List of Incredible Animals That Start With Y: Habitat, Lifespan, Diet, Fun Facts and More

Animals That Start With Y

Yaks, yabbies, and yellow-bellied sapsuckers — these remarkable creatures are just a glimpse into the diverse world of animals that start with Y. From the majestic yaks roaming the high-altitude plains of Central Asia, to the elusive yabbies dwelling in freshwater streams, and the vibrant yellow-bellied sapsuckers flitting through the trees, these unique animals captivate us with their distinct characteristics and play a vital role in the Earth’s wildlife ecosystem. So, let’s explore the animal kingdom, starting with the captivating creatures that begin with the letter “Y.”

List of Animals That Start with Y by Classes

In this section, we have categorized all of the animals that start with Y as per their types as Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fishes, and Invertebrates. Here is a quick snapshot of these animals:

Mammals That Start With Letter Y

Birds That Start With Letter Y

Reptiles That Start With Letter Y

Amphibians That Start With Letter Y

Fish that Start With Y

Yellowfin Menhaden
Yellowfin Croaker
Yellow Bullhead

Insects and Invertebrates Beginning With Y

Yoldia Myalis
Yoldia Thraciaeformis
Yellow Lance
Yellow Jacket

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

Let’s get familiar with the classification, diet, habitat, and facts of common animals that start with the letter Y:

1. Yak


Scientific name: Bos grunniens

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 20-25 years

Habitat: Yaks are primarily found in the Himalayan region of Central Asia, including parts of Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and Mongolia. They are adapted to living in high-altitude environments, often found at elevations between 10,000 and 20,000 feet (3,000 to 6,000 meters).

Diet: Yaks are herbivores and mainly graze on grasses and other vegetation found in their mountainous habitats. They are well-adapted to survive on sparse vegetation and can even eat tough and fibrous plants.

Fun Fact: Yaks have large lungs and a unique circulatory system that helps them cope with high-altitude conditions, including low oxygen levels. Their large, sturdy hooves provide excellent traction on rugged terrain, making them skilled climbers.

The yak is a large, shaggy-haired bovine found in the Himalayan region of Asia. It is well-adapted to high altitudes and is valued for its milk, meat, and wool. Yaks have long horns and hump-like shoulders and are an important part of the local culture and economy.

2. Yabby


Scientific name: Cherax spp.

Type of animal: Freshwater crayfish

Phylum: Arthropoda.

Average lifespan: 3 to 8 years

Habitat: Yabbies are native to freshwater habitats in Australia, primarily found in rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds. They prefer areas with sandy or muddy bottoms and vegetation for cover.

Diet: Yabbies are omnivorous scavengers and opportunistic feeders. Their diet includes various plant materials, algae, small invertebrates, and even carrion.

Fun Fact: Yabbies are well-known for their ability to burrow into the river or lakebeds. They construct complex burrows with multiple entrances and chambers, providing them with protection and a safe retreat. 

The Yabby is a freshwater crustacean found in Australia. It resembles a small lobster and is prized for its delicate taste. Yabbies are often caught for culinary purposes or kept as pets in home aquariums.

3. Yacare Caiman

Yacare Caiman

Scientific name: Caiman Yacare

Type of animal: Reptile

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 30 to 40 years 

Habitat: Yacare caimans are native to South America and can be found in freshwater habitats such as rivers, lakes, and swamps. They are particularly abundant in the Pantanal region of Brazil.

Diet: Yacare caimans are carnivorous and primarily feed on fish, amphibians, birds, and small mammals. They are opportunistic predators and can consume a variety of prey depending on availability.

Fun Fact: Yacare caimans have a unique way of hunting called “waiting and ambushing.” They patiently wait near the water’s edge, often partially submerged, and use their excellent camouflage to blend in with their surroundings. 

