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12 Fascinating Wild Animals in Argentina

With its vast land area and diverse geographical features, Argentina is the second-largest country in South America. It borders Chile to the west, Paraguay and Bolivia to the North, Uruguay to the east, and Brazil to the northeast. It is home to over 45 million people who predominantly speak Spanish.

Notably, Argentina’s varied ecosystems, ranging from the Atlantic coastlines to the east, tropical rainforests, grasslands, and Andes Mountains, support a wealth of unique species of wild animals.

Here are the top 12 most incredible wild animals that call Argentina their home.

1. Jaguar

Animals in Argentina - Jaguar
  • Scientific name: Panthera onca
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found in the country: Ibera National Park and Iguazu National Park
  • Conservation status: Near Threatened

The Jaguar is an awe-inspiring feline that reigns as the largest cat species in the Americas and the third largest globally. Adorned with a gorgeous coat of pale yellow to tan fur adorned with striking spots, this big cat is the ultimate predator in the tropical rainforest.

★ Did you know? Jaguars have powerful jaws and sharp teeth that enable them to crush the hard shells of tortoises and other armored prey. They are known to be one of the few predators that can penetrate the tough exterior of a sea turtle shell.

2. Andean Condor

Animals in Argentina - Andean Condor
  • Scientific name: Vultur gryphus
  • Type of animal: Bird
  • Where found in the country: Andes Mountains
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

The Andean condor is a magnificent creature, boasting a stunning wingspan of 3.3 m (10 ft 10in) and weighing about 33 pounds (15 kgs). This fascinating vulture is a sight to behold, with its sleek black feathers and striking white plumage adorning its neck.

Known for its scavenging prowess, the condor has a keen smell for carcasses, particularly those of large animals. It’s no wonder why this remarkable bird has been chosen as the national symbol for countries such as Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador.

★ Did you know? Andean condors typically produce two eggs in a year, and the incubation period can last up to 60 days.

3. Puma

Animals in Argentina - Puma
  • Scientific name: Puma concolor
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found in the country: Andes Mountain and Patagonia grasslands
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

Also known as the cougar, panther, or mountain lion, the puma is a fierce predator that prowls through forests, swamps, and desert scrublands. It’s about the same size as a Jaguar and is an expert hunter that can take down prey both smaller and larger than themselves, including deer, rabbits, porcupines, and hares.

Whenever these creatures feast on a larger animal, they waste nothing; they can consume the entire carcass!

★ Did you know? Pumas are known for their incredible speed and agility. They can run as fast as 56 km/h (35 mph), making them one of the fastest land animals in the Americas.

4. Capybara

Animals in Argentina - Capybara
  • Scientific name: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found in the country: The wetlands of the Litoral region (which includes the provinces of Misiones, Corrientes, Entre Rios, and Santa Fe), as well as in the Chaco region (which includes the provinces of Chaco and Santiago del Estero) and in the northwestern provinces of Jujuy and Salta.
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The capybara, hailed as the king of rodents, reigns supreme as the largest rodent native to South America. These majestic creatures boast a luscious dark brown to a reddish fur coat, adding to their allure.

Capybaras can thrive in various habitats, from vast savannahs to river banks, wetlands, and dense forests, making them the epitome of versatility. Their diet is nothing short of impressive, as they enjoy grazing on grass and aquatic plants. Living in close-knit communities, capybaras lead a communal lifestyle with groups of up to 40 individuals.

★ Did you know? Capybaras are excellent swimmers and can even sleep in the water for a few minutes. Their ability to swim allows them to escape predators and search for food.

5. Magellanic Penguin

Animals in Argentina - Magellanic Penguin
  • Scientific name: Spheniscus magellanicus
  • Type of animal: Bird
  • Where found in the country: Coast of Patagonia and Falkland Islands.
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

Native to South America, the Magellanic penguin is a sight to behold with its striking black and white feathers. These captivating creatures thrive in various habitats, from lush coastal forests to secluded offshore islands.

With an insatiable appetite for seafood, including fish, cephalopods, and krill, the Magellanic penguin is a true master of the ocean. Its impressive diving skills allow it to plunge to depths of 75-90 meters (250-300 feet) in pursuit of prey.

★ Did you know? Magellanic penguins produce a distinctive braying sound that resembles a donkey’s bray when searching for a mate. This sound is used by both males and females during courtship and is often called an “ecstatic display.”

While making this sound, Magellanic penguins extend their necks and point their beaks skyward as they emit high-pitched calls.

6. Vicuña

Animals in Argentina - Vicuña
  • Scientific name: Vicugna vicugna
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found in the country: Andes Mountains
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

Vicuna is one of the two native camelids found in South America. Renowned for its luxurious wool, harvested only once every three years by catching the wild animal and shearing its fleece, the Vicuna symbolizes opulence and refinement.

Unfortunately, this makes them a target for hunters and predators alike, including humans, pumas, Andean foxes, and culpeos.

