List of All Animals That Start With S – Habitat, Lifespan, Diet and Fun Facts

Animals That Start With S

Are you up for a wild and wacky adventure across the animal kingdom? Hold tight as we begin an adventure with the letter ‘S’ of the alphabet. The animal kingdom is teeming with intriguing species whose names begin with the letter ‘S,’ from the soaring heights of the sky to the depths of the sea. 

So, let’s look at this fascinating animal selection that begins with the letter ‘S’ and learn about the fascinating history behind these amazing creatures.

The selection of animals beginning with ‘S’ possesses a distinct fascination with the wide tapestry of nature’s wonders. These species engage our imagination and generate a feeling of awe, from stately swans elegantly gliding over tranquil lakes to fast and secretive snow leopards crossing rough mountain environments. Their many shapes, habitats, and behaviors give a vivid picture of our planet’s variety.

List of Animals That Start with S by Classes

Outlined here are various creatures that initiate their names with the letter “S.” They have been categorized into distinct groups, namely Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fishes, and Invertebrates.

Mammals That Start with Letter S

Birds That Start with Letter S

Reptiles That Start with Letter S

Amphibians That Start with Letter S

Fish that Start with S

Insects and Invertebrates Beginning with S

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

Here’s an overview of some common animals that starts with the letter s, their classification, diet, behavior, and interesting facts about them.

1. Snake


Scientific name: Serpentes

Type of animal: Reptile

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Depending on the species, it can range from a few years to several decades.

Habitat: Snakes live in various habitats, including forests, grasslands, deserts, and aquatic areas.

Diet: Snakes are carnivorous, eating rodents, birds, eggs, and other small creatures.

Fun Fact: Snakes have a unique way of swallowing their prey whole by dislocating their jaws.

Snakes are limbless reptiles with scale-covered elongated bodies. They devour prey much larger than their head using their particular jaw structure. Most snakes are non-venomous, although some have venomous bites employed for hunting and self-defense. 

They are renowned for their amazing agility and ability to move softly. Snakes detect and capture their prey using their excellent sense of smell and heat-sensing pits.

2. Shark


Scientific name: Selachimorpha

Type of animal: Fish

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the species, ranging from 20 to 70 years or more.

Habitat: Sharks inhabit all the world’s oceans, from coastal regions to the open sea. They can be found in both shallow and deep waters.

Diet: Sharks are carnivorous and have a diverse diet that includes fish, marine mammals, crustaceans, and even other sharks.

Fun Fact: Sharks can detect electrical fields emitted by their prey, which helps them locate potential meals.

Sharks are sleek cartilaginous fish with numerous rows of sharp teeth. They are well-known for their predatory behavior and are regarded as apex predators in their respective environments. 

Sharks have exceptional senses, including acute eyesight, a keen sense of smell, and electroreception. They are big and terrifying creatures that play an important role in maintaining the equilibrium of marine ecosystems.

3. Sugar Glider

Sugar Glider

Scientific name: Petaurus breviceps

Type of animal: Marsupial

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 10-15 years in the wild, but can live up to 20 years in captivity. 

Habitat: Sugar gliders are native to the forests of Australia, Indonesia, and New Guinea. They are arboreal creatures, spending most of their time in trees.

Diet: These small gliding marsupials feed on nectar, sap, pollen, and insects. They have a specialized diet that includes the sweet sap of certain tree species.

Fun Fact: Sugar gliders have a patagium membrane stretching from their wrists to their ankles, allowing them to glide through the air.

Sugar gliders are tiny, nocturnal marsupials famed for their ability to glide through the air utilizing skin flaps between their limbs. They have huge eyes that are specialized for night vision and a prehensile tail that aids in balancing. 

Sugar gliders are gregarious creatures that create close ties within their groups. They communicate by vocalizations, scent marking, and tactile contact. These lovely critters are popular pets because to their lively and social attitude.

4. Salmon


Scientific name: Oncorhynchus

Type of animal: Fish

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the species, typically 3 to 8 years.

Habitat: Salmon are anadromous fish, meaning they are born in freshwater rivers, migrate to the ocean to grow and mature, and return to their natal rivers to spawn.

Diet: Salmon are carnivorous and feed on prey, including small fish, shrimp, and insects.

Fun Fact: Salmon are well-known for their extraordinary ability to travel large distances back to their origin for spawning, relying on their sense of smell to identify precise chemical clues in the water.

Salmon are streamlined fish with silvery bodies and prominently hooked mouths. They are famous for their incredible migration, frequently crossing hundreds of kilometers in a lifetime. 

Salmon have a complicated life cycle, including hatching from freshwater eggs, traveling to the ocean to develop, and returning to their original river to spawn. They are highly financially and environmentally prized since they are important in nutrient cycling and numerous predator-prey interactions in aquatic habitats.

5. Sloth


Scientific name: Folivora

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the species, typically 10 to 20 years. 

Habitat: Sloths are arboreal creatures that inhabit the tropical rainforests of Central and South America.

