The rainforests around the globe are definitely gorgeous places where vegetation is abundant and the animals that dwell within are in their natural habitats. But as gorgeous as these environments may be, there are far too many lurking dangers within these temperate areas. And these animals are, in fact, quite dangerous and should be left alone at all costs. Yet, people still venture deeply within these rainforests and many disasters occur every year.
When venturing into such places, it must be with an educated mind and if you can, avoid certain rainforests at all costs, as your life may very well depend on it.
The Amazon rainforest is the one that is probably at the forefront of many people’s minds when they think of the humid and extremely hot ecosystem known as the rainforest. But there are indeed so many more in Asia and Africa; the territories teeming with wildlife that are enough to inspire you to stay at the hotel.
We’ve located some rare and disturbing species of animals that may be lurking behind that tree or under the surface of that murky water, or even flying and buzzing around your head. In all seriousness, some of these animals represent fatal danger and appropriate care should be taken to avoid them at all costs, even if it means staying out of the rainforest all together.
So, follow me, watch your step, and let’s find out about some of the most ferocious animals of the rainforest.
25 TARANTULA - SOUTH AMERICAN, ASIAN & AFRICAN RAINFORESTS
So if you've got quite the dose of arachnophobia (in which the creepy crawlers of the world have you breaking out in chills and screaming for your mommy), then we would avoid the rainforest at all costs if we were you. There are indeed many species of insects and in all shapes and sizes in the rainforests--particularly South America where the climates can indeed get pretty smoldering and moist, which is something our insect buddies enjoy.
Tarantulas in particular are hard to spot, despite their look. And their hairs can cause rashes to the skin and irritate the eyes, despite the fact that some are venomous.
However, the bites from a tarantula are not fatal and will only cause discomfort.
In addition, they are experts at the game of hide and seek, and right out there on the open ground. So watch your step, or when your husband says: "Let's go for a walk in the rainforest", how about you just stay back at the hotel where it's nice and safe?
24 ANACONDA - AMAZONIAN RAINFOREST
The Amazon is actually located in nine different countries in South America and not just one single nation. Brazil, Guyana, Perú, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Suriname and French Guiana Talk about a vast reach. That's what makes that rainforest in particular so densely rich with many species of animals and reptiles.
Enter the largest snake in the world, the Anaconda.
They have made horrific Hollywood movies containing this bad boy. In every single one they are depicted as evil predators. That couldn't be further from the truth, as these reptiles don't attack out of violence, they show no hint of malice. They attack solely out of survival, and the Anaconda, which is considered a constrictor snake, will attack if poked or hungry.
23 BUSH VIPER - TROPICAL SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
Definitely an unsettling little guy, this species can be found in the African rainforests and it is extremely poisonous. The simple snake bite kits you pick up at the local outdoorsmen stores won't do here. If you happen to get bitten by one of these, a hospital or a pretty abled paramedic will do just fine as well.
A whopping 16 species of this snake can be found. Variants of this species here can be found in South America as well as Asia, but the Bush Viper's home is South Africa.
Interestingly enough, they like to be far from human activity, but if travelers venture deeply in the African rainforest, special care must be taken to avoid these spiky little dudes.
22 BLACK PANTHER - SOUTH AMERICA, ASIA, AFRICA & OUR OWN BACKYARD!
Considered one of the most adaptable felines in the world, this big and powerful species sure gets around. There are species of Black Panthers in various parts of the world, but perhaps the most surprising is that they can even be found in parts of the United States, particularly Southern Florida!
There is indeed a lot of confusion regarding this feline, as Black Panthers are the black variant of any of the large feline species, such as Jaguars and even Leopards. And any way you look at these beautiful but dangerous animals, stay as far away as you can.
21 MALAYAN SUN BEAR - CHINA, SOUTHEAST ASIA
Definitely not your average bears. What makes these bears distinct is the particular u-shaped patch of fur on their chest. They all have it and its golden color is what gives this species of bear their name. Another notable trait is that they have particularly long tongues, which is great for foraging for well hidden food.