The Yacare Caiman is a species of caiman native to South America, particularly found in the Pantanal region. It is characterized by its dark brown coloration, broad snout, and bony ridge on its forehead. The Yacare Caiman is an important predator in its ecosystem, feeding on fish, reptiles, and small mammals.

4. Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin Tuna

Scientific name: Thunnus albacares

Type of animal: Fish

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 7 to 10 years 

Habitat: Yellowfin tuna are found in tropical and subtropical waters of the world’s oceans. They prefer warmer waters, commonly found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.

Diet: Yellowfin tuna are carnivorous and primarily feed on small fish, squid, and crustaceans.

Fun Fact: Yellowfin tuna are known for their impressive swimming abilities. They are one of the fastest fish in the ocean and can reach speeds of up to 47 miles per hour (75 kilometers per hour). 

Yellowfin Tuna is a highly prized fish species found in tropical and subtropical waters worldwide. As a top predator in the ocean, yellowfin tuna plays a crucial role in marine ecosystems and supports commercial and recreational fishing industries.

5. Yellow Sac Spider

Yellow Sac Spider

Scientific name: Cheiracanthium inclusum

Type of animal: Spider

Phylum: Arthropoda

Average lifespan: 1 year

Habitat: Yellow sac spiders are found in various habitats, including grasslands, forests, gardens, and urban areas. They are particularly common in homes and buildings.

Diet: These spiders are insectivores and primarily feed on small insects like ants, flies, and beetles.

Fun Fact: Yellow sac spiders are known to be fast and agile, capable of running and jumping to capture their meals. They do not pose any threats to humans and are generally considered harmless.

The Yellow Sac Spider is a small arachnid species known for its pale yellow color and sac-shaped webs. It is commonly found in North and South America and is known to bite humans, causing mild to moderate symptoms such as pain and swelling.

6. Yeti Crab

Yeti Crab

Scientific name: Kiwa hirsuta

Type of animal: Deep-sea decapods crustaceans

Phylum: Arthropoda

Average lifespan: 15 to 20 years.

Habitat: Yeti crabs are primarily found in the deep-sea hydrothermal vents of the Pacific Ocean. They inhabit extreme environments with high temperatures, pressure, and mineral-rich water.

Diet: Yeti crabs are omnivorous scavengers. They feed on organic matter, bacteria, and other microorganisms that they find in the sediments near hydrothermal vents. 

Fun Fact: Yeti crabs are named after the mythical Yeti or Abominable Snowman due to their distinctive appearance. They have long, hairy arms, which resemble a fur coat.  

The Yeti Crab is a unique deep-sea crustacean known for its hairy appearance, found in hydrothermal vents along the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge. It possesses long, bristle-like setae on its legs and claws, which are thought to host chemosynthetic bacteria providing nutrition in its extreme habitat. 

7. Yellow Tang

Yellow Tang

Scientific name: Zebrasoma flavescens

Type of animal: Fish

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 8 to 12 years

Habitat: Yellow Tangs are native to the reefs of the central and western Pacific Ocean, particularly around the Hawaiian Islands. They can be found in clear, warm water areas and abundant coral reefs.

Diet: Yellow Tangs are herbivores and primarily feed on various types of marine algae. Their small, beak-like mouths scrape algae off rocks and other surfaces. 

Fun Fact: Yellow Tangs are highly sought after for the aquarium trade due to their vibrant yellow color and graceful swimming.  

The Yellow Tang is a popular marine fish known for its vibrant yellow color and distinctive oval shape. It is native to the reefs of the Pacific Ocean and is commonly found in aquariums due to its beauty and peaceful nature.

8. Yellow Perch

Yellow Perch

Scientific name: Perca flavescens

Type of animal: Freshwater fish

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 7 to 10 years

Habitat: Yellow Perch are native to North America and can be found in various freshwater habitats such as lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. 

Diet: Yellow Perch are carnivorous and primarily feed on small invertebrates, including insects, crustaceans, and zooplankton. They also consume small fish and fish eggs.