Diet: Sloths have a specialized diet consisting mainly of leaves, supplemented with fruits and occasionally insects.

Fun Fact: Sloths are well-known for their extremely sluggish movements, with certain species ranking among the slowest animals on the planet. The majority of their time is spent hanging upside down from trees.

Sloths are peculiar animals distinguished by their slow-paced habits and unusual look. They have long arms with curled claws that allow them to hang and climb trees. Sloths have a slow metabolic rate and can sleep or rest up to 20 hours daily. 

They are generally solitary creatures that blend in nicely with the forest canopy. Despite their sluggish pace, sloths provide a vital ecological function by hosting a range of creatures, such as algae and insects.

6. Squirrel


Scientific name: Sciuridae 

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the species, typically 5 to 10 years.

Habitat: Squirrels are found in various habitats worldwide, including forests, woodlands, urban parks, and gardens.

Diet: Squirrels are omnivorous, but most of their diet consists of nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetation.

Fun Fact: Squirrels can jump large distances, utilizing their bushy tail for balance and as a parachute-like structure to slow their descent.

Squirrels are tiny to medium-sized rodents with bushy tails and strong climbing abilities. They have keen, constantly developing incisor teeth that allow them to nibble on tree bark and nuts. 

Squirrels are incredibly versatile and have successfully adapted to urban areas. They are renowned for hoarding food and saving it for later use. During the day, squirrels might scamper around tree branches or dig for buried food.

7. Spider


Scientific name: Araneae

Type of animal: Arachnid

Phylum: Arthropoda

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the species, typically a few months to several years.

Habitat: Spiders can be found in diverse habitats worldwide, including forests, grasslands, deserts, and human dwellings.

Diet: Spiders are carnivorous and primarily feed on insects and other small arthropods, which they capture using silk webs or by ambushing them.

Fun Fact: Spiders can manufacture silk, which they employ for various functions, including web construction, egg sac creation, and as a safety line while traveling.

Spiders are eight-legged arachnids famed for spinning silk and weaving elaborate webs. Spinnerets are specialized structures that create different types of silk for certain tasks. 

Spiders are adept predators, immobilizing and liquefying their victims before devouring them with their deadly teeth. They engage in various actions, from building intricate webs to actively seeking food. Spiders are important components of ecosystems and serve an important role in managing insect populations.

8. Scorpion


Scientific name: Scorpiones

Type of animal: Arachnid

Phylum: Arthropoda

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the species, typically 3 to 10 years.

Habitat: Scorpions can be found in various habitats worldwide, including deserts, forests, and grasslands. They often seek shelter in burrows or under rocks during the day.

Diet: Scorpions are carnivorous and feed primarily on insects, spiders, and other small arthropods. They use their pincers to catch and immobilize their prey before injecting venom.

Fun Fact: Scorpions are known for their unique ability to glow under ultraviolet light, appearing fluorescent in the dark.

Scorpions are arachnids with unique body shapes, including pincers and a segmented tail that ends in a poisonous stinger. They have a tough exoskeleton and are well-suited to dry settings. Scorpions are nocturnal predators that hunt utilizing their excellent sense of vibration and touch. 

While some scorpion species are extremely poisonous, most do not pose a threat to people unless provoked. They are intriguing organisms that have evolved in various settings over millions of years.

9. Shrimp


Scientific name: Decapoda

Type of animal: Crustacean

Phylum: Arthropoda

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the species, typically 1 to 3 years.

Habitat: Shrimp are primarily marine organisms in various ocean habitats, from shallow coastal waters to deep-sea environments.

Diet: Shrimp are omnivores that eat algae, tiny aquatic plants, plankton, and debris. Some shrimp species are scavengers, meaning they eat dead creatures.

Fun Fact: Shrimp can rapidly swim backward by flexing their abdomens and contracting their powerful tail muscles.

Shrimp are little crustaceans with thin bodies and a well-developed shell known as a carapace. They feature many pairs of legs, the front pair of which have been transformed into pincers. Shrimp have a variety of colors and patterns that provide camouflage and safety from predators. 

They are significant predators and scavengers in marine habitats. Shrimp are important commercially, with various species collected for human consumption. They are adaptable species that can survive in a variety of environments.

10. Sea Lion

Sea Lion

Scientific name: Otariidae 

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the species, typically 15 to 25 years.

Habitat: Sea lions inhabit coastal areas and islands, mainly in the waters of the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere.

Diet: Sea lions are carnivorous, with a diet primarily consisting of fish, squid, and occasionally crustaceans and mollusks.

Fun Fact: Sea lions are highly skilled swimmers and can reach speeds of up to 25 miles per hour (40 km/h) in the water.

The streamlined body, external ear flaps, and large front flippers of sea lions distinguish them from other marine animals. They have a thick covering of blubber on their bodies that acts as insulation and buoyancy in the water. Sea lions are extremely gregarious creatures that create colonies on shore to reproduce and haul out. 

