Central America

Updated: July 11, 2023
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Below you can find a complete list of types of animals found in Central America. We currently track 572 animals in Central America and are adding more every day!

The term Central America refers to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. This region connects North America to South America. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east. With its many miles of coastline, acres of tropical forest, and centuries of unspoiled growth, Central America is an important biodiversity hotspot containing more than 7% of the earth’s biodiversity.

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What Are the National Animals of Central American Countries?

A white-tailed deer doe and its two fawns in an open meadow in summer.

A white-tailed deer is the national animal of both Costa Rica and Honduras.

©Tony Campbell/Shutterstock.com

Many countries select a national animal as a symbol to represent their nation. This is often done in order to honor the unique biodiversity of the country and its culture. The choice of an animal can be significant, with some animals being seen as symbols of strength, courage, or even luck.

National animals are usually featured prominently on flags or other national emblems. In addition, many countries have laws that protect their national animal from harm or hunting in order to preserve them for future generations.

By selecting a national animal, each country is able to recognize and celebrate the special wildlife within its borders and promote environmental conservation efforts. While many of the countries share similar types of animals, they all have differing national animals. Here are a few:

Where To Find the Top Wild Animals in Central America

A brown Spider monkey stares into the distance next to the beach in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

You can see many types of monkeys, like this spider monkey, at wildlife sanctuaries in Central America.

©Jason Wells/Shutterstock.com

Central America is home to a variety of wildlife, including endangered species such as jaguars, sea turtles, and monkeys. As such, many countries have established national parks, marine reserves, and wildlife sanctuaries in order to protect these animals from poaching and other threats. This has allowed visitors the opportunity to experience the beauty of Central American nature firsthand while also helping to preserve it for future generations.

Eco-tourism is becoming increasingly popular in Central America due to its ability both economically benefit local communities by providing jobs related to tourism as well as preserving their unique natural resources. Many of the eco-tours available take visitors on guided hikes through pristine rainforests or boat rides along mangrove estuaries, where they can observe some of the region’s most iconic animals up close. Tourists are educated about how their presence helps support conservation efforts before being taken back into town with newfound knowledge and appreciation for what makes Central America so special.

Here are some well-known places to visit animals in Central America.

Native Birds

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl

Pygmy owls are just one of the many beautiful birds found in Central America.

©Jan Stria/Shutterstock.com

Various habitats make up the region of Central America, as it is a string of several countries bridging South America to North America. As a result of the differing environments, Central America has a vast variety of wildlife, making it one of the most biodiverse zones in the world.

From the American Cordillera mountain range to Pacific lowlands to volcanoes, extraordinary avifauna is especially prevalent in this part of the world, seen flying the open skies and enjoying the vegetation. Below is a list of Central American countries and some of the most unique bird species found there.


  • 750 bird species
  • National bird: resplendent quetzal
  • Unique species: Guatemalan pygmy owl, pink-headed warbler, keel-billed toucan, ocellated turkey, wine-throated hummingbird

Costa Rica

  • 850 bird species
  • National bird: clay-colored thrush
  • Unique species: violaceous trogon, blue-crowned motmot, scarlet macaw, great green macaw, golden-hooded tanager


  • 580 bird species
  • National bird: Keel-billed toucan
  • Unique species: Harpy eagle, red-footed booby, great egret, magnificent frigate bird, jabiru stork


  • 770 bird species
  • National bird: Scarlet macaw (guaras)
  • Unique species: Honduran emerald, green-breasted mountain gem, highland guan, ocellated quail


  • 1,000 bird species
  • National bird: Harpy eagle
  • Unique species: golden-green woodpecker, rufous-winged ant wren, bare-crowned antbird, spectacled owl, today motmot


  • 783 bird species
  • National bird: Guardabarranco (torogoz)
  • Unique species: Lineated woodpecker, Lesson’s motmot, bushy-crested jay, white-collared manakin, crowned woodnymph

Traveling Central America is a dream for birders worldwide, experiencing the multitudes of avifauna, as well as their breathtaking habitats. Unfortunately, deforestation has diminished the natural homes of many birds, limiting their existence to conserved and protected areas.

Native Fish


Mahi Mahi is also called dolphinfish. They live in the warm waters surrounding Central America.


Almost every country within the region of Central America is bordered by both the Caribbean and the Pacific Oceans, warm waters home to multitudes of fish species. Avid sports fishermen come from around the world to catch sailfish, marlin, tuna, dorado, and wahoo. The most popular offshore fishing sites are found on the Pacific side, resulting from Californian Current meeting the southern, Peru Current.

Other types of fishing are highly popular in the region, as well, thanks to the various environments. The saltwater flats of Belize are especially alluring to fly fishermen looking for bonefish, tarpon, and permit. Fly fishing can also be done from the coastlines for billfish of huge sizes.

The Pacific Shoreline of Central America is also called the “Ring of Fire” as a tribute to its volcanic nature that gives rise to reefs, rocky outcroppings, pinnacles, and islands. These differing territories make the perfect inshore fishing spot, particularly in Costa Rica, Belize, and Panama. Game fish found here include jacks, roosterfish, mackerel, and snappers.

Freshwater fishing can prove the most enjoyable, with views surpassing that of the oceans surrounding Central America. Freshwater sources are found running through jungles, at the bases of volcanoes, and surrounded by other magnificent wildlife. Many species of bass, gar, snook, and mojarra are often caught in these environments.

Overall, Central America is the ideal destination for fishing with a view, whether it be in the oceans or rivers of the surrounding countries. Unlike other places, fishing is productive year round, weather permitting. Some of the most exciting catches include:

Native Snakes

eyelash viper

The Eyelash Viper has a distinct set of scales above their eyes that look like bold eyelashes. They thrive throughout Central America.

©Roy H./Shutterstock.com

Snakes play an important role in the Central American ecosystems, both as predators and prey. Non-venomous snakes can be found throughout the region, including species like boa constrictors, king snakes, rat snakes, and gopher snakes.

Venomous species are also common in Central America, including several pit vipers such as bushmasters and fer-de-lances, various coral snake species, and sea snakes that make their home in coastal waters.

All of these reptilian creatures have adapted to life among humans both on land and at sea. However, some populations may be threatened by habitat destruction or overhunting for food or traditional medicine ingredients.

Some of the most notable snake species are:

  • Bushmaster — largest snake in Central America
  • Fer-de-lance — most dangerous snake in Central and South America
  • Eyelash viper — various coloration such as yellow, teal, or green with eyelash-like protrusions above eyes

Snake bites are not common in Central America but do occur. If bitten, seek medical treatment immediately regardless of toxicity, as allergies or reactions may still arise.