Fun Fact: Yellow Perch are a popular game fish because of their delicious white flesh, making them a sought-after species for recreational fishing and culinary purposes.

The Yellow Perch is a freshwater fish native to North America. It is known for its distinctive yellow body with dark vertical stripes and is popular among anglers for sport fishing. Yellow perch are valued for their mild-tasting flesh and are often sought after for their culinary qualities.

9. Yellowhammer


Scientific name: Emberiza citrinella

Type of animal: Passerine bird

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 3 to 4 years

Habitat: Yellowhammers are native to Europe and Western Asia. They inhabit open countryside areas such as farmland, meadows, grasslands, and hedgerows. 

Diet: Yellowhammers have an omnivorous diet. They primarily feed on seeds, especially those of grasses and cereals. They also consume insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates, particularly during the breeding season when they need to provide protein-rich food for their chicks.

Fun Fact: Yellowhammers are known for their bright yellow plumage, which gives them their name. However, females and juveniles have less vibrant coloring, with more streaked and duller feathers.

Yellowhammer is a small passerine bird species native to Europe, known for its vibrant yellow plumage and distinctive rhythmic song. It inhabits open woodlands, hedgerows, and farmlands. It is a symbol of agricultural landscapes.

10. Yellowjacket


Scientific name: Vespula spp

Type of animal: Social wasps

Phylum: Arthropoda 

Average lifespan: Queens can live for several years, while workers typically live for a few weeks to a few months.

Habitat: Yellowjackets are found in various habitats around the world, including forests, meadows, urban areas, and suburban environments. 

Diet: Yellowjackets are omnivorous, meaning they consume a variety of food. They are known to feed on nectar, fruit juices, and plant sap. 

Fun Fact: Yellowjackets are known for their aggressive behavior when their nest or colony is threatened. They can sting multiple times and release alarm pheromones to alert other members of the colony to attack. 

Yellowjackets are known for their yellow and black striped bodies. They live in colonies and can be aggressive when their nests are disturbed, posing a threat to humans and pets. Their sting can be painful and potentially dangerous for individuals with allergies.

11. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

Scientific name: Canis lupus familiaris

Type of animal: Dog 

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 12 to 15 years

Habitat: Yorkshire Terriers are primarily kept as companion animals and are found in households worldwide. They are adaptable to various living environments and can thrive in apartments as well as larger homes.

Diet: Yorkshire Terriers require a balanced diet that includes high-quality dog food formulated for their size, age, and activity level. 

Fun Fact: Yorkshire Terriers have a courageous and confident temperament. They are known for their long, silky, and flowing coats, which require regular grooming to keep them in good condition.

The Yorkshire Terrier is a small breed of dog known for its long, silky coat and confident personality. Originating from England, these energetic and affectionate dogs make great companions for families and individuals alike.

12. Yellow Rat Snake

Yellow Rat Snake

Scientific name: Elaphe obsoleta quadrivittata

Type of animal: Non-venomous colubrid snake.

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: Up to 15-25 years 

Habitat: Yellow Rat Snakes are native to the southeastern United States and can be found in various habitats, including forests, woodlands, grasslands, and wetlands. 

Diet: These snakes are constrictors and primarily feed on small mammals such as rats, mice, and other rodents.

Fun Fact: Yellow Rat Snakes are known for their vibrant yellow coloration, which gives them their name. Also, their coloration can vary depending on their geographical location. 

The Yellow Rat Snake is a non-venomous snake species found in the southeastern United States. It is characterized by its vibrant yellow coloration and distinct dark stripes running down its body.

13. Yellow-Eyed Penguin

Yellow-Eyed Penguin

Scientific name: Megadyptes antipodes

Type of animal: Hoiho

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 15 to 20 years

Habitat: Yellow-Eyed Penguins are native to New Zealand and primarily found on the southeast coast of the South Island and the subantarctic Auckland and Campbell Islands. 

