Covering over 5.5 million square kilometres, stretching through nine different countries and home to one of the world’s mightiest waterways, the Amazon Rainforest is a unique environment that fosters a huge variety of plants and animals found no where else on earth.
As well as the huge array of birds, reptiles, fish, monkeys and wild cats, there are a number of creatures that are stranger and creepier than you can imagine. And though some of them are totally harmless others have unique traits that will leave you feeling more than a little queasy as you take a trip on a boat from the Amazon clipper fleet.
Also known as the Vandellia Fish, Toothpick Fish and Vampire Fish the Candiru is one of the most feared creatures in the Amazon.
Found in the waterways of the Rainforest, the Candiru smells urine or blood in the water and heads straight for the source, swimming up into the orifice and using its spines to stay in place as it feeds of the internal tissue of its victim.
Though attacks on humans are incredibly rare and visitors are unlikely to see a Candiru fish during Amazon river trips, it’s always a good idea to be vigilant against this fast moving predator.
Lurking in the murky waters of the Amazon and its tributaries you’ll find the electric eel, a high voltage creature that is actually part of the Knifefish family.
Able to stun its prey with up to 600 volts, the electric eel is not to be trifled with and should be avoided by all passengers on Amazon river trips.
These bright, colourful frogs may be eye-catching but they are also one of the most toxic creatures on earth and their garish colours are there for a reason.
Some species are so potent than simply touching them can lead to a lethal dose of poison being absorbed into the skin, so this is definitely a case of look but don’t touch.
As well as animals that have developed lethal characteristics, the Amazon is also home to some that are just downright bizarre and the Jesus Lizard is a great example.
Unlike other animals that you’ll see on Amazon river trips, the Jesus lizard can escape its prey by walking on water, making it difficult for land dwelling predators to get their teeth into it.
Using its flaps of skin, the lizard utilises surface tension to propel itself across the water at around five miles an hour. Keep your eyes peeled and you may even see a Jesus lizard whizz past you on Amazon river trips.
The huge variety of animals in the Amazon is one of things that make the jungle unique and learning all about the local wildlife is a great way to enhance your rainforest adventure.
Is an expert in everything South America, his passion for the region and exploring off the beaten path makes his travel writing both useful and interesting. He has written for several mainstream publications and you can read his guides on Ecuador, Peru, the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon. Andre is also an accomplished photographer and has been recognized as one of the best wildlife photographers in the region, his photos have been featured in National Geographic and other journals. As a travel agent Andre specializes in curating unique experiences, crafting tailor made itineraries and helping visitors make the best of their vacation, always putting the experience first