Imagine a world of tall trees and dense green foliage covering a forest floor that is shaded from the sun. It is an almost magical kingdom that rainforest animals live in.
As the name suggests, these forests get some of the highest rainfalls in the world. The only other season they have is the dry season when it doesn’t rain. So with no separate winter, summer or autumn, these forests are always green and thick, rich in flora and fauna, capable of sustaining its own ecosystem. And each of our rainforests boasts of a million indigenous animals and plants.
Unlike animals in the other forests, there are more rainforest animals per square inch of these forests living in total harmony. Rainforest animals include small insects, beetles and butterflies, spiders and scorpions, snakes and lizards, frogs and toads, birds, monkeys and orangutans, gorillas and elephants, alligator and crocodiles, tigers, leopards and jaguars and the list goes on and on. And these are only to name the ones we recognize.
Apart from these, there are millions of rainforest animals that are undocumented by scientists because they live too deep or too high in the forests to be seen or documented. Moreover, there is a certain stratospheric arrangement among these animals. For instance birds live almost over the dense foliage, making their nests on top of the tallest trees. Below them we can find the monkeys and orangutans and even snakes. Insects are pretty much found in all heights, but the bigger animals like tigers and reptiles like crocodiles mostly live on forest floor. Of course, there could be an occasional jaguar or an anaconda curled up high above the ground, waiting to pounce of their prey.
Rainforest animals tend to be quite colorful, sometimes using them as protective shield against bigger predators. Many have camouflage print on them to put other animals off track, like butterflies with eyes like decoration on their wings. Some of these animals prefer to blend in with the backdrop to hunt as well, like the stick insect. This insect can change its color from that off dry twig to that of a new leaf, blending in with the backdrop and suddenly pouncing on its prey.
Rainforest animals also play the most important role of spreading seeds and pollens all throughout the forest to help maintain its ecosystem. Rats, insects, butterflies or birds, each contribute to this process. And the food chain is quite complicated due to variety of species among rainforest animals.
Even though the rainforests are full of carnivorous predators, a large number of rainforest animals are actually herbivores. Above them are the insects and arachnids that prey on each other mostly. Also size need not necessarily determine the food chain in a rainforests. Giant poisonous tarantulas are known to bring birds down and small poisonous frogs can kill bigger snakes.
Among the rainforest animals, birds and snakes have a balanced relationship i.e. both prey on the other kind. That leaves the bigger predators like tigers, anacondas, crocodiles. Generally if a rainforest is thriving, these predators can be found in large numbers as they will have plenty food to sustain themselves. But if the population of these predators starts falling then it becomes a clear indication that the rainforest is dwindling.
For rainforest animals, hidden under the shaded trees is a world that is constantly moving and thriving. Rainforests never fall asleep and nighttimes are actually more vibrant that many. Scientists have documented various animals with phosphoric skin element that seem to light up the dark forests. And the fight for survival among these rainforest animals is almost continuous.
Rainforest animals continue to contribute to their world even after death, with their bodies converting into organic food for plants. The constant moisture and green house effect also breeds a number of larger than average small animals in these forests that are not well documented. Even though men are destroying the rainforests almost daily, there still remain thousands of unknown rainforest animals whose contribution to their world we will never know of.