In the tropical rainforest live a tremendous number of mammals, birds, insects, plants and trees. Still they discover new species of plants and animals. The biggest animal of the rainforest is the jaguar. And even the smallest animal in the rainforest is large comparing to what we know. Take, for example, the ant. These animals can become about 3 cm long! And what do you think about our hairy friend the tarantula? 

You can find tapir, snakes, sloth's and many different kinds of monkeys like the squirrel monkey, spider monkey, howler monkey and woolly monkey. Family of the monkey is the Pygmy marmoset (Cebuella pygmaea). Whit a maximum body length of only 16 cm and weighing no more than 141 grams it's worlds smallest "monkey". Unlike the real monkeys this specie has claws instead of fingernails.

a squirrel monkey
a squirrel monkey

A lot of animals like the frogs, birds, macaws, parrots and butterflies have beautiful colors. There are these gorgeous big, blue "Morpho butterflies". These butterflies are distinguished by their large size and wings of iridescent blue, which can be 15 - 20 cm across. When one of this beauties crosses your road they say it will bring you luck!!

The trees can become as large as 60 meters. No wonder they are called "forest giants". Even the ferns and banana leaves can become bigger than a grownup person. A lot of the plants we have in our living room you will find there growing in the wild. Off course all of these plants have beautiful flowers. We name you for example the Bromelia and the orchid. Tall palm and acacia crowns contribute up to a level of 30-40 meter which we call the middle layer. In the understorey (or shrub layer) small palms, widely spaced tree lets and shrubs reach upward from one to six meters. (Around 900 palm species are described from the lowland rainforest).
In mature forest, dense closed canopy cuts off most light -up to 98 % of it- so only shade tolerant herbs, ferns, tree seedlings and fungi grow at ground level.

Many palms and trees have delicious fruits. Some of them you can also find in our supermarkets. Most of these fruits you can normally eat but better ask your guide first.

A lot of plants and herbs from the Amazon area have medicinal powers. A lot of our medicines find their origin from the tropical rainforest (also called as the medical pharmacy). That's one of the (many) reasons why it's so important to stand up against the destruction of the rainforest. Every piece they cut away makes the opportunity smaller that a new medicine will be discovered for still deadly diseases like aids and cancer.

an Amazon dolphin
an Amazon dolphin

The Amazon river has his own treasures. Many of these treasures are famous because there has been made several movies about them. Some of these movie stars are the piranha, the caiman and the anaconda. 

Less famous but even more precious are the pink and gray freshwater dolphins. respectively called by locals as bôto and tucuxi. The Amazon is the only place where you can find these animals although the gray one also can be found in the lower reaches of the Orinoco and ventures along the Atlantic coast of South America.