3 Largest Animals in Central America

harpy eagle

Harpy eagles are one of the largest animals in Central America, with a wingspan of up to 7 feet!


The three largest animals in Central America are Baird’s tapir, jaguar, and harpy eagle. The Baird’s tapir is the largest land mammal of Central America, weighing up to 550 pounds and reaching lengths of 6 feet. They make their homes in lowland forests near rivers or swamps for easy access to water sources. These tapirs have a unique mask-like pattern on their faces that helps identify individuals from one another.

The jaguar is the second biggest animal found in Central America and can weigh up to 250 pounds, with its body length reaching 4 feet long. This apex predator prefers habitats like a tropical rainforest but also ventures closer to human settlements as they expand into new areas looking for food sources such as deer or wild pigs. It has excellent night vision which allows it to hunt at night when most other animals have gone into hiding.

Finally, the harpy eagle is believed by many locals to be the king of birds due to its impressive size and strength. With wingspans between 5-7 feet long and weighing an average of 20 pounds, this eagle certainly lives up to its reputation! Unlike many other eagles, these birds prefer dense jungles where they build nests high up in tree tops, making them hard to see until you look closely at treetops while out on nature walks or hikes.

3 Rarest Animals in Central America

Baird’s tapir

The national animal of Belize is Baird’s Tapir. It is now a critically endangered species.


The rarest animals in Central America are the Mexican spider monkey, the horned guan, and Baird’s tapir. The Mexican spider monkey is a critically endangered species of monkey native to Mexico and Central America. It has long arms for swinging from tree branches and a prehensile tail that it uses as an extra hand. Its habitat includes wet tropical lowland forests with abundant trees for climbing.

The horned guan is another critically endangered species found in central Mexico and Guatemala. Its distinguishing feature is its two large horns on its head which stand erect when displaying aggression or courtship behavior. This bird inhabits humid montane forests located at fairly high elevations, where it feeds mainly on fruits, nuts, leaves, and flowers.

Finally, the Baird’s Tapir is an extremely rare mammal native to Central America whose population remains dangerously low due to hunting pressure as well as habitat destruction caused by deforestation. This tapir lives in dense jungle areas near rivers where they can find food such as grasses, aquatic vegetation, fruits, and insects while also having access to pools of water for swimming or wallowing during hot days. Although their numbers remain low today due to human activity, conservation efforts have seen some success recently thanks to wildlife reserves established across many parts of Central American countries like Nicaragua or Costa Rica.

The Most Dangerous Animals in Central America

Several stingrays among fish swim in the blue sea

Stingrays live in the waters of Central America.


Central America is home to a wide variety of dangerous animals, including insects, reptiles, and fish. While some of these creatures may only pose a slight risk to humans, others can be deadly if encountered in the wild.

Insects such as scorpions and centipedes are common throughout Central America and can deliver painful stings or bites that could require medical attention. Venomous spiders like the brown recluse spider are also present in the region and should be avoided at all costs due to their potentially severe symptoms.

Reptiles like crocodiles, caimans, and sea turtles have inhabited Central American waters for centuries but can still pose serious risks when encountered by unsuspecting swimmers or fishermen. Some local rivers contain large numbers of these aquatic predators, which should always be treated with caution when near them in water or on land.

The Caribbean Sea off Central America’s coast is known for its many species of venomous fish, such as stingrays, lionfish, stonefish, and moray eels. They can inflict incredibly painful injuries with their spines or teeth if stepped on or touched accidentally underwater. In order to avoid any potential conflicts with these animals, it’s important to stay vigilant while swimming in open waters around this part of the world!

Here are some examples of harmful types of animals in Central America:

  • American crocodile: While not as large or aggressive as its Australian cousin, the American crocodile, also known as the Central American alligator, is dangerous when provoked. Fortunately, these crocodiles prefer smaller prey.
  • Venomous snakes: The fer-de-lance viper, which is native to the Central American forests, is one of the world’s deadliest snakes. Central America is also home to the tropical rattlesnake, yellow-bellied sea snake, and the Mexican bearded lizard. They are all highly poisonous.
  • Amazonian giant centipede: The world’s largest centipede can reach 14 inches. These long, brightly colored insects kill their prey by injecting venom. Their bite won’t kill you, but it will cause intense pain and swelling.
  • Bullet ant: Locals say the sting of this ant is like getting hit by a bullet. It is not fatal, but it will hurt.
  • Red-bellied piranha: Piranhas are carnivorous fish that live in the Amazon River and surrounding streams. Piranhas are aggressive, but attacks on humans are rare.

Endangered Animals in Central America

leather-back sea turtle

Leatherback sea turtle is an endangered species native to Central America.


Central America is home to a wide variety of endangered species, including the jaguar, giant anteater, Baird’s tapir, cougar, Central American river turtle, green sea turtle, hawksbill sea turtle, leatherback sea turtle, and Olive Ridley Sea Turtle.

All of these animals are threatened by the destruction of their habitats due to agricultural development or pollution. Additionally, poaching is also a major problem for many species in Central America due to a lack of enforcement against illegal hunting and trade.

As global temperatures continue to rise due to climate change, it will become increasingly difficult for these animals to survive in their natural habitats. Conservation efforts must be made now if we want future generations to enjoy the beauty and diversity of wildlife in Central America.

Other endangered species include howler monkeys, iguanas, and scarlet macaws, all animals native to Central America. The Bahama Swallow, Bang’s mountain squirrel, big deer mouse, funnel-eared bat, and brown pelican are all animals that may become extinct if current trends continue.

For a complete list, see HERE.

Zoos in Central America

The brown-throated sloth (Bradypus variegatus) is a species of three-toed sloth found in the Neotropical realm of Central and South America

This good-looking sloth is just one of the awesome animals you can see at a zoo in Central America.

©Milan Zygmunt/Shutterstock.com

Central American countries are home to a wide variety of wildlife, but animals can also be seen in the many zoos located throughout the region. These zoos serve an important purpose by educating visitors on different species and providing sanctuary for those that are endangered or need special care due to injury or other circumstances.

Visiting these animal parks is a great way to get up close with some of Central America’s unique creatures without having to venture into their natural habitats. Many of the zoos host daily events such as guided tours, educational seminars, and even hands-on experiences with certain animals like reptiles and mammals.

There is something for everyone at any one of Central America’s leading zoological gardens, each offering its own unique experience! Whether it be admiring exotic birds in Panama or viewing rare amphibians in Costa Rica, there is no better place than a zoo if you want to explore Central American wildlife while staying safe and comfortable.

Read more about the top zoos within each country below.


