A-z - Animals

10 Most Popular and Popular Animals in the World

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  • Without a doubt, dogs are one of the most popular animals. They're not just popular—historically, the symbiotic relationship between dogs and humans has helped both species survive.
  • The second most popular animal is the cat. Although they are more independent than the average dog, cats can also be sensitive and loving companions full of personalities.
  • Chicken is the third most popular animal. In fact, there are far more of them than the global population, and they symbolize fertility and nurturing.

We have a natural love for animals. Animals inspire our compassion and curiosity. That's why zoos and adventures are so popular. It seems our favorite animals can never get enough.

Here is a list of 10 of the most popular and beloved animals in the world, along with fun facts and interesting information about why we love them so much.

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Favorite and most popular animals monkeys
Monkeys can recognize their own reflection in mirrors

© Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock.com

Monkeys We Love So Much What makes them one of our favorite animals?

Studies have shown that humans are almost indistinguishable from monkeys. More than 95% of our DNA is the same. They shook their heads and said "no". Unlike most popular animals, monkeys recognize their own mirror reflections. They will gesture and laugh when tickled. Monkeys smoke, drink coffee and eat when they are stressed.

Their behavior and intelligence make them so close to humans that monkeys are prime candidates for the study of human behaviour. They have what it takes to be service animals and play a part in the elaborate training that takes animals into outer space.

No wonder monkeys are so popular in zoos all over the world. The Smithsonian's National Zoo is a great place to see monkeys.

Here's a great place to learn more about why monkeys make our list of popular animals.

Favorite and Most Popular Animal: Lion
Lions are community-minded and highly social

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Lions have been the most popular animals in the world for thousands of years. Emperors and tyrants flaunted them as accessories of the rich. Today, lions are the second largest cats in the world, after tigers.

Despite what we hear to the contrary, lions are not angry and aggressive. Animals that live in groups, lions live in groups of up to 30. The male is responsible for guarding the territory and the young. They fend off intruders, mark spots with urine, and growl to avoid perceived threats.

In prides, females conduct the hunt. Smaller and more agile than males, they work as a team to bring down their prey. The lionesses form a semicircle and gather towards their prey.

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Cubs are very vulnerable. Easy prey for leopards, hyenas and jackals.

The Bronx Zoo is a great place to see these big cats. You can also learn more about them here.

Favorite and Most Popular Animal: Sharks
Sharks are generally cold-blooded, except for great whites, which are warm-blooded

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Once a year, TV viewers go crazy over a show about sharks.

Mistaken for fearsome beasts, the truth is that these popular animals are responsible for some human deaths. Horses and cattle are responsible for more human deaths each year.

There are over 500 species of sharks, over 140 of which are listed as endangered. Sharks play an important role in marine ecosystems. They eat aquatic organisms that balance the food chain.

Sharks live beneath tropical coral reefs, deep blue oceans and arctic ice. There are unique animals such as the hammerhead shark and the goblin, a bright pink skinned shark not to be missed.

Great white sharks are warm-blooded, while most sharks are as cold-blooded as the waters they swim in. This difference allows the great white to swim faster than its kin.

Interestingly, sharks have no bones. They're a special kind of fish called elasmobranchs , which means fish like this are made of cartilaginous tissue. Basically, the same material that makes up a human nose and an ear. Although sharks don't have bones, they can still fossilize because their skeletal cartilage deposits calcium and salt as they age.

The Georgia Aquarium is known for its unique shark environment.

For shark facts, check out these favorite animals.

Favorite and Most Popular Animal: Birds
Birds like hummingbirds and parrots have impressive memories

© Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock.com

On any list of the most popular animals, you'll find this bird.

Birds are vertebrates that have adapted to flight in order to survive. Some birds are flightless, such as penguins and ostriches, which are the largest birds in the world. The smallest is the hummingbird, two inches tall.

The bird's anatomy is designed for flight. The shape of the wing creates lift. The wing feathers are narrowed for balance. The basis of aircraft wing engineering follows the design of a bird's wing.

Since many birds, especially parrots, are experts at imitation, they fascinate people with their ability to "talk." Some birds, such as African gray parrots, can even decide on their favorite music. When they hear their favorite songs, they start dancing and singing. A famous African gray parrot named Alex has a vocabulary of about 100 words and phrases.

Birds are undoubtedly one of the most beloved creatures in the world. The best places to see these popular animals are bird sanctuaries.

You can find out more about the birds here.

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Favorite and Most Popular Animal: Bear
Most bears are omnivorous, have a sweet tooth and are very fond of honey

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Bears are solitary animals. They are only socialized during courtship or when young. There are eight species of bears, six of which are omnivorous. Outsiders are pandas eating bamboo and polar bears eating meat.

