AZ Animals Staff
Author for A-Z Animals

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AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.


It must be said that few terrestrial animals don’t eat insects. Wolves have been known to eat insects at need, and humans make surprisingly tasty meals of crickets, locusts, and the enormous grubs of Hercules beetles. They don’t even need to be terrestrial, for the archerfish uses a well-aimed stream of water to knock an […] Read More


Have you herd? Groups of various animals often have unique and sometimes funny names. You’re probably familiar with common farm and backyard animals – flocks of birds and herds of cows or sheep. These terms often encompass the animals listed below. But there are so many more names of animal groups to discover! Why are […] Read More


Hawks and falcons are both birds of prey. However, you may have likely heard people using the terms interchangeably. The reality is that they are two different species of birds. Hawks are adaptable but prefer living in the open spaces of North America, Central America, Jamaica, and the West Indies. Falcons live in several countries […] Read More


When most people think of ferocious predators, lizards like the Komodo dragon might come to mind with their fearsome jaws and huge build. However, despite being consistently aggressive during hunting, the praying mantis may not even get a second thought. Interestingly, these two animals battle each other more often than you might think, and each […] Read More


When you think of flying animals, the first things that come to mind are birds. Birds are some of the closest relatives to dinosaurs, and they pretty much own the skies except for insects. However, there are plenty of animals that fly that aren’t birds as well. In this article, we’ll discuss nine of the […] Read More


For a lot of people, a blue bird can be a lot of birds. Depending on where they live and what they see, it can be a jay bird, or a bluebird, an indigo bunting, a giant pitta, a blue whistling thrush, or a blue grosbeak. This blog concerns two of the most popular blue […] Read More


Have you ever wondered if there are animals that reproduce asexually? Sexual reproduction is by far the most common method of procreation in the animal kingdom. It’s been estimated that around 99% of all multi-cellular organisms engage in some form of sex. The ability to recombine DNA from two entirely different genomes is so common […] Read More


It’s said the eyes are the windows to the soul. But when we say that are we including animals? As our list of the animals with the biggest eyes in the world shows, perhaps we should include creatures in the wild as well. Housepets like dogs and cats have amazing ways of letting us know […] Read More


You’ve all heard of the massive sharks of the world and oceans past. The megalodon, the great white shark, and the whale shark get most of the attention, but did you know that there are a shocking number of shark species that can all fit in the palm of your hand? The challenge in ranking […] Read More


Mimicry means the act of imitation, but in the animal world, it is defined as “the close external resemblance of an animal… to another animal, plant, or inanimate object.” Animals mimic other animals, plants, and other things, in a wide variety of ways, from visual mimicry to auditory or olfactory imitation. At its core, animal […] Read More


A turkey gobbles and a chicken clucks. They also look completely different from each other, even though these two ground-feeding heavy-bodied birds are in the same order, Galliformes, and the same family, Phasianidae. But while the turkey is from the genus Meleagris, the chicken is from the genus Gallus, which includes all junglefowl. What about […] Read More


Haddock and cod are both very popular white fish. Similar in body and nutrition, and about equally affordable, there are nonetheless some differences in appearance, flavor, and nutrients. The main physical differences are in their colors, size, body shape, front dorsal fins, and lateral lines, while there are a few differences in flavor and when […] Read More


If you’re looking to adopt a new dog, you may be trying to decide between a Bernedoodle and a Goldendoodle. Both of these breeds are Poodle mixes and share some similar characteristics. However, since Bernedoodles have one parent that is a Bernese Mountain Dog and Goldendoodles have one parent that is a Golden Retriever, there […] Read More


There are many ways to measure strength, and this fact stands true across the animal kingdom as well. Every animal has to eat, and there are few things more terrifying than staring down the maw of a hungry predator. On this list of the top 10 strongest animal bite forces in the world, we’ll rank […] Read More


Every animal is interesting, but some animals are more interesting than others. The fascination may come from the way the animal looks, behaves, reproduces, or a combination of some or all of those characteristics. This blog takes a look at nine of the most fascinating animals in the world and examines what makes them so […] Read More


Playful, agile, sleek, and compassionate: dolphins have both fascinated and confused people for thousands of years. The Roman author Pliny the Elder, writing around 77 AD, referred to dolphins and whales as fish in his “Natural History” book. While the confusion still runs rampant today, it is actually a wonderful testament to the diversity of […] Read More


