Horns, hair and howls: 30 animals that start with H


The list of animals that start with H is of course an eclectic crew! From tiny insects to ferocious predatory birds and giants of land and sea, these creatures will delight your students on your journey through the animals of the alphabet. As you browse our collection, take the time to appreciate the phenomenal diversity that can be found in the animal kingdom and cultivate a new respect for the awesome creatures of our world!

1. Hairy-nosed otter

The hairy-nosed otter, named for its fuzzy white upper lip, was once declared extinct in 1998. Luckily, there are a few elusive members of the species left in Southeast Asia! Scientists now plan to replenish the otter’s natural populations through captive breeding programs.

Learn more: Otter Specialist Group

2. Chicken Hamburger

The Hamburg Chicken is highly valued for its spotted feathers. Once a common variety in Europe, this chicken fell out of favor once breeds that lay larger eggs were introduced. Although their eggs are small, they lay eggs much longer than some other breeds.

Learn more: Livestock conservation

3. Hammerhead Shark

The great hammerhead shark is one of the largest of its kind. Their iconic heads are useful in many ways: they have electric receivers for hunting and use the long sides to sniff out the prey they catch. The shark fin trade is unfortunately their biggest threat.

Learn more: Oceane

4. Harbor porpoise

Found in shallow waters, harbor porpoises are very sensitive to entanglement in nets and underwater noise pollution. Despite this, they are rather shy and do their best to avoid humans and boats. You can recognize them by their blunt beaks and gray spots on their chins.

Learn more: NOAA Fisheries

5. Common seal

Harbor seals look like many things. For example, they sit in a banana shape (head and tail fins up), move like caterpillars when on land, and have dog-like snouts! They reside along the coasts of North America in separate stocks or populations.

Learn more: NOAA Fisheries

6. Harenna Shrew

Little is known about this small white-toothed shrew. It is a critically endangered species that only lives in one region of Ethiopia; on a mountain of 10 square kilometers. Funny enough, the harenna shrew belongs to the genus with the more distinct species- Crocidure. Its counterparts are insectivores that use proboscis to capture prey.

Learn more: animal and British

7. Harp Seal

This adorable fluffy animal is a favorite among children all over the world. They are known for their snow-white coat and whiskered muzzle. Harp seal pups learn to hunt at a young age because they lose half their body weight when their mother stops nursing them.

Learn more: National Geographic Kids

8. Hartebeest

The Hartebeest is one of the fastest animals in the savannah, running up to 70 km/h! This animal may look odd thanks to its elongated snout and curly antlers, but it’s actually a graceful and very social creature. This species is the most threatened by cattle breeding.

Learn more: African Wildlife Foundation

9. Hawaiian monk seal

The Hawaiian monk seal is a critically endangered species in the animal kingdom. Its 1500 members live only in the Hawaiian archipelago. These strong swimmers can hold their breath for up to 20 minutes as they dive to catch prey such as squid and octopus.

Learn more: NOAA Fisheries

10. Sphinx

If you find a thumb-sized bright green caterpillar, you may have come across a hawkmoth larva! After this stage, they crawl through the leaf litter, construct their pupae and enter a phase of metamorphosis. This butterfly is named after falcons because of its powerful wings and ability to soar.

Learn more: Woodland Trust

11. Hector’s Dolphin

Hector’s dolphin, specifically the Maui subspecies of dolphin, is the rarest dolphin in the world, with only 55 individuals in the wild. These dolphins are distinguished by black facial markings and a round dorsal fin. You can find them off New Zealand.

Learn more: world wildlife foundation

12. Hermit Crab

The hermit crab is an extremely popular pet. Hermit crabs need access to both land and sea for food and breeding. These crustaceans have two sets of antennae; one to smell and one to taste.

Learn more: Smithsonian National Zoo

13. Wallaroo Hill

The wallaroo is a species of kangaroo whose body has adapted to rocky terrain. His short feet allow him to better grasp the stones. They live in Australian scrub, alone or in small groups. Their long coats are integral to local seed dispersal!

Learn more: animal

14. Himalayan Tahr

The Himalayan tahr is a goat with a luscious mane. It takes its name from its natural range in the Himalayas, although it has recently been introduced to North America and South America in Argentina. Like other cattle, males fight with their horns to display their dominance.

