animals that start with a

From Aardvarks to Aye Aye, the animal kingdom is filled with wondrous creatures that have captivated our imaginations for centuries. But have you ever wondered how many animals actually start with the letter A? Well, wonder no more! 

In this article, we’ll cover animals that start with A. It includes fascinating and unique creatures that are sure to surprise and delight animal lovers. These animals vary from exotic species that exist only in remote areas to familiar creatures found in our own backyards. Their diversity and intrigue make them worth exploring.

List Of Animals That Start With A By Classes

These are the list of animals that start with A which are categorized as Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fishes and Invertebrates.

Mammals That Start with Letter A

Birds That Start with Letter A

Reptiles That Start with A

Amphibians That Start with A

Fish that Start with A

Insects and Invertebrates Beginning with A

List of Animals That Start With A: Classification, Behavior, and Facts

1. Aardvark 


Scientific name: Orycteropus afer 

Type of animal: Mammal 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 23 years 

Habitat: Aadvark is commonly found in various habitats, including grasslands, savannas, and rainforests throughout Africa. 

Diet: Aardvarks primarily eat ants and termites, using their long tongues to capture them. 

Fun Fact: Aardvarks can dig a hole in just 15 minutes, making it easy for them to escape from predators. 

Aardvarks are unique nocturnal animals known for their distinct appearance, featuring a long snout, large ears, and powerful legs. Aardvarks are solitary creatures and create extensive burrow systems where they rest during the day. Their strong limbs and sharp claws are perfectly adapted for digging, allowing them to excavate burrows quickly and efficiently.

2. Aardwolf 


Scientific name: Proteles cristata 

Type of animal: Mammal 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 8-10 years 

Habitat: Aardwolves inhabit the grasslands and savannas of eastern and southern Africa. 

Diet: They primarily feed on insects, particularly termites, using their sticky tongue to catch them. 

Fun Fact: Aardwolves are the smallest members of the hyena family. 

Aardwolves are shy, nocturnal creatures with distinctive striped fur and a mane running along their spine. They are solitary animals and communicate through scent marking and vocalizations. 

Although classified as part of the hyena family, Aardwolves differ significantly in their diet and behavior. They are insectivores, feeding almost exclusively on termites, and do not scavenge or hunt larger prey like their hyena relatives. Their specialized teeth and tongue are well-adapted for consuming large quantities of termites, often thousands in a single night.

3. Abyssinian 

Abyssinian looking straight

Scientific name: Felis catus 

Type of animal: Mammal (domestic cat breed)

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 9-13 years 

Habitat: Abyssinians are domesticated cats, so they live in human households. 

Diet: As carnivores, they eat a diet consisting mainly of meat. 

Fun Fact: Abyssinians are one of the oldest known cat breeds, believed to originate from ancient Egypt. 

Abyssinians are a highly intelligent and energetic cat breed known for their sleek, muscular bodies and strikingly large ears. They have a distinctive ticked coat pattern that consists of individual hairs with multiple bands of color, giving them an agouti appearance. 

Abyssinians are very social and active cats, enjoying interaction with their human companions and often engaging in play. Their curious and affectionate nature makes them popular pets, but they also require mental stimulation and exercise to stay happy and healthy.

4. Acadian Flycatcher 

Acadian Flycatcher

Scientific name: Empidonax virescens 

Type of animal: Bird 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 10-11 years 

Habitat: Acadian Flycatchers are found in deciduous forests throughout eastern North America. 

Diet: They feed on insects, which they catch mid-flight. 

Fun Fact: Acadian Flycatchers are known for their territorial behavior during the breeding season. 

Acadian Flycatchers are small, agile birds with a greenish-olive upper body, pale yellowish underparts, and a distinctive eye ring. They are skilled aerial hunters, catching insects mid-air using their sharp beaks. 

Acadian Flycatchers are migratory birds, breeding in the eastern United States and spending winters in Central and South America. They build cup-shaped nests on horizontal tree branches and are known for their territorial behavior during the breeding season, often defending their nesting area from intruders.

5. Addax 


Scientific name: Addax nasomaculatus 

Type of animal: Mammal 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 19-25 years 

Habitat: Addax inhabits the deserts and arid regions of northern Africa. 

Diet: They are herbivores and mostly consume grass, leaves, and succulents.  

Fun Fact: Addax can go for long periods without water, obtaining moisture from their food. 