The art of cool. Who doesn’t want to think they have a firm grasp of what it takes to be cool? We like to practice and hope to perfect the skill. Our wardrobe, the walk, the dance, our Top Gun shades. Many of us aim — struggle — to project cool. But the best cool […] Read More


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it’s a good bet that most people would consider the following animals some of the fairest of them all. Of course, in most cases, the beauty of these beasts didn’t arise to please the human eye, but to provide camouflage or warning or make the animal […] Read More


As climates and circumstances change, species must either evolve or fall victim to any number of threats to their existence. Habitat loss, excessive hunting, and disease are all potential hazards faced by many animals in the world both past and present. In this article, we will discuss the 10 rarest animals in the world that […] Read More


Animals are always on the move. But sometimes, animals’ instincts drive them to make arduous, dangerous, and incredible treks in search of food, water, or better weather – not as a single animal, but as a group. These travels are known as migrations. Some animal migrations take place once a year, others every day. Some […] Read More


The sea bunny, whose scientific name is Jorunna parva, is a species of soft-bodied, shell-less, marine-based slugs. Although first described by Japanese zoologist Kikutaro Baba in the 1930s, these cute, fluffy, and wiggly little marine organisms rose to prominence on social media when people began to notice their remarkable resemblance to a rabbit. Measuring less […] Read More


We tend to associate anything tiny creature that creeps us out as a bug, an insect. Spiders certainly fall into that list. So much so there’s even a scientific term (not to mention a kabillion movies), that reminds us why we ought to be afraid: arachnophobia. But are spiders insects? Read on. We may surprise […] Read More


Animal analogies make learning about the world’s amazing animals easy. They’re a fun way to remember important facts about each animal species. Our list of analogies covers everything from sounds to movement, habitats, and physical characteristics. How Should You Use Our Animal Analogies? There are many ways you can use them. If you’re teaching biology, […] Read More


The animal kingdom is full of useful survival strategies, from poison to thick skin. But no matter the medium in which they move, including land, air, and even water, speed seems to be a universal and important asset to have evolved. If you cannot surprise, outlast, or outwit your predator or prey, then it’s very […] Read More


Apex predators dominate the ecological niche they’re in and are important for keeping prey populations down. Many have bright, colorful, or striking markings as a warning to prey animals of their danger. These markings also make them very beautiful, so determining the most stunning boils down to looking at the top apex predators of each […] Read More


When the Discovery Channel unveiled their 2021 Shark Week lineup one title stood out among the 33 shark-related specials: Ninja Sharks 2: Mutants Rising. While the title sounds more like a comic book (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, anyone?) than a serious nature documentary, Ninja Sharks 2 delivered on its promise of detailing four sharks that […] Read More


What is the oldest dog ever? Lots of claims can be found on the internet about one breed lasting longer than another. However, the oldest animals of a few very popular breeds actually lived to be around the same age as each other. While there are certain factors that can make one breed last longer […] Read More


A heavy animal is generally a big animal, but some big animals aren’t as heavy as a person would suppose. The ostrich, which can grow to nearly 7 feet tall, usually weighs between 198 and 286 pounds. A large adult male dromedary, which may be the same height, can weigh 1320 pounds. So, an animal’s […] Read More


On July 15th, 2021, Discovery launched a new special: The Mystery of the Black Demon Shark. The promise of the show is hair-raising: hunting a shark as dark as the night that could grow up to 60-feet long! For perspective, that size would mean the black demon shark (known to locals as El Domonio Negro) […] Read More


Cougars, and pumas, and mountain lions, oh my! Depending on where you live or what you are watching, you may hear America’s big cat called by a number of different names. Are there differences between cougars and mountain lions? Where do they live? Keep reading to find out. Cougar vs. Mountain Lion Mountain lion and […] Read More


Fluff is described as a material that’s soft and downy, and in the case of animals, this material is usually but not exclusively fur or feathers. Fluffy is often joined with cuteness and cuddliness, and that’s where animal fluffiness becomes problematic. A bear can be fluffy, but a real-live bear is not cuddly. The under […] Read More


Sharks have ruled the ocean waters for over 400 million years. There are more than 400 species of these fierce predators. Some people think sharks are mammals, but they’re not. They’re members of the fish family. What Is a Mammal? The class Mammalia includes a huge number of animals. All mammals are warm-blooded vertebrates whose […] Read More