  • La Aurora Zoo — Founded in 1924, the zoo heavily focuses on the education and immersion of visitors into the wildlife experience. The zoo covers 37 acres and displays animal species ranging from Humboldt penguins to Asian elephants.

Costa Rica

  • Zoo Ave — Animals are donated to this zoo for the purpose of rehabilitation and life-long care. The wildlife that comes in is usually injured, orphaned, or both and are nursed back to health in the zoo’s facilities.
  • Arenal Eco Zoo — Renowned for having the largest reptile and amphibian collection in all of Costa Rica. The zoo’s animals were originally part of wildlife enthusiast Victor Hugo Quesada’s collection which he opened to the public.


  • Joya Grande Zoo y Eco Parque — Incorporates wildlife sightseeing with family fun. Many large cat species are born and raised within the zoo, providing a large big cat attraction.


  • Zoologico Nacional — A smaller zoo that has many exhibits of monkeys, big cats, and reptiles. Colorful birds fly around in tropical environments while the animals roam their habitats. The zoo also has a magnificent butterfly display.


  • El Nispero Zoo and Botanical Garden — Nestled into tropical forest, this zoo enables visitors to get a close-up view of some of Panama’s most exquisite animals. Toucans, macaws, and monkeys dazzle visitors while they learn about the rescue and rehabilitation of species that are becoming increasingly endangered within the region.

While visiting the many amazing countries that make up Central America, be sure to support the local zoos and rehabilitation centers. A huge goal of the region is to promote the preservation of native species and many local zoos are involved in these endeavours.

Central American Countries Animals Lists

Click any of the countries below to see a detailed list of animals located in that country!

Central American Animals

Acadian Flycatcher

Their nests are sloppily held together and have an abandoned appearance

Admiral Butterfly

Stunningly beautiful wings

Africanized bee (killer bee)

Will chase intruders up to a quarter mile from their hives


The agouti is one of the only animals that can crack open Brazil nut pods!

Alligator Gar

The alligator gar has toxic eggs to protect against predators

Amazon Parrot

These parrots can be trained to be "talking birds" that mimic human speech

American Eel

Don't eat raw eel! Their blood is poisonous to humans when consumed raw.

American Robin

The color “Robin egg blue” is named after the hue of their eggs.


Their name means snake bird

Anole Lizard

There are just under 400 species, several of which change color.


First evolved 100 million years ago!


Has the longest tongue of any animal in relation to its body size!

Apple Head Chihuahua

Apple Head Chihuahuas are toy breed dogs with a history dating back to ancient Mexico. They are lovable, loyal, smart and courageous with a lengthy lifespan despite being the world's smallest canines.


The South American spectacled bear is its closest relative living today.

Arizona Bark Scorpion

Under UV light they glow a bright blue or green, making them easy to spot.


Can curl into a hard, protective ball!


They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food

Asian Lady Beetle

Asian lady beetles infest indoor spaces, but they do not reproduce indoors.


Found only in one complex of lakes!

Bagworm Moth

There are approximately 1350 species in the bagworm moth family (Psychidae), which forms part of the order Lepidoptera.

Bagworm Moth Caterpillar

They continually enlarge their protective cases

Baird’s Rat Snake

Baird’s rat snake subdues its prey through suffocation.

Bark Beetle

Not all bark beetles feed on a tree's bark. Some species feed on fruits, seeds, and other parts of the plant

Bark Scorpion

Glow under UV light

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.

Barred Owl

Like other owls, the barred owl swallows its prey whole.

Basilisk Lizard

Can run/walk on water.


Detects prey using echolocation!


There are 8 different species!

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs feed for 4-12 minutes.


Rock paintings of bees date back 15,000 years


There are more than 350,000 different species

Beewolf wasp

They hunt bees

Belgian Canary

The Belgian canary is one of the oldest and most influential in its genus.

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn rams can run at speeds up to 40 miles per hour when fighting for dominance.


Not all birds are able to fly!

Biscuit Beetle

The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Black Witch Moth

Some folklore associate Black Witch Moths with bad luck (and even death!), while other associates them with good fortune.

Blackburnian Warbler

They are the only songbird in North America with an orange throat!

Blacknose Shark

When threatened, Blacknose sharks raise their head, arch their back, and lower their pectoral fins.

Blind Snake

The blind snake is often mistaken for a worm.

Blue Belly Lizard

This species can detach its tail to escape from predators

Blue Catfish

It's a strong fighter when caught on a fishing line

Blue Dragon Sea Slug

They inflict a painful, venomous sting

Blue Gray Gnatcatcher

Joy and happiness are the spiritual meaning of this bird.

Blue grosbeak

Blue grosbeak parents take off the head, legs and wings of an insect before feeding it to their baby.

Blue Tanager (Blue-Grey Tanager)

They travel and forage in pairs or groups

Blue Tang

One of the most colorful members of the genus Acanthurus


The world record for longest bluegill is 15 inches.


Boas are considered primitive snakes and still have vestigial legs, called spurs.


About double the size of a domestic cat!


Seabirds found across the South Pacific!


The bowfin is a primitive fish that first evolved in the Jurassic

Box Turtle

This reptile has an S-shaped neck allowing it to pull its entire head into its shell.

Brahminy Blindsnake

These snakes have been introduced to all continents, except Antarctica!

Brazilian Treehopper

“Mild-Mannered Minimonsters”

Brown Dog Tick

Can live its entire life indoors

Brown Headed Cowbird

Males are generally monogamous during mating season and will protect the female from other males. However, females tend to venture from their partners and mate with other males.

Buffalo Fish

The oldest Buffalo fish recorded was 112 years old!


Has loud cow-like calls!


Considered “The farmer’s friend” because it eats mice and other vermin.

Burrowing Owl

The burrowing owl lives in underground burrows

Bush Dog

Bush dogs have webbed toes to help them swim.

Bushmaster Snake

The bushmaster’s scientific name means “silent death.”


There are thought to be up 17,500 species!

Cactus Wren

It is the largest wren in the United States


Some species' babies use their hooked or scraper-like teeth to peel off and eat their mother's skin


Can grow to up 6 meters long!

California Condor

They are the largest bird in North America

California Kingsnake

A full-grown California kingsnake can be about 3.5 feet long, though there are some cases in Mexico of the snake being almost twice this size.

Camel Cricket

The camel crickets that are found in the USA are light brown in color. They also have dark streaks all over their body.

Camel Spider

Fast, carnivorous arachnid with a painful bite.


Cantils heads are marked with bright white lines on each side of their heads.


Named after Capuchin friars.

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!

Carpet Beetle

Carpet beetles eat different animal and plant-based products, depending on what stage of their lifecycle they are in; these foods include pollen, flour, wool, and fur.

