degrees. This helps it catch fish among underwater tree trunks. Amazon legend says that it turns into a handsome man at night to charm the local girls and then turns back into a dolphin by morning!
There are hundreds of mammals and reptiles, thousands of birds and fish, and multitudes of insects in the Amazon. While you may not see many of these on a visit, you will have opportunity to view some of the rain forest animals.
More than one-fifth of the Amazon rain forest has already been destroyed by developers. Visiting the Amazon will give you an insight in the importance of protecting this valuable habitat for many of the world's animals. It will be an unforgettable experience to see what nature has to offer and to appreciate the importance of protecting it.
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