As far as their diet is concerned, they are omnivores, which means that they eat both meat and plants, favoring berries and fruit in the warm environment.
They are specifically located in Asia--particularly China in Hainan Island and Xishuangbanna in the Yunnan Province.
20 EMPEROR SCORPION - WEST AFRICA
The origins of the scorpion in general dates back a long time. 430 million years ago to be exact, which dates it back to the Silurian period.
Over the long years, many species have adapted to many climates all over the world, spanning the United States, Asia, South America and of course Africa.
This specific species is found in West Africa and dwells primarily in the humid and hot climates of the rainforest. They feed on crickets and are in fact poisonous, but the venom is rather mild as far as venom goes. So if you want to avoid any discomfort on your trek, watch out!
19 PIRANHA - SOUTH AMERICA
These too have been subject to much misrepresentation in Hollywood lore. However, these fish that are part of the Characidae family of fish, are actually considered omnivores. They eat both meat and vegetation that can be found in the waters of South America. The various plants and microorganisms that live in the bodies of water they dwell in are their favored food, but should a mammal or any other living thing fall into their habitat, then they will do what comes naturally.
Another interesting piece of information about these little but scary fish: their teeth never stop coming. If they lose one, it will always be replaced.
18 RETICULATED PYTHON - SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
Considered one of the big three, Pythons, Boas and Anacondas are the biggest snakes found in the world. The Reticulated Python is the longest of those three and can be found in many different colors.
They are not venomous but are probably more dangerous than the venomous snakes out there as they can eat larger mammals and even humans (many cases have in fact been reported of human consumption, as well as suffocation).
And if that isn't enough to scare you away from the Asian rainforests in which they are found, maybe the disturbing net-like pattern, which gives this snake its name will keep you at bay.
17 BOA CONSTRICTOR - CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA
Boas are one of the biggest three snakes on the planet, joined only by the Anaconda and the Reticulated Python, both of which are featured in this article.
Most people in general keep quite far from rainforests in general for fear of stumbling on a snake such as this one, and that fear is really well thought out. We can't say that it's a delusional paranoia, as these snakes tend to be a tad protective of their environments, as they very well should.
Boas in particular use their flicking tongues to pick up scents and can smell you or anything else coming from far away. Interestingly enough, Boas can eat large primates and other large mammals found in their environment.
16 ASSASSIN BUG - THE AMAZON
This one will definitely take the cake as being one of the most ferocious critters to make this list. Meet the bug that lives up to its name. Pictured here, it is carrying a load of ants that it has just poisoned.
That's right, you read that properly, poisoned!
These bugs have a long organ that sticks out of their mouths and they stick their prey with it, the poison then seeping into their prey's organs, destroying them instantly.
They cannot kill humans, but a sub-familial bug of theirs, the "Kissing Bug," or "Cone Nose Bugs," have attributed to 12 500 lives lost a year! More on them in a bit.
15 MANY SPECIES OF TIGERS - ASIA
To say that the Tiger is a beautiful animal would be an understatement. Considered one of the largest and strongest feline mammals, it is definitely a dominant force in the rainforest as well as many other ecological environments that are hot and humid.
But we wouldn't suggest petting any of these you might come across in your next trek in the rainforest, as they may misconstrue your intentions.
Some species include: The Bengal Tiger, Siberian Tiger, Malayan Tiger, as well as many others. And these species, as well as others can be found in many rainforests around Asia, depending on the species and specific locations of course. An example: a Malayan Tiger can be found in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand. So watch your step when stepping through those trees.
14 MARMOSET - SOUTH AMERICAN RAINFOREST
Considered one of the cutest of monkeys , the Marmoset is particular to the jungles of South America. Interestingly enough, there are 22 different types of species for this monkey and they all vary in sizes and features, respectively.
But one glaring similarity is that these primates all give birth to twins, no exceptions.
