The South American country of Peru has a wide diversity of native animal life due to the three types of habitats found within its borders. The coastal zone, highland area and jungle rainforest region are teeming with unusual Peruvian animals.
The coastal zone of Peru is found along the Pacific Ocean. The habitat includes sandy beaches and deserts. Sea bass
and black marlin are in the warmer waters to the north and the colder southern waters are home to flounder
and chita. Sea mammals such as sea lions are found in the coastal islands and preserves.
The highland area of Peru is near the Andes mountains. Related to the llama but smaller, the alpaca is an important pack and wool animal in the region. Large birds of prey, like the endangered Andean condor
, soar through the skies. The Andean mountain cat lives in altitudes of 11,500 to 15,700 feet and is about the size of a domesticated house cat. Little is known about the feline since none are kept in captivity. Chinchillas
, which have become popular pets all over the world, are native to the Peruvian highlands. Andean deer and foxes, called culpeo
, are also native to this region. The spectacled bear
is found in the Andes and is the only known bear species in South America.
The most well-known habitat in Peru is the jungle area in the northern half of the country. Predators like piranha fish, crocodiles and pythons inhabit the watery regions of the jungle. Amazonian manatees
and giant river otters live in the Amazon River as well. Dozens of monkey species live in the jungles of Peru. The pygmy marmoset is one of the smallest primates in the world, and Spix's night (owl) monkey is the only nocturnal New World monkey in existence.