The Amazon rainforest is considered one ofthe harshest environments in the world, and not just because of the terrain.
Here are 8 of the deadliest animals in theAmazon.
Green AnacondaHearing the word “anaconda, ” the first thing that comes to mind might be a cheesy90’s horror film, but despite how fake the films seem, the green anaconda is a trulydeadly creature.
Although slower on land, the green anacondais agile and menacing in the water.
So it only makes sense that it makes its homein the swamps, marshes, and streams of the Amazon.
With an overwhelming length between 20 and30 feet and weighing between 200 and 500 pounds, it’s not surprising that the green anacondais not only the longest, but the heaviest snake in the world.
Like alligators, their eyes and nostrils arelocated on the top of their head, allowing them to spot and stalk prey while remainingalmost entirely hidden underwater.
Plus, with their green color accompanied withblack and yellow spots, they are naturally camouflaged.
Green anacondas are constrictors, wrappingthemselves around large prey to suffocate them before swallowing them whole.
They typically hunt fish, birds, pigs, capybara, deer, and they have even been seen eating jaguars! This just goes to show that they are not areptile to be messed with.
Poison Dart FrogThis vibrant critter is not just small and cute, but is incredibly deadly! The poison dart frogs found in the Amazonrainforest are not only one of the most poisonous animals in the world, but they are the mosttoxic vertebrate of all.
The poison they carry, called batrachotoxin, is an extremely potent alkaloid that affects both the heart and nervous system.
A single adult frog can carry enough poisonto kill well over 10 men even though the largest ones only measure about 2 inches in length.
They are called poison dart frogs (or sometimespoison arrow frogs) because the natives used to catch the frogs and use them to coat theirblowgun darts.
The poison on the darts would remain potentfor as long as a year.
However, they have since switched to usingguns because they are ironically much safer to carry and use while hunting.
Poison dart frogs come in a wide range ofvibrant colors including: yellow, gold, copper, red, green, blue, or black.
The bright colors and patterns serve as awarning of their toxicity to potential predators.
So, although they stick out in the rainforests, they rarely become part a predator’s meal.
Harpy EagleThe harpy eagle is not just an impressive sight, but in person it is quite an intimidatingbird.
Its wingspan of up to 7.
5 feet and body lengthof up to 40 inches make it the largest and most powerful raptor, or bird of prey, inthe world.
Its name refers to the harpies of Greek mythology, monsters in the form of a bird with a human face.
On top of that, it also possesses talons roughly3 to 4 inches in length; that’s as large as a grizzly bear’s claws! It uses these massive talons to hunt largeprey such as sloths, monkeys, macaws, snakes, and other larger forest animals.
Basically, they will hunt down and eat anythinglarge that moves in the forest.
Typically the females are nearly twice theweight and size of the males, and the larger the eagle, the larger the prey they go after.
Like several other animals on this list, theharpy eagle is an apex predator, having no natural predators.
Because of this, they are known to not fearhumans, often allowing people to approach them, unlike other raptors.
Unfortunately, that makes this beautiful birdan easy target for hunters.
Currently, due to deforestation and hunting, the harpy eagle is listed as a near threatened species.
On a brighter note, though, the harpy eagleis the bird that Fawkes the phoenix was based on for the Harry Potter films! 5.
JaguarThe Jaguar is the largest big cat, not only in South America, but in the entire westernhemisphere.
Jaguars grow to be 4 to 6 feet in length, weighing between 100 to 250 pounds, with males being considerably larger than females.
They are a stocky and powerful big cat.
The name “jaguar” actually comes fromthe Native American word “yaguar” which means “he who kills in one leap.
” This is an especially fitting name consideringjaguars are known to climb in trees to ambush prey, often killing them with a single powerfulbite.
Their jaw is so powerful that they can crusha skull with their bite and often crunch on bones as a regular part of their diet.
After killing their prey, they will drag theirbodies up trees to eat them, sometimes dragging the carcass long distances to reach the nearesttree.
In addition to being excellent climbers, theyare also adept swimmers and often eat fish, turtles, and caiman in addition to their largerland-based prey.
What makes them truly a dangerous animal, though, is how aggressive and territorial jaguars are.