And although they definitely look cute and cuddly, we wouldn't suggest getting too close, as they have extremely sharp teeth and a strong vise-like grip of the jaw. This is defensive primarily, as they like to eat bananas with the rest of the primates.
13 MARGAY - SOUTH AMERICA (MEXICO, ANDES, COSTA RICA, URUGUAY ...)
Well, these little critters aren't much bigger than Whiskers, your house cat. And while Whiskers is exceptionally cuddly, especially when you've just filled his food bowl, this adorable animal pictured here doesn't snuggle all that well.
Its characteristics are incredible long whiskers, sensitive hearing and an ability to hunt that puts it quite high on the rainforest food chain.
What makes him different and a better hunter than a lot of rainforest cats, is its exceptional ability to climb trees when chasing its prey.
So unfortunately, Monkeys are indeed one of its food sources.
Interestingly enough, though, they eat plenty of fruit as well, as it helps their digestion. Smart little critters, eh?
12 MATA-MATA TURTLE - SOUTH AMERICA / AMAZON
These definitely aren't your average-looking Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle variety. In fact, these turtles are and were granted a rather predatory streak. They are experts at hiding, submerging themselves deep in the water, sticking only their long necks out in wait of prey.
Other particularities and differences from your average turtle are the extra long nails they have on their extremities.
And if you think you'll be able to spot them, think again. They can often be mistaken for logs floating in the water, so watch out! Yet another of the many dangerous creatures in the Amazon that don't like to be bothered.
11 AMAZONIAN GIANT CENTIPEDE
Centipedes are the things horror movies are made of. They are in fact one of the most feared "bugs" on the planet. But we really can't call them bugs, as they are considered Chilopoda. But nomenclature aside, these critters are definitely worth a chill or two.
As it turns out, they are venomous, but they cannot cause fatalities in humans. To other animals in the rainforest, however, they are in fact quite fatal. Their diet consists of snakes, (smaller ones, and none that are featured in this article).
Also here, we have many different species, but the large ones are almost all venomous and you should keep a safe distance from them and whatever you do, remember them when your friend suggests camping out in the Amazon of all places. You wouldn't want one of these in your sleeping bag, as the bites can get quite uncomfortable.
10 GORILLA - AFRICA
I'm sure there are many of you out there that watched Rampage starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. In the film, the gorilla featured, George, is at times lovable, despite being subjected to an unfortunate incident that causes him to grow to massive proportions and causes quite some havoc throughout the film.
Zoologists all over the world have been working with this large ape and many have been known to do well with humans, but in the wild, these apes should not be approached, as they can be very violent. And no, they won't eat you, as they are considered herbivores, but they will defend themselves, their young and their territory as best as they know how.
9 RHINOCEROS - ASIA
These here are the gentle giants of the rainforest. They too are herbivores and spend their time foraging for vegetation in the rich humid environment. They can weigh up to a thousand pounds and their skin is exceptionally thick, which is great for defense against other animals.
But don't let all that plant eating fool you. They are extremely keen despite the fact that they have rather small brains and they have incredible hearing and smelling senses--far superior than other animals their size. They can smell an approaching human from great distances and if they so choose to charge, watch out.
Unfortunately, their survival is in danger and they are slowly being wiped out. They are now limited to four major locations in Asia: Nepal, India, Bhutan and Indonesia.
8 CROCODILES - ASIA, AFRICA, AUSTRALIA & THE SOUTH PACIFIC
Considered an aquatic reptile, this beast is in fact as ferocious as it seems. Like the Piranha we mentioned earlier, should a mammal fall into the water it inhabits, it will no doubt perish if this huge reptile has anything to say about it.
However, its prey doesn't have to necessarily have to be in the water, as these bad boys are known to seek out their prey on dry land as well.
Characteristically massive, these reptiles are definitely strong. And at a maximum length of 17 to 20 feet and just over 2 000 pounds is it any wonder? But despite their size, these mammoth beings sure can move when they have to.