Addax are medium-sized antelopes with a stocky build, pale coat, and distinctive twisted horns that can reach up to 47 inches long. Their coat color changes seasonally, providing camouflage against the desert environment – it is greyish-brown in winter and almost white during summer. 

Addax are well-adapted for life in the desert, as they can survive without water for long periods by obtaining moisture from the plants they consume. They are social animals, living in small groups led by a dominant male. Unfortunately, Addax are critically endangered due to habitat loss and excessive hunting, with only a few hundred individuals remaining in the wild.

6. Adelie Penguin 

Adelie Penguin

Scientific name: Pygoscelis adeliae 

Type of animal: Bird 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 10-20 years 

Habitat: Adelie Penguins are native to the Antarctic coastline and surrounding islands. 

Diet: They primarily feed on krill, but also eat fish and squid. 

Fun Fact: Adelie Penguins are excellent swimmers, reaching speeds of up to 45 km/h. 

Adelie Penguins are small, black-and-white penguins recognized by their distinctive white eye rings and black tail feathers. They are strong swimmers, using their wings to “fly” through the water while hunting for food. Adelie Penguins are highly social animals, forming large colonies during the breeding season, with some colonies containing over 100,000 pairs. 

7. Affenpinscher 


Scientific name: Canis lupus familiaris 

Type of animal: Mammal (dog breed) 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 12-14 years 

Habitat: Affenpinschers are domesticated dogs, so they live in human households. 

Diet: They eat both meat and plants because they are omnivorous. 

Fun Fact: Affenpinschers are also known as “monkey dogs” due to their simian-like facial features. 

Affenpinschers are small toy dogs known for their distinctive wiry coats and expressive faces. Affenpinschers are an ancient breed originating in Germany and used for hunting rats and other pests in homes and stables.

Affenpinschers require regular grooming to maintain their coat and prevent matting. Their intelligence and playful nature make them highly trainable, but they can also be stubborn at times, requiring patience and consistency in training.

8. Afghan Hound 

Afghan Hound looking at a distance

Scientific name: Canis lupus familiaris 

Type of animal: Mammal (dog breed) 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 12-14 years 

Habitat: Afghan Hounds are domesticated dogs living in human households. 

Diet: They eat both meat and plant-based foods.

Fun Fact: Afghan Hounds are one of the oldest dog breeds, dating back thousands of years. 

Afghan Hounds are a large, elegant dog breed known for their long, silky coat and distinctive facial features. They have a lean, muscular body and a unique curved tail. Due to their strong prey drive, Afghan Hounds may not be suitable for families with small pets, as they may instinctively chase them. 

Afghan Hounds can be challenging to train due to their independent nature, but with patience and consistency, they can learn basic obedience and even excel in dog sports such as lure coursing and agility.

9. African Bush Elephant 

African Bush Elephant taking a walk in grass field

Scientific name: Loxodonta africana 

Type of animal: Mammal 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 60-70 years 

Habitat: African Bush Elephants are commonly found in different environments across Africa, such as savannas, forests, and deserts. 

Diet: They are herbivores, feeding on grasses, leaves, and bark. 

Fun Fact: African Bush Elephants are the largest land animals on Earth. 

African Bush Elephants are massive, social animals with thick, gray skin and long, curved tusks. Their large ears help regulate their body temperature by dissipating heat, and their powerful trunk serves as a versatile tool for feeding, drinking, dust bathing, and communication.

African Bush Elephants live in matriarchal family groups led by an older, experienced female. These groups consist of closely related females and their offspring, while adult males typically roam alone or form loose associations with other males. 

10. African Civet 

African Civet 

Scientific name: Civettictis civetta 

Type of animal: Mammal 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 15-20 years 

Habitat: African Civets typically live in the forest, savannas, and swamps all over sub-Saharan Africa.

They inhabit various habitats across sub-Saharan Africa, including forests, savannas, and swamps. 

Diet: They are omnivores, eating a diet of fruit, insects, and small mammals. 

Fun Fact: African Civets produce a musk called “civetone,” which has been used in perfumes for centuries. 

African Civets are mammals that are medium-sized and active at night. They have a cat-like appearance and are recognized by their unique black-and-white spotted coat. They have long bodies, short legs, and a bushy tail with black and white bands. 

Their face features a white stripe down the center, and they have large, rounded ears. African Civets are solitary animals, marking their territory with their musky secretion from their perianal glands.

11. African Golden Cat 

African Golden Cat 

Scientific name: Caracal aurata 

Type of animal: Mammal 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 10-12 years 

Habitat: African Golden Cats inhabit dense forests and rainforests in central and western Africa. 