These elegant creatures emit a distinct whistle when in danger, alerting their companions of potential threats.

★ Did you know? Vicunas can withstand extreme temperature fluctuations, from below freezing at night to scorching hot during the day, thanks to their unique physical and physiological adaptations.

7. Guanaco

Animals in Argentina - Guanaco
  • Scientific name: Lama guanicoe
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found in the country: Patagonia region
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

Guanaco is another camelid renowned for its remarkable agility and stamina. With their striking appearance, including big, captivating eyes adorned with thick, luxurious lashes, impressive ears, and a unique color pattern of pale brown on their backs and white on their bases, Guanacos are truly a sight to behold.

These sociable animals enjoy the company of up to 50 peers and nourish themselves with a varied diet that includes the delicious and nutritious Bermuda grass, Sudan grass, and fiber pellets.

★ Did you know? The guanaco has four times more red blood cells than humans; this enables them to survive up to 4000 meters above sea level.

8. Andean Mountain Cat

Animals in Argentina - Andean Cat
  • Scientific name: Leopardus jacobita
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found in the country: Andes Mountains
  • Conservation status: Endangered

The Andean cat is a majestic feline commonly sighted in the vast and rugged landscapes of the Andes Mountains, far away from the hustle and bustle of the world. Sadly, these elusive creatures face a grave threat to their survival due to hunting and loss of habitat.

Andean cats are skilled predators, relying heavily on the mountain viscacha for sustenance and feasting on small reptiles, mammals, and birds.

★ Did you know? The Andean cat has traditionally been viewed as a sacred animal by indigenous Aymara and Quechua people living in South America’s high Andes Mountains. These cultures have a deep spiritual connection to the natural world, and the Andean cat, with its beauty, grace, and ability to survive in such a harsh environment, is considered a symbol of strength and resilience.

9. Giant Anteater

Animals in Argentina - Giant Anteater
  • Scientific name: Myrmecophaga tridactyla
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found in the country: Grasslands and savannas of northern Argentina
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

The giant anteater is a magnificent creature that calls the diverse landscapes of South and Central America home. It’s easily recognizable thanks to its striking elongated snout and sticky tongue, which it deftly employs to feast on an array of termites and ants.

Whether in the heart of the lush rainforest or roaming the vast grasslands, the giant anteater can thrive in various habitats, often sharing its overlapping home ranges with other animals.

★ Did you know? The giant anteater’s tongue can be up to 2 feet (60 centimeters) long and flick up to 150 times per minute. The long, sticky tongue captures its primary food source, ants and termites, from their nests.

10. Southern Right Whale

Animals in Argentina - Southern Right Whale
  • Scientific name: Eubalaena australis
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found in the country: Atlantic coastline
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The Southern right whale is an incredible baleen whale that calls the southern hemisphere home, cruising the seas between 20 and 60 degrees south of the equator.

Each year, these magnificent creatures pilgrimage to the Argentinean coast to breed and welcome new offspring into the world, allowing humans to witness their awe-inspiring presence from the shoreline.

★ Did you know? Southern right whales can be curious and interactive with humans when they encounter them.

11. South American Sea Lions

Animals in Argentina - South American Sea Lions
  • Scientific name: Otaria flavescens
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found in the country: Peninsula Valdés in Patagonia
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The South American sea lion is a charming marine mammal that calls the southeastern and western coasts of South America home. Despite their rugged appearance, only around 26,500 creatures are left worldwide. However, they are not presently listed as threatened.

You might spot them lounging on rocky outcrops and sandy beaches, soaking up the sun and relaxing in the warm sea breeze. When they’re not sunbathing, they’re likely on the hunt for fish, gravel, and sand – all of which important components of their diet.

★ Did you know? South American sea lions spend significant time on land for breeding, nursing their young, and resting.

12. Yacare Caiman

Animals in Argentina - Yacare Caiman
  • Scientific name: Caiman yacare
  • Type of animal: Reptile
  • Where found in the country: Northwestern Argentina, primarily in the provinces of Corrientes, Chaco, Formosa, and Santa Fe
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The Yacare is a reptilian predator that prowls South America’s rivers, lakes, and wetlands. Its striking brown skin, and bold black blotches make it hard to miss this magnificent creature.

But don’t let its stunning appearance fool you – the Yacare is a powerful hunter that feeds on aquatic animals like snails and small fish and even takes on land-based vertebrates when the opportunity arises.

As a top predator in its ecosystem, the Yacare plays a vital role in keeping the balance of its watery world in check.

★ Did you know? Yacare Caimans have a special transparent third eyelid called a “nictitating membrane” that helps protect and moisten their eyes while they are underwater.


  • jacob
    Posted November 8, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    I am using this for a little project, thanks.

    • Post Author
      Posted November 8, 2023 at 9:33 pm

      I am happy that this was useful to you, Jacob!


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