What Animals Live in the Amazon River?

The many types of animals calling the Amazon River home are the Amazon River dolphin, giant sea otter, piranha, Amazon manatee, giant Amazon River turtle and electric eel, among many more. The Amazon River serves as a home to more than 2,500 species of fish, along with numerous other mammals, amphibians, snakes and plants. The Amazon River classifies as the longest in the world, and boasts the greatest biodiversity of all global rivers.

The Amazon River contains some famous species, such as its dolphins, along with lesser-known organisms and those awaiting classification. Some Amazon creatures classify as endangered or vulnerable, such as the Amazon River dolphin. This dolphin, also called the pink dolphin, survives only in freshwater habitats. Pink dolphins live in tributaries and estuaries of many Amazonian nations, including Ecuador, Brazil and Peru. The giant river otter, an endangered species, relies on a diet of fish. These otters reach up to six feet as adults and weigh over 200 pounds. They face threats from several sources, including fur trading and habitat loss. Piranhas, among the most fierce some fish species, enjoy a distinct appearance, thanks to their bright red eyes and long sharp teeth. Only a few species of these fish pose threats to humans. They serve important roles in the Amazonian ecosystem, feeding on dead and decaying plant and animal matter.