They are exceptionally diverse, capable of diving to hundreds of meters for food. Sea lions are well known for their agility and acrobatic performances, and they are frequently seen leaping out of the water or lazing in the sun on rocky coasts.

11. Skunk


Scientific name: Mephitidae 

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the species, typically 2 to 4 years in the wild, but can live up to 10 years in captivity.

Habitat: Skunks are adaptable animals in various habitats across North and South America, including forests, grasslands, and urban areas.

Diet: Skunks are omnivorous and have a varied diet that includes insects, small vertebrates, fruits, berries, and carrion.

Fun Fact: Skunks can release a strong-smelling spray from their anal glands to defend themselves against predators.

Skunks are medium-sized animals with distinctive black-and-white fur patterns and the capacity to emit a strong stink when threatened. They have large bodies, small legs, and well-developed digging claws. Skunks are often nocturnal and solitary foragers. 

They are not aggressive, but if they feel threatened, they will protect themselves. Skunks are essential contributors to the ecology and perform a useful function in regulating bug populations.

12. Salamander


Scientific name: Caudata

Type of animal: Amphibian

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the species, typically 10 to 20 years.

Habitat: Salamanders are found in many habitats, including forests, wetlands, and mountains. They require moist environments to survive.

Diet: Salamanders are carnivorous and feed on small invertebrates such as insects, worms, snails, and crustaceans.

Fun Fact: Some species of salamanders can regenerate lost body parts, including limbs and even parts of their heart and spinal cord.

Salamanders are long-bodied amphibians with short legs and wet skin. Their distinct life cycle includes transformation from aquatic larvae to terrestrial adults. Salamanders are nocturnal creatures that spend much of their time lurking beneath rocks, logs, or burrows. 

They can regrow injured or destroyed body parts and are great swimmers. Salamanders perform vital roles in aquatic ecosystems as both predators and prey and are regarded as environmental health indicators.

13. Sheep


Scientific name: Ovis aries

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the breed, typically 10 to 12 years.

Habitat: Sheep are domesticated animals and are found worldwide in agricultural settings. They have adapted to various climates and habitats through human intervention.

Diet: Sheep are herbivores and primarily graze on grass, and plants, occasionally browsing on shrubs and trees.

Fun Fact: Sheep have excellent peripheral vision and a strong herding instinct, which allows them to flock together for protection.

Sheep are quadrupedal creatures recognized for their wooly coats and connection to human agriculture. Some varieties have a stocky build, a short tail, and curved horns. Sheep are sociable creatures that live in flocks and interact with one another through vocalizations and body language. 

They are herbivores with a special digestive mechanism that allows them to take nutrients from plant material effectively. Sheep have been domesticated for thousands of years, and their wool, meat, and milk are highly appreciated.

14. Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard

Scientific name: Panthera uncia

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the conditions, typically 10 to 12 years in the wild, but can live up to 20 years in captivity.

Habitat: Snow leopards inhabit mountainous regions of Central and South Asia, including the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau.

Diet: Snow leopards are carnivorous and feed on mountain ungulates such as ibex, bharal, and argali sheep.

Fun Fact: Snow leopards have a unique adaptation of long and thick fur that helps them survive in cold and snowy environments.

Snow leopards are huge cats that have adapted to high-altitude environments. They have a stocky physique, a long tail, and thick hair with a rosettes and spots pattern that helps them blend in with their snowy environment. 

Snow leopards are lonely and secretive creatures that are well-adapted to hunting in remote areas. They are skilled climbers who can easily navigate high cliffs and rough slopes. Due to habitat degradation and poaching, snow leopards are classified as endangered species, and conservation efforts are critical to their survival.

15. Stingray


Scientific name: Dasyatidae 

Type of animal: Fish

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the species, typically 15 to 25 years.

Habitat: Stingrays are found in saltwater and freshwater environments, inhabiting coastal areas, coral reefs, and estuaries.

Diet: Stingrays are carnivorous and feed on various small fish, crustaceans, and mollusks.

Fun Fact: Stingrays have a venomous stinger on their tail, which they use for self-defense.

Stingrays are fish with flat bodies and diamond-shaped pectoral fins that resemble wings. Their long and thin tail has a barbed stinger at the base. Stingrays are well-known for their distinctive swimming style, which involves undulating their bodies and flapping their fins. 

They are normally peaceful animals, but if disturbed, they will use their stinger to defend themselves. Stingrays spend much time burying themselves in the sand or mud on the ocean floor. 

15. Sea Urchin

Sea Urchin

Scientific name: Echinoidea

Type of animal: Invertebrate

Phylum: Echinodermata

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the species, typically 5 to 15 years.

Habitat: Sea urchins are found in oceans worldwide, inhabiting rocky shores, coral reefs, and seagrass beds.

Diet: Sea urchins are herbivores that feed on algae, kelp, and other marine plants using specialized mouthparts.

Fun Fact: Sea urchins have sharp spines covering their bodies, which serve as a defense mechanism and aid in locomotion.