Diet: The diet of Yellow-Eyed Penguins consists mainly of fish, such as opal fish, red cod, and sprat. They also consume cephalopods, including squid.

Fun Fact: Yellow-Eyed Penguins are known for their unique breeding behavior, where they typically establish monogamous pairs that breed in the same territory each year. 

The Yellow-Eyed Penguin is characterized by its distinctive yellow eyes and a unique yellow band that stretches across its head. With a population of less than 2,000 individuals, conservation efforts are crucial to protect this species from extinction.

14. Yellow Anaconda

Yellow Anaconda

Scientific name: Eunectes notaeus

Type of animal: Snake

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 10 to 15 years 

Habitat: Yellow anacondas are native to South America and are primarily found in the wetland areas of northern Argentina, southeastern Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. 

Diet: Yellow anacondas are carnivorous and mainly feed on fish, birds, small mammals, and reptiles. 

Fun Fact: Yellow anacondas are one of the largest snake species in the world, second only to the green anaconda. While they are smaller on average compared to their green counterparts, they can still reach impressive lengths of up to 10-15 feet (3-4.5 meters). 

The Yellow Anaconda is a large non-venomous snake found in South America. It is known for its vibrant yellow coloration and can grow up to 3 meters (10 feet) in length. It primarily inhabits aquatic environments such as swamps and marshes.

15. Yapok


Scientific name: Chironectes minimus

Type of animal: Water opossum

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 3 to 4 years

Habitat: Yapoks are found in freshwater habitats such as streams, rivers, and swamps in Central and South America, including countries like Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela.

Diet: Yapoks are carnivorous and primarily feed on aquatic invertebrates such as crustaceans, mollusks, and insects. They also consume small vertebrates like fish, amphibians, and reptiles.

Fun Fact: Yapoks are highly adapted for an aquatic lifestyle. They have webbed hind feet, which enable them to swim efficiently. Their dense fur is waterproof, and they even have a specialized pouch on their belly that opens backward, allowing them to store food while swimming. 

The Yapok is a small semi-aquatic marsupial found in South and Central America. It has webbed feet, a prehensile tail, and is well adapted for swimming and diving in search of aquatic prey.

16. Yellowthroat


Scientific name: Geothlypis trichas

Type of animal: Bird

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 4 to 5 years 

Habitat: Yellowthroats are primarily found in North and Central America, including parts of Canada, the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. They live in habitats like marshes, wetlands, thickets, shrubby areas, and edges of forests.

Diet: Yellowthroats are insectivores, meaning their diet mainly consists of insects. They feed on a wide range of insects, including beetles, flies, caterpillars, spiders, and other small invertebrates.

Fun Fact: Male Yellowthroats are known for their distinct black coloring that covers their eyes and extends across their cheeks, giving them a distinctive appearance. Males use them during courtship displays to attract mates and establish territories. 

Yellowthroat refers to a small bird species belonging to the New World Warbler family. Known for its bright yellow throat and distinctive black mask, the yellowthroat is commonly found in wetlands and dense vegetation across North and Central America. It is known for its distinctive, melodic song.

17. Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrot

Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrot

Scientific name: Amazona auropalliata

Type of animal: Parrot

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 40 to 60 years 

Habitat: These parrots are native to the Pacific slopes of Central America, specifically found in regions such as southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and Nicaragua. 

Diet: Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrots have a varied diet consisting of fruits, seeds, nuts, berries, flowers, and leaf buds. They also consume small insects and larvae as a source of protein.

Fun Fact: One interesting characteristic of the Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrot is its ability to mimic human speech. They are known for their exceptional vocal abilities and can learn to imitate a wide range of sounds, including words and phrases. 

The Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrot is a medium-sized parrot known for its vibrant green feathers, yellow patch on the nape, and remarkable talking abilities. Native to Central America, it is highly intelligent, social, and often regarded as one of the world’s most popular and sought-after pet parrots.

