Name Of Young

Written by Jennifer Geer
Published: April 16, 2023
Image Credit © scooperdigital/


Baby animals, also known as offspring, are referred to by different names than the adults in their species. 


You don’t often hear someone call a puppy a “baby dog.”  Baby animals are given distinct names to help differentiate the offspring from the parents. Also, scientists use varying names to help describe the stages of an animal’s development.  

Some names of young are commonly known, while others may be more obscure. For example, everyone knows baby cats are kittens, but did you know baby jellyfish are called ephyra?

Baby jellyfish are called ephyra
Did you know that baby jellyfish are called ephyra?


Baby Animals That Share the Same Name

Some baby animals share the same name, like cubs. For example, there are a lot of kits, pups, and cubs in the animal world. On the other hand, some species have unique names for their young, like porcupines (their babies are called porcupettes).

To confuse things even more, some baby animals are called by multiple names. For example, aardvark babies are both calves and cubs, while baby foxes are both cubs and kits.

Here are some examples of the name of young and the corresponding adult animals.


When you hear the word calf, you may think of cows. However, the word “calf” can refer to many animals including bisonoxcamels, and reindeer

Here are some other examples of calves:

  • aardvark (also called cub)
  • bison
  • buffalo
  • camel
  • cattle
  • dolphin
  • elephant
  • elk
  • giraffe
  • gnu
  • hippopotamus
  • moose
  • ox
  • reindeer
  • rhinoceros
  • walrus
  • whale
  • yak
Baby moose also named calf
Calves can refer to many baby animals including moose.

©Amanda Wayne/


Pups are another name that many baby animal species share. For example, pups can be baby dogs, wolvessharks, and guinea pigs

Here are some other examples of pups:

  • armadillo
  • bat
  • beaver (also called kitten)
  • coyote
  • dog
  • fox
  • gerbil
  • guinea pig
  • hamster
  • hedgehog (also called a hoglet)
  • mole
  • mouse (also called a pinkie)
  • otter
  • prairie dog
  • rat (also called a kitten)
  • seal
  • shark
  • squirrel (also called a kit)
  • wolf 
Hedgehog baby known as a pup or hoglet
Hedgehog babies can be referred to as pups, but they can also be called hoglets.



A cub is the name used for baby bearsbig cats, and some other animals as well. Baby pandaslions, and tigers are all called cubs.

Here are some examples of cubs:

  • bear
  • bobcat
  • cheetah
  • fox (also called kit)
  • hyena
  • leopard
  • lion
  • panda
  • raccoon (also called kit)
  • tiger
Baby pandas are called cubs
Cubs is used to describe the babies of many different types of animals including pandas.

©Daniel X D/


The term kit is different from kittens (used for baby cats.) Kits are baby animals such as rabbitsbadgers, and weasels.

Examples of kits include:

  • badger
  • ferret
  • fox
  • mink
  • muskrat
  • rabbit
  • raccoon (also called cub)
  • skunk
  • squirrel (also called pup)
  • weasel
  • woodchuck
baby ferret
The term kit is used to describe babies from species such as ferrets.



Joeys are the names of baby marsupials. Marsupials are unique mammals that carry and nourish their young in their pouch. You’ve probably heard baby kangaroos referred to as joeys, but did you know the name is also used for other baby marsupials?

Examples of joeys include:

  • kangaroo
  • koala
  • opossum
  • wallaby
  • wombat
Animal Facts: A Baby Kangaroo
Joey is the name of a baby marsupial carried and nourished by their mother in their pouch.



Baby animals that hatch from eggs, such as reptiles and birds, are called hatchlings.

Other hatchlings include:

  • alligator
  • bird (only used for newborns)
  • lizard
  • snake (also called snakelet)
  • squid (also called paralarvae)
  • turtle
Baby turtle hatchling
Baby animals that hatch from eggs, such as turtles, are called hatchlings.

©Attila N/

Baby Animals With Unique Names

And finally, some offspring have names that are distinct only to that type of animal. For example, baby ants are called antlings, baby swans are cygnets, and newly hatched fish are called fry. 

Read on for examples of baby animals that are uniquely named:

  • ants: antling
  • apes: infant 
  • cat: kitten
  • deer and pronghorn: fawn
  • fish: fry (newborns) and fingerling (juveniles)
  • frogs: froglet (after the tadpole has developed into a frog)
  • goats: kid
  • jellyfish: ephyra
  • llamas and alpacas: cria
  • pigs, hogs, and boars: piglet
  • sheep: lamb
  • swans: cygnet
  • horses: colt (male) and filly (female)
  • owls: owlet
  • platypus: puggle
  • porcupine: porcupette
  • spiders: spiderlings
  • worms: wormlet

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About the Author

Jennifer is a professional writer living in the Chicago area. She owns two pugs. Or rather, they own her. Jennifer has discovered that her best writing happens against a backdrop of soft pug snores.