he Amazon includes the largest tropical jungle in the world , it extends over the territory of 9 South American countries. We find in the heart of the Amazon an abundant fauna and flora, this jungle is therefore considered a true natural sanctuary containing a large number of particular and rare species. It is estimated that the Amazon jungle is home to more than 15,000 animal species, many of which are unfortunately in danger of extinction.
Whether they are remarkable for their beauty, their behavior or their rarity, all animals attract our attention for a reason, while certain Amazonian species are especially recognized for their power and their dangerousness. It behooves us to emphasize in a thick line that no animal is inherently cruel. Nevertheless, some animals possess hunting and defense mechanisms that can prove potentially dangerous to humans and individuals who threaten their well-being or those who invade their territory. In this new article ” What are the most dangerous animals in the Amazon” from PlanèteAnimal, we are going to tell you some anecdotes about 11 of the most dangerous animals in the Amazon!
1. Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria nigriventer)
This spider species belongs to the Ctenidae family and is considered by many experts to be one of the most dangerous and deadly spiders in the world. Although Phoneutria phera, which also lives in South American jungles, has more toxic venom, it is important to note that Brazilian wandering spiders (Phoneutria nigriventer) inflict a greater number of bites on humans . All this is due to its more aggressive character and great agility,as well as its synanthropic habits. They tend to live in banana plantations, in ports as well as in town centers and therefore regularly cross paths with human beings, especially agricultural workers.
This is a large and very imposing looking spider whose adult specimens tend to measure as much as the palm of an adult’s hand. It has two large frontal eyes and two small eyes located alongside its large hairy paws. Its long red fangs are characteristic and allow it to easily inoculate its venom to defend itself and/or immobilize its prey.
In South America, there are more than 100 species of scorpions belonging to the genus Tityus. Although only 6 of these species are poisonous, their bites are responsible for the death of 30 people each year in northern Brazil! This terrifying stat explains why they are among our top 11 most dangerous animals in the Amazon. These frequent attacks are explained by the great adaptability of scorpions to urban areas.
Venomous Tityus scorpions store powerful venom in their bulbous gland which they can inoculate using the curved needle in their tail. Once injected into the body of their victim, the neurotoxic substances of the venom cause almost instantaneous paralysis and can eventually cause cardiac or respiratory arrest . It is a defense mechanism, as well as a powerful hunting asset.
3. Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus)
The famous anaconda is a constrictor snake endemic to the rivers of the Amazon that belongs to the boa family. This species is recognized as being the heaviest species of snake considering that it can end up weighing more than 220 kg, there is controversy surrounding this snake as to whether it is the heaviest snake or not. This controversy stems from the fact that the reticulated python is a few centimeters taller than anacondas.
Despite its bad reputation as a man-eater conquered in many films, the anaconda very rarely attacks human beings because we are not part of its trophic chain. That is to say that the anacondas do not attack us for food. The rare attacks recorded on people are defensive, when the animal felt threatened or attacked in any way. In reality, snakes are more fearful than aggressive toward humans. If they can escape or hide to save energy and avoid a fight, they will.
4. Black caiman (Melanosuchus niger)
Another of the animals considered to be the most dangerous in the Amazon is the black caiman, known as Jacaré-açú in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, it is the only surviving species of the genus Melanosuchus . Its uniformly black body can measure up to 6 meters, this impressive size makes it one of the largest crocodiles in the world. In addition to being an excellent swimmer, the black caiman is also a relentless and intelligent hunter with a really powerful jaw. Its diet includes small mammals, birds and fish as well as monkeys and wild boars!
5. Electric eel (Electrophorus electricus)
Electric eels are often confused with aquatic snakes although they belong to a genus of fish that belongs to the Gymnotidae family. In reality, it is a one-of-a-kind species with very specific characteristics.
Its most recognized and feared characteristic is undoubtedly its ability to transmit electrical currents from inside its body to the outside. It can do this thanks to a set of special cells which allow the emission of powerful electrical discharges of 600 W (higher voltage than what we find here!) and it is for this reason that it is considered as one of the most dangerous animals in the Amazon. Eels use this skill to defend themselves, catch their prey and to communicate with other eels.
6. Common spearhead (Bothrops atrox)
Among the most venomous snakes in the Amazon is the Common Spearhead, a species that is responsible for a large number of fatal attacks on human beings . This alarming number of bites on people is explained not only by its reactive character as well as by its great adaptation to inhabited areas . Although it lives in the jungle, the Common Spearhead is used to finding its food in cities since human waste attracts rats, lizards and birds…
The Common Spearhead is a large snake that can easily reach 2 meters in length. The colors it adopts can vary from brown, olive green or gray, with or without stripes and stains. These vipers are ingenious and very efficient hunters. Thanks to an organ called ” boreal pits ” which is located between the muzzle and their eyes, they are able to easily detect the body heat of warm-blooded animals. Once it has identified a prey, the viper camouflages itself among leaves, branches or other components of its environment and waits patiently until it delivers a fatal blow.
