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5 Weird and Wonderful Rainforest Animals

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5 Weird and Wonderful Rainforest Animals. Guyana is thought to hold the largest uncharted area of the AmazonRainforest in the world. About 80% of the country’s landmass is made up of pristine tropical rainforest, untouched by humans. 

To put things in perspective, Guyana is about the same size as Great Britain – so that’s a lot of jungle!

It should come as no surprise, then, that there are some pretty amazing animals lurking in those parts. Guyana’s wild animals include jaguars, caimans, toucans, macaws and green anacondas (the largest snake in the world).

The jungle provides the perfect environment for a whole host of creatures – including some that are rather unusual. Here is a list of our five favourite jungle and grassland animals in Guyana that are a little more unexpected and out of the ordinary.

1. THE GIANT ARMADILLO

Let’s be real for a second; even regular-sized armadillos are a bit weird. But when you first encounter the giant armadillo, you’ll be quite taken aback by just how funky they are.

The giant armadillo of Guyana is the largest species of armadillo in the world. They can grow to lengths of up to a metre (about 3.2 feet) and can weigh as much as 35 kilograms (almost 80 pounds) – that’s about five times bigger than a regular armadillo.

In addition to their hefty size, they have an almost prehistoric appearance. They have an enormous shell, a scaly tail, a slightly kangaroo-esque face and huge, sharp claws – perfect for digging down into their underground burrows. 

Like their smaller cousins, giant armadillos live close to water. Look out for burrows close to rivers if you want to spot one!

2. THE ELECTRIC BLUE TARANTULA

If you’re not keen on spiders, look away now!

The electric blue tarantula might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s no denying that it’s one of Guyana’s most unusual creatures. 

This bright blue arachnid was only discovered in 2014 – and almost totally by accident. Animal scientist Andrew Snyder happened to shine a torch onto the bottom of a tree when he saw a colourful critter shining up at him. On closer inspection, this blue tarantula turned out to be one of many holed up in the tree. 

The eight-legged animal is mostly pretty similar to other, better-known tarantulas – the only real difference is the colour. It has beautiful patches of bright blue covering its body and legs. It looks more like something you’d find in a comic book than anywhere else!

It might be better looking than other tarantulas, but let’s be honest – you still wouldn’t want to find one at the bottom of your sleeping bag. 

3. RIVER DOLPHINS

Yep, you read it right – river dolphins. 

Most of us know dolphins as sea-dwellers, and it’s true that most of them live in saltwater areas. But what many of us aren’t aware of is that you can also find dolphins in rainforest rivers. 

Amazon River Dolphins can only survive in freshwater and they have a pretty unusual pale pink colour – they’re really quite striking.

The number of river dolphins around the Amazon is decreasing due to human impact like pollution. They tend to swim and feed in large groups, though, so if you see one, chances are you’ll see a few. And if you do see a lot of them, that’s a good indication that you’re in a nice healthy stretch of the river.

4. PAYARA

The nickname of this fish is ‘vampire fish’, so that should give you a pretty good indication of what to expect here!

It has two large fang-like teeth that come out of its bottom jaw like a sabre-tooth tiger’s. They can do some serious damage. When the payara’s mouth is shut, it’s tricky to see them, but don’t be fooled – this set of gnashers is more like a deadly weapon.

Payara usually grow to roughly 30 centimetres (12 inches) in length, but they can grow to be almost twice that size. Trust us when we tell you that you don’t want to be on the receiving end of a bite. 

5. GROETE CREEK CARRYING FROG

Frogs might not strike you as an animal that can be particularly interesting, but this frog is a funky little creature that’s definitely worth looking out for on your trip to Guyana.

The main thing that sets this frog apart from others is that the females carry their eggs on their backs until they’re ready to hatch. The eggs stick to a layer of mucus that offers them some protection – and once the eggs have hatched, the juvenile frogs stay attached to their mother’s back until they’re big enough to survive on their own.

It’s very cool to see these frogs hopping about with a back covered in eggs, but you’ll have to get lucky if you want to spot one. The frog’s colours and markings allow it to blend in almost perfectly with the rainforest environment. 

ADVENTURE TRAVEL IN GUYANA

These might be some of our favourite unusual creatures in Guyana, but it’s by no means an extensive list. If you want to discover more about what animals might be lurking in the rainforests of Guyana, book a trip with the Wild Tales today.

We offer fantastic jungle survival courses in the heart of the Amazon. Our trips provide an excellent opportunity to put your mettle to the test – and you might be lucky enough to see some of these amazing animals up close. 

Fill in our contact form to find out more information or to book onto one of our Amazon adventures. To find out more about Guyana you can visit the GTA.

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