Amazon Rainforest Facts

The Amazon is in South America. It’s the world’s largest tropical rainforest and covers 1.4 billion acres. It spans nine different countries and has 40,000 different plant species. It’s home to 2 and a half million different insect species and produces 20% of the world’s oxygen.

It’s a stunning rainforest with so many unique plants, animals, insects, and rare species. Scientists are discovering and learning about new species all the time.

It’s over 2.72 million square miles with acres of forest and is located in South America. It goes across many different countries such as:

  • Brazil
  • Peru
  • Guyana
  • Bolivia
  • French Guiana
  • Suriname
  • Ecuador
  • Venezuela
  • Columbia

Amazon Rainforest Facts for Kids:

  • The Amazon Rainforest is 55 million years old
  • Indigenous people such as the Yanomamo live in the Amazon
  • The Amazon native tribes speak  170 different languages.
  • Temperatures can reach highs of up to 91 degrees Fahrenheit (32 °C)
  • The average annual rainfall is almost 120 inches
  • It’s home to endangered species such as the Amazonian Jaguar
  • The Pirarucu, a meat-eating fish, lives by eating other fish.
  • Amazon means “fierce female warriors” and is from Greek Mythology.
  • The Rio Hamza is an underground river that is found in the Amazon Rainforest.
  • Epiphytes are found in the Amazon Rainforest.  Epiphytes are trees that grow on other trees.
  • A man named Martin Strel swam the whole length of the Amazon River in 2007.  It took him 66 days.
  • There are many medicines that come from the plants that are found in the Amazon Rainforest.
  • The Toucan, which is found in the Amazon Rainforest is the loudest animal in the rainforest.
  • The word Amazon comes from women in the tribes that fought against the European, Francisco de Orellana, that traveled the Amazon.

Plants, Animals, and Insects

The Amazon Rainforest is the home to many types of plants, animals, and insects.

Anaconda Snake

As a matter of fact, most of the animal species that are known in the world make up around 2,000 species that live in the Amazon Rainforest.

Some of these include:

  • Jaguar
  • Cougar
  • Anaconda
  • Sloth
  • Amazon River Dolphin
  • Capybara
  • Giant Anteater
  • Green Iguana
  • Golden Lion Tamarin
  • Kinkajou

These different animal species include over 400 mammal species, over 300 reptile species, and over 400 amphibian species.

Some of the deadliest animals live in the Amazon Rainforest.

These include

  • Electric eels
  • Poisonous dart frogs
  • Venomous snakes

One of the most dangerous animals in the Amazon Rainforest is the Pirarucu.

This is a fish that eats meat and it can grow as big as 10-feet long.

Pirarucu (Arapaima gigas) air-breathing, giant fish of Amazonian rivers and lakes

Over 1,3000 different kinds of bird species live in the Amazon.

Some of these include:

  • Macaw
  • King Vulture
  • Amazon Kingfisher
  • Hyacinth Macaw
  • Yellow-Headed Caracara
  • Plum-Throated Cotinga
  • Crimson Topaz
  • Cotinga
  • Toucan
  • Harpy Eagle
Red-and Green Macaws (Ara chloropterus) in flight near a clay lick in the southern Peruvian Amazon near Manu National Park.

There are over two million kinds of insects that live in the Amazon Rainforest.

Some of these include:

  • Crickets
  • Ants
  • Bees
  • Spiders
  • Beetles
  • Black Butterflies
  • Deep Red Millipede
  • Green Mantid
  • Brachydiplax Dragonfly
  • Leaf Bug
  • Blue Morpho butterfly
  • Giraffe Necked Weevil
Blue Morpho butterfly – They feed on falling rotting fruit on the ground

There are also 40,000 different species of plants that are located in the Amazon Rainforest.

Some of these include:

  • Lobster Claws
  • Para Rubber Tree
  • Orchids
  • Cocoa Beans
  • Cacao Tree
  • Victoria Amazonica
  • Passion Fruit
  • Monkey Brush Vine
Leaf of a Victoria Amazonica or Victoria Regia, the largest aquatic plant in the world in the Amazon Rainforest in Peru

It’s also home to many different ferns and mosses.

These types of vegetation grow close to the ground and since the rainforest has a harsh climate, these types of plants are able to survive.