Diet: They are carnivores, feeding on rodents, birds, and small mammals. 

Fun Fact: African Golden Cats are excellent climbers, often hunting from trees. 

African Golden Cats are medium-sized, mysterious wild cats with a stocky build and a coat that ranges from reddish-brown to greyish, often with dark spots or stripes. 

They have a broad head, large eyes, and rounded ears with dark markings on the back. Their fur color can vary greatly between individuals and even change within the same individual over time.

These cats are solitary and mostly nocturnal, spending the day resting in dense vegetation or tree hollows. African Golden Cats are skilled climbers who often hunt on the ground and in trees. 

12. African Grey Parrot

African Grey Parrot sitting on a branch

Scientific name: Psittacus erithacus 

Type of animal: Bird 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 40-60 years 

Habitat: African Grey Parrots originate from the rainforests and savannas found in western and central Africa. 

Diet: They primarily eat seeds, nuts, fruits, and leafy vegetation. 

Fun Fact: African Grey Parrots are known for their exceptional ability to mimic human speech and other sounds. 

African Grey Parrots are medium-sized with distinctive grey plumage and a bright red tail. They have strong, curved beaks and zygodactyl feet, enabling them to easily grasp and manipulate objects. 

There are two main subspecies of African Grey Parrots: the Congo African Grey and the Timneh African Grey, with the latter being slightly smaller and darker in color.

13. Agouti

Agouti sitting in a forest

Scientific name: Dasyprocta 

Type of animal: Mammal 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 15-20 years 

Habitat: Agoutis inhabit dense forests and rainforests in Central and South America. 

Diet: They are herbivores, primarily feeding on fruits, nuts, and seeds. 

Fun Fact: Agoutis have the unique ability to crack open hard-shelled nuts using their sharp teeth. 

Agoutis are small, rodent-like mammals with compact bodies, short limbs, and slender tails. They have a coarse, grizzled coat that ranges from reddish-brown to dark brown, with lighter underparts. 

Agoutis have sharp, chisel-like teeth and strong hind legs, which they use for rapid bursts of speed when escaping predators. They are known to bury surplus food and remember the locations of their caches, which helps them survive during times of scarcity. 

Agoutis play a crucial role in seed dispersal within their ecosystems, as they often forget some of their buried food, allowing new plants to grow.

14. Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier

Scientific name: Canis lupus familiaris 

Type of animal: Mammal (dog breed) 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 10-12 years 

Habitat: Airedale Terriers are domesticated dogs living in human households. 

Diet: They eat both meat and plants because they are omnivorous. 

Fun Fact: Airedale Terriers are the largest of the terrier breeds. 

Airedale Terriers are a large, energetic dog breed known for their intelligence, versatility, and playful nature. They have a sturdy, muscular build, with a distinctive wiry coat that is usually tan with a black or dark grizzle saddle. 

Airedale Terriers have a strong, square-shaped head with a beard and mustache, giving them their characteristic appearance. The breed originated in the Aire Valley of Yorkshire, England, where they were initially bred for hunting small game and controlling vermin populations. Over time, Airedale Terriers have been used for various purposes, including police and military work, search and rescue, and as companion animals.

15. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamute standing in the grass.

Scientific name: Canis lupus 

Type of animal: Mammal (dog breed) 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 10-14 years 

Habitat: Alaskan Malamutes are domesticated dogs living in human households. 

Diet: They eat both meat and plants because they are omnivorous. 

Fun Fact: Alaskan Malamutes were originally bred for their strength and endurance as sled dogs. 

Alaskan Malamutes are large, powerful dogs originally bred for their ability to pull heavy loads over long distances in harsh Arctic conditions. They have a dense, double coat that is typically gray, black, or red with white markings, providing them with insulation against the cold. 

Their eyes are almond-shaped and brown, and their ears are triangular and stand erect. The breed originated among the Mahlemut people in Alaska, who used these dogs for hunting, transportation, and as companion animals. However, their high energy levels and need for physical activity make them best suited for active families with plenty of space.

Alaskan Malamutes have a strong pack instinct and form close bonds with their human families. They can be stubborn and independent, so consistent, positive training methods are essential. They are generally good with children and other dogs but might have a high prey drive, making them unsuitable for homes with small pets.

16. Albatross

two Albatross walking around

Scientific name: Diomedeidae

Type of animal: Bird 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: Up to 58 years 

Habitat: Albatrosses are found primarily in the open ocean, only coming to land to breed on remote islands. 

