The 17 Most Outstanding Freshwater Animals

Egbert Haynes
The 17 Most Outstanding Freshwater Animals

There are more than 100,000 species of freshwater animals. Although about 70% of the Earth is covered with water, only 3% of it is fresh water; that is, 0.01% of the total surface of the planet.

Fresh water is found in glaciers, lakes, reservoirs, streams, lakes, ponds, rivers, and wetlands. These places have a variety of species: insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, turtles, dragonflies, crabs and fish.

Rivers often have large animals that can survive strong currents, along with other animals such as crabs and birds that eat fish below the surface of the water..

There are generally two types of freshwater habitats: rivers and lakes. Although rivers are usually fed by a lake, they are often areas that include endemic species.

List of freshwater animals

1- Wild duck

Wild ducks live near lakes, ponds, and dams, in both urban and rural areas. Males have a green head, a yellow bill, and a brown breast; females are completely brown.

These ducks search for small plants and animals in the water for their food. They use their beaks to feel the surface of aquatic bodies.

When they are in the ground, they look for seeds, insects and flowers.

2- Pond snails

They are mollusks that have three stages in their life cycle: egg, larva and adult. Adult snails have a hard shell and a soft body.

These snails have triangular tentacles on their heads. Their eyes are located at the bottom of the tentacles.

Most snails are less than two centimeters tall. They can often be found on aquatic plants and rocks near water. These animals feed on plants and are hermaphrodites.

3- Amazon river dolphin

They are also known as pink river dolphins or botos. They swim in the fresh waters of the Amazon and Orinoco rivers.

The population of these dolphins is decreasing because their habitat, the fresh water of the rivers, is being polluted. It is one of the five species of river dolphins in the world.

4- Freshwater turtles 

Freshwater turtles are one of the oldest reptiles and have not evolved much during the 200 million years they have lived on Earth..

These turtles are also in danger of extinction, since the illegal trade in them is very popular. They are also threatened by pesticides and the destruction of their habitat..

5- Giant freshwater Mekong fish

The largest freshwater giant fish lives in the Mekong River; some reach 16 feet long and weigh more than half a ton.

In recent times this species has been threatened because the development of infrastructure blocks its migration routes and isolates the populations.

6- American alligator

It is one of the largest reptiles in North America, reaching 18 feet long. Found in freshwater rivers and swamps in the southeastern United States.

It is distinguished by its dark round snout, its dark color and the absence of visible teeth when its mouth is closed..

7- Platypus

They are quite strange animals. They can be defined as a mix between a duck, a beaver and an otter. Males are poisonous.

Platypuses hunt underwater, so they swim by wagging their webbed fingers and tail. They can stay submerged for up to two minutes and are native to Australia.

8- River otter

They live in rivers, lakes, wetlands, and swamps. Although they sometimes reach 4 feet in length and weigh more than 20 pounds, most are less robust.

Helped with its webbed toes, the river otter can dive about 60 feet and swim at a speed of 7 miles per hour.

9- Hippo

It is found in rivers and lakes of Africa; It is herbivorous, semi-aquatic, and believed to be related to whales.

Adults are 11 feet long, 5 feet tall, and weigh more than 1.5 tons. They can live up to 45 years in captivity.

They can stay submerged in water most of the day, but at night they walk to land to graze. They are excellent swimmers and can run between 18 and 30 miles per hour.

10- Diamond rattlesnake

It is a snake that lives in the roots of mangroves in the Everglades, Florida and in certain regions of North Carolina and Louisiana, in the United States.

It is the most poisonous large snake in this area.

11- Green basilisk

It has the incredible ability to run in water, which is why it is nicknamed "Jesus Christ lizard." It is abundant in the tropical forests of Central America: from Mexico to Panama.

He spends a lot of his time on top of trees and is never far from bodies of water. They can run at about 5 feet per second above the surface.

They are about 2 feet long and males have a large crest on their head and back, which serves to impress females..

12- Cichlids

Cichlids are freshwater fish that can range in size from a few inches to a few feet long..

All cichlid species are similar in appearance, except for their size and color. There are more than 1,300 species and every year more are found.

These fish are only found in different places in Africa, except for some species from the Amazon basin in South America.

13- White heron

White herons inhabit swamps and wetlands throughout the world. These freshwater sources provide important habitat for many birds..

These migratory birds can grow up to a meter tall.

14- Clinostomus elongatus 

It is a small, colorful type of fish from the carp family. They have a large mouth with a prominent lower jaw.

They have colorful stripes and the males have brighter colors. They measure up to 12 centimeters.

15- Terrapene de Coahuila

Coahuila terrapenes are turtles that live in the Cuatro Ciénagas swamp in the Chihuahua desert in Mexico.

Due to its great isolation, in this area there are various species of animals.

16- Tadpoles

They are the larval stage of amphibians, such as frogs and toads. They have a short, oval body, small eyes, a broad tail, and no external gills..

Once their metamorphosis is complete, they emerge to the ground as a frog or as a toad. The tadpole stage can last from two weeks, one or two months, or up to three years.

17- Axolotl

Rare amphibian endemic to the valleys of the Basin of Mexico. Unlike most amphibians, it does not undergo a metamorphosis process and feeds on tiny fish and their young. It is currently in danger of extinction due to the degradation of its environment.


  1. Platypus. Recovered from
  2. Redside dace. Recovered from
  3. American alligator. Recovered from
  4. Eastern dimaondback rattlesnake. Recovered from
  5. Tadpole. Recovered from
  6. Hippopotamus. Recovered
  7. Cichlid. Recovered from
  8. Green basilik lizard. Recovered from
  9. Mallard. Recovered
  10. Freshwater animals and plants. Recovered from
  11. Depending on clean water (2014). Recovered from
  12. North american river otter. Recovered from
  13. Pond snail. Recovered
  14. Fresh water. Recovered from

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