Header image for Rio Amazon page
Header image for Rio Amazon page
frog

Rio Amazon recreates the primeval, lush world of the rainforest.

Rainforests are some of Earth’s oldest living ecosystems, some surviving for at least 70 million years! Discover the animals that inhabit these tropical forests, like freshwater stingrays, poison dart frogs, armored catfish, arapaima, and piranhas.

rainforest piranha

PIRANHAS

The piranha family is divided into two subfamilies–the carnivorous piranha and the herbivorous pacu. The lesser-known herbivorous pacu grow much larger than their feared piranha cousins and can reach up to 44 pounds!

Frequently, piranhas in the wild become stranded in pools due to drought conditions. When this happens, they have been known to attack cows, crocodiles, and even humans, and can strip flesh off their prey in minutes.

rio catfish

REDTAIL CATFISH

The redtail catfish of South America can grow to over five feet in length, but is really distinguishable by its lack of scales and “whiskers.” These cat-like whiskers are actually barbels, which the redtail catfish uses for sensing food in murky waters.

arapaima

ARAPAIMA

Native to the Amazon and its tributaries, the arapaima is one of the largest freshwater fish in the world. Specimens ten feet in length, weighing up to 400 pounds, are common. Enormous specimens reaching lengths of 15 feet and 1,000 pounds have even been reported!

Did you know that the arapaima can make an exhale breathing sound that can be heard 100 feet away?

frog doubled

POISON DART FROGS

The fantastically colorful poison dart frogs of Central and South America are extremely poisonous. Despite their tiny size, the largest less than 1.5 inches in length, these frogs are highly toxic and some can be lethal to humans.

Native hunters in the rainforest use poisons from these frogs on the tips of their blow darts and arrows when hunting.

COME LOOK, BUT DON'T TOUCH

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