Jungle animals

David Holt
Jungle animals

What are the jungle animals?

The jungle animals They are those that inhabit tropical or temperate plant formations where trees predominate at various levels of height. In addition, there are a large number of climbing plants and epiphytes (plants that live on trees).

These formations, which are called jungles, tend to present warm temperatures, high humidity and abundant water. In the jungles, the diversity of animals is very high, since they have a great variety of environments.

Some animals of the jungle; royal python, jaguar, macaw or harpy eagle

Therefore, there are animals adapted to life on the forest floor and others that live on trees in the middle. There are also those that inhabit the upper canopy (upper canopies), where solar radiation is intense.

In this complex ecosystem, the food webs are also complex and long, with herbivorous, carnivorous, omnivorous and decomposing animals. In the jungle there are small herbivores such as grasshoppers and large ones like the elephant.

Likewise, there are small carnivores like the Amazonian mantis and large ones like the jaguar. You can also find animals that eat everything, such as chimpanzees, which is a group closely related to humans..

Characteristics of jungle animals

Adapted to warm temperatures and vegetation

An adult jaguar in the Amazon

Jungle animals must adapt to a generally warm environment where temperatures never drop below 10 ° C. In these ecosystems there are abundant rains, at least for part of the year, sometimes in large quantities.

In addition, the abundance of vegetation and in particular of several layers or levels of trees, produces a gloomy environment in the interior of the jungle. This structure with several floors of vegetation provides a diversity of environments for the animals..

There is a layer of grasses and shrubs below (understory), medium trees, then taller ones and still larger ones that form a closed canopy of canopies. There are even so-called emergent trees, giants that stick out from the uniform canopy. This makes the jungle animals have varied characteristics, depending on the jungle environment to which they adapt..

The climbing habit

Howler monkey (Alouatta puruensis). Source: Jason Rothmeyer, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Due to the dominance of trees, many of the jungle animals have adapted to living in them. In such a way that animals with limbs that facilitate climbing and holding on abound.

Such is the case of monkeys, such as the spider monkey or sloths with their strong claws. Many snakes also forage for food in the treetops, such as the emerald boa..

Affinity to water

In the jungles in general, water is abundant, forming large rivers and even periodically flooding the land. Because of this, many animals have adapted to live in close contact with water..

For example, jungle cats love water and are good swimmers, as is the case with the Asian tiger and the American jaguar. On the other hand, fish adapt to feeding on fruits that fall from trees.

Some fish such as the paiche or pirarucú even jump out of the water to capture insects in the lower branches of the flooded forest..

The pirarucú is the second largest river fish in the world

High temperatures and high relative humidity

Since cold is not a problem in the jungle, the animals do not have very abundant fur. In general, it is rather short, except in some cases such as sloths, whose long hair is even full of algae due to the existing humidity..

Camouflage and other forms of protection

A gorilla in the jungle of Rwanda

In the interior of the jungle, the shade predominates, due to the abundant and closed vegetation. Because of this, many animals have developed dark colors, like many monkeys and other primates such as the chimpanzee or gorilla, while others have patterns with black spots or stripes, such as cats. All this to take advantage of the shadow play of the undergrowth to hide.

On the contrary, others choose to be very showy and in these cases it is often a warning. They are generally poisonous animals and their bright colors warn you of this. For example, the dart or arrowhead frogs of the American rainforests.

The abundance of hard fruits

Chocó toucan (Ramphastos brevis)

In the forests there are abundant fruits with a hard cover or with seeds protected by corozos or hardened covers, as in some palms. This has meant that many species of birds have evolved to develop robust beaks to break through these covers. This is how birds such as toucans or parrots (macaws and parrots) live in the jungles..

The jungle is like an apartment building

Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)

The jungle is a complex plant formation, with many levels of trees, plants that climb, hang and live on trees. This means that there are many places to live at different levels, from the ground to the top of the canopy..

Each area has its particular characteristics, for example the undergrowth is shady and humid. While the upper part of the crowns of large trees receive a lot of solar radiation.

Therefore, there are animals adapted to each condition and in many cases they never interbreed. The jaguar lives in the shady understory, while many insects and birds inhabit only the upper part.

What do jungle animals eat?

In the jungle there is such a diversity of species that complex and long food webs are formed.

Primary producers

The food chains that make up these networks include primary producers such as plants. They produce their own food using nutrients and water from the soil and energy from the Sun. Therefore, plants form the basis of the food chains of the rainforest..


Three-toed sloth (Bradypus tridactylus)

There are a large number of herbivorous animals, that is, animals that feed on plants. Among these, the most abundant are insects that consume plants, especially leaves..

