The demand for animal products (e.g. dairy and beef) in tropical regions is expected to increase in parallel with the public demand for sustainable practices, due to factors such as population growth and climate change. The necessity to increase animal production output must be achieved with better management and production technologies. For this to happen, novel research methodologies, animal selection and postgenomic tools play a pivotal role. Indeed, improving breeder selection programs, the quality of meat and dairy products as well as animal health will contribute to higher sustainability and productivity. This would surely benefit regions where resource quality and quantity are increasingly unstable, and research is still very incipient, which is the case of many regions in the tropics. The purpose of this review is to demonstrate how omics-based approaches play a major role in animal science, particularly concerning ruminant production systems and research associated to the tropics and developing countries. Significance: Environmental conditions in the tropics make livestock production harder, compared to temperate regions. Due to global warming, the sustainability of livestock production will become increasingly problematic. The use of novel omics technologies could generate useful information to understand adaptation mechanisms of resilient breeds and/or species. The application of omics to tropical animal production is still residual in the currently available literature. With this review, we aim to summarize the most notable results in the field whilst encouraging further research to deal with the future challenges that animal production in the tropics will need to face.