Carrion Beetle

Carrion beetles' diets depend on the specie. Some eat decaying carcasses, while others scavenge in decaying plant matter and dung.


Cascabels rely on their camouflage first, and rattle if that doesn't work.


May have been domesticated up to 10,000 years ago.

Cat-Eyed Snake

Evidence indicates that females can delay fertilization and store sperm for later years to produce eggs even in the absence of contact with a male!


The larvae of a moth or butterfly!


There are nearly 3,000 different species!

Cedar Waxwing

Their feathers have red, waxy tips that can be hard to identify unless you’re up close.


There are about 3,000 documented species!

Checkered Garter Snake

It has the ability to expel a stinky liquid from its body as a way to make predators (and humans) retreat!

Chestnut-Sided Warbler

They inhabit regrowing forests


Chickadees are named for the sound they make: Chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee!


First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!


Surviving on the skin cells of humans and animals


Curious and devoted personality!


There are more than 2 000 known species!

Click Beetle

Click beetles are named for the clicking noise they make to escape predators.

Clothes Moth

Clothes Moths can remain in the larvae stage for up to 2 years, but adults only live 10 days.

Coachwhip Snake

Coachwhip snakes pose little danger to people


Found in dense forests and wet jungles!


Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Coconut Crab 

The largest terrestrial arthropod in the world

Codling Moth

Pupae are able to undergo diapause to survive poor fruit yield years and winter.

Collared Peccary

Form bands of up to 12 individuals!

Common Furniture Beetle

The common furniture beetle feeds exclusively on wood

Common Grackle

Common grackles are a pest species that damage crops and spread disease.

Common House Spider

House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.

Common Raven

A group of ravens is called an unkindness or a conspiracy.

Common Yellowthroat

The Common Yellowthroat stays close to the ground and uses stealth to survive!


They are intelligent and noisy, often mimicking sounds and learning vocabulary.

Cooper’s Hawk

Eyes change color as they age


Copperheads get their name, unsurprisingly, from their bronze-hued heads.

Coral Snake

There are over 80 species of coral snake worldwide.


Corella birds are noisy, especially during the early morning or late evening.


They can fly 35 mph and dive 150 feet below water.


There are nearly 1.5 billion worldwide!


Also known as the Prairie Wolf!


There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings


Female crayfish aren't that maternal; they have to secrete a form of pheromone, referred to as maternal pheromones, that encourages them to take care of their offspring and prevents them from eating their young.


Male crickets can produce sounds by rubbing their wings together


Have changed little in 200 million years!


Crocodylomorphs include extinct ancient species as well as 26 living species today.


A group of these birds is called a Murder.

Cuban Boa

One of the only snakes observed using cooperative hunting tactics.

Cuban Cockroach

Believed to have been introduced to the United States by being shipped with green bananas.


Damselfish belong to the family Pomacentridae

Dark-Eyed Junco

They are called snowbirds because many subspecies reappear in the winter.

Darkling Beetle

Darkling Beetles have segmented antennae. Each one is divided into eleven segments.

De Kay’s Brown Snake

They have specialized jaws for removing snails from shells.

Death’s Head Cockroach

People buy Death's Head Cockroach nymphs and raise them as pets!

Deer Head Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed in the world.

Deer Mouse

Roughly 60 different species of deer mice range from Canada to Central America!

Desert Tortoise

Lives in burrows underground!


They have a unique call that they are named for.


First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Dog Tick

Dog ticks feed on dogs and other mammals


First domesticated 5,000 years ago!


It's larvae are carnivorous!

Dubia Cockroach

The most popular species of feeder roach


Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight

Dusky Shark

The Dusky Shark sometimes eats trash discarded by humans.

Dwarf Boa

Some species can change color from dark to light, and back again.


Has exceptional eyesight!


They are hermaphrodites, which means they have male and female organs


There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Eastern Bluebird

Bluebirds drop straight down on their prey from their perch, much like leopards.

Eastern Fence Lizard

Females are usually larger than males.

Eastern Kingbird

The eastern kingbird is a fierce fighter once known as the butcher king!

Eastern Meadowlark

They can live up to 9 years.

Eastern Phoebe

This passerine bird can sing its song without ever hearing another bird vocalize first.

Eastern Racer

Fast and Furious!


Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!


Most species are relatively vocal, making harsh croaking sounds and squeals.

Elegant Tern

Have a lifespan of 20 years or more

Elephant Beetle

The males have multiple horns at the front of their bodies.

Emerald Toucanet

Emerald Toucanets spend their lives high in the canopy of tall forests, almost never coming to the ground!

Eurasian Collared Dove

The Eurasian collared dove has been extensively studied due to its amazing ability to rapidly colonize new territories.

European Starling

European starlings are accomplished mimics, often copying songs or sounds of other birds and animals (frog calls, goats, cats), or even mechanical sounds and human speech!

Eyelash Viper

While the eyelash viper can be a pet, be cautious – they are extremely venomous!


The fastest creatures on the planet!

False Widow Spider

False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders

Fancy Mouse

Fancy mice are beloved pets with a history of domestication spanning thousands of years!

Fer-de-lance Snake

The Most Dangerous Snake in the Americas

Ferruginous Hawk

The ferruginous hawk comes in both light and dark morphs

Fiddler Crab

The fiddler crab gets its name from the motion the males make with their over-sized claw during the mating ritual.


The firefly produces some of the most efficient light in the world


Sleeps on just one leg!

Flathead Catfish

The only predators that prey on flathead catfish are members of their own species and humans who catch them for commercial and recreational purposes.


Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air

Flea Beetle

Flea beetles can jump like fleas when threatened.

Flour Beetle

Flour beetles are adapted to survive in very dry environments.


There are more than 240,000 different species!

Flying Squirrel

Can glide up to 90 meters!

Fox Squirrel

Although it is a tree squirrel, it spends most of its time on the ground.

Freshwater Drum

These fish are very vocal, and males make a rumbling or grunting noise during breeding season to attract a mate.

Freshwater Jellyfish

The freshwater jellyfish is native to China but is now found all over the world


There are around 7,000 different species!

Fruit Fly

Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world

Fulvous Whistling Duck

They build a ramp from their nest, which leads to a nearby water source

Galapagos Shark

Galapagos sharks are cannibalistic and sometimes eat their young, so the pups stay away from the adults in shallow water.


Can grow to more than 3m long!

Garter Snake

Female garter snakes give birth to live young rather than laying eggs!


There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

Geoffroys Tamarin

Has distinctive V shape on head!

German Cockroach

The most common type of urban roach

Giant Desert Centipede

They are the largest centipede in North America

Giant Leopard Moth

When giant leopard moths mate, their mating sessions last over 24 hours.

