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

Captive bred discus fish.


discus fish (Symphysodon) is a aquatic animal tropical cichlid, located in the Amazon river basin. We can find 3 subspecies which are the green Discus, the blue Discus and the brown Discus. They have a great similarity between them and the only variations are their color and their geographical location and although there is much disagreement with the scientific name of each one, many agree that those that were bred in captivity come from these 3 subspecies. It was Doctor Heckel who first described it in 1840.

Catfish are the best known catfish.


catfish ó catfish (Siluriformes) is the common name given to the members of the fish families that make up the Siluriformes order, which is found in fresh and coastal waters. Catfish are named for the barbs ("whiskers") around their mouths.

Puffy puffer fish


puffer fish (also called chicken fish or toad fish) belongs to the family of tetraodóntidos (Tetraodontidae). They are medium-sized fish that live in the warmest coastal waters in the world, although sometimes we can find them in cold waters. The puffer fish is well known for its unique and distinct adaptations to defend itself.

Profile piranha


piranhas belongs to the family of Characidae being a type of freshwater fish that can be carnivores or omnivores and inhabit most countries in South America. Although they have recently been seen in the southern United States. In Venezuela they are called "Caribs."

African clawed frog

African clawed frog

African nail frog (Xenopus laevis) es an amphibian completely water, since he spends most of his life in the river bottoms y lagos. Although today it can be found throughout the entire African continent, it owes its name to its South African origin. However, due to their importance in scientific research it is possible to find them also in America and parts of Europe.

Closeup of an edible frog

Edible frog

edible frog (Pelophylax esculentus) First described in 1758, it is a fertile hybrid of two other European frogs, Pool's Rana and the marsh frog, which originated when the two frogs became isolated in the ice age.