Sea urchins are prickly, ball-shaped animals with a tough outer shell known as a test. They feature many rows of tube feet and moveable spines for mobility and defense. As grazers, sea urchins have critical ecological functions in regulating algae growth and preserving the balance of marine ecosystems. 

They’re famous for being able to regrow injured or missing spines. Sea urchins occur in various colors and sizes, and their spines sometimes have distinctive patterns.

16. Seahorse


Scientific name: Hippocampus

Type of animal: Fish

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the species, typically 1 to 5 years.

Habitat: Seahorses are found in shallow tropical and temperate waters, often near coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove forests.

Diet: Seahorses are carnivorous and feed on small crustaceans, tiny fish, and plankton using their long, tubular snouts.

Fun Fact: Seahorses are among the few animals where the males carry and give birth to offspring.

Seahorses are a kind of fish that has an upright posture, a horse-like head, and a coiled tail. They have a bony exoskeleton instead of scales and push themselves through the water using their dorsal fin. Seahorses can blend in with their environment thanks to their remarkable camouflage ability. 

During courting, they create pair bonds and are monogamous creatures. Seahorses are sluggish swimmers who rely on their prehensile tails to hold onto seagrass or coral branches.

17. Sea Turtle

Sea Turtle

Scientific name: Testudines

Type of animal: Reptile

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the species, typically 30 to 80 years, with some individuals living over 100 years.

Habitat: Sea turtles are found in all major oceans, nesting on sandy beaches and spending most of their lives in marine environments.

Diet: Depending on the species, sea turtles have different diets, with some being herbivorous (eating seagrass and algae) and others being omnivorous or carnivorous (feeding on jellyfish, crustaceans, and mollusks).

Fun Fact: Sea turtles are well-known for their long-distance migrations, with some crossing thousands of kilometers between breeding and feeding locations.

Sea turtles are huge, elegant reptiles with streamlined bodies and flipper-like appendages that allow them to swim in the sea. They are protected by a strong shell known as a carapace. 

Female sea turtles return to the same beach where they were born to deposit their eggs, giving them a unique life cycle. They use the Earth’s magnetic field to travel and have a remarkable sense of direction. 

18. Swordfish


Scientific name: Xiphias gladius

Type of animal: Fish

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Up to 9 years

Habitat: Swordfish are found in warm and temperate oceanic waters worldwide, often inhabiting the epipelagic zone.

Diet: Swordfish are predatory fish and feed on various fish and cephalopods, using their long, sword-like bills to slash and impale their prey.

Fun Fact: Swordfish is one of the fastest swimming fish in the ocean, capable of reaching speeds up to 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour).

Swordfish are big, muscular fish with streamlined bodies and long, flat beaks. Their upper body has a dark, metallic blue-black hue, while their belly is silver-white. 

Swordfish are famous for their power and agility in the sea. They hunt alone and frequently dive to considerable depths in pursuit of prey.

19. Snail


Scientific name: Gastropoda 

Type of animal: Invertebrate

Phylum: Mollusca

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the species, typically a few years to several decades.

Habitat: Snails are found in a wide range of habitats, including forests, grasslands, gardens, and aquatic environments.

Diet: Snails are herbivores and feed on a variety of plant matter, including leaves, flowers, and fruits.

Fun Fact: Some snail species are able to retract into their shells and create a protective seal called an epiphragm, which helps them survive in harsh conditions.

Snails are soft-bodied organisms with a coiled shell on their back that move slowly. They move by sliding on a specialized foot, leaving a trail of mucus behind. 

Snails have an amazing capacity to rebuild injured tissue as well as their shells. They are well-known for their aestivation, a hibernation-like state in which they cocoon themselves within their shells to withstand dry or cold periods. 

20. Sparrow


Scientific name: Passeridae 

Type of animal: Bird

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the species, typically 2 to 5 years in the wild.

Habitat: Sparrows are found in diverse habitats worldwide, including forests, grasslands, urban areas, and agricultural landscapes.

Diet: Sparrows have an omnivorous diet, feeding on seeds, grains, fruits, insects, and small invertebrates.

Fun Fact: Sparrows are highly adaptable birds and have successfully colonized various parts of the world, including regions where they are not native.

Sparrows have tiny to medium-sized bodies, short necks, and a conical beak. They are well-known for their chirping and melodic singing, which vary amongst sparrow species. Sparrows are extremely gregarious birds that frequently gather in groups for feeding and roosting. 

21. Serval

Serval cat

Scientific name: Leptailurus serval

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Up to 20 years in the wild.

Habitat: Servals are primarily found in sub-Saharan Africa’s grasslands, savannas, and wetlands.

Diet: Servals are carnivores and primarily feed on small mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects.

Fun Fact: Servals have an exceptional ability to leap and catch prey, with a success rate of around 50%, making them highly efficient hunters.

Servals are medium-sized wild cats with long legs and a thin physique. They have a striking coat pattern of prominent black patches on a tawny backdrop, which provides great concealment in grassy settings. Servals are solitary creatures who live largely at night. 

