The term ‘wetlands’ is a pretty broad term that can refer to a range of different ecosystems where water covers the land, either permanently or seasonally.
Wetlands can range from coastal locations to inland wetlands, reedbeds to estuaries, swamps and marshes.
As a result, there are a ton of different and interesting animals that call the wetlands their home.
Here, we are going to look at just a few – so read on below to learn more about the different animals that you can find in the wetlands around the world!
Beavers are well known mammals that are one of the largest species of rodents in the world.
They are best known for their strong teeth and powerful jaws which allows them to fell trees to build their homes across rivers in various wetlands in North America and Europe.
Beavers live in homes and dams known as lodges – bridges built from stacks of logs and sticks gnawed and created by the beavers themselves.
This makes them one of the best architects in the animal kingdom as they are constantly repairing and adding to their homes – which is where the saying ‘as busy as a beaver’ (see also: Animals That Look Like Beavers)comes from!
Alligators prowl the wetlands ranging from the US to China, where they continue to grow and hunt for the entirety of their lives.
They can be pretty scary with their long rows of super sharp teeth, eyes that can glow in the dark, and the ability to create loud roars that echo across the wetlands they inhibit.
But alligators are actually big softies when it comes to their babies.
Unlike other reptiles, alligators will raise and look after their babies right up until they are old and large enough to fend off predators on their own – although 7% of alligator parents may prefer to snack on their young rather than raise them. Yikes!
Bobcats (also known as red lynx or bay lynx) are a type of big cat native to North America and they can range through a wide variety of habitats, including coastal swamps and wetlands.
Their adaptability means that bobcats will live pretty much anywhere in North America and hunt an extensive list of animals for dinner.
Rabbits, hares, deer, bats, birds, rodents – bobcats will hunt and scavenge and eat them all!
Storks are one of the few animals that can be found on every continent in the world (except for Antarctica, of course).
These birds are well known for the myth that states that human babies are delivered by storks to the doorsteps of their parents, but the origin of this myth began in Europe.
There, storks will sometimes nest on the roofs and chimneys of houses in villages during the spring. This meant that storks became a symbol of fertility and good luck.
However, most storks will live and nest in wetlands where they will remain for the entirety of their lives, either in colonies with other storks or completely on their own.
As one of the first insects to appear on our planet, dragonflies have had millions of years to adapt to different kinds of biomes and ecosystems. As a result, they can be easily found in all kinds of wetlands.
Today, there are hundreds of different species of dragonflies and each one is an expert flier. Dragonflies can fly in all directions and even hover like a helicopter.
Dragonflies rely on their flight to hunt and catch their prey – so a grounded dragonfly is doomed to die!
One of the most widely distributed freshwater fish in the US is the largemouth bass. These fish are popular with anglers and recreational fishers across the states and as a result, you can find them in all kinds of freshwater wetlands.
Largemouth bass are actually a part of the sunfish family and can grow to some immense sives.
This also makes them a great source of prey for other predators in the wetlands including bigger fish such as walleye, birds such as herons, and even reptiles like alligators.
Turtles may look all small and cute but snapping turtles are pretty aggressive little creatures.
Like all turtles, snapping turtles have a strong shell that helps protect them from injury and predator attacks.
They prefer temperate climates and spend most of their time in the water until mating season rolls around and the turtles head onto dry land to mate.
Their powerful jaws allow snapping turtles to eat more than just vegetation. They will happily tuck into all kinds of meat including frogs, rodents, fish, crayfish and more.
A lot of people mistakenly think that snapping turtles are herbivores but nope – these biting turtles live mainly on meat although they will consume a bit of vegetation now and again, making them completely omnivorous.
Our final entry on our list is the mighty pelican.
Pelicans are best known as a coastal bird but they will happily migrate from inland marshes and wetlands to coastal lagoons during the winter. This means that you can easily find pelicans living in inland wetlands during the summer months.
Most people will recognize a pelican due to their long bills and the flexible skin pouch that allows them to capture multiple fish in a single dive.
Speaking of dives, pelicans are amazing fliers as they can drop from 60 feet in the air right down to the surface of the water at a speed of 40 mph! They are amazing hunters and are often overlooked due to their funny appearance.
As you can see, there are a lot of different animals that make their homes in the various wetlands found around the world.
From the powerful alligator to the fast and dainty dragonfly, you can find a wide range of reptiles, insects, birds, fish, and mammals all in this one type of ecosystem.
However, we have only been able to cover a few in the list above so why not try researching for more? Good luck!