Glass Frog

You can see their internal organs.


Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!


Males form large mating swarms at dusk

Golden-Crowned Kinglet

They huddle together for warmth

Golden Tortoise Beetle

Golden tortoise beetles have a metallic gold color which can change to dull brown when disturbed.


They dig large networks of tunnels!

Gopher Snake

Gopher snakes can reach up to 9 feet long.


The goshawk is a popular choice among European falconers

Grass Snake

Use acute hearing to hunt

Grass Spider

Their fangs aren't big enough to penetrate human skin.


There are 11,000 known species!

Grasshopper Mouse

The grasshopper mice attack predators using the poison of their venom.

Gray Catbird

Their songs have cat-like qualities and can mimic other birds and animals, like tree frogs.

Gray Fox

The gray fox has retractable claws and a rotating wrist that allow it to climb trees with some proficiency

Great Blue Heron

Their wingspan is larger than an eagle’s; both males and females help hatch the eggs; rich in symbolism

Great Crested Flycatcher

This species makes use of some truly unusual nesting material, including snakeskin and garbage

Great Kiskadee

The great kiskadee is a highly adaptable predator that can live in almost any habitat within its range and can hunt in the air, on the ground and in the water.

Great Plains Rat Snake

This snake vigorously shakes its tail as a way to frighten away predators.

Great Potoo Bird

At night, they make a terrifying low call that sounds like a distressed moan or growl.


They swim like frogs

Green Heron

Uses bait to catch prey

Green Snake

There are two types of green snakes: smooth green snakes and rough green snakes

Ground Snake

It’s sometimes called a miter snake due to the marking on its head that looks like a bishop’s miter


Many grouper can change their sex, and it is always from female to male.


Also known as the Millionfish!

Gypsy Moth

One of the most invasive species in the world

Hairy Woodpecker

They are natural pest controls

Hamburg Chicken

This breed doesn't usually make nests or incubate their own chicks.

Hammond’s flycatcher

“Hammond’s flycatcher has a call known as a sharp peek!”


Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!


Can reach speeds of over 50 mph!

Harlequin Coral Snake

Red touches yellow kills a fellow, red touches black a friend of Jack.

Harpy Eagle

Talon's the size of a grizzly bear's claws!

Harris’s Hawk

Their vision is eight times better than a human's


These are the only dogs that are native to Cuba

Hawk Moth Caterpillar

Many hawk moth caterpillars eat toxins from plants, but don’t sequester them the way milkweed butterflies do. Most toxins are excreted.

Hepatic Tanager (Red Tanager)

Parents and their young sing sweetly to each other

Hercules Beetle

This dynastine scarab beetle makes a weird huffing sound when it’s disturbed.


Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Herring Gull

They are loud, spirited birds with raucous cries that sound like bursts of laughter.

Hobo Spider

The Hobo Spider travels city to city like an actual Hobo and is often found near railroad tracks!


Hogfish can change their sex from female to male

Hognose snake

Prima Donnas of the Snake World

Honduran White Bat

The bat only eats figs.

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!

Hooded Oriole

Hooded orioles have a strong sweet tooth that makes nectar and jelly among its favorite foods.

Horned Beetle

These beetles are herbivores but have an intimidating appearance because of the horn-like projection on their heads. However, they are entirely harmless to humans, as they don't sting or bite.

Horned Lizard

The horned lizards are able to squirt blood from their eyes.


Has evolved over 50 million years!


Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.

Horseshoe Crab

Changed little in over 500 million years!

House Finch

The house finch can become redder depending on what it eats

House Sparrow (English Sparrow)

The house sparrow has been introduced all over the world

House wren

The wren’s epithet, aedon, comes from a Greek queen who accidentally killed her only son. She was actually aiming for her nephew, and Zeus took pity on her and turned her into a nightingale.


The fly has no teeth

Howler Monkey

Spends 80% of it's time resting!


Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!


Beat their wings up to 80 times per second!

Huntsman Spider

Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.


Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!


Uses visual signals to communicate!

Imperial Moth

Since the imperial moth doesn’t eat, it does die shortly after it lays its eggs. Its lifespan is only about one week.

Indigo Snake

Indigo snakes use brute force to overpower their prey.


Insects go back over 350 million years, making the creatures older than man, flowering plants and dinosaurs.


There are an estimated 30 million species!

Ivory-billed woodpecker

The ivory-billed woodpecker can drill into wood with its sharp beak


They form lifelong pair bonds and live in groups near water sources.


The jacana has the ability to swim underwater

Jack Crevalle

One of the biggest species in the Caranx genus


They can run as fast as 45 mph.


The largest feline on the American continent!

Jaguarundi Cat

These cats are expert swimmers.

Jamaican Boa

When a Jamaican boa is coiled up, it almost looks like two snakes together because of color pattern.

Jamaican Iguana

Almost went extinct for 40 years

Japanese Bantam Chicken

Japanese bantam chickens are the best flying chicken species

Jumping Spider

Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies

Kangaroo Rat

Merriam’s kangaroo rats literally never have to drink water

Keel-Billed Toucan

It's beak can reach nearly 20 cm long!

Kentucky Warbler

The Kentucky Warbler appears to wear bright yellow cat-eye glasses!

Keyhole Cichlid

When these fish feel stressed, their skin color will change from yellow-cream to brown.


The killdeer feigns injury to draw a predator away from its nest.


Killifish are highly sought after for their peaceful nature and ability to adapt to most aquarium communities.

King Vulture

The king vulture is the second largest New World vulture species


Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!


The kinkajou is a nimble forest-dwelling mammal of Central and South America.

Kissing Bugs

Kissing bugs derive their name from the location they prefer to bite, which is usually close to the lips of the host

Kit Fox

The kit fox is the smallest canid in North America.


Produce weak electric fields

Knight Anole

When threatened, the promiscuous knight anole rises on all fours and turns bright green, and gives a menacing look.


There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Larder Beetle

Larder beetles were named based on their attraction to food storage rooms or cupboards, but they do not feed on stored food products. 

Leafcutter Ant

Leafcutter ants have been farming fungus under the forest floor for up to 50 million years!

Least Flycatcher

They can travel up to 72 miles in a single day.

Leatherback Sea Turtle

They are the largest living turtle and the only sea turtle without a hard shell!


Has 10 pairs of eyes!

Leopard Frog

They can jump up to three feet

Leopard Lizard

Can jump a distance of two feet to capture prey

Lesser Scaup

Young lesser scaups learn to dive as soon as their down dries.


There are around 5,000 different species!


The lizardfish can camouflage itself against the sandy bottom to avoid predators.


Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Lone Star Tick

Only females have the ‘lone star’ marking


The largest species of parrot in the world!