They are noted for their remarkable hearing, which they use to identify prey hiding in foliage using their wide, rounded ears. Servals are quick to jump and may grab birds in the air. 

22. Swan


Scientific name: Cygnus

Type of animal: Bird

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Up to 20 years in the wild, but some species can live longer.

Habitat: Swans inhabit various aquatic environments, including lakes, rivers, and coastal areas, where they can find both open water for swimming and nearby vegetation for feeding and nesting.

Diet: Swans are herbivores that feed on aquatic plants, grasses, and occasionally small insects and fish.

Fun Fact: Swans are known for their graceful appearance and their ability to form strong pair bonds that can last for life.

Swans are huge waterfowl with long necks, beautiful postures, and conspicuous white feathers (although some species have black plumage). They are recognized for their beautiful swimming and frequently fly in a V-shaped formation. 

Swans are extremely territorial and can violently protect their breeding grounds. They communicate through a variety of vocalizations, including the well-known trumpet-like sound. 

23. Spider Monkey

Spider Monkey

Scientific name: Ateles

Type of animal: Primate

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 20 to 25 years in the wild

Habitat: Spider monkeys are found in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America, where they inhabit the upper layers of the forest canopy.

Diet: Spider monkeys are primarily frugivorous, feeding on various ripe fruits. They also consume leaves, flowers, nuts, and occasionally insects.

Fun Fact: Spider monkeys have a prehensile tail that acts as a fifth limb, allowing them to hang from branches and move through the trees with agility.

Spider monkeys are little primates with long limbs and slim physiques. They have a prehensile tail that they utilize to grab and hang on tree branches, allowing them to navigate easily through the forest canopy. 

Spider monkeys live in social groups and spend most of their time in trees. They communicate via various vocalizations and facial movements.

24. Snapping Turtle

Snapping Turtle

Scientific name: Chelydra serpentina

Type of animal: Reptile

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 20 to 30 years in the wild

Habitat: Snapping turtles are found in freshwater habitats such as ponds, lakes, rivers, and swamps, where they spend most of their time in the water but also venture onto land for basking and nesting.

Diet: Snapping turtles are opportunistic omnivores and feed on various prey, including fish, amphibians, insects, crustaceans, plants, and carrion.

Fun Fact: Snapping turtles have one of the most powerful bites among reptiles, capable of delivering a strong jaw clamp that can cause severe injury.

Snapping turtles are huge, heavy-bodied turtles with hooked mouths, strong limbs, and spiky tails. They have a tough, dark-colored shell that protects them. Snapping turtles are known for their violent and protective temperaments. They can stretch their necks and execute a rapid bite when threatened. 

25. Starfish


Scientific name: Asteroidea

Type of animal: Echinoderm

Phylum: Echinodermata

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the species, but typically up to 35 years in the wild.

Habitat: Starfish are found in oceans all over the world, from shallow tidal pools to the deep sea. They inhabit rocky shorelines, coral reefs, and sandy or muddy bottoms.

Diet: Starfish are opportunistic feeders and consume a wide range of food sources, including algae, small invertebrates, mollusks, and even dead animals.

Fun Fact: Starfish have the ability to regenerate lost limbs, and in some cases, a single severed arm can regenerate into a whole new starfish.

Starfish, often known as sea stars, exhibit radial symmetry and normally have five limbs, however some species have more. They feature robust, spiky skin and a network of tiny tube feet on their bottom for mobility and prey capture. 

Starfish have a unique eating technique in which they evert their stomachs to outwardly consume and digest their meal. 

26. Sea Otter

Sea Otter

Scientific name: Enhydra lutris

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 10 to 15 years in the wild.

Habitat: Sea otters are found along the coasts of the northern Pacific Ocean, including rocky shorelines, kelp forests, and estuaries.

Diet: Sea otters are carnivorous and primarily feed on marine invertebrates, such as sea urchins, crabs, clams, and snails.

Fun Fact: Sea otters have the densest fur of any mammal, with up to a million hairs per square inch, which helps to keep them insulated and buoyant in the water.

Sea otters are active and gregarious creatures with excellent swimming ability. They spend much of their time in the water, foraging for food and grooming their fur using their webbed feet and nimble paws. 

Sea otters are experts at cracking open shells and prying out prey using rocks as instruments. They engage in “rafting,” a floating habit in which groups of otters grasp hands and relax together to prevent drifting away. 

27. Sun Bear

Sun Bear

Scientific name: Helarctos malayanus

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 20 to 25 years in the wild. 

Habitat: Sun bears are found in Southeast Asia, inhabiting tropical rainforests, swamps, and lowland areas.

Diet: Sun bears are omnivores and have a varied diet that includes fruits, insects, honey, small vertebrates, and vegetation.

Fun Fact: Sun bears have the longest tongue relative to their body size among bears, which they use to extract insects and honey from tree cavities.