They mark areas up to 50 square miles to claimas their territory.
Brazilian Wandering SpiderWhile most spiders build webs and wait for unsuspecting victims to fall into their traps, the Brazilian wandering spider gets its name from its hunting method of wandering acrossthe forest floor in search of prey.
They are often referred to as “banana spiders”because they are sometimes discovered among bushels of bananas in fruit shipments fromSouth America.
At an average body size of 2 inches and anaverage leg length of 4 to 6 inches, this spider’s size rivals that of even some ofthe largest tarantulas, however, it is much deadlier.
Those who are bitten experience a large varietyof symptoms like severe pain, sweating, high or low blood pressure, abnormally fast orslow heartbeat, hypothermia, blurred vision, and convulsions.
At higher doses, the venom often causes breathingdifficulty and even loss of muscle control.
Oddly enough, in males the venom has beenknown to cause painful, long-lasting erections.
Regardless of the symptoms present, any bitefrom a Brazilian wandering spider is considered potentially fatal and medical attention shouldbe sought immediately.
After all, this spider belongs to the genusphoneutria which translates to “murderess” in Greek.
Black CaimanThe black caiman is a large carnivorous reptile belonging to the alligator family.
There are 6 different types of caiman, however, the black caiman is the largest, growing between 13 and 20 feet in length.
This makes it one of the largest alligatorspecies in the world! They look very similar to the typical Americanalligator except they are – you guessed it – black.
But they are not only darker, they also possessshorter, more pointed snouts with longer and sharper teeth.
These longer teeth are ideal for the caimanto snatch up and hold onto prey as they drown them underwater.
Because their teeth are better suited forgrabbing rather than ripping and tearing, the black caiman typically swallows its mealswhole.
Because of its black scales, it blends inwell in the murky waters around the Amazon.
It usually hunts for fish or small mammals, occasionally going after larger prey along the riverbanks such as capybara, deer, orpigs.
Like the harpy eagle, the black caiman hasfew natural predators, making it an apex predator.
Unfortunately, they were frequently huntedby humans for their valuable skin used in clothing and various accessories.
At one point they were an endangered species, but in more recent years, their population has been on the rise, prompting the removalof their endangered status.
South American RattlesnakeThis next deadly creature is often referred to as the neotropical rattlesnake.
Like its North American counterparts, theneotropical rattlesnake tends to prefer more dry and arid environments and savannas, itcan also be found throughout grasslands and more forested areas.
South American rattlesnakes grow to be roughly5 to 6 feet long with two distinctive stripes going down their bodies from the base of thehead.
At the end of their tail is their trademarkrattle which they use to warn nearby animals (and people) to back off when they feel threatenedand are ready to strike.
Their venom contains two different neurotoxins;crotoxin and crotamine, making it an exceedingly dangerous animal to encounter.
Just a single bite from one of these snakesresults in pain, impaired vision or complete blindness, hypotension (or low blood pressure), heart damage, paralysis, and shock.
Clearly this is scary snake not only in itslethality or appearance, but in its sound as well.
Should you ever hear that rattle, you definitelywant to back away as fast as you can.
Bull SharkThe amazon is home to many deadly creatures and critters, but you may not have guessedsharks as well.
The bull shark is one of just a few sharksthat can survive in both freshwater and saltwater.
Typically, if put into freshwater most sharkswill lose too much salt in their body to survive.
However, the bull shark possesses strong kidneysthat can filter out more urea from the bloodstream without filtering out as much salt, thus allowingit to acclimate to freshwater environments gradually.
Thanks to this trait, bull sharks have beenspotted as far 2, 500 miles into the Amazon where they hunt for fish, turtles, birds, dogs, and even cows.
They get their name from their aggressivedemeanor, blunt snout, and tendency to head-butt their prey right before biting them.
Many believe bull sharks head-butt their preyto identify them before attacking due to their poor sight in the murky freshwater rivers.
Bull sharks are among the most likely sharksto attack humans right behind tiger sharks and great white sharks.
It is speculated, though, that they actuallyattack humans the most, but that the attacks go unreported or misidentified because ofhow difficult it is to see them in the murky waters of the Amazon.
Though this cannot be confirmed, it doesn’tmake them any less deadly.
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