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Tropical rivers

Amazon rainforest animals gather at the water's edge to drink. Capybaras, tapirs and peccaries are all prey for the jaguar.The River Amazon has thousands of tributaries that flow through the rainforest. Some of these channels are wide and deep, while others are narrow, shallow and full of fallen leaves, branches and winding tree roots. The river teems with fish, including predators such as the notorious piranha, the electric eel and the arowana, which will often leap out of the water to snatch insects or even birds. By night, various forest animals come to the river banks to drink. Tapirs, peccaries and capybaras are wary of dangerous predators, such as jaguars.

Aerial view of the Amazon rainforest near Manaus, Brazil
Floodwaters collect on the forest floor during the rainy season in the Amazon.


During the rainy season, vast areas of the forest floor flood, and fish swim among the tree trunks. River animals like the giant otter, the caiman or the Amazon dolphin, go off in pursuit of them. Some animals, such as the capybara, anaconda or jaguar, are good swimmers and are easily able to negotiate the floodplains. Others, such as monkeys, iguanas and anteaters, take to the trees during the floods.

As soon as the eggs of the Darwin’s frog begin to show signs of hatching, the father swallows some of them, keeping them safe in his croaking sac, part of his throat. When they hatch, he simply opens his mouth and lets them hop out.

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