Tropical Rainforests: Animals

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11199

Have you ever seen a see-through frog? How about an assassin bug? You will see all kinds of cool and strange animals, and get to write about and color them, while you learn about tropical rainforests!



learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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The tropical rainforest is an amazing place, filled with unique animals.

  • Did you know the rainforest is home to over fifty percent of the animals and plants on earth?

This means that half the animals and plants on the earth can be found in the rainforest. The rainforest is a great home for tons of different animals.

rainforest animals

Read on to learn about the animals you will see in the rainforest!

Before you start this lesson, let's review some of the things you have learned so far in this series.

  • You know that the rainforest is located near the equator and has a wet and humid climate.
  • The rainforest can get up to four hundred inches of rain per year!
  • Tropical rainforests have four layers. The top layer is the emergent layer, below the emergent layer is the canopy layer, underneath the canopy layer is the understory, and the bottom layer of the rainforest is the rainforest floor.
  • You also learned that the rainforest is home to many different types of plants.
  • Do you remember the giant lily pads you learned about in the last lesson?


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The rainforest is home to millions and millions of species. All different types of animals can be found here. If you were to take a trip to the rainforest today, you would see monkeys, insects, big cats, bats, frogs, lizards, birds, and so much more.

Let's take a look at some amazing animals that live in the rainforest.


The first interesting animal you will learn about is called a glass frog. Glass frogs are translucent.

  • Do you know what translucent means?

Take a look at the pictures of the glass frogs below.

  • What do you notice?
  • Did you figure out what translucent means? 

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  • Did you guess that translucent means you can see through the frog?

Fantastic! Most of the glass frogs pictured here have skin that is a pale green color, but if you look closely, you can see the frog's heart and other organs. Pretty cool!

Glass frogs usually live on leaves and branches. This is where they lay their eggs. Some glass frogs even take care of their babies, which is unusual for frogs!

Glass frogs have the same diet as most frogs. They eat insects, spiders, and other small critters.

Another incredible animal that can be found in the rainforest is a toucan. A toucan is a common bird that lives in the trees of tropical rainforests.

  • Did you know that even though toucans live in trees, they are not very good at flying?

Most of the time, toucans hop from tree to tree.

Toucans eat insects, nuts, and fruit. They use their large beaks to open up nuts and pick fruit from the trees.

  • Do you see the large beaks on the toucans below?

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Toucans live in the hollow section of the rainforest's trees. If you look at the third picture below, you can see a toucan in a hollow. This is where they lay their eggs.

  • Did you know both parents incubate (sit on) their eggs?

The next incredible animal you will learn about in this lesson is called a spider monkey. Check out the spider monkeys below.

  • What do you notice about them?

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  • Did you notice their long arms and legs?
  • Why do you think they need long arms and legs?

Spider monkeys need long arms and legs to swing from tree to tree. If they had short arms and legs, it would be much harder to get around!

Spider monkeys forage in small groups. While foraging they look for fruits, leaves, nuts, bird eggs, and insects. This is what they eat! Spider monkeys look for food (forage) together to keep themselves safe from predators!

Spider monkeys usually only have one baby at a time. The mother spider monkey will carry her baby on her back. Spider monkeys take care of their babies until they turn one year old.

Let's go on an adventure to the London Zoo next!

Watch Meet The Rainforest Experience at ZSL London Zoo from the ZSL - Zoological Society of London below to meet some of the rainforest animals that live in this zoo!

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Fantastic! You learned about some awesome animals.

Move on to the Got It? section to check out some more cool animals!

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