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The Deadliest Creatures of the South American Jungles

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"The Deadliest Creatures of the South American Jungles"
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The South American rainforest is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, but beware. This magnificent jungle can be deadly if one is not careful. The South American Amazon contains several dangerous creatures.

*Poison Dart Frog

The South American rainforest is home to one of the most beautiful and most deadly amphibians on Earth-the poison dart frog. The poison dart frog is a member of the Dendrobatidae family, and it has some of the most brilliant colors on Earth. There colors range red, green, blue, gold, yellow, or black. The poison dart frogs have gorgeous hues and designs. Despite their beauty, the poison dart frog secretes venom on their skin that can kill a person within an hour. The golden poison dart frog produces enough venom to kill 10 grown men. These designs are a defense mechanism. They are meant to scare off potential predators. The poison dart frog can live for 3-15 years, and it has only one natural predator a snake called Leimadophis.


The magnificent jaguar is South America’s largest big cat. The cat’s name jaguar is derived from the Native American word ‘yaguar’ which means ‘he who kills with one leap’. Most jaguars are either tan or orange with black spots. Some are so dark that they appear to be spotless.  The jaguar prefers live alone. Their territories can stretch for miles, and they mark it by clawing trees or by leaving behind their waste. Female jaguars have a litter of one to four cubs. The mother stays with them until they learn to hunt and defend themselves.  Unlike many cats, the jaguar is not afraid of water. They are excellent swimmers.  Jaguars will eat fish, turtles, deer, and other large animals. They sometimes climb trees in order to ambush their prey.


Stay out of the water!  No it’s not Jaws.  It is piranhas.  These fish eat flesh. From the time they hatch, piranhas begin munching on other fish and aquatic plants.  Piranhas travel in groups of about 20, and when they are in a feeding frenzy, the water appear to be boiling.  They attack with such brutality that they can strip an animal of skin in minutes. 


Anacondas are some of the largest nonvenomous snakes in the world.  Although their bite won’t kill you, they can squeeze you to death. These snakes can grow up to 40 feet long and weight anywhere from 300 to 500 lbs. Anaconda generally bite their prey, hold it, pull it into their coils, and then crush it.  After they have succeeded in killing their prey, they will then swallow it whole. 

*Electric eels

Piranhas are not the only dangers lurking in the waters of the South American jungle.  Electric eels are found in the freshwaters of the Amazon.  These predators can produce an electric current of 600 volts. This is five times the voltage of a United States standard wall socket.  Electric eels can reach 6 to 8 feet in length, and they have a life expectancy of 15 years. 


Cougars are slender and agile members of the cat family.  They are closely related to jaguars.  Cougar coloring is plan and vary greatly between individuals. They are the fourth largest feline in the world. They are also known for their ability to jump up to 30 feet. Cougars will eat any animal they catch.  Although they are not strongly associated with water, they can swim.  Attacks on humans are rare, but cougars will attack humans in times of extreme starvation.

In conclusion, the Amazon is a beautiful place. It has some of the most diverse species of insects and animals on the planet.  The South American jungle is also home to several deadly creatures.

More about this author: Lawanda Shieldsl

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