MacGillivray’s Warbler

The complicated story of how MacGillivray’s Warblers got their name involves three ornithologists, a physician and a compromise.


Will only live in wet areas

Magnolia Warbler

They line their nests with fungi strands

Mahi Mahi (Dolphin Fish)

It's called the rabbit of the ocean because it multiplies so quickly.


With an appropriate tail wind, the mallard can travel hundreds of miles a day


Margays are one of the world’s most highly adapted cat species for climbing trees!

Marine Toad

Produces a toxin used in arrow darts!


The name “Massasauga” comes from the Chippewa language, meaning “Great River Mouth”.

Mayan Cichlid

Mayan cichlids live longer in captivity than they do in the wild.


There are 2,500 known species worldwide!


They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.

Mexican Alligator Lizard

Mexican alligator lizards shed their skin like snakes.

Mexican Eagle (Northern crested caracara)

The northern crested caracara mates for life with its partner

Mexican Free-Tailed Bat

Some colonies have millions of bats

Mexican Mole Lizard

They can break off part of their tail, but it will not grow back.


Some species have a poisonous bite!


Mockingbirds are incredible mimics that can learn hundreds of songs!


The mojarra's protruding mouth allows it to sift along the seabed for food

Mojave Rattlesnake

"The Mojave rattlesnake is the most venomous rattlesnake in the world."


Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

Mole Cricket

Adult Mole crickets may fly as far as 5 miles during mating season and are active most of the year.


Most molluscs have more than one heart


Known for their calm and peaceful nature!

Monarch Butterfly

During migration, Monarch Butterflies may travel 250 or more miles each day.


Has characteristics of two or more breeds!


There are around 260 known species!

Monte Iberia Eleuth

The smallest frog in the Northern Hemisphere!

Moonglow Boa

Moonglow boas are the result of mixing three genetic traits.


Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!

Morpho Butterfly

Collectors prize them for their bright wings


Only the female mosquito actually sucks blood


There are 250,000 different species!

Mountain Bluebird

Depending on the time of the year, the mountain bird can live as far north as Alaska.

Mountain Lion

Has no real natural predators!

Mourning Dove

It is almost always the male who makes the famous sad sound, which is a wooing call

Mourning Warbler

The Mourning Warbler was named for its gray head, which resembles a mourning veil!


Found on every continent on Earth!


The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!

Mullet Fish

The Striped Mullet is one of the best-known and most easily identified species, with black horizontal stripes along its body.

Muscovy Duck

Unlike most duck species, the Muscovy is silent and only makes noise when excited or threatened.


The muskrat can stay underwater up to 17 minutes at a time

Mussurana Snake

Mussurana snakes help keep rodents from overrunning farms.


Causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis


no stomach to digest food


Nematodes range in size from 1/10 of an inch to 28 feet long


There are 97 nightjar species across 20 genera!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Northern Bobwhite

The northern bobwhite is named for its distinctive whistling call that sounds like ‘bob-white’.

Northern Cardinal

Males are a bright red color, also called "cardinal red"

Northern Flicker

Northern Flickers often make their homes in dead trees.

Northern Harrier

They can reach speeds of 25 Mph but prefer to soar low and slow.

Northern Jacana

The northern jacana is one of two species found in the Americas, from the United States to Panama.

Northern Parula

They live in coffee and citrus plantations during the winter

Northern Pintail

Northern pintails migrate at night with speeds reaching 48 miles per hour!

Northern Potoo

You can find them near golf courses in urban areas


Nuthatches spend a lot of their time upside down.

Ocellated Turkey

These birds are timid and hard to spot, but their noisy gobbles give them away.


Also known as the Painted Leopard!

Orange-Crowned Warbler

Often mistaken for the Tennessee Warblers, which are equally dull.

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males

Orchard Oriole

They use rapid wingbeats to hover over foliage as they search for food.


They reuse nesting sites for 70 years!


There are 13 different species worldwide


The ovenbird is named for its unusual nest, which is shaped like an oven!


The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees

Owl Butterfly

Owl butterflies derive their name from big spots on each hindwing that resemble owl eyes

Owlfly (Ascalaphidae)

Adult owlflies can capture prey while flying in the air.

Pacific Coast Tick

Pacific Coast ticks can go without food for two to three years without dying.

Painted Bunting

They are one of the most colorful species of birds.


Prefers to hunt at night than during the day!


Can live for up to 100 years!

Parrot Snake

The parrot snake shows off with bright green and bronze colors that cover its entire body.


Parrotlets aren't the world's tiniest parrot — that would be the pygmy parrot of Australasia.


The biggest members of the Pelagornithidae family were the largest flying birds known.

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth


Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!

Phoenix Chicken

These small chickens have tails that can be up to five feet long!


They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.

Pine Beetle

Female pine beetles can lay up to 75 eggs at once, and the males will stay with their mates for up to 3 weeks after fertilizing the eggs

Pine Siskin

When foraging, pine siskins hang upside down to pick through the leaves and bark, collecting seeds from coniferous trees.

Pipe Snake

Some of these snakes flatten their neck and raise their heads to imitate cobras if they’re threatened.

Pit Viper

Pit vipers's fangs fold up into their mouths when they don't need them.

Plains Hognose Snake

The plains hognose snake gets its name from the upturned end of its snout.

Poison Dart Frog

Inhabits the jungles of Central and South America!

Polyphemus Moth

The Polyphemus moth doesn’t and can't eat, except when it's a caterpillar!

Pompano Fish

They are bottom-feeders


There are 30 different species worldwide!


The potoo’s eyelids have slits that let them see even when their eyes are closed.

Powderpost Beetle

Powderpost beetles prefer living in moist tree limbs, dead wood, and branches. They get into homes through infested joists, paneling, rafters, flooring, and finished wood products.

Prairie Dog

Prairie dog “towns” can consists of hundreds of individuals

Prairie Rattlesnake

The striking distance of a prairie rattlesnake is 2/3rds the length of its body.

Praying Mantis

The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.


While pronghorns are the fastest runner of any Western Hemisphere land animal, they are not good jumpers.


Has longer back legs than front legs!

Purple Gallinule

They build their nests on the water, anchoring it to nearby aquatic vegetation.


Purussaurus had a bite force that is higher than that of any creature that has ever lived

Quahog Clam

Their hinged shell protects their soft body


Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!


The tail feathers of the male can be 1m long!

Quetzalcoatlus northropi

Quetzalcoatlus northropi was one of the largest flying animals ever found


Known to wash their food before eating it!

Racer Snake

The racer snake can speed away at up to 3.5 miles per hour

Rainbow Boa

The rainbow boa is named for its iridescent skin that refracts light and creates a rainbow-colored effect.


