Top 10 Funny Animal Names

Funny Animal Names
© boulham/Shutterstock.com

Written by Rebecca Bales

Updated: May 20, 2023

Share on:

Advertisement


Key Points:
  • Some animals on this list have silly words in their names such as the Blue-Footed Booby.
  • Many animals in this top 10 have colors used in their names like the Pink Fairy Armadillo.
  • One of the more interesting names is the Screaming Hairy Armadillo.

The name of an animal can sometimes convey a lot of information about it, including its appearance, habitat, and behavior. Some names sound a little silly but are otherwise accurate, while others seem to bear no relationship to the animal at all, like the kind of name you would give for pets. This article will cover some interesting details about the top 10 funny animal names and nicknames in the English language.

#10: Blue-Footed Booby

Funny Animal Names

The blue-footed booby’s feet become blue as they mature.

©tamara bizjak/Shutterstock.com

The Blue-Footed Booby may have a ridiculous name, but this native of the eastern tropical Pacific coast is an expert diver, soaring high in the air and plunging down to the water with enormous speed to catch its quarry. The English name booby is supposedly based on the Spanish slang term “bobo,” which means foolish or stupid because the bird would land on ships to be easily captured and eaten by hungry sailors. This is an unfair characterization because these birds have many unique abilities.

The booby’s feet turn blue when they mature and females tend to be bigger than males. Males whistle to attract the attention of females. Once a pair of blue-footed boobies get together, they begin a “courtship,” which consists of something that looks similar to dancing. Additionally, the females tend to have bluer-looking feet.

In order to stay cool in their warm, tropical environments, they defecate on their feet and flutter their throat pouches to promote evaporation. And in the reproductive season, the male will begin an intricate dance with his blue webbed feet to impress a mate. The couple does not build a nest-like most birds but instead lays its eggs right on the bare ground.

#9: Pink Fairy Armadillo

Funny Animal Names

Like other armadillos, the

Pink Fairy Armadillo

has a shell, but it’s thinner and covers about half its body.

©Photo by David J. Stang / Creative Commons – Original / License

Pink Fairy may be among the more funny animal names, but it’s also an accurate way to describe this species. Measuring only about six inches long, it is the smallest armadillo in the world. It also has yellowish pink fur covering most of the body, except for the enlarged digging claws and saddle-shaped shell. Native to the sandy shrublands of central Argentina, the pink fairy armadillo spends the entire night hunting for hidden underground insects.

One of its nicknames is the sand swimmer because it can apparently burrow through the dirt just as fast as a fish can swim through the sea. While there isn’t enough information to determine its conservation status, numbers appear to be in decline throughout its natural range from habitat loss, poaching, and dog attacks. Sightings have become rarer with each passing year.

#8: Aye-Aye

Animals That Use Sonar-Aye-Aye

Aye-ayes are the only non-human primate known to use echolocation.

©Eugen Haag/Shutterstock.com

Native to the tropical forests of Madagascar, the Aye-Aye is the world’s largest nocturnal primate. This strange-looking lemur — with its big, round eyes, narrow snout, huge ears, and frenetic hair — has the ability to hunt grubs by tapping on the tree bark. When it has found a hollow space, it will gnaw a hole in the wood and insert its long middle finger to pull the grubs out.

While the more technically correct name of long-fingered lemur is also used, the Aye-Aye has stuck around since the late 18th century. The name is thought to be derived from the local indigenous term for the species or from a cry of exclamation and excitement (which the animal does not actually make). When it’s threatened or excited, the long white hairs will stand up on the end, making the aye-aye appear much larger than it actually is.

#7: Screaming Hairy Armadillo

Funny Animal Names

The adjective “screaming” in this armadillo’s name derives from its habit of squealing when handled or threatened.

©crbellette/Shutterstock.com

The Screaming Hairy Armadillo is named after both the remarkably hairy body and the sound it emits when predators are near. The thick hair emerges from between the bony armored plates of overlapping scales that protect the head and body. When threatened, it will emit a loud squealing noise and then curl up into a ball.

The armadillo is native to dry tropical forests, grasslands, shrublands, and deserts throughout central Argentina, Paraguay, and Bolivia. Nocturnal in the summer but diurnal (active during the day) in the winter, it lives alone in underground burrows for most of the year.

This species has a normal lifespan of eight or nine years in captivity, but many of them die early from habitat loss or deliberate human hunting (they are considered to be agricultural pests).

#6: Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko

Satanic leaf-tailed gecko on leaf

The Satanic

Leaf-Tailed Gecko

is a spectacular, camouflaged, lizard species endemic to the remaining highland rain forests of Madagascar.

©iStock.com/reptiles4all

The Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko almost looks like something dreamed up in a video game or movie. Native to the tropical forests in the large African island of Madagascar, this species possesses an unusual mottled brown or yellow body and flattened tail (complete with leaf-like spines and veins) that provide natural camouflage from predators against the trees in which it resides.

Their ability to hang upside down motionless from a branch or while lying in leaves also greatly assists with the camouflage effect. If the camouflage fails, then the gecko will try to frighten the predator by opening its red mouth and screaming loudly. As a last resort, it can also shed its tail and make a quick escape.