Sun bears are the smallest bear species, with a sleek black coat, a light-colored crescent-shaped marking on their breast, and short, bent claws that help them climb trees. 

They have an acute sense of smell and great climbing skills, allowing them to reach food sources in trees. Sun bears are mostly nocturnal and solitary, spending their days sleeping in nests or hollow trees.

28. Stork


Scientific name: Ciconia spp.

Type of animal: Bird

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the species, but generally 20 to 30 years in the wild.

Habitat: Storks are found in a wide range of habitats, including wetlands, grasslands, forests, and agricultural areas, depending on the species.

Diet: Storks are carnivorous and feed primarily on small vertebrates such as fish, frogs, snakes, insects, and small mammals.

Fun Fact: Storks are known for their distinctive nesting behavior, where they build large stick nests on trees, rooftops, or other elevated structures.

Storks are huge, long-legged birds with long necks and wingspans of several feet. They have a characteristically long and pointed beak that they employ to grab and consume their prey. Storks are well-known for their outstanding flying abilities and their ability to travel long distances during migration. 

29. Sardine


Scientific name: Sardina pilchardus

Type of animal: Fish

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 6 to 10 years

Habitat: Sardines are pelagic fish that inhabit coastal waters, usually forming large schools near the surface.

Diet: Sardines are filter feeders, consuming plankton, small fish, and crustaceans by opening their mouths and filtering the water as they swim.

Fun Fact: Sardines are known for their incredible swimming ability and their habit of forming massive shoals that can number in the millions.

Sardines are little silver-colored fish with a streamlined body and a set of small fins running down their sides. They are very migratory and frequently migrate in huge groups to avoid predators. Sardines are important in marine ecosystems because they provide food for bigger predatory fish, birds, and marine mammals. 

30. Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl

Scientific name: Bubo scandiacus

Type of animal: Bird

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 9.5 years in the wild

Habitat: Snowy owls are native to the Arctic regions of North America and Eurasia. They breed in open tundra areas and winter in a variety of habitats, including grasslands, marshes, and coastal dunes.

Diet: Snowy owls primarily feed on small mammals, such as lemmings, voles, and rabbits, but they also consume birds and fish when available.

Fun Fact: Snowy owls have superb hearing and can detect prey moving under thick snow cover from a considerable distance away.

Snowy owls are huge, magnificent birds with stunning white plumage that blends nicely with their snowy environment. They have a rounded head, golden eyes, and a strong beak. With robust feathers, feathered feet, and the capacity to survive extremely low temperatures, snowy owls are well-adapted to frigid surroundings. They typically hunt during the day, using their acute eyesight and stealthy flight to surprise and grab their prey. 

31. Siberian Tiger

Siberian Tiger

Scientific name: Panthera tigris altaica

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 16 to 18 years in the wild

Habitat: Siberian tigers are found in the forests of eastern Russia, including the Russian Far East and northeastern China. They inhabit a variety of ecosystems, including taiga, coniferous forests, and mixed forests.

Diet: Siberian tigers are carnivorous and primarily prey on ungulates such as deer and wild boar, but they can also hunt smaller animals like rabbits and fish.

Fun Fact: The Siberian tiger is the largest tiger species and can weigh up to 660 pounds (300 kilograms), making it one of the largest carnivorous land mammals.

The Siberian tiger is a very huge cat with a strong frame, an orange coat with black stripes, and a white belly. It has a big head, piercing eyes, strong fangs, and claws. Siberian tigers are solitary and territorial creatures who need wide home areas for hunting and breeding. 

32. Sea Anemone

Sea Anemone

Scientific name: Anthozoa

Type of animal: Invertebrate

Phylum: Cnidaria

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the species, but some can live for several decades.

Habitat: Sea anemones are found in oceans worldwide, typically attaching themselves to rocks or coral reefs in shallow or deep waters.

Diet: Sea anemones are carnivorous and feed on small fish, plankton, and invertebrates that come into contact with their venomous tentacles.

Fun Fact: Sea anemones have a symbiotic relationship with clownfish, where the anemone protects the clownfish, and the clownfish provides food and nutrients for the anemone.

Sessile sea anemones feature a cylindrical body with a central mouth encircled by tentacles. They are available in various colors and sizes ranging from a few centimeters to more than a meter in diameter. 

The poisonous cells on the tentacles of sea anemones are recognized for their ability to sting and paralyze animals. They may retract their tentacles and curl into a tight ball for safety.

33. Saltwater Crocodile

Saltwater Crocodile

Scientific name: Crocodylus porosus

Type of animal: Reptile

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 70 years or more in the wild.

Habitat: Saltwater crocodiles are found in estuaries, mangrove swamps, and coastal regions of Southeast Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands.

Diet: Saltwater crocodiles are apex predators and opportunistic feeders. They prey on a wide range of animals, including fish, birds, reptiles, and mammals that enter their territory.

Fun Fact: Saltwater crocodiles are the largest living reptiles and are capable of leaping out of the water to catch prey with their powerful jaws.

