Animals that live in trees are usually called arboreal. Arboreal simply means “living in trees”. All arboreal creatures have a reason for their tree-loving nature. Mostly, their food comes from the trees (fruits, leaves, insects, etc.). They also have natural features that aid them to climb, swing or navigate treetops easily.
For instance, three monkeys are equipped with strong tails and arms, so they can swing or hang on trees easily. Many primates, birds, and reptiles live in trees, so there are several names you could mention when you talk of arboreal creatures. One thing to note, however, is that though these creatures primarily live in trees, they venture to the ground from time to time, for various reasons.
10 Animals That Live In Trees
Sloths are the slowest animals on Earth. These animals are always seen going about their business leisurely, never in a rush. They spend most of their life in trees, where they feed on low-calorie leaves.
The slow movement of sloths helps them conserve energy. Sloths are hairy and look a lot like mammals, but in truth, they’re more closely related to anteaters. Sloths are surprisingly excellent swimmers: In fact, they’re one of the best swimmers of all the arboreal.
One funny thing about sloths though, is that they always seem to be smiling.
This animal is found in central and south America. They are mostly found in silk-cotton trees, and this seems to explain their thick, silky coats. Compared to the regular Anteater, silky anteaters are quite smaller (about 14 to 18 inches long).
Silky anteaters spend almost their entire lives in trees, using their strong claws to climb and hang on trees.
Tree Kangaroos are arboreal versions of the common Kangaroo. Tree Kangaroos, however, are smaller and cuter than their terrestrial siblings. But in terms of appearance and overall features, tree Kangaroos are very similar to their ground-dwelling brothers.
Tree Kangaroos climb trees by grabbing with their forelimbs and hopping against the tree with their muscular hind legs, sliding their forelimbs upward as they do so. They are very good jumpers too: Tree kangaroos can jump from a height of 60 feet to the ground and come out unhurt.
Gibbons is one of the ape species that love spending time in trees. With their long arms, reduced thumbs, and athletic bodies, gibbons swing among trees like no other creature on Earth. They have been termed the fastest and most agile tree-dwelling mammals due to their exceptional speed and ease at brachiation (arm swinging).
Gibbons are friendly and playful in nature, and love showing off their swinging skills to people who visit them in zoos.
Koalas are cute, slow marsupials found in Australia. They look like cute little bears and spend at least 18 hours every day sleeping. Koalas feed on low-calorie leaves.
Due to the gentle and vulnerable nature of these animals, their numbers decrease daily. Researchers estimate that less than 100,000 koalas remain.
Squirrel monkeys get their name from their size, appearance, and smart nature. These monkeys can be found in the rainforests of central and south America. Squirrel monkeys are very smart.
Compared to other monkey species, squirrel monkeys have the largest brain-to-body-mass ratio. This accounts for the high intelligence and endless curiously these species display. Squirrel monkeys make wonderful pets, and sadly too, they’re commonly used as lab rats.
These creatures are relatives to wild cats like covers, although they are smaller in size. They can be found in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Genets have retractable claws, and they hunt rodents, birds, and other small creatures. They also have spotted skins (like leopards), and a bushy tail.
Kinkajous are cute animals that are closely related to raccoons. These animals spend almost their entire lives in trees, eating fruits. They have a prehensile tail (meaning the tail can grab things), and flexible, fast feet.
These features make Kinkajous very efficient when moving through trees. They can be found in central and south America, and they can live for up to 40 years.
Tarsiers are small primates known for their large eyes, bat-like ears, extra-long feet, and tail. They spend almost their entire lives in trees. Tarsiers are nocturnal (meaning they’re active at night): Their large eyes and ears are help them navigate in the dark and hunt for prey.
Despite living in trees, Tarsiers are entirely carnivorous. They feast on insects, small birds, lizards, and bats.
Orangutans are large, peaceful primates found in the forests of Borneo and Sumatra in Indonesia and Malaysia. The name “Orang Utan” actually means “people of the forest”. This name was chosen because of the orangutan’s close resemblance to humans, especially their facial features.
Orangutans are the largest arboreal mammals and have been deemed the most intelligent too. They typically have an average IQ of 70 and above. Orangutans live and nest in trees, and are social with humans too. Their diet includes fruits, leaves, insects, and meat (on rare occasions).
Snakes That Live In Trees
Asides from mammals, there are arboreal snakes too. Here’s a list of snakes that live in trees.
1. Brown Tree Snake
2. Green Tree Python
3. Green Mamba
4. Flying snakes
Other Animals That Live In Trees
Several other animals live in trees. The table below gives a list of these animals and a few details about them.
|Possum||Mammal||Australian mammals are known to transmit diseases to people and pets they come in contact with. They play dead whenever they’re seriously threatened.|
|Chameleon||Reptile||They are slow lizards, known for their ability to change the color of their skin. They have prehensile tails and a very long sticky tongue.|
|Iguana||Reptile||Large herbivorous lizards are found in Mexico, America, and the Caribbean. They spend most of their time in trees and are excellent swimmers.|
|Bats||Mammals||Bats are flying mammals that come in different species and sizes. Bats can be insectivorous or frugivorous (fruit eaters). However, vampire bats feed only on animal blood.|
|Flying Lemurs||Mammal||They are also called Colugo. They’re native to Southeast Asia, and look a lot like bats. However, they don’t fly, but only glide from tree to tree.|
|Toucan||Bird||Medium-sized birds with large brightly colored bills. They feed mainly on fruits.|
|Parrot||Bird||Medium-sized birds of about 398 species are found in tropical and subtropical regions. Some parrot species can mimic human speech.|
|Squirrel||Mammal||Small rodents of different species are found in America, Eurasia, and Africa. Squirrels are known for their fondness for nuts.|
|Woodpecker||Bird||Small bird found almost everywhere in the world. This bird is named after its fondness for pecking and drilling holes in trees, to get food.|
|Tree Frog||Amphibian||The diverse family of amphibians includes over 800 species. They spend a larger part of their lives in trees, hunting insects.|