In tropical rainforests, for example, cutter ants abound. They cut leaves and other plant parts and use them to grow a fungus in their colonies, on which they feed. There are also large herbivores such as the jungle elephant in Africa, the sloth or the tapir in America and Asia..


A leopard and her calf

In turn, herbivores are the food of carnivorous animals, which can be of different sizes. In the jungle there are small ones like the praying mantis that feeds on other insects.

There are also very large carnivores such as the tiger in the jungles of Asia, the jaguar in the American jungles or the leopard in Africa. There are also large flying carnivores such as the harpy eagle and in rivers such as alligators and crocodiles..


A chimpanzee eating fruit

Other animals eat both vegetables and other animals, that is, they eat almost everything. Such is the case of chimpanzees, the collared peccary and fish such as piranhas..


Finally, every animal and plant in the jungle ends up dying and their remains go to the forest floor. A large number of animals act here, helping to break down waste, as well as other organisms such as bacteria and fungi. Among the animals that help process organic waste are many insects and earthworms..

List of jungle animals

The tiger (Panthera tigris)

These are some of the animals that can be found in jungles around the world:

  • Acuchí verde or tintin (Myoprocta pratti)
  • Harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja)
  • Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus)
  • Electric or tremor eel (Electrophorus electricus)
  • Armadillo (Dasypodidae)
  • Aye Aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
  • Emerald boa (Corallus caninus)
  • Bonobo (Paniscus bread)
  • Black alligator (Melanosuchus niger)
  • Chameleon (family Chamaeleonidae)
  • Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)
  • Blue Crane (Coua caerulea)
  • Ocelot or Cunaguaro (Leopardus pardalis)
  • Danta (Tapirus spp.)
  • African jungle elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis)
  • Asian elephant (Elephas maximus).
  • Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox)
  • Cock of the Rocks (Rupicola spp.)
  • Gibbon (family Hylobatidae)
  • Gorilla (Gorilla spp.)
  • Giraffe weevilTrachelophorus giraffa)
  • Macaw (Ara spp.)
  • Bullet ant or ant 24 (Paraponera clavata)
  • Cutter ants (Atta spp.)
  • Indri (Indri indri)
  • Jaguar (Panthera onca)
  • Leopard (Panthera pardus)
  • Earthworms (Lumbricidae)
  • Amazonian mantis (Methyll amazonica)
  • Spider monkey (Ateles spp.)
  • Howler monkeyAlouatta spp.)
  • White-faced monkey (Cebus albifrons)
  • Fly tse tse (Glossina spp.)
  • Anopheles mosquito (Anopheles gambiae)
  • Jesus Christ lizard (Basiliscus basiliscus)
  • Okapi (Okapia johnstoni)
  • Orangutan (I put spp.)
  • Paiche (Arapaima gigas)
  • Helmeted stone crest (Pauxi pauxi)
  • Collared peccary (Dicotyles tajacu)
  • Sloth (suborder Folivora)
  • Piranha (Pygocentrus spp.)
  • Royal python (Python regius)
  • Arboreal porcupine (Coendou prehensilis)
  • Quetzal (Pharomachrus spp.)
  • Dart frog or arrowhead frog (family Dendrobatidae)
  • Sifaca de Verreaux (Propithecus verreauxi)
  • Golden Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia)
  • Giant tarantula (Theraphosa blondi)
  • Tenrec (Hemicentetes semispinosus)
  • Asian tiger (Panthera tigris)
  • Red-bellied Titi (Callicebus moloch)
  • Radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata)
  • Toucan (family Ramphastidae)
  • Deer (American mazama)
  • Fox (Atelocynus microtis)

Themes of interest

Animals of the African savanna.

Animals of africa.

Amazon animals.


  1. Díaz-Castañeda, F. (Ed.) (2013). The jungle and its animals. Putumayo Tres Fronteras Project for the Trinational Program Available at: awsassets.panda.org
  2. Estes, R.D. (2012). The Behavior Guide to African Mammals, including Hoofed Mammals, Carnivores, Primates, 20th Anniversary Edition. University of California Press.
  3. Martín, M. (Ed.) (2009). Amazon. Illustrated guide to flora and fauna. Peruvian Hispanic Cooperation Program - Araucaria XXI Nauta Project. Ministry of the Environment.
  4. Purves, W. K., Sadava, D., Orians, G. H. and Heller, H. C. (2001). Life. The science of biology.
  5. World Wild Life (Viewed on December 9, 2020). Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests. Taken from: worldwildlife.org

Yet No Comments