Saltwater crocodiles are huge, elongated reptiles with long, muscular tails and a wide snout. They feature a robust set of jaws loaded with sharp fangs and armored scales on their back. These crocodiles are well suited to live in and near water, with webbed feet for efficient swimming and the capacity to submerge for extended periods of time.

34. Sawfish


Scientific name: Pristidae

Type of animal: Fish

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Varies depending on the species, but some can live up to 25 years or more.

Habitat: Sawfish are primarily found in tropical and subtropical coastal waters, including estuaries, mangroves, and coral reefs.

Diet: Sawfish are primarily carnivorous and feed on various fish, crustaceans, and other small marine animals.

Fun Fact: The sawfish’s rostrum (saw-like snout) of the sawfish is lined with sharp teeth-like structures called denticles, which they use to stun and capture prey.

Sawfish are unusual and intriguing fish with an extended rostrum that resembles a saw. Their bodies are flattened, with pectoral fins and a shark-like tail. Sawfish are bottom-dwelling invertebrates that prefer sandy or muddy environments. 

They locate and immobilize prey with their saw-like rostrum, swiping it back and forth to shock or harm them.

35. Salmon Shark

Salmon Shark

Scientific name: Lamna ditropis

Type of animal: Fish

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Around 25 years

Habitat: Salmon sharks are found in the cold waters of the North Pacific Ocean, ranging from Japan to Alaska and down to California.

Diet: As their name suggests, salmon sharks primarily feed on salmon, as well as other fish, squid, and marine mammals.

Fun Fact: Salmon sharks are known for their impressive speed and agility, capable of reaching speeds up to 50 miles per hour (80 kilometers per hour).

Salmon sharks are huge predatory fish with streamlined bodies and crescent-shaped tails. It is dark gray or blue-gray on top and white on the bottom. 

Salmon sharks are extremely migratory, with long-distance travels in quest of prey. They have good vision and a keen sense of smell, which allows them to identify and follow their swiftly swimming prey.

36. Sand Crab

Sand Crab

Scientific name: Emerita analoga

Type of animal: Crustacean

Phylum: Arthropoda

Average lifespan: Around 3 to 4 years.

Habitat: Sand crabs are commonly found on sandy beaches along the shores of oceans and seas.

Diet: Sand crabs are filter feeders, using their feather-like appendages called antennae to capture and feed on plankton and other small organic particles in the water.

Fun Fact: Sand crabs have a unique ability to burrow quickly into the sand to avoid predators or wave action.

Sand crabs are tiny crustaceans with an oval body and a strong exoskeleton. They have long, thin antennae and specialized pincers that they utilize to sift through sand and filter out minute food bits. 

Sand crabs have adapted successfully to living in the intertidal zone, where they construct tunnels in the wet sand and remain submerged during high tides. 

37. Siamese Fighting Fish

Siamese Fighting Fish

Scientific name: Betta splendens

Type of animal: Fish

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 2 to 4 years

Habitat: Siamese fighting fish are native to the shallow, slow-moving waters of Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Diet: Siamese fighting fish are carnivorous and feed on small aquatic invertebrates, such as insects, worms, and larvae.

Fun Fact: Male Siamese fighting fish are known for their vibrant and elaborate fins, which they display during aggressive encounters or courtship rituals.

Bettas, or Siamese fighting fish, are tiny, colorful fish with long, flowing fins. Males are more aesthetically appealing than females, with brilliant colors and elaborate fin patterns. Male bettas, despite their beauty, are fiercely territorial and violent against other males, participating in battles that include flaring their fins and threatening actions. 

38. Spectacled Bear

Spectacled Bear

Scientific name: Tremarctos ornatus

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 20 to 25 years

Habitat: Spectacled bears are found in the cloud forests and high-altitude regions of South America, including the Andean mountains.

Diet: They have a varied diet consisting of fruits, leaves, flowers, and bark, but they also consume small mammals and insects.

Fun Fact: Spectacled bears are the only bear species native to South America and are named after the distinctive white or light-colored rings around their eyes, which resemble spectacles.

The spectacled bear has a medium-sized body and a shaggy black or dark brown coat. They have small, rounded ears and a rather short nose. Spectacled bears are good climbers and spend a lot of time in trees foraging for food and seeking refuge. 

39. Sambar


Scientific name: Rusa unicolor

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 20 to 30 years

Habitat: Sambar deer are found in various habitats, including tropical rainforests, marshes, grasslands, and montane regions across South and Southeast Asia.

Diet: They are herbivores, feeding on a variety of vegetation such as grasses, leaves, fruits, and young shoots.

Fun Fact: Male sambar deer possess large, branching antlers that can reach impressive sizes and are used for defense and attracting mates.

The sambar is a huge animal with a strong physique and long, strong legs. They have a dark brown or grey coat that helps them blend in with their woodland surroundings. Male sambar deer are substantially bigger than females, with antlers that can grow to be one meter long.

