Amazon Rainforest Animals: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Terry Dunn

Terry has a master's degree in environmental communications and has taught in a variety of settings.

The Amazon is the biggest stretch of tropical rainforest in the world so it's easy to imagine there are a lot of animals living there. And there are! Here you will learn about some of the unusual, and familiar, creatures of the Amazon.

The Amazon

Perhaps you've heard the Amazon rainforest is teeming with life. Maybe it seems impossible to grasp what it would be like to walk through a forest that has so many more kinds of animals than where you live. But it's not an exaggeration. The Amazon rainforest is absolutely pulsing with life. You can find animals that crawl, slitter, run, fly, and that come in every color of the rainbow.

First, the Amazon rainforest is no small place, covering a huge part of the country of Brazil in South America, and some of the neighboring countries too. In total, the Amazon rainforest is about the size of the United States. It's a tropical rainforest, meaning it gets a lot of rain and is very warm. That allows a lush forest to grow, which creates a lot of habitats (natural homes) for many, many animals.

Since there are so many animals in the Amazon, it would be crazy to try to describe them all, but there are some unique, unusual and beautiful examples of the animals that live there.

Amphibians of the Amazon

One of many types of poison dart frogs
Blue poison dart frog

For instance, would you believe some of the 1,000 kinds of frogs in the Amazon have poisonous skin? Poison dart frogs are a group of frogs that come in candy colors, but it would be dangerous to take a bite out of one. Some of them have enough poison on their skin to kill 10 adult humans. The poison is useful to some people, though. There are tribes in the Amazon that use the frog's poison on their darts when they hunt for food.

Insects of the Amazon

Leaf cutter ants
Leaf cutter ants

One creature you're almost certain to encounter in the Amazon is a leaf cutter ant. These ants work in huge colonies, snipping bits of leaves and flowers from trees, then carrying them on paths they create to underground 'farms' they use for food. Each ant can carry 50 times their own weight. Watching leaf cutter ants from above is a lot like watching a busy highway where all the cars are carrying furniture on their roofs!

Birds of the Amazon

Scarlet macaw
Scarlet macaw on branch

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