How Do Animals in the Rain Forest Survive?

By Shae Lynn

The rain forest is home to about 50 percent of the world's animals. It is a wonderful environment for them because they have everything they need to survive. The largest rain forest is the Amazon where you will find the second-longest river, of the same name, in the world. Other places where you can find rain forests are Africa, Asia, Central America and Australasia.


The weather in the rain forest is warm and humid for the entire year. Animals don't have to contend with season changes. Rain forests are basically jungles with many trees and plants. The rain forest embodies four layers -- emergent, canopy, understory and the forest floor -- with different species occupying each layer that is best suited to aid in their survival. Rain forests get their name from the great abundance of rain they receive, usually more than 80 inches annually, which is about 1 1/2 inches per week.


In the rain forest, there are animals that do not appreciate being noticed. These animals may use camouflage to blend in with their environment. This is highly useful to avoid being captured by another animal. They also may use camouflage to hide while they stalk their prey. A brightly colored animal signals to others not to bother him, as he is poisonous.


Gathering food for the day's meals can be competitive for animals who eat the same foods. However, many animals learn to choose foods that other animals shun. They adapt to this type of diet, which helps them to survive in the rain forest. Some of these may include fruit, leaves or nuts.


Due to the four layers that are present in the rain forest, it is an ideal shelter for the animals that live there. The top layer, or emergent layer, has trees that are very tall. This is where you find the animals that need the most sun, such as butterflies, monkeys, eagles and bats. The canopy layer has the most food near it. This layer provides shelter from the sun, but it is still light. You may see tree frogs and toucans in this layer. The understory layer has little light that leopards and jaguars prefer. The bottom layer, or the forest floor, is dark. Some animals that live on the forest floor include anteaters, green iguanas and lots of insects.

Aid from Other Species

There are animals that depend on each other in the rain forest. Some animals may spread seeds from plants and fruits to other areas of the rain forest by carrying them from place to place or through the animals' bodily eliminations. New trees may sprout from the eaten seeds that can provide food later for other animals.