40. Spotted Hyena

Spotted Hyena

Scientific name: Crocuta crocuta

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 25 to 30 years

Habitat: Spotted hyenas are found in a wide range of habitats, including savannas, grasslands, woodlands, and semi-desert areas, predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa.

Diet: They are opportunistic scavengers and skilled hunters, feeding on a wide range of prey, including ungulates, smaller mammals, birds, reptiles, and carrion.

Fun Fact: Spotted hyenas have a unique social structure where females dominate over males and have a strong social hierarchy within their clans.

The spotted hyena is a huge and powerful predator with a striking look. Its name comes from its sandy or yellowish coat with irregular dark brown or black patches. Spotted hyenas have muscular frames, powerful jaws, and a bone-crushing biting force. They are highly gregarious creatures that live in clans of up to 80 members. 

41. Scimitar Oryx

Scimitar Oryx

Scientific name: Oryx dammah

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 20-25 years

Habitat: Scimitar Oryx once roamed the arid regions of North Africa, including the Sahara Desert, where they adapted to survive in the harsh desert environment.

Diet: They are herbivores, feeding on a variety of grasses, leaves, and plants, which they can obtain water from, allowing them to withstand long periods without drinking.

Fun Fact: The Scimitar Oryx is known for its long, elegant horns that curve backward like a scimitar sword, giving them their distinctive appearance. These horns can reach up to 4 feet in length and are used for defense and display.

The Scimitar Oryx is a unique antelope species that thrives in the desert. Their sandy white coat reflects the desert sun’s strong heat, keeping them cool. To survive in their dry habitat, these antelopes have incredible adaptations, such as the capacity to smell rain from kilometers away and move in search of food and water. 

42. Snowshoe Hare

Snowshoe Hare

Scientific name: Lepus americanus

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 2 to 3 years

Habitat: Snowshoe hares inhabit boreal and subalpine forests across North America, where they rely on dense vegetation and snow cover for camouflage and protection.

Diet: They are herbivores, feeding on a variety of plants, including grasses, twigs, buds, and bark.

Fun Fact: Snowshoe hares have the ability to change the color of their fur from brown in summer to white in winter to match the snowy environment, providing effective camouflage.

The snowshoe hare is a medium-sized hare with enormous hind feet that function as snowshoes and allow them to easily navigate heavy snow. They have a brown fur coat in the summer, but it turns white in the winter, blending in with the snow. Snowshoe hares are predominantly nocturnal, peaking in activity between dawn and twilight. 

43. Siamang


Scientific name: Symphalangus syndactylus

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 30 to 40 years

Habitat: Siamangs are native to the rainforests of Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, where they dwell in the upper canopy levels.

Diet: They are primarily herbivorous, consuming fruits, leaves, flowers, and occasionally insects.

Fun Fact: Siamangs are known for their loud and melodic vocalizations, often engaging in duets with their mates to mark territory and strengthen pair bonds.

Siamangs are the biggest kind of gibbon and have a distinguishing look. Their fur is long and black, and they have a large neck sac that enhances their vocalizations. Siamangs are primarily arboreal, spending most of their time in trees, swinging and brachiating across the forest canopy using their long arms.

44. Saanen Goat

Saanen Goat

Scientific name: Capra aegagrus hircus 

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 10 to 12 years

Habitat: Saanen goats are domesticated goats that are commonly found in various regions worldwide, including Europe, and North America, and Australia.

Diet: They are herbivores, feeding on grass, leaves, shrubs, and agricultural crops.

Fun Fact: Saanen goats are known for their high milk production and are widely used in the dairy industry, particularly for cheese and milk production.

The Saanen goat is a domesticated goat breed that ranges in size from medium to giant. Their coats are white or cream-colored, and they have upright ears and a straight profile. 

Saanen goats are calm and adaptable animals who thrive in a variety of conditions. They are highly valued for their excellent milk output and are frequently bred for dairy reasons.

45. Scarlet Kingsnake

Scarlet Kingsnake

Scientific name: Lampropeltis elapsoides

Type of animal: Reptile

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 10 to 20 years

Habitat: Scarlet kingsnakes are found in the southeastern United States, inhabiting a variety of habitats, including forests, swamps, and grasslands.

Diet: They are carnivorous, primarily feeding on other reptiles, including snakes, lizards, and small rodents.

Fun Fact: Scarlet kingsnakes mimic the coloration and pattern of venomous coral snakes, displaying bright bands of red, yellow, and black. This mimicry helps deter potential predators.

The scarlet kingsnake is a nonvenomous snake that is distinguished by its brilliant colors. Their body is glossy black, with red, yellow, and black stripes around their slim shape. Scarlet kingsnakes are secretive and largely nocturnal, coming out to forage for food at night.

You May Like Animals List by Color:

Animals By Color


So, we’ve explored some fascinating animals that start with the letter “S.” From the stealthy Snow Leopard to the majestic Swan, the animal kingdom never ceases to amaze us with its diversity and wonder. Let’s continue our journey of discovery into the intriguing world of animals!

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