Hannah Ward
Author for A-Z Animals

I'm an avid animal lover, and when not writing I can be found on my farm surrounded by dogs, horses, and sheep.

From playful and curious goats to cute and cuddly lambs, you could easily be forgiven for mistaking sheep and goats for one another.  After all, on the surface they’re quite similar – especially when they’re seen out in the fields from a distance.  But just how alike are they? Well, despite being from the same […] Read More

Beavers and muskrats look strikingly similar and are easily confused due to their stout and furry brown bodies and love of water.  But just how alike are they?  They’re both rodents so what’s the difference you might wonder?  The truth is they are actually two completely different species and each is unique in their own […] Read More

There are around 350 species of parrots in the world today and most live in the tropical and subtropical regions of Australia, Africa, and Central and South America.  Parrots have long been kept as pets and are as famous for their exceptionally bright and stunning colors as they are for their talking ability.  Read on […] Read More

Many millions of animals in the world have hair and for some it’s essential to their survival as they need it for warmth.  However, some animals have much more hair than others, including some we wouldn’t even expect.  Here we’ll discover the hairiest animals in the world, including a dog that uses its coat to […] Read More

Baleen whales are some of the most unique and breathtaking animals in the world.  These huge marine mammals are some of the biggest to have ever existed and are found all over the world.  Despite their size, these gentle giants are famed for eating only the smallest animals around.  Not only that, but they are […] Read More

From the roar of a lion to the howl of a wolf, the sound of wild and wonderful animals is a thrilling experience.  Sound is essential to the communication of many animals, and hearing plays a vital role too.  As well as communication, hearing is used for hunting and even for navigation and many animals […] Read More

There are millions of species of animals in the world today and, no matter whether they are on the land or in the water, eating is one of the most important things for all of them.  Many animals have unique digestive systems that suit their eating habits and environment, and lots have several stomachs, with […] Read More

With more than 35,000 species of fish in the world today, it’s not surprising that there are some deadly ones amongst them.  However, when we think of deadly fish we probably instantly think of huge sharks that can kill with one bite, but surprisingly, some of the deadliest fish are actually some of the smallest. […] Read More

Moose are the largest existing species of deer family in the world today and the tallest mammal in North America.  With their huge antlers that can be more than 6 feet long, on top of an already large body, moose certainly cut an impressive sight.  But just how big is the largest moose in the […] Read More

Elephants are huge herbivores and are the largest land mammals in the world.  Easily distinguished by their grey skin, long trunk, and large ears, elephants are one of the most intelligent animals around.  From expressing grief and mourning for weeks to playing a pivotal role in maintaining the shape of the landscape, elephants are incredibly […] Read More

Sea turtles are renowned for being one of the oldest animals living today, having been around for 110 million years.  Known as marine reptiles, sea turtles are one of only four reptiles that have adapted to life in the sea – the others being crocodiles, marine iguanas, and sea snakes.  Many sea turtles don’t even […] Read More

Gorillas are the largest apes around and have been on Earth for approximately 7 million years.  These huge mammals are usually found in forests and mountain regions and are easily distinguished by their large size and thick black hair.  Gorillas are closely related to humans and have a lifespan of 40 to 50 years, although […] Read More

For a lot of animals speed is essential to their survival and whether they can outrun a predator depends on how fast they can run.  When we think of the fastest animals we probably instantly think of a cheetah which is the fastest land mammal, but surprisingly there are some animals that can actually travel […] Read More

Snapping turtles are one of the oldest types of turtle around, having been around for approximately 200 million years – even during the time of the dinosaurs! The species also have a lifespan of more than 100 years.  These fascinating reptiles spend most of their time in freshwater ponds, streams, and rivers and can grow […] Read More

Due to its vast size – stretching from Canada and Greenland in the north, to Mexico in the south – North America contains a vast range of habitats.  From land to sea, there are forests, mountains, deserts, open plains, and snowy tundras which are home to many fascinating animals, both large and small.  But just […] Read More