Omnivores that eat anything!

Rat Snakes

Rat snakes are constrictors from the Colubridae family of snakes.


Rattlesnakes may have evolved their rattle to warn bison away from them.

Red Diamondback Rattlesnake

A rattlesnake can shake its rattle back and forth 20-100 times per second.

Red-Eared Slider

Sliders spend lots of time basking in the sun. As cold-blooded animals, they need the sun to heat up.

Red-Eyed Tree Frog

Despite their spectacular coloration, red-eyed tree frogs aren’t poisonous and can be kept as pets.

Red Finch

Red finches can form flocks of over 100 birds.

Red-Footed Tortoise

Male and female Red-Footed Tortoises move their heads to communicate.

Red Knee Tarantula

Inhabits the Pacific Mountains of Mexico!

Red-Shouldered Hawk

Red-Shouldered Hawks reuse the same nesting area each year.

Red Tail Boa (common boa)

Red tailed boas don’t suffocate their prey, they squeeze until the heart stops circulating blood to the brain.

Red-winged blackbird

The male red-winged blackbird can sing to attract mates

Rhino Beetle

Rhinoceros beetles can lift objects 850 times their weight

Ribbon Snake

Ribbon snakes love water, but are excellent climbers too.

Ring-billed Gull

The ring-billed gull feeds on vast quantities of human waste and garbage.

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!


Roadrunners are one of the few animals that prey on rattlesnakes and tarantula hawk wasps.

Robber Flies

The female pretend they are dead if they do not find the male worthy of mating.


There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!


The capybara, the world’s largest rodent, likes to be in and around bodies of water. Because of this, the Catholic Church in South America decided that it was a fish, and people were allowed to eat it during Lent and First Fridays.


Will mate with the entire flock!

Root Aphids

Nymphs take 9 to 10 days on average to mature, with a complete lifespan of an estimated 30 days.

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

This bird is also called cut-throat because the male looks like his throat has been cut and has bled over his breast.

Roseate Spoonbill

The only Spoonbill in the western hemisphere!

Rosy Boa

One of the few snakes that naturally comes in a rainbow of colors!

Rove Beetle

When threatened, rove beetles raise the ends of their body like scorpions, but they have no sting.

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated hummingbirds can beat their wings more than 50 times per second.

Ruddy Duck

Ruddy duck breeding males have bright blue bills!

Saber-Toothed Tiger

Canines up to 7 inches long!

Sable Ferret

Ferrets were used during the Revolutionary War to keep down the rat population.

Saddleback Caterpillar

Saddleback caterpillars are solitary in nature, unlike many of their cousins that live in pairs or groups. They only intermingle when it's time to mate and lay eggs.


Fast billfish with a sail-like dorsal fin


There are more than 700 different species!

Sand Crab

The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail

Sand Dollar

Sand Dollar skeletons make popular collection items for seashell collectors.


Some sandpipers can migrate more than 8,000 miles without stopping!

Saturniidae Moth

Some of the largest moths in the world


Newly hatched sauropods weighted less than 11 pounds and put on 2 tons of weight a year!

Savannah Sparrow

The Savannah sparrow gets its name because one of the first of this type of bird was found in the city of Savannah, Georgia.

Scale-Crested Pygmy Tyrant

They raise their crests to ward off predators

Scarlet Macaw

Like many parrots, the scarlet macaw is capable of vocal mimicry.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Scissor-tailed flycatchers are known for their dramatically long tails!


There are around 2,000 known species!

Sea Eagle

The sea eagle tends to mate for life with a single partner


Some gulls are capable of using tools


Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Senepol Cattle

Senepol cattle have a distinctive red color and no horns.

Sharp-Shinned Hawk

In captivity, sharp-shinned hawks can live up to 13 years. However, in the wild, this number is significantly reduced to 3 years!


Around 35 million in the English countryside!

Short-Eared Owl

The short-eared owl is one of the most widespread owl species in the world, covering five continents.

Short-Faced Bear

The modern Spectacled Bear, which lives in South America, is related to the Short-Faced Bear!


The spinal column of the shrew Scutisorex somereni is so strong and reinforced that it can support the weight of an adult human.


There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Skink Lizard

Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.


It's body temperature is between 30 - 34 degrees!


They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce

Smallmouth Bass

A fierce fighter!

Smokybrown Cockroach

Has up to 45 eggs per egg case


There are nearly 1,000 different species!


There are around 4,000 known species worldwide

Snook Fish

Males change into females after the spawning season

Snowflake Eel

Snowflake Eel have two jaws to help them swallow their food.

Soldier Beetle

Soldier beetles resemble fireflies, but they're not bioluminescent.

Song Sparrow

Pumps its tail when it flies!

Southern Black Racer

These snakes live underground, beneath piles of leaf litter or in thickets, and they are expert swimmers.

Southern House Spider

Large web making house spider

Southern Pacific Rattlesnake

Southern Pacific rattlesnakes hibernate in dens that hold hundreds of snakes.

Spanish Goat

They have long, horizontal ears.


There are 140 different species!

Spider Beetle

Spider beetles have globular bodies, which makes them look like spiders.

Spider Monkey

Belongs to the only family of primates in the world with full prehensile tails!

Spider Wasp

They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.

Spotted Gar

They are commonly mistaken as logs in the water due to their cylindrical body.

Spotted Skunk

Spotted skunks are known for their acrobatic abilities. They perform handstands before spraying their enemies.


Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Squirrel Monkey

Lives in groups of up to 500 individuals!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!


They can’t sing like other birds.

Summer Tanager

They remove bee stingers by rubbing them against a tree


These larvae are native to Central and South America but now occur on every continent except Antarctica


Paracanthurus hepatus, the palette surgeonfish or bluetang, is the only member of its genus

Swainson’s Hawk

Their wings form a “V” shape when flying.


swallows have aerodynamic bodies for hunting in flight


Populations have been affected by pollution!


These tiny yet intelligent monkeys often give birth to fraternal twins.


More than 1000 species of tarantulas have been identified all around the world!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.


Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!

Texas Blind Snake

These snakes grow to just 11 inches long

Texas Coral Snake

Texas coral snakes have the second most powerful venom in the world

Texas Indigo Snake

Texas Indigo Snakes are known for chasing down, overpowering, and eating rattlesnakes.

Texas Spiny Lizard

They hold push-up competitions!


The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.


They inject hosts with a chemical that stops them from feeling the pain of the bite

Tiger Beetle

The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world

Tiger Rattlesnake

These rattlesnakes have the smallest heads of any rattlesnake.

Tomato Hornworm

The tomato hornworm is a ferocious pest that can eat all parts of a plant, including the fruits.