Learn more: Critical facts

15. Hippopotamus

The iconic hippo’s name is Greek for “water horse”. The hippo partially hydrates through its skin and spends most of its life in water. Surprisingly, the closest relatives of this aggressive creature are whales and pigs.

Learn more: San Diego Zoo

16. Honey Badger

The “honey badger” is actually a false name – its real name is ratel. The honey badger closely resembles skunks in both appearance and smell. You couldn’t keep it as a pet like a skunk because these animals are known to be quite aggressive.

Learn more: San Diego Zoo

17. Bee

Bees are a hot topic in today’s world of conversation. Their population is declining, yet these pollinators are an integral part of plant growth around the world! Three types of bees live in each colony; the queen, the workers (females) and the drones (males).

Learn more: National Geographic Kids

18. Hornbill

The hornbill’s distinctive helmet is a bit of a mystery – it’s hollow, and scientists aren’t sure of its exact purpose. The upper part of their spine is fused together to support that large beak that grows with age. The females seal their nests to protect themselves and make sure the males don’t leave!

Learn more: denver zoo

19. Horned Puffin

The beautiful beak of the horned puffin indicates its age; young and old adults have gray beaks, while adults of breeding age have flame-colored beaks. They live in subarctic waters, where they dive and “fly” into the sea to hunt fish.

Learn more: All about birds

20. Horned Owl

The great horned owl is the quintessential bird of cartoons and children’s storybooks. These owls are one of North America’s top predators, with powerful talons that can bring down prey large and small. Despite their courage, they are sometimes intimidated by groups of crows.

Learn more: All about birds

21. Horn Shark

The horn shark prefers shallow seabeds, where it can hide, hunt and lay eggs in crevices and seaweed. Their eggs are spiral-shaped, which helps them stay in their spawning grounds as the baby shark inside matures. Their range extends from California to the coast of Central America.

Learn more: Monterey Bay Aquarium

22. House Mouse

If you’ve ever had a nocturnal visitor, chances are it’s a house mouse! These creatures have adapted to live in close proximity to humans – living outdoors in hot weather but building their nests in man-made structures when temperatures cool. They rarely travel more than 50 feet from these nests.

Learn more: Animal diversity

23. Howler Monkey

During a South American sunrise, you can hear the calls of a howler monkey coming up to 3 miles away! With a roaring howl, these animals are the loudest in the animal kingdom. Their prehensile tails are an additional tool that helps them live in the canopy.

24. Humboldt Penguin

What these birds cannot do in the air, they make up for it with their ability to move on land and in the sea! These penguins are specially equipped to swim up to 30 mph and scale rocky cliffs. The pink spots on their face help them dissipate heat during the hot South American summers!

Learn more: National Geographic Kids

25. Hummingbird

Hummingbirds are favorites of birdwatchers around the world. They have vibrant colors, brave attitudes, and incredibly fast wings. Hummingbirds are tiny but mighty because they can fly across the entire Gulf of Mexico in a single trip! They go into torpor overnight to conserve energy for those bursts of speed.

Learn more: Smithsonian National Zoo

26. Humpback Whale

The humpback whale is the largest creature on earth by weight and length. They can migrate up to 10,000 miles each year from the coasts of North America to the equator. However, populations are found in all oceans.

Learn more: Monterey Bay Aquarium

27. Hunter’s Spider

The hunter spider, a type of tarantula, has a flat body with long legs, which allows it to hide in crevices or under bits of bark. Females lay their eggs in these same spaces and can watch their egg sacs for weeks!

Learn more: australian museum

28. Huskies

The Siberian Husky is a favorite breed for pet owners, as long as they can keep up with this active dog! Originally bred as working sled dogs, huskies have a long history of delivering in snowy areas. They are friendly but mischievous and need lots of exercise!

Learn more: Brittanica

29. Hyena

Although not as famous as their more ferocious counterparts, the hyena is Africa’s most common predator. Their reputation as scavengers also leads them to be considered pests by local farmers who sometimes hunt them. The three distinct species, striped, brown and spotted, are distinguished by their coats.

Learn more: African Wildlife Foundation

30. Hyrax

You’d never guess from their size, but a hyrax’s teeth, toes and tusk-like bones prove its common ancestry with elephants! Hyraxes have amazing senses; their eyesight is impressive and they have “guard hairs” to help them find their way around their environment.

Learn more: San Diego Zoo


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