The predatory animals of the rainforest include poisonous snakes and carnivorous mammals.

The venomous  snakes of the rainforest floor can be found curled up and partly buried in the detritus of fallen twigs and leaves.

Because they are cold-blooded and do not need to constantly burn up stored food to maintain a constant body temperature, they do not hunt often.

Carnivorous mammals must keep their body temperature constant. Therefore, they hunt more frequently and are more visible.

The large cats of the rainforest understory feed on the medium-sized and large herbivores that live on the forest floor.

The truly ground-living predators, such as the bush dog and the bushmaster snake, concentrate on smaller mammals, mostly rodents, as well as frogs, toads and lizards.

BushmasterThe bushmaster is a type of pit viper. A pit viper locates its prey by using a pair of infrared sensors located in a pit on its head. These sensors enable the pit viper to locate an object that is warmer than its surroundings.

It can detect changes in temperature of as little as 0.005 degrees centigrade-the heat emitted by a mouse some 6 inches (15cm) away from the snake. Even deprived of sight and smell, a pit viper can hunt successfully by this method.

The bushmaster will even attack a small deer.

The mammalian carnivores of the rainforest floor rarely climb trees, and so do not have feet adapted for clinging and grasping

The sloth bear is an exception. It has longed curved claws that can tear open termite and other insect nests, as well as dismember a rodent or a bird easily.

The grison and the tayra belong to the same family as the weasel, stoat, otter and badger.

Their feet have hard, rough pads and strong short claws, similar to those of a dog. They have powerful jaws and huge teeth.

These animals are opportunists and will eat whatever prey that they can catch, even a young deer.