River animals belong to the same group as aquatic animals that are adapted to fresh water, not being able to live in salt water.

River crab

River crab

What is a river?

Rivers are created by streams high in the mountains that flow downward when seawater is evaporated. Most of the water disappears into the atmosphere and the rest falls as rain into freshwater rivers, which is then returned to the sea.

Types of animals that live in rivers

In rivers it is common to find a great variety of species. In the group of vertebrates we have amphibians, reptiles or fish. We can also find mammalian animals such as turtles, ducks, otters or crocodiles.

Crustaceans, mollusks and freshwater crabs inhabit the invertebrate group.

In the Amazon River we can find the home of an extremely rare animal, the pink freshwater dolphin.

River animals have adapted to their habitat, and that is why they are usually large animals to cope with strong currents.

To cope with the strong currents, river animals have had to adapt in order to survive in their environment.

Threats from rivers

River animals can be drastically affected by human activity. Chemicals used in food, medicines or other products are spilled that pollute the water, affecting not only fish, but also humans themselves by using that water for agriculture.

For more information visit the section aquatic animals

List of river animals

electric eel

electric eel

electric eel (Electrophorus electricus) it is an aquatic animal native to the waters of South America (Orinoco and the Amazon River). They have the ability to produce a 500-volt electrical discharge at a distance of approximately 76 meters in calm water. Its discharge is so powerful that it damages any heavy mammal, it can even cause its death, as narrated by Alexander von Humboldt, a famous explorer of the XNUMXth century, who witnessed how horses received such strong shocks throughout their bodies that they died instantly .

Brunette in profile

Moray eel

A grandmother capturing her food.


avoceta (Recurvirostra) is famous for having a remarkable conservation history. They returned from the brink of extinction in Britain in the mid-XNUMXth century and recolonized the beaches of East Anglia that were closed during the war.


barbel, also known as bearded (Bearded bearded) is a kind of fish de sweet water belonging to the carp family. They are easily recognizable by the large barbels on either side of their large carp mouths. They can be found throughout Europe and Asia, and are a very popular part of sport fishing. Anglers enjoy catching them because of their incredible strength and power.

The alligator spends most of its life in water.


alligator, brown alligator o common alligator (Caiman crocodilus) is a semi-aquatic reptile. The American is the reptile largest in North America and has been a successful predator for 200 million years.