Diet: They feed on fish, squid, and other marine life, often scavenging from fishing vessels. 

Fun Fact: Albatrosses have the longest wingspan of any living bird species. 

Albatrosses possess remarkable flying skills and elongated, slim wings that enable them to soar smoothly for hours without flapping. These colossal seabirds come in around 22 different types, exhibiting differences in size and pigmentation. 

However, most of them have a white body with dark grey or black wings and tail feathers. They have a hooked beak, which is well-adapted for catching slippery prey.

They only return to land for breeding, typically forming large colonies on isolated islands. Albatrosses are monogamous, forming long-lasting pair bonds and returning to the same nesting site year after year.

17. Alligator Snapping Turtle

Alligator Snapping Turtle

Scientific name: Macrochelys temminckii

Type of animal: Reptile 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 50-100 years 

Habitat: The Alligator Snapping Turtle resides in rivers, lakes, and swamps throughout the southeastern United States. 

Diet: This species loves to eat aquatic animals, especially fish and crustaceans. 

Fun Fact: Alligator Snapping Turtles have a unique worm-like appendage in their mouths to lure prey. 

Alligator Snapping Turtles are known for their large size, powerful jaws, and distinctive appearance. They have a dark, rugged carapace with three distinct rows of raised, triangular scutes. Their head is massive, with strong, beak-like jaws and a hooked upper jaw. 

Alligator Snapping Turtles have few natural predators but face threats from habitat loss, pollution, and overharvesting for their meat and shells. Some populations have declined significantly, leading to conservation efforts focusing on habitat protection, nest site monitoring, and regulating the turtle trade. 

18. Alpaca

Alpaca looking straight

Scientific name: Vicugna pacos

Type of animal: Mammal 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 15-20 years 

Habitat: Alpacas are domesticated animals that are mainly known to inhabit extreme-altitude regions in South America, especially the Andes Mountains. 

Diet: They are herbivores grazing on grasses, hay, and other plant material. 

Fun Fact: Alpaca fleece has a wonderfully soft and luxurious texture, making it a highly sought-after material for its hypoallergenic qualities and warmth. 

Alpacas are small, camelid mammals known for their gentle nature and soft, dense fleece. They have a slender body, long neck, and large, expressive eyes. Their wool comes in a combination of natural colorings consisting of white, black, brown, and grey.

Alpacas can be classified into two primary types: Huacaya, which has a fluffy, teddy bear-like appearance, and Suri, which has long, silky fleece locks. Alpaca fiber creates various textiles, such as clothing, blankets, and accessories.

They are intelligent and curious creatures, making them popular in many countries on small farms and as pets. Alpacas require relatively low maintenance compared to other livestock but need regular shearing, vaccinations, and dental care.

19. Amur Leopard

Amur Leopard relaxing on the tree branch

Scientific name: Panthera pardus orientalis

Type of animal: Mammal 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 10-15 years 

Habitat: Amur Leopards inhabit the temperate forests of the Russian Far East and northeastern China. 

Diet: They are carnivores, primarily hunting deer, wild boar, and other small mammals. 

Fun Fact: Amur Leopards are critically endangered, with fewer than 100 individuals remaining in the wild. 

The Amur Leopard is a subspecies of leopard known for its distinctive, thick coat, covered in widely spaced rosettes with thick black borders. Their fur is paler in color compared to other leopard subspecies and grows longer during the winter months to keep them warm in their colder habitat.

These solitary and elusive animals have a large home range, which they patrol and scent-mark to establish their territory. They are skilled climbers and often rest in trees or use them to store their kills away from other predators. Amur Leopards are also impressive jumpers, able to leap up to 19 feet (6 meters) horizontally and 10 feet (3 meters) vertically.

20. Anteater


Scientific name: Vermilingua

Type of animal: Mammal 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 9-20 years 

Habitat: Anteaters are versatile creatures and can be spotted in different environments throughout Central and South America. 

Diet: Anteaters primarily feed on ants and termites, using their long, sticky tongues to capture them. 

Fun Fact: Anteaters have no teeth and rely on their strong stomach muscles to break down their food. 

There are four species of anteaters: the Giant Anteater, the Silky Anteater, the Northern Tamandua, and the Southern Tamandua. Anteaters are specially adapted for their insectivorous diet. 

Anteaters have strong front limbs with sharp, curved claws that help them dig into ant and termite mounds. To avoid being bitten or stung, they only feed at each nest briefly before moving on to the next one.