A rainforest, whether tropical or temperate, is described as a mostly evergreen forest that gets between 80 and 400 inches of rain a year. The variety of plant and animal life is breathtaking, even though these forests cover only 6 percent of the earth’s surface. Animals and plants are constantly being discovered, while at the […] Read More


A surprising number of animals dig burrows. Dogs and wolves and even polar bears dig dens for themselves and their families, but can they be considered burrowing animals? For the purposes of this blog, a burrowing animal is one that spends much of its life in its burrow and has a burrow that has a […] Read More


Chipmunks and squirrels are members of the Sciuridae family. Furthermore, they look and act a lot alike. But there are several differences between these two rodents. For one, squirrels are longer and heavier than chipmunks. Also, squirrels and chipmunks have hair that differs in color and pattern. While squirrels usually live in trees, chipmunks live […] Read More


The jaguar and leopard are members of the Panthera genus. They are part of the big cat family with tigers and lions. These four animals are the only animals that roar. The leopard and jaguar are fierce predators and protectors of their habitat. Solitary creatures, the only time you’ll likely see them socializing is with […] Read More


Is a wasp more hostile or dangerous to humans than bees? Which one would win in a fight? Are people who are allergic to one also allergic to the other? How can you tell them apart? These are all examples of common questions when comparing the two. Believe it or not, even experts have difficulty […] Read More


If you’ve ever caught a small glimpse of a wild canine roaming around your neighborhood, it is most likely a fox or, depending on where you live, a coyote. The coyote is a specific species of wild canine within the genus Canis; it is closely related to wolves, dogs, and jackals. The fox, on the […] Read More


The human fascination with sharks stems from many of their characteristics. First and foremost, large, carnivorous sharks have been known to kill and eat people, which upends the usual situation of humans killing and eating fish. Another fascinating thing about these fish is that their skeletons are not made of bone, like those of other […] Read More


Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! This classic quote may come to mind when you think of two of the world’s largest cats – the lion and the tiger. How can you tell these big cats apart? What happens when you cross a lion and a tiger? Do lions and tigers ever get in […] Read More


Termites and ants are regularly mistaken for the other. But the two species have fewer similarities than they do differences. Keep reading and learn about these creatures in our termites vs. ants comparison. Termites vs Ants Here’s a look at both species and their distinctive behaviors. Ants There are over 12,000 ants species. These powerful […] Read More


Grasshoppers and locusts look strikingly similar, but how alike are they? Sure – they both have springy legs and a certain hue to their bodies, but each one stands alone as a rather unique animal. While there are a few physical traits that make them different, their behavior is the most obvious way to tell […] Read More


You know about the Easter Bunny and Bugs Bunny, but what exactly is a bunny? Is it a miniature rabbit or another species entirely? In fact, “bunny” is an informal name for a rabbit, but it usually refers to a young rabbit or a baby. Baby bunnies have other names, but many people refer to […] Read More


Porpoises and dolphins are constantly mistaken for each other, even though their build can be quite different. They both nurse their young and have incredible intelligence. They are even both warm-blooded, just like any other mammal. Perhaps it is the shared gray color of their skin, but everything from their personality to the shape of […] Read More


The leopard and the cheetah are two of Africa’s top predators. Both are big cats and rivals for such prey as Thompson’s gazelles and other small antelopes. Both are beautiful, powerful, and endangered animals, but there are also striking differences between them. Though they are spotted cats, leopards and cheetahs aren’t that closely related. The […] Read More


The Belgian Malinois and the German Shepherd have been confused for far too long. Despite their history as herding dogs and their similar coloring, so many physical and behavioral differences separate the pups. Finding the right one as a pet or even a working dog can be a task in and of itself but understanding […] Read More


Do you sometimes look at lambs and sheep and wonder if they’re related? There’s a good reason lambs and sheep look similar. A lamb is a baby sheep. That’s the only difference. A female sheep is known as a ewe, and a male sheep is known as a ram. Their offspring are called lambs. Sheep […] Read More


The Boston Terrier and the French Bulldog are certainly two adorable dogs. Though they are similar in appearance, there are some differences between them. For one, they have ears that are different in shape. Also, a Boston Terrier has longer legs than a French Bulldog. This gives a Boston Terrier a small height advantage. Another […] Read More