Dragonflies are stunning insects that can be seen in a range of vibrant colors and there are more than 7,000 species of them in the world today.  Although there is often a common misconception that they only live for twenty-four hours, dragonflies can actually survive for one to eight weeks as adults.  Dragonflies are large […] Read More

There are few sounds more distinctive than that of a woodpecker drumming away on a tree.  Often considered to be lucky, they are known in many places as a symbol of friendship and happiness.  With around two hundred species, woodpeckers are found across many countries and they play an important role for other wildlife, creating […] Read More

Hummingbirds – so called because of the sound that their wings make – are one of the most fascinating types of bird around, with their long beaks and extraordinary ability to feed while hovering in mid-air.  Widespread across most of America, there are currently around 360 species today with a vast array of vibrant colours […] Read More

Of all the animals in the world, both on the land and in the sea, there are none bigger than the blue whale.  Dating back as early at 1.5 million years ago, these giants have roamed the seas for centuries and are bigger than any dinosaur to have ever lived.  Blue whales have an average […] Read More

Of all the fish in the sea, manta rays have got to be amongst the most graceful and breathtaking creatures.  With a diamond-shaped appearance and huge fins that look like wings, manta rays glide through the water with an ease that belies their size.  Also known as birds of the sea, these huge fish have […] Read More

Having been around for approximately 110 million years, sea turtles are one of the oldest types of animal alive today and were even around during the time of the dinosaurs.  These magnificent reptiles, also known as marine turtles, rarely spend any time at all on land and can reach a weight of around 1,500 pounds. […] Read More

Chickens have long been a source of food – producing meat and eggs for centuries.  Found worldwide, with more than 500 different breeds in existence today, there is something for everyone – from prolific layers to pets – and chickens can be kept by pretty much anyone who wants to give it a go.  However, […] Read More

Rats are possibly one of the most widespread rodents around the world and are found pretty much wherever there are humans, with the exception of Antarctica which is too cold for them.  Often classed as a pest, they are extremely adaptable and can live in a wide range of habitats, including swamps, rainforests, and fields.  With more than 60 […] Read More

Often regarded as a lucky symbol, grasshoppers are one of the oldest types of animals in the world, having first appeared during the Triassic period 250 million years ago.  They are herbivorous insects and there are more than 11,000 species of them worldwide, with many more thought to be as yet undiscovered. But what is […] Read More

Well known for their distinctive shape with pincers at the front and a curved tail with a stinger at the back, scorpions are easily identifiable.  They are part of the arachnida class as – including their pincers – they have eight legs.  With around 2,000 species, scorpions are well distributed across the world and are found […] Read More

Ants are fascinating creatures that have a strict hierarchy within their colonies, with worker ants doing all the work.  Found almost everywhere in the world, with more than 12,000 species to date, ants are thriving.  Although many species are a similar color, the same can’t be said for their size, with them ranging from the […] Read More

Penguins are well known for their distinctive walk and black and white markings and these flightless birds are loved worldwide, but what is the largest penguin in the world?  Found predominantly in the Southern Hemisphere, there are currently 18 species of penguin left in the world, with 11 of them classified as being under threat. […] Read More

With more than 40,000 species of snails in the world today – including land, sea, and freshwater snails – it is inevitable that there is a variety of appearances.  Spread out across the world in all different habitats, from the most common of garden snails to sea snails, there is far more to snails than […] Read More

Rabbits are well known for being excellent pets, especially for children, as they can live either indoors or outdoors and are easily tamed.  Cute and cuddly, there are around 300 recognized breeds of rabbit worldwide – from floppy eared to straight eared, long hair and short, there is something for everyone.  But just how big […] Read More

Amphibians are cold-blooded animals that can live both in the water and on land, and when we think of amphibians, frogs and toads instantly jump to mind.  Usually, we would think of frogs as being quite small – we certainly wouldn’t expect there to be a frog that is bigger than a pet cat, or […] Read More