Slide 10 -
Animals II Most of the world's animals are insects, and most insects are found in rainforest. Insect species outnumber all the other animals put together. There are far too many kinds of insects to even begin describing them, but some of the more important groups are butterflies, moths, beetles, ants, wasps, bees, termites, grasshoppers, katydids, cicadas, mantis, stick insects etc. The Amazon is a birdwatcher's paradise. About 1,500 bird species are known from lowland Amazonia about 15% of all known birds in 4% of the world's land area. They range from the world's most powerful birds of prey to some of the tiniest hummingbirds. Oddities such as the toucan, umbrella bird and hoatzin baffle. Flying jewels such as trogons, parrots and hummingbirds dazzle you. When people imagine the Amazon, they think of rivers teeming with flesh-eating fishes the deadly piranha. However, the biology of piranhas is not common knowledge. There are in fact at least a dozen different species, belonging to the characin group of fishes. Most eat fallen fruit not as thrilling as stripping a carcass to the bone, but there is no doubt they play an important part in the local ecology.