May 22, 2012

What is the Most Dangerous Animal in the Amazon Rainforest?

Ochlerotatus notoscriptus, Tasmania, Australia
Ochlerotatus notoscriptus, Tasmania, Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Amazon jungle is a mysterious, primeval place that easily conjures up images of trackless jungles filled with exotic and potentially dangerous wildlife. If you ask the average person what the most lethal animal in the Amazon is, they will probably give answers that range from Piranhas to Anacondas and ferocious Jaguars. However, as intimidating as these and other rainforest animals are, none of them come close to winning the title of the most dangerous animal in the Amazon.

No, that infamous price goes to a creature that is much smaller. Africanized Honeybees and large, scary wasps are potentially dangerous but you have to seriously provoke them to get stung en-masse. Bites from Brazilian Wandering Spiders and several species of venomous snakes would also be dangerous but as long as you don’t play with them, they aren’t going to go out of their way to bite you. However, the same can’t be said for the lowly mosquito and that is partly why those infuriating biting bugs are the most dangerous creature in the Amazon Rainforest.

Although mosquitoes won’t kill you with a bite, the diseases they can carry do so in many parts of the world on a daily basis. Malaria is one of the biggest killers on Earth and this scourge is carried by none other than the mosquito. They also carry that dangerous disease known as Yellow Fever and this is why you have to have a Yellow Fever vaccination when visiting Tambopata, Peru. Although both Yellow Fever and Malaria have become extremely rare (or even eradicated) in Tambopata, the high number of mosquito-related deaths in other parts of the world ensure that mosquitoes retain the title of “most dangerous animal in the Amazon.

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