7 GOLDEN LION TAMARIN - SOUTH AMERICA / BRAZIL
Don't let that cute little face fool you. Yes, it is indeed an omnivore and primarily eats plants, but what makes this primate different from the rest is that it also eats insects and birds. Not even Gorillas go that far when it comes to the meat they ingest. At most, Gorillas will eat small insects but never anything bigger. Hence the sharp teeth that this Golden Lion Tamarin has in its mouth. The teeth facilitate hunting for birds high up in the trees.
And apart from the sharp teeth, they have strong and sharp claws as well.
And if none of that warns you away, they have a distinct and pretty creepy call, so maybe that'll do the trick and make you change direction.
6 JAGUAR - SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA & SOUTHWESTERN US
At one time, these ferocious felines roamed all over the South American regions, particularly the rainforests, but due to circumstances, these animals are now pretty much located only around the Central and Northern portions of South America and the Amazon.
The Jaguar, a ferocious hunter, still has a large range despite the smaller stomping grounds, but it still is often involved in many conflicts with farmers in the regions it inhabits, as it's lured to the farms by the possibility of food, and the farmers are defending their own territory. But thankfully, the hunting of these felines for sport is prohibited in the area and punishable by law.
5 POISON DART FROG - SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA
These frogs are very alluring. Many have claimed that staring at them is in fact unavoidable as their colors are so bright and attractive. But if your attention does get pulled in their direction, be careful not to get too close, as their skin is rather poisonous, so don't touch.
They're situated primarily in the rainforests of South and Central America.
Interestingly enough, the poison that is found on their skin is often used to lace arrows and darts used for hunting by the indigenous natives of the area for the purposes of hunting.
4 SIAMANG - SOUTHEAST ASIA
Here is yet another monkey, specifically the Gibbon branch of apes. They are quite large. They can measure up to 1 meter in height and the reach of their arms is equal to just over that.
They can't be considered ferocious, but if cornered, they will attack, which in the wild is very much to be expected.
What makes them that much more intimidating though is the fact that they have a very particular call that can get quite loud. This call or ululation is used to ward off neighboring animals to keep away, so if you hear it on your next trip, maybe keep away.
3 VAMPIRE BAT - CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA
If you pay attention to social media posts in general, you may have come across some adorable bats as of late. Usually in these posted videos, people are petting them and feeding them an assortment of berries and they are indeed adorable; no doubt about that. But they aren't Vampire Bats. These critters of the night are a whole different story, and although they may look cute (at least when their mouths are closed) they are terribly dangerous.
They do in fact feeds like vampires (their only nutritional item), and have been known to bite humans as well. Their feeding process can last up to 30 minutes at a time, but the loss won't do anything to a person. The only danger might be that the site of the bite may get infected.
2 KISSING BUG - THE AMAZON
So you want to know where these bugs get their name? It's pretty gross, but we'll go ahead and tell you anyways, as you wouldn't be reading this if you weren't interested, so here it goes, they're called kissing bugs because they primarily feed around the mouths of people, biting frequently and relentlessly.
They are beginning to become quite the problem however, as many human fatalities have been linked to these bites. Scientists have found that these flies are carriers of the Chagas disease, which as we mentioned earlier has claimed the lives of thousands who have been bitten.
1 HARPY EAGLE - CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA
Our first and only bird in this article and trust us when we tell you that this feathered critter definitely belongs on this list. And if this one doesn't scare you away from the rainforest, or at least warns you to be extra careful, we don't know what else will, especially considering all the other animals featured.
This is an extremely powerful bird and isn't considered one you should call to sit on the old shoulder for a nice chat. It's likely to snap at your ear!
This thing is strong enough to carry off sloth, deer, monkeys and is more than capable of snatching up and carrying off a small child!
Sources: www.wikipedia.org; www.kidzone.ws; oddizzi.com; ipfactly.com; youtube.com / World's Greatest Animals