Despite their clumsy appearance, bears are fast. They had no problem keeping up with a horse, let alone a man. Bears act primarily by smell, as they have poor eyesight and hearing. Bears are good swimmers but poor climbers.

Besides polar bears and giant pandas, bears eat lots of ants, tree seeds, bees, nuts, berries, insect larvae, and even flowers. Interestingly, such a popular large animal can sustain itself on tiny amounts of food. They also love rodents, deer, fish, pigs and seals. Grizzly is known for his fishing skills. And, for the record, many bears do like honey.

You can find a variety of bears at the San Diego Zoo. Plus, get the scoop on bear market facts.

Favorite and Most Popular Animal: Fish
Fish are fascinating creatures, and brightly colored species are often popular as pets

©Przemek Iciak/Shutterstock.com

Fish play an important role in the world economy and culture. They are ingrained in legends and myths.

We love fish (Neon Tetra) and are afraid of fish (Shark). We cannot take our eyes off them. Whether it's a sparkling seahorse, goldfish or tuna, we're all there.

All fish, regardless of species, share two characteristics. First, they live in water. Two, they are vertebrates. After that, the difference is staggering. The eels were slimy and worm like. Salmon have gills and scales. Not all fish reproduce by laying eggs.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has more than 500 species of fish on display. Find out more details about these favorite animals here.

Favorite and Most Popular Animal: Horse
Horses were domesticated more than 5,000 years ago and have been working alongside humans ever since .

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Most equines in the world are domesticated. Mustangs are wild and are the result of domesticated ancestors in their bloodlines. Platts mustangs are real wild horses. It is an endangered species distributed in Mongolia.

Able to run within hours of birth, the horse is beloved for its representation of freedom. Of all the animals we ride or use for labor, the agile horse represents speed and agility. Its elegance and beauty fascinate us. This creature is soft and approachable, strong and gentle. These popular animals are deeply ingrained in our culture, religion and mythology.

While you can find or ride a horse anywhere, if you want to see wild horses, head to McCullough Peaks. Until then, read more about horses.

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Favorite and Most Popular Animal: Chicken
Domestic chickens first appeared in ancient Egypt

© Subbotina Anna/Shutterstock.com

There are tens of billions of chickens in the world. This makes them the most populous species on Earth, well ahead of the next best: humans.

Chickens were not originally bred for food, but for fighting cocks. This history makes the rooster a ferocious creature. The hen is a global symbol of fertility and nurturing. The rooster remains a symbol of masculinity.

Chickens were companions of the Roman army. According to legend, chickens are fortune tellers. In 249 BC, if a ship's chickens refused to eat, it meant the crew was about to go into battle and they would lose the race.

The Egyptians farmed chickens as a food source. They created the artificial hatching process. Production was a secret the Egyptians kept for centuries.

Farm-in-the-Zoo at the Lincoln Park Zoo has chickens.

Check here for more facts on how chickens made it to this list of popular animals.

Favorite and Most Popular Animal: Cats
Despite their independence, cats love human company

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Well, felines are number two on our list of most popular animals. But when someone is looking for a pet, they are actually the most popular animals in the world.

Cat lovers will tell you that cats can share traits, but each cat has its own personality. Much of its behavior stems from early experience or inexperience. Cats can be solitary animals but appreciate human company. Cats may need the outdoors. They are notorious bums.

These favorite animals require little maintenance. They don't necessarily need training, walking, supervised exercise, etc. But despite what some may think, cats do require care and attention. They'll adapt to a busy lifestyle, but that doesn't mean they don't need you.

Cats thrive on different interactions. They are as likely to accommodate busy households as they are to small one-person households. You can find out about your cat's personality with a little research or by talking to your veterinarian or breeder.

Get more information on cat breeds here.

Favorite and Most Popular Animal: Dogs
Very loyal and affectionate, dogs are the most popular animals and considered to be man's best friend

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History traces the dog back to small foxes that grew in size as the climate and weather changed. Genetic adaptations have given them greater hunting abilities. This eventually led to the species " Canis ". It was a gigantic wolf creature that resembled the animal on the heels of dog lovers the world over.

Dogs and humans evolved together. They cooperate and live better together. Each species has customized its own behavior for cohabitation.

Dogs keep an eye out for predators. They bark to warn us of a threat. The dog always followed the ancient man, and helped him get food, and the leftovers were enough.

Today, dogs are still man's best friend. Unlike a cat, your dog's fierce loyalty is shown in the way he listens, follows, obeys, protects, and more. Cats will never look at you the way dogs do.

Is it any wonder canines top our list of favorite animals?

For more information on dogs, read this.

rank animal
#1 puppy
#2 cat
#3 chicken
#4 horses
#5 fish
#6 Bear
#7 birds
#8 shark
#9 lion club
#10 monkey

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