Anteaters are generally solitary animals, except mothers and their young. 

21. Arctic Wolf

Arctic Wolf

Scientific name: Canis lupus arctos

Type of animal: Mammal 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 7-10 years 

Habitat: Arctic Wolves inhabit the Arctic tundra and the northernmost parts of North America and Greenland. 

Diet: They primarily hunt large herbivores such as caribou, muskoxen, and arctic hares. 

Fun Fact: Arctic Wolves have a thick white coat that allows them to blend in with their snowy environment. 

The Arctic Wolf is a type of Gray Wolf, also called the White Wolf or Polar Wolf. They have adapted to the harsh Arctic environment, with several unique features setting them apart from other wolf subspecies. 

Most notably, they have a thick, white coat that provides insulation in the extreme cold and helps them blend into the snowy landscape. Their ears are smaller, and their limbs are shorter compared to other wolves, which helps them conserve heat.

Arctic Wolves live in packs, typically consisting of a dominant breeding pair and their offspring. They are highly social animals and communicate through various vocalizations, body language, and scent markings. Pack members cooperate in hunting, raising pups, and defending their territory.

During the short Arctic summer, these wolves have an abundance of food due to the increase in prey populations. However, food becomes scarce during the long winter months, and they often travel vast distances in search of their next meal.

22. Armadillo 

Armadillo wandering in the grass field

Scientific name: Dasypodidae

Type of animal: Mammal 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 12-15 years

Habitat: Armadillos are found in various habitats, including grasslands, forests, and deserts across the Americas. 

Diet: They primarily eat insects, small vertebrates, and plant material. 

Fun Fact: Armadillos have a unique protective armor made of bony plates covered in skin. 

Armadillos are small to medium-sized mammals characterized by their distinctive leathery, armor-like shell made of bony plates called scutes. 

Armadillos have a keen sense of smell, which they use to locate food. They have strong legs and sharp claws that enable them to dig for food and create burrows for shelter. Some armadillos can roll into a ball or dig a hole to escape predators when threatened.

The conservation status of armadillos varies by species. Some, like the Nine-banded Armadillo, are widespread and not currently at risk, while others, such as the Giant Armadillo and Pink Fairy Armadillo, are considered vulnerable or endangered due to habitat loss, hunting, and other threats. 

23. Avocet

Avocet sitting on the sand

Scientific name: Recurvirostra

Type of animal: Bird 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 9-15 years 

Habitat: Avocets inhabit shallow wetlands, salt ponds, and coastal areas across Europe, Asia, and North America. 

Diet: They primarily feed on aquatic insects, crustaceans, and small fish. 

Fun Fact: Avocets have a unique upturned bill, which they use to sweep through the water in search of food. 

Avocets are a group of wading birds found across North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. They are characterized by their long legs, webbed feet, and slender, upcurved bills.

These elegant birds are known for their distinct black and white plumage, with some species displaying additional colors, such as the rusty-red head and neck of the American Avocet. Their unique upturned bills allow them to feed by sweeping their beaks side-to-side through shallow water, capturing small prey items in the process.

Avocets are social birds that often form large flocks during the breeding season and winter months. They are monogamous, with pairs forming strong bonds during the breeding season. 

24. Aye Aye

Aye Aye

Scientific name: Daubentonia madagascariensis

Type of animal: Mammal (Primate) 

Phylum: Chordata 

Average lifespan: 10-23 years 

Habitat: Aye Ayes are native to the rainforests of Madagascar. 

Diet: They primarily eat insects, fruits, and seeds, using their elongated middle finger to extract insects from tree bark. 

Fun Fact: Aye Ayes are the world’s largest nocturnal primate. 

The Aye Aye is a unique and fascinating lemur species native to Madagascar. It is known for its distinctive appearance, which includes large, bushy tails, big eyes, and rodent-like teeth that grow continuously throughout their lives. 

One of the most notable features of the Aye-Aye is its long, thin middle finger, which it uses to tap on tree bark to locate insects and extract them from small holes.

You May Like Animals List by Color:

Animals By Color


We explored the fascinating world of animals that start with the letter “A.” From the mysterious Aye Aye to the elegant Avocet, these creatures showcase the incredible diversity and adaptability of the animal kingdom. 

Gaining knowledge about these creatures enhances our understanding of the environment and emphasizes the significance of safeguarding their ecosystems and securing their existence for future generations.

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