The word “piranha” is popularly used to refer to several different species of carnivorous fish that live in the rivers of the Amazon in South America. Piranhas belong to the vast Serrasalminae subfamily which also contains herbivorous species. They are voracious predatorswhich are characterized by their rows of sharp teeth and for their insatiable appetite, thus being one of the most dangerous animals in South America. Nevertheless, it is a medium-sized fish which generally measures 15 to 20 cm even if we have already seen specimens over 35 cm! Although capable of devouring whole birds and mammals in minutes, piranhas have difficulty attacking humans and are not as ferocious as seen in movies.
When we speak of Dendrobatidae, we refer to a family and not to a single species. The super family Dendrobatidae has a strong connection with the Aromobatidae family and it includes more than 180 species of amphibians which are popularly known as “poison frogs”. These animals are considered endemic to South America and Central America, they live abundantly in the Amazon jungle. Their skin is loaded with a powerful venom called ” batracoxin” , which tends to be used by the natives on the tips of their arrows in order to cause rapid deaths of animals they hunt for food and enemies invading their territory. .
The species of Dendrobatidae whose venom is the most powerful in Amazonia is the Phyllobates terribilis. These yellow-colored amphibians have small discs on their legs that allow them to support themselves on the plants and branches of the humid Amazonian jungle. It is estimated that a small dose of its venom can kill up to 1500 people! The potency of the venom makes these amphibians easily belong to our top 11 most dangerous animals in the Amazon!
9. Army ants
They may look small at first glance, but this species of ant is made up of incredible hunters with powerful, very sharp jaws . Its popular name derives from its attack strategy: soldier ants, also known as warrior or legionary ants, never attack alone and fall in large numbers on their prey, much larger than themselves. Nowadays, this nomenclature designates more than 200 species belonging to different genera of the Formicidae family. In the Amazon jungle, we find more especially the army ants of the Ecitoninae subfamily .
Through their sting, these ants inject small doses of a toxic venom that weakens and dissolves the tissues of their prey. Then, they use their powerful jaws to tear the slaughtered animal to pieces, which allows them to eat, as well as their larvae. For this reason, army ants are known to be the most voracious and smallest predators in all of the Amazon.
Unlike the majority of ants, army ants do not build a nest, in fact, they transport their larvae and establish temporary camps where they find a good availability of food and shelter.
10. Spotted Ray
Eyespot stingrays are part of a genus of neotropical fish called Potamotrygon which has 21 known species. With the exception of Chile, ocellus rays are found throughout the entire South American continent, the greatest diversity of these species is found in the rivers of the Amazon. These rays are voracious predators that suck in worms, snails, small fish and other river animals in order to feed themselves with their mouth stuck to the mud.
In general, these rays have a quiet life in the Amazonian rivers. However, if they feel threatened, they can activate a dangerous self-defense technique. On their powerful tail, they can shoot out a good number of spines which tend to be hidden by an epithelial sheath and which are covered with a powerful venom .. When the animal feels threatened or when it perceives an unusual stimulus on its territory, the venom-covered spines bristle, the ray shakes its tail and uses it as a whip to ward off possible predators. The powerful toxic formula of this venom destroys skin and muscle tissue, causing intense pain while often causing respiratory problems, muscle spasms and irreversible damage to certain internal organs such as the brain, lungs and heart. Thus, the eye-spotted ray is one of the most venomous and dangerous animals in Amazonia.
11. Jaguar (Panthera onca)
The jaguar is the largest feline that lives on the American continent, as well as the third largest in the whole world (coming just after the Bengal tiger and the lion). Additionally, it is the only one of four known species belonging to the genus Panthera that can be found in America. Although it is considered a very representative animal of the Amazon, its total population extends from the south of the United States to the north of Argentina, thus including a good part of Central America and North America. from South.
As one can imagine, this is a large carnivorous feline that is an incredible hunter. Its diet includes small and medium mammals as well as large reptiles. Unfortunately, this is one of the animals that is in danger of extinction. Its population has been completely extirpated from North American territory and is incredibly reduced in South American territory. In recent years, the creation of national parks in the jungle regions has contributed to the preservation of this species while limiting the damage from sport hunting. Despite being one of the most dangerous animals in the Amazon, it is also one of the most beautiful creatures in the world that is in danger of