Top 10 Funny Animal Names

Written by Rebecca
Updated: September 28, 2022
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Key Points

  • Some animals on this list have silly words in their names such as the blue-footed booby.
  • Many animals on this list have colors used in their names like the Pink Fairy Armadillo.
  • One of the more interesting names on this list 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
Like other boobies, blue-foots nest on land at night. When day breaks, they take to the air in search of seafood, sometimes fishing in cooperative groups.

©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 Blue-footed Booby feet turn blue when they mature and females tend to be bigger than males. Blue-footed Booby 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, pink fairy armadillos have a shell (carapace), but it’s softer, thinner, and more flexible and covers about half their body.

©Photo by David J. Stang / Creative Commons – 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
A rare nocturnal Aye-Aye lemur sitting in a tree. 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 Screaming hairy armadillo is one of the smallest and most slender species of its genus. The adjective “screaming” in the name derives from their 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 screaming hairy 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 last remaining highland rain forests of Madagascar.

©iStock.com/reptiles4all

The satanic leaf-tailed gecko almost looks like something dreamed up in a videogame 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, in regions such as southern California all the way up to the Gulf of Alaska.

©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
Sarcastic Fringehead fish comes out of its shell to inspect a diver on a night dive off Redondo Beach, California.

©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
A Maratus tasmanicus – peacock spider male, dancing a mating dance to attract a female. Taken in Tasmania

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
A Tasseled wobbegong shark in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. 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 aboriginal 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.

List of the Funny Animal Names

Here is a summarized list of the top 10 funny animal names:

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

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Funny Animal Names
Funny Animal Names
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About the Author

My name is Rebecca and I've been a Professional Freelancer for almost a decade. I write SEO content and graphic design. When I'm not working, I'm obsessing over cats and pet rats.

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