18. Yellow Mongoose

Yellow Mongoose

Scientific name: Cynictis penicillata

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 5 to 9 years 

Habitat: Yellow mongooses are native to southern Africa and can be found in habitats like grasslands, savannas, scrublands, and semi-desert regions. 

Diet: They are omnivorous, feeding on a variety of foods. Their diet primarily consists of insects, such as beetles, termites, and grasshoppers. They also eat small mammals, reptiles, eggs, fruits, and seeds.

Fun Fact: Yellow mongooses are known for their unique anti-predator behavior when confronted by venomous snakes. Instead of avoiding or attacking the snake directly, they engage in a dance-like behavior called “the snake dance.” 

The Yellow Mongoose, also known as the red meerkat, is a small mammal native to southern Africa. It has a slender body, yellowish-brown fur, and a bushy tail. They are highly social animals and are known for their agility and alertness in the wild.

19. Yellow-Bellied Marmot

Yellow-Bellied Marmot

Scientific name: Marmota flaviventris

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 15 to 18 years 

Habitat: These marmots are native to the mountainous regions of western North America, including parts of the United States and Canada. They are found in alpine meadows, rocky slopes, and talus fields at high elevations.

Diet: Yellow-bellied marmots are herbivores, primarily feeding on grass, flowers, leaves, and other vegetation. They are known to forage extensively during summer to build up fat reserves for their winter hibernation.

Fun Fact: Yellow-bellied marmots are highly social animals and live in colonies. They are known for their loud, piercing alarm calls that alert other members of the colony to potential threats. These calls can be heard over long distances and are often used by other animals as a warning sign. 

The Yellow-Bellied Marmotis a ground-dwelling rodent species found in North America’s mountainous regions. It is known for its distinctive yellow belly and brown fur and is characterized by its burrowing behavior and hibernation during winter months. 

20. Yellow-Banded Poison Dart Frog

Yellow-Banded Poison Dart Frog

Scientific name: Dendrobates leucomelas

Type of animal: Amphibian

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 10 to 15 years 

Habitat: These frogs are native to the rainforests of northern South America, particularly in Venezuela, Brazil, and Colombia. 

Diet: The diet of yellow-banded poison dart frogs primarily consists of small invertebrates, such as ants, termites, beetles, and other tiny arthropods. 

Fun Fact: Yellow-banded poison dart frogs secrete potent neurotoxins through their skin, which can paralyze or even kill predators. Indigenous people in the region have used the toxic secretions from these frogs to coat their blowgun darts for hunting, hence the name “poison dart frog.” 

The Yellow-Banded Poison Dart Frog is a small and brightly colored amphibian native to the rainforests of Central and South America. Known for its striking yellow and black bands, it possesses potent skin toxins that defend against predators.

21. Yellow-Spotted River Turtle

Yellow-Spotted River Turtle

Scientific name: Podocnemis unifilis

Type of animal: Reptile

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 50 years 

Habitat: This species is native to South America and is found in the Amazon Basin, specifically in slow-moving rivers, lakes, and flooded forests. 

Diet: Yellow-spotted river turtles are omnivorous and have a varied diet. They primarily feed on aquatic vegetation, such as water lettuce, water hyacinth, and algae. 

Fun Fact: The yellow-spotted river turtle is known for its unique nesting behavior. Females gather in large groups, known as arribadas, and synchronize their nesting activities. 

The Yellow-Spotted River Turtle is a freshwater turtle species native to South America. It is known for its distinct yellow spots on its dark brown or black shell. These turtles are primarily herbivorous and inhabit rivers, streams, and ponds in tropical rainforests.

22. Yellow-Backed Duiker

Yellow-Backed Duiker

Scientific name: Cephalophus silvicultor

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 10 to 15 years 

Habitat: Yellow-backed duikers are found in the forests and dense woodlands of Central and West Africa. They inhabit areas with dense vegetation, including rainforests, swamp forests, and secondary forests.

