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

Crab on the beach


crab (Brachyura) belongs to crustaceans. There are more than 6.700 known species that are divided into 93 different groups. They are found in waters around the world, both in salt water, fresh water or on land. They are usually covered by a thick exoskeleton and have a pair of forceps.

The horseshoe crab is not a crab, as you might believe.

Horseshoe crab

horseshoe crab (Limulidae) is not a crab, despite their name, but are related to Spiders y scorpions.

A crocodile cooling off.


The Great Loon is a born fisherman.

Large colimbo

A group of dolphins having fun.


Dolphin es a mammal water It belongs to the infraorder "Cetacea", a group of animals that includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. They also belong to the "Odontoceti" suborder, which are the toothed cetaceans, but taxonomically speaking, dolphins are an informal group, made up of most of the toothed cetaceans but excluding whales and porpoises.