Since it doesn’t possess any eyelids, this gecko will wipe away any dust or debris in its eye with the long, flexible tongue.

#5: Fried Egg Jellyfish

Funny Animal Names

Fried egg jellyfish are commonly seen in waters off of the United States’ west coast.

©RaDoll/Shutterstock.com

The bell of this jellyfish species looks exactly like an egg yolk floating through the water, while the purple appendages and white stingers that flow behind it look a bit like a frilly neck ruffle. While these appendages are very effective at trapping and eating small plankton, the sting is so mild that fish will take shelter underneath the enormous bell and crabs will even sometimes hitch a ride.

There are three recognized species, which can be found across the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea. While they do have the ability to move around with the power of the pulsating bell, much of the time they remain motionless in the water to feed.

The short life cycle, which lasts only six months between the summer and winter, might be an adaptation to the large season changes of its local ecosystem.

#4: Lumpsucker

Funny Animal Names

Lumpsuckers can frequently be found clinging onto eel grass, rocks, or any other objects in their habitat.

©Podolnaya Elena/Shutterstock.com

Native to the cold waters of the Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans, the 30 known species of the lumpsucker fish family have an utterly bizarre appearance that’s just as weird as their name. The scientific name of Cyclopteridae comes from two Greek words: kykios, meaning circle, and pteryx, meaning wing or fin. This is a reference to the fish’s modified pelvic fin, which contains numerous adhesive discs so it can stick to a suitable surface.

While they’re relatively poor swimmers, they can escape the detection of predators with their camouflage ability against the rocky or muddy bottom of the ocean, down to a depth of some 5,600 feet. Some species are also covered in four to eight long spines to ward off predators.

These fish are surprisingly popular in some Japanese aquariums, where they provide a cute backdrop for birthday parties, weddings, and corporate functions. They’re also sometimes let loose in salmon fisheries to destroy harmful sea lice without the use of chemicals.

However, they’re not suitable for pets.

#3: Sarcastic Fringehead

Funny Animal Names

The Sarcastic Fringehead fish takes shelter in other creatures’ tube-like structures.

©Julian Gunther/Shutterstock.com

The Sarcastic Fringehead is a bizarre-looking fish that lives at the depths of the northeastern Pacific Ocean, where it takes shelter in burrows or tube-like structures created by other creatures. The most prominent feature is the big mouth that helps to determine dominance.

When two males compete for territory, they press their open mouths against each other (almost like a kiss) to determine which one is the larger fish. The smaller fringehead will usually leave without a fight. The female will then lay her eggs in the dominant male’s shelter so he can protect them.

They apparently eat a wide variety of prey, including plankton and squid.

#2: Sparklemuffin

Peacock spider

Sparklemuffin is the name of the peacock spider, of which two new species were discovered in Australia.

©iStock.com/crbellette

Sparklemuffin is not just one of the funny animal names. It’s also the name of a peacock spider, so-named because of their unusual courtship rituals. The male’s brightly colored abdomen and third pair of legs, which they wave back and forth in a bizarre dance, help them attract a suitable mate.

In 2015, a graduate student from the University of California discovered two new species of peacock spiders in Queensland, Australia. She affectionately gave them the nicknames of sparklemuffin and skeletorus, respectively.

Sparklemuffin has blue and red stripes on its abdomen, whereas skeletorus has white markings on a black background.

#1: Tasselled Wobbegong

Funny Animal Names

Tasseled Wobbegongs are ambush predators who prey on schools of fish and can attack humans unprovoked.

©frantisekhojdysz/Shutterstock.com

The Tasseled Wobbegong takes the top spot for funny animal names. Native to the shallow coral reefs off the coast of Australia and Papua New Guinea, this member of the carpet shark family lies motionless along the ocean floor with its amazing camouflage and ambushes prey that passes by.

While not very large for a shark (it measures about 4 feet long), it does have a voracious appetite. It was once captured on film eating a bamboo shark that was about 80% of its total size.

The name wobbegong has an indigenous Australian origin, but it’s not exactly clear what it means. Tassel refers to the strange fringes that protrude from the edge of the body to help it blend in with the surrounding environments. It has been known to bite and kill people, perhaps mistaking them for its natural prey.

Summary of Top 10 Funny Animal Names

Here’s a summarized list of the top 10 animal names we found the funniest:

RankAnimals
1Tasselled Wobbegong
2Sparklemuffin
3Sarcastic Fringehead
4Lumpsucker
5Fried Egg Jellyfish
6Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko
7Screaming Hairy Armadillo
8Aye-Aye
9Pink Fairy Armadillo
10Blue-Footed Booby


Share this post on:
About the Author

Rebecca is an experienced Professional Freelancer with nearly a decade of expertise in writing SEO Content, Digital Illustrations, and Graphic Design. When not engrossed in her creative endeavors, Rebecca dedicates her time to cycling and filming her nature adventures. When not focused on her passion for creating and crafting optimized materials, she harbors a deep fascination and love for cats, jumping spiders, and pet rats.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.