Can You Identify These Amazonian Animals?

By: Elizabeth Lavis
Image: Wiki Commons by Christian Mehlführer

About This Quiz

The Amazon rain forest has been nicknamed the "lungs of the planet," and it is really easy to see why. The lush, deep jungle of the Amazon is full of some of the most incredible plants and animals on earth. The foliage is dominated by massive leaves that are taller than a person, great old-growth trees that have been around for centuries, and more flowers and greenery than anywhere else in the world. Living in all of this bountiful nature are unique animals that call this green slice of paradise their home. Trekking deep into the Amazon means meeting some of these wondrous creatures.

From venomous creepy-crawlies like the Brazilian Wandering Spider to elegant and aloof sloths, the Amazon is teeming with animals big and small. The river itself is full of creatures that you will not see anywhere else on the planet. The Amazonian dolphin is an incredible shade of pink and can be seen leaping through certain parts of the river. Swimming below you'll find the Bull Shark, an apex predator of the Amazon and one of the most dangerous creatures in the region.

How well do you know your Amazonian animals? It's time to head deep into the jungle to find out!

Jaguars are the largest cats on the American continent, and their habitat stretches from Central America to Argentina. They are an apex animal in the Amazon, where their population is dwindling.

Parakeets are popular pets, and can even learn to mimic human language. These smart creatures generally do better when kept in flocks of more than one, which is how they live in the wild.

Anacondas are a species of water boas that live in tropical regions of the world, specifically the Amazon. Although humans are not their natural prey, they have been known to attack us if provoked.

Poison dart frogs might look beautiful, but they are covered in tons of toxins that deter predators and keep them safe in the wild. Their poison has been used for ritualistic purposes for centuries.

Anteaters have been around longer than just about any creature on Earth, and they live mostly in the Amazon. Their long, tapered snouts enable them to get at ants and termites in small spaces.

Amazonian pink river dolphins get their distinctive color from their diet. It is a rare treat to see one of these animals in the wild, and you can take many tours down the river to try to get a glimpse of one.

The Jesus lizard gets its name from a unique ability to be able to run across water. It can be found all over the banks of the Amazon river and is one of the most unique creatures in the region.

Spider Monkeys are known as "New World" monkeys because they are found predominately in the Americas. They live high up in the trees and got their name from how they hang by their tails.

These brightly colored Amazonian birds are some of the most recognizable animals in the whole region. They have an impressive lifespan of 50 years and are highly intelligent.

Boa constrictors are massive snakes that kill their prey by suffocating and squeezing them. Although these creatures are known to be fearsome, they do not normally actively hunt humans.

Howler monkeys might cause a racket, but they are actually harmless to humans. They are one of the loudest animals on the planet and communicate with each other from high in the trees.

Toucans are notable for their massive, brightly colored bills. They live in most tropical regions but are especially prevalent in the deep Amazon. They are also highly social animals.

Candiru are also known as toothpick fish and are one of the most feared creatures in the Amazon for one simple reason; they can — and do — swim into people's bodies through various openings.

Capuchin monkeys are also known as white-faced monkeys and are generally very social. Some of them have even learned how to live and thrive alongside humans, and benefit from their association with us.

Capybara are the largest rodents in the world and are mostly known for their ability to get along with all sorts of other animals. They are traditionally a little shy around humans though!

The Amazonian manatee is the smallest version of manatee on the planet. It lives in the Amazon River in places like Brazil, Peru and Colombia and is notable for its white patched belly.

Woolly monkeys are larger creatures that live in big social groups in the Amazon. They are one group of "new world" monkeys that are very prevalent in the trees of the Amazon rain forest.

The caiman is a species of lizard that shares some characteristics with alligators and crocodiles. They have very sharp teeth and can be dangerous if startled. It's best to give caimans a wide berth.

Leafcutter ants are fascinating creatures that are capable of destroying leaves and carrying them across the rain forest floor. They work well together and transport leaves in one single line.

Amazonian porcupines are unique because they have amazing prehensile tails that they can use to swing from tree to tree. These animals are generally not threatening but can be dangerous when provoked.

Assassin bugs might be small, but they can still be fairly problematic to humans. Their venom will kill similar sized prey quickly and can leave people with a painful sting. They can also transmit Chagas Disease.

Golden tamarin monkeys are "new world" animals that live high in the trees of the Amazon. There are several different types, but the ones pictured here are the plush golden variety.

Blue Morpho butterflies are some of the most spectacular creatures in the Amazon. They are notable for their bright blue hue and tend to fly in groups. You can find them in many parts of the rain forest.

Pit vipers are very dangerous because they are venomous and also can be exceptionally aggressive if disturbed. Amazonian wanderers could easily come across, and disrupt, one of these creatures without knowing it.

Kinkajous are arguably some of the most adorable creatures in the Amazon. They live high in the trees and are generally nocturnal. These animals thrive in the canopy of the Amazonian rain forest.

Iguanas are tropical creatures that live in the trees of the Amazon. They are generally fairly shy around humans, although some people do keep these cute reclusive reptiles as pets.

Electric eels are actually knife fish and are indigenous to the Amazon. While the shock from one of these animals is not generally fatal, electric eels can deliver a big enough blast to render you unconscious.

Brazilian wandering spiders are among the most venomous creatures in the world. Like many poisonous spiders, they will not actively harm humans unless provoked or startled — which is easy to do in the Amazon jungle!

Armadillos are shelled creatures that can be found in many warmer parts of the Americas. In the Amazon, they grow to massive sizes, flourish, and populate a lot of the undergrowth.

Basilisks might have been popularized in "Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets", but real-life basilisks are not nearly as fearsome. They are very common in the Amazon rain forest.

Bull sharks are common in the Amazon River and are one of the major predators in the region. Like many large animals that live in the river, they pose a threat to any humans who enter their territory.

Giant centipedes are common in many tropical climates but are especially problematic in the Amazon. Their poison will not generally kill a human, but it can cause substantial damage and scarring.

Tapirs are large creatures that resemble pigs and are very common in the Amazon. They are herbivores that will spend much of their time on land, but also like to swim in the water.

Sloths are slow-moving, graceful animals that adorn many of the treetops in the Amazon. They are notoriously shy herbivores and they will not interact with humans if they can help it.

River otters are carnivorous animals that live in the Amazon River. Although they might look cute, river otters are actually very intuitive predators that are capable of dominating their space.

Glass frogs are generally bright green. In addition to their emerald hue, they can sometimes have a more transparent skin, which is where they get their name. Glass frogs are considered endangered.

Bullet ants get their name because their sting feels like getting shot with a bullet. They are prevalent in the Amazon and are considered to be a dangerous or even sometimes deadly pest.

The Amazonian Tortoise is a large, shelled animal that lives along the banks of the Amazon River. It is generally shy around people but is usually not considered to be very aggressive.

Piranhas are small fish with very sharp teeth. In movies, they are showed as being fierce predators that descend in swarms to eat humans alive. In real life, a school of piranhas is unlikely to kill a human.

Harpy eagles are one of the largest birds of prey in the world. They are extremely strong and can even lift monkeys and sloths right out of the trees. This massive predator is found in all parts of the Amazon.

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