The flora and fauna of South America

Continent of South America is within six climatic zones. Dominated by tropical and sub-Equatorial belts, the average annual temperature in the mainland about thirty degrees, the climate is fairly humid.

All this contributes to the development of unique flora and fauna of South America.

Amazing and diverse flora and fauna of the South American continent

During the Cretaceous period, when the collapse of the Gondwana continent, South America for some time became the island, and here formed a special fauna, dominated by notoungulata. Notoungulata in Latin language , the southern ungulates. When the isthmus formed between North and South America, the influx of North American animals have led to partial extinction of the local fauna. This mixing of the fauna of the Americas, paleontologists called the “Great American exchange”.

Modern South America is home to a large number of animal species:

  • Mammals.
  • Reptiles.
  • Birds.
  • Amphibians.
  • Insects.
  • Fish.

Some individuals of these species exist only in South America.

In the animal world of South America contains a large variety of the cat family


The leopard belongs to the family of big cats. The leopard is a large and graceful cat. Leopard body is light, slim and muscular with a very long tail. Leopard weight up to sixty pounds, the body length without the tail reaches up to two meters when the tail reaches a length of up to one hundred and ten centimeters.

The coat color leopard yellow with black spots forming a rosette with a yellow core. Each leopard has its own individual spot pattern, like fingerprints in humans. The leopard hunts alone , sneaking up to the prey or waiting in ambush. Usually hunts for antelope, but can be used as food by rodents and monkeys. Can attack livestock. The female bears cubs three months and gives birth two to three kittens, two and a half years, the kittens become independent.


Externally, the ocelot resembles a leopard, but the size is much smaller, rather comparable with the leopard cub. Ocelot prefers to live in tropical jungles. Day ocelots prefer to sleep in the trees, hiding in the hollows, and at night go hunting.

Ocelot prey are birds and small mammals, sometimes ocelots catch snakes. Live and hunt alone. The female ocelot bears cubs 2.5 months and gives birth to one or two kittens that are about seven weeks feed on mother’s milk, and in two years ocelots will begin an independent life.

Panuska cat.

Panuska cat unlike the ocelot prefers to live on plains and in rare forests, among shrubs, grasses and deserts. Sometimes this cat is called “cat grass”. In size it is a comparatively large animal, weighing from five to twelve pounds and length is about eighty centimeters.

It hunts usually at night. Mining panasci cats, small rodents, large insects and birds. Similar to domestic cats, it’s quite a thick beast with short legs, dense fur is gray-yellow. The color of the cats complement the brown spots over the body and brown or red rings on fluffy tail. Sometimes there are cats with solid color.

Panuska kittens the cat is carrying two and a half months and gives birth to two or three cubs. Cubs become independent at the age of six months, and grow up to two years.


Kodkod prefers to live in mixed and coniferous forests. It’s a small animal the size of domestic cat. In color these cat sand color with black spots that merge into a dark band. This color is a good mask cat in the woods that accompanies a successful hunt. Chilean cat preys on small rodents, birds, lizards and insects.

Animals of South America

In the plant and animal world of South America a lot of unusual animals


Alpaca is a cloven-hoofed pet. Breeding Alpaca since ancient times. They are grown mainly for shearing wool, which is highly valued in the world. Alpaca similar to sheep wool, but lighter. Of Alpaca wool make clothes, blankets, warm blankets and duvets. It is a peaceful, friendly animals. They are curious and fearful.


In another capybara called Vdovenko. The capybara is a rodent, and the largest in the world. The capybara is a large, heavy body, height at withers is about sixty centimeters and can weigh up to sixty pounds. In appearance the capybara is very similar to a Guinea pig, only exceeds it considerably in size.

On the body capybaras hard, shaggy and long coat red-brown. The back has a darker color than a pale belly. The legs are short with webbed toes and a powerful, short claws. Looked quite good-natured, phlegmatic. It feeds on plant food.


Perhaps the most amazing animal in the world is the battleship. The whole body of the Armadillo is covered with a carapace of hard bony plates. The weight of a battleship is up to sixty kilograms, a body length of about one meter.

Live, usually alone, feeding on termites and ants. The stomach of the Armadillo like shell sent bony plates, which improves the digestion of food. The female carries the pregnancy from several weeks to several months, the cubs are born sighted and always of the same sex.


The slowest animal on the planet, and therefore fully justifies its name. Lives mainly in trees, defecation occasionally descends to the ground. As it is easy prey for predators, most of the time life spends in the trees.

Swims well. The fur is dense and long, gray-brown in color with a green tint. It looks like a monkey, a sloth long limbs and relatively small head. Sloths eat plant food, lizards and insects. Live alone. The female carries the pregnancy from six to twelve months. The weight of an adult can reach nine pounds, and the growth up to sixty centimeters.


Funny, smart, and frisky monkey. Its name Capuchin is obliged to the monks of the Capuchin order, as the color of his fur was surprisingly similar to the colors of clothing of the monks of the order.

Capuchins are small, weigh up to five kilograms and a height of about fifty centimeters. These monkeys are very emotional, quickly change the mood and even know how to cry. They feed on fruits, can profit lizards and insects. Capuchins live in groups, however, a Capuchin can be kept at home.

Fish and birds of South America

In South America a lot of exotic birds, here are some of them:

  • Parrot Macaw.
  • The Andean Condor.
  • Frigate and other birds.

Parrot Macaw.

Red macaw is the most beautiful bird. Has a bright, contrasting plumage. Living in tropical, humid forests of South America. The macaws have a good memory and able to mimic human speech.

Feed on plants, sometimes making raids on the plantations of the farmers. Are hunting Indians. They are caught because of the bright feathers and tasty meat. The female parrot lays two to three eggs and incubate them for about a month.

The Andean Condor.

From the name it is clear that this bird lives in the Andes, comes from a family of vultures and feed on carrion. Is on the verge of destruction.


Frigates are residents of heaven. Most of the life they spend in flight. On land they are clumsy and can’t swim, they fly over the ponds and feed on fish. To fly a frigate can only with trees.


Carnivorous piranha fish lives in the waters of the river Amazon and other rivers. Can be a threat to humans. The body length of piranhas about thirty centimeters, in rare cases up to eighty centimeters. Males have a dark blue color scales, females dark purple. Piranha likes warm, sweet, rich in water plants. All the time looking for food. Attack fish, animals and even their relatives. Sharp teeth in the closed state, reminiscent of a closed zipper. Piranha itself can be mining turtles, caimans, snakes and birds.

Plants and animals of South America have a great variety and bright colors. Unusual mammals, birds, fish and insects, this unique animal world of South America. The favorable climate of this continent contributes to the reproduction of animals in South America and a large number of diverse jungle vegetation.

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