Can live until they are more than 150 years old!


There are more than 40 different species!

Tree Cricket

They make music with their wings

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!

Tree swallow

The tree swallow can make more than a dozen distinct vocalizations


There are 40 species of Triggerfish, all with different coloring and patterns.

Tufted Coquette

They are tame and easy to approach


Closely related to pheasants and chickens!


Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.


Migrates up and down the mountains!

Upland Sandpiper

They make jerky movements as they walk through the grass, searching for food.

Vampire Bat

Have a heat sensor on the end of their nose!


The veery is named for its sharp "veer" call.

Vermilion Flycatcher

They have a fast song that lasts up to 10 syllables at max.

Vine Snake

A slender body and elongated snout give the vine snake a regal look.


Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted


There are 30 different species worldwide!


There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Water Beetle

Water beetles bite; they use their legs to inject venomous digestive saliva

Water Bug

Some species of water bugs can deliver a painful bite when handled.

Wattled Jacana

They are typically noisy birds but take on a soft tone with their young.

Welsh Black Cattle

Welsh Black Cattle were once used as currency in Wales and referred to as “black gold”.

Welsh Springer Spaniel

Due to being so attached to their owners, the Welsh Springer Spaniel does not do well with being left alone and can experience separation anxiety.

Western Blind Snake

Western blind snakes are flourescent in black light!

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

They replace their fangs 2-4 times per year!

Western Kingbird

Western kingbirds have hidden red crown feathers that they can raise when threatened!

Western Tanager

They migrate farther north than any other tanager.

Whiptail Lizard

Many whiptail species reproduce asexually.

White Catfish

White catfish can grow up to 37 inches in size.

White-Crowned Sparrow

Males learn distinct songs from the community they grew up in and continue to sing in the same dialect as adults.

White-Eyed Vireo

During courtship, males put on exciting displays by fluffing their plumage, spreading their tails, and letting out a whining call.

White-Faced Capuchin

One of the world's most intelligent monkeys!

White Ferret / Albino Ferrets

There are two different types of white ferrets!

White-shouldered House Moth

The larva is the pest because a fully-grown white-shouldered house moth cannot feed; it can only absorb liquid

White-tail deer

White-tail deer are good swimmers

Whitetail Deer

Although deer are herbivores, they will sometimes eat mice and birds when they can catch them.

Willow Flycatcher

These birds live in the understory and are named for their propensity for flitting between willows and shrubs.


Thought to date back more than 300,000 years!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.

Wood Duck

Adult male wood ducks sport a striking red eye and bill year-round!

Wood Turtle

Temperature determines the sex of turtle eggs


This animal can roll up into a ball


There are 200 different species!

Woolly Aphids

Another name for these fuzzy insects is "boogie-woogie aphids" because of their habit of lifting their posteriors and pulsing them in synchronized motions when threatened.


Doesn’t have eyes.

Writing Spider

males pluck webs like strings on a guitar


The Xoloitzcuintli is the national dog of Mexico

Yellow Aphids

These aphids are primarily wingless; however, once the infestation on their host gets too crowded, they develop wings, allowing them to fly to a new host plant.

Yellow Bellied Sapsucker

The males are responsible for choosing the nesting tree most of the time. Luckily, cavity nests are often reused for multiple breeding seasons (up to 7 years.)

Yellow Spotted Lizard

Gives birth to live young.

Yellow Tanager (Black-and-Yellow Tanager)

They swallow soft fruit whole


They forage near the ground, searching leaves for insects

Zebra Tarantula

They can stay hidden in their burrows for months!

Central American Animals List

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About the Author

Heather Hall is a writer at A-Z Animals, where her primary focus is on plants and animals. Heather has been writing and editing since 2012 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture. As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, Heather enjoys hiking, gardening, and trail running through the mountains with her dogs.

Central America FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What Kinds of Animals Live in Central America?

In Central America, you are likely to see many exotic rainforest animals like parrots, toucans, monkeys, sloths, iguanas, crocodiles, and jaguars. Unique birds include macaws, parrots, and toucans, but you will also find owls and hawks in the forests.

Central America is home to several species of big cats, including panthers, jaguars, margays, ocelots, and jaguarundi.

The waters of these countries support many important coral reef systems. For instance, the Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest barrier reef system in the world. These waters are important nesting grounds for sea turtles, manatees, water birds, and many endangered species. Central America contains many UNESCO World Heritage Sites that recognize the unique importance of their flora and fauna.

Each country in Central America has its own unique species. These countries have taken steps to protect their precious natural resources by establishing national parks and marine reserves.

What Exotic Animals Are in Central America?

  • Baird’s tapir: The tapir, known locally as the mountain cow, looks like a cross between a cow and a wild pig.  This unusual animal almost became extinct, but it is now beloved for its gentle personality and amusing behavior. Tapirs now enjoy protected status in most of Central America.
  • White-faced capuchin monkey: This small, beautiful monkey is exceptionally smart. Central America has many unique monkey species, including howler monkeys, which are the loudest animal on earth.
  • Quetzal: This brilliantly colored bird is remarkable for its extremely long tail feathers. Although the quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala, it is critically endangered. Cloud forest preserves are important sanctuaries for quetzals and other tropical birds.
  • Jaguar: The largest wild cat of the Northern hemisphere, the mysterious, elusive jaguar is an important cultural symbol to Central Americans. Although jaguars are endangered, their populations are recovering.
  • Iguana: There are several types of iguanas, and you can find them all in Central America. You can find marine iguanas, green iguanas and blue iguanas. Although iguanas seem to be everywhere when you’re in Central America, they are threatened by habitat loss and introduced species, including cats and dogs, that prey on them.

How Many Mammal Species Are Found in Central America?

Central America has more than 350 native mammal species.

What Animals Live in the Central American Rainforest?

  • Tropical birds: You will see many vivid, loud tropical birds in the rainforest, including scarlet macaws, keel-billed toucans, and orange-winged parrots. Hummingbirds are prevalent in the rainforests and surrounding areas.
  • Big cats: Jaguars, ocelots, panthers, and margays all live in the tropical rainforests and the mountain cloud forests.
  • Kinkajou: This small, nocturnal mammal spends its life in the rainforest trees. This adorable, big-eared creature has a long tongue and loves to forage for fruit.
  • Marsupials: Central America is home to much-loved marsupials like the sloth. Central America is home to pygmy sloths, Hoffman’s two-toed sloths, and brown-throated sloths.
  • Marine life: Dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles all live in the warm waters around Central America.
  • Insects: The lanternfly, rhinoceros beetle, black butterfly, mosquito, and praying mantis are all native to the rainforest.