Some of them give off toxins when animals come close so that they can protect themselves from being eaten.

There are so many tall trees and plants that the ground of the Amazon Forest is very dark.

The tops of these tall trees are called the canopy.  Since the trees and plants are so thick, it can even take more than ten minutes for the rain to hit the ground of the rainforest.

People of the Amazon Rainforest

There are thought to be around 500 different Native tribes that live in the Amazon Rainforest.

Over 50 of the groups have never met people that live outside of their own tribe.

Amazon Rainforest Biome

The interesting thing about the Amazon Rainforest Biome is that it is made up of so many different species because of the weather.

The weather of the Amazon Rainforest is basically a wetland and it is also known to have a damp climate.

The climate makes the trees a perfect area for animals and insects to live.

Since there is hardly any sunlight in the jungle area, there is more shelter for all of the different species of animals and bugs.

Amazon Rainforest in Brazil

With there being so many different types of plants and tree species in the rainforest, the animals and insects do not have a hard time finding food and this is why there are so many animals and insects species that live there.

The birds live in the Amazon Rainforest because of the big trees and they are able to easily find places to build their nests and to live.

The Amazon Rainforest and Oxygen

Because the Amazon Rainforest is so large, it helps to give the Earth a lot of the oxygen that we breathe.

Through photosynthesis, the trees and the plants of the rainforest take in the carbon dioxide and use the sun to create food called glucose.

The Ecosystem of plants and trees then releases oxygen that people and animals breathe to live.

The Amazon Rainforest is known to give over 20% of the oxygen to the world.  As a matter of fact, the Amazon Rainforest is sometimes called “The Lungs of the Earth” because of how much oxygen it gives off.

Amazon River

The Amazon River runs through the Rainforest.

It is over 6,400 kilometers long and is the second-longest river in all of the world.


In the Amazon Rainforest, it rains around once every four days.  This means that there can be over 10 meters of water in the rainforest over a year.

Because of all of the rain, the Amazon River can be over 480 kilometers wide.  If the water was measured out in the rainforest, it could be enough water to take care of all of the people in New York City for over 9 years.

Deforestation in Brazil

Is the Amazon Rainforest in Danger?

Since the Amazon Rainforest is so large, it is one of the world’s remaining forests and is around half of the Earth’s entire rainforest.

Over the last 100 years, the rainforest is being destroyed.  The rainforest is being destroyed at 1.5 acres per second.

The Amazon Rainforest is being destroyed because it is being cut down by people.  When this happens, it causes there to be animal, insect, and plant species that become extinct.  Extinct means that the animal is no longer found on the Earth.

Many of the people that cut down the forest are doing it to have farms while others cut down the forest because they are making room for businesses to be put up.  Loggers also help to destroy the rainforest because they cut down the trees and use the trees to make things.

Another cause of the loss of the Amazon Rainforest is because of droughts.  In 2005 and in the year 2010, there were droughts that killed off many of the plants that were growing in the Amazon Rainforest.

What Happens to Us if the Amazon Rainforest is Destroyed?

If the Amazon Rainforest is destroyed, it would increase the amount of carbon dioxide that is in the Earth.  This would cause danger to:

  • People
  • Animals
  • Plants
  • Insects
  • The Environment

Since the trees help to store carbon and help to give us oxygen to breathe, having the Amazon Rainforest is very important to all living things.

The carbon that the trees help to store also helps to regulate the climate of the Earth.  With no trees to do this, it could get either way too hot or way too cold to live.

What Did You Learn?

  • What is the Amazon Rainforest?
    The Amazon Rainforest is a jungle that is one of the biggest rainforests in the world.
  • Why is the Amazon Rainforest important?
    The Amazon Rainforest is important because it has a large variety of insects, animals, plants, and people that live in it.  It has the most species of the animals on the Earth.
  • What is the large river that runs through the Amazon Rainforest?
    The large river that runs through the Amazon Rainforest is the Amazon River.  It is the second-longest river in the world.
  • What do the trees and plants of the Amazon Rainforest do?
    The trees and the plants of the Amazon Rainforest help to regulate the carbon levels and they help to provide oxygen to the Earth.
  • Is the Amazon Rainforest in danger?
    The Amazon Rainforest is in danger because people cut down the trees for things such as logging, building businesses, and making farms.