Some are poisonous, some are very colorful, some have unique skills, but all are crucial to this wild and mysterious ecosystem.
The Amazon is home to some of the most beautiful and exotic creatures in the world, and lots of ’em. Probably even more than we’ve previously ever known.
For a long time, the most advanced technique for finding and documenting these animals has been no different than that of its first human inhabitants; take a walk through the woods and write down what you see. But a new method is growing in acceptance, Stanford News reports, the sign method takes into consideration not just visibly identifying creatures, but their tracks, scat, and other “signs” they leave behind.
“The six most important game animals in the region – including species of deer and pig-like peccaries and tapirs – were not encountered in up to 40 percent of the villages or control sites, or on 29 to 72 percent of the trails where they were detected by sign,” the university maintains. “The sign method found that tapirs, one of the most culturally important animals and which are sensitive to overhunting, were present at many sites where they were never spotted visually.”
You may never get the chance to float down the estuaries of this magnificent river, but you can check out some of the animals that live there from your own screen. Here are 10 of our favorites!
10. Brazilian Wandering Spider
Jungle spiders of Brazil are some of the deadliest in the world. The Brazilian Wandering spider is no exception.
Even the smallest bite from these arachnids is enough to kill a human, Animal Corner reports. These spiders grow to be about 4-5 inches in diameter, move quickly, and display a set of gruesome red jaws when ready to strike.
They’re called wandering spiders because they travel across the jungle floor looking for prey, rather than up in the trees. And if you’re not creeped out yet, did we mention they like to hide in bunches of bananas?
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9. Bullet Ant
The bullet ant isn’t the largest creature on our list, but it packs a mighty punch. According to CNet, “Brave Wilderness” host Coyote Peterson found this out the hard way when he let one sting his forearm.
While no more than an inch and a half long, the bullet ant can deliver a powerful neurotoxin that can paralyze its victims in seconds.
It’s not an experience recommended for the faint of heart, and if you find yourself near a colony of little reddish-black bullet ants, you had best keep your distance.
Watch Peterson’s bullet ant brush up in the video below.