Diet: Yellow-backed duikers are herbivores, primarily feeding on leaves, fruits, buds, and shoots. They may also consume bark, fungi, and occasionally small amounts of insects.

Fun Fact: The yellow-backed duiker is named after the bright yellow coloration on its back. It is a medium-sized antelope species, with males being larger than females. These duikers are well-adapted to their forest habitat, possessing slender bodies and short, sharp horns. 

The Yellow-Backed Duiker is a small antelope species found in Central and West Africa. Its yellowish-brown coat, distinctive yellow back, and short, sharp horns characterize it. The yellow-backed duiker primarily inhabits dense forests and feeds on leaves, fruits, and bark.

23. Yellow-Winged Bat

Yellow-Winged Bat

Scientific name: Lavia frons

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 15 to 20 years 

Habitat: Yellow-winged bats are found in various regions of Africa, including countries like Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. They typically inhabit tropical rainforests, woodland areas, and savannas.

Diet: Yellow-winged bats primarily feed on insects, including beetles, moths, flies, and mosquitoes. They use echolocation to locate their prey and capture them mid-flight.

Fun Fact: Yellow-winged bats are known for their unique appearance. They have striking yellow wings with black tips, providing effective camouflage against the green foliage of their natural habitat. 

The Yellow-Winged Bat is a species of bat known for its distinctive yellow wing membranes. It is found in various regions of Central and South America and is known for its insectivorous diet and nocturnal habits. These bats play an important role in pollination and insect control within their ecosystems.

24. Yellow-Legged Gull

Yellow-Legged Gull

Scientific name: Larus michahellis

Type of animal: Bird

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 15 to 20 years

Habitat: Yellow-Legged Gulls are primarily found in coastal regions and islands in the Mediterranean Sea. They inhabit rocky cliffs, sandy beaches, and coastal wetlands.

Diet: Yellow-Legged Gulls are opportunistic feeders with a varied diet. They primarily feed on fish, small mammals, insects, crustaceans, and carrion. They are also known to scavenge for food in garbage dumps and around fishing boats.

Fun Fact: The Yellow-Legged Gull is known for its distinctive bright yellow legs, which is one of its identifying features. Another interesting fact is that they are highly adaptable and have been observed nesting on rooftops in urban areas, taking advantage of human structures for nesting sites. 

The Yellow-Legged Gull is a species of gull found primarily in coastal regions of Europe. It is characterized by its yellow legs and bill, pale gray back, and white head and underparts. These gulls are opportunistic feeders, scavenging for food and also hunting small prey.

25. Yellow-Bellied Weasel

Yellow-Bellied Weasel

Scientific name: Mustela kathiah

Type of animal: Mammal

Phylum: Chordata

Average lifespan: 2 to 4 years 

Habitat: Yellow-bellied weasels are found in parts of Southeast Asia, including countries like India, Bhutan, Nepal, and Myanmar. They inhabit various habitats, such as forests, grasslands, and shrublands.

Diet: These weasels are carnivorous and primarily feed on small mammals, birds, eggs, reptiles, and insects. Their diet can vary depending on the availability of prey in their habitat.

Fun Fact: Yellow-bellied weasels have a distinctive yellow or orange-colored belly, which gives them their common name. This feature helps to differentiate them from other weasel species. 

The Yellow-Bellied Weasel is a small carnivorous mammal found in North America. It has a slender body, yellowish belly, and brown fur with a distinctive white patch on its throat. This agile predator primarily feeds on rodents, birds, and insects.

You May Like Animals List by Color:

Animals By Color

Final Thoughts

Now that you have a deeper understanding of animals that start with Y, you can show off your newfound knowledge of the animal kingdom to your peers. However, the main purpose of these articles is to show you how diverse the world of animals truly is. At the end of the day, the more we know about them, the better we will learn about cohabiting with these majestic creatures.

Oval@3x 2

Don’t miss these tips!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.