The Animal Encyclopedia with Facts, Pictures, Definitions and More!


Discover the strongest, smartest and fastest animals in the world by searching below or scrolling through all of AZ's listed animals. We are the world's largest website for wildlife and pet lovers!

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We believe that if people know more about the creatures in the world, they will take better care of them. That's why we're adding new animals every day for you to discover! Use the search box below to learn about any animal or subscribe to our YouTube channel. Also be sure to check out our growing list of animal quizzes and web stories.

Discover your favorite animal today!

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7 main animals and their characteristics

There are many different types of animals in the world, but some of the largest categories include:


The official mammal class is mammal. Animals considered mammals include warm-blooded vertebrates with hair or fur, whose babies drink milk. Unlike other animal types such as birds and insects, all mammalian babies drink milk from their mother's body. This is one of the key ways to tell if an animal is a mammal.

See a full list of mammals.


Lizards, dinosaurs, crocodiles, turtles, and snakes—all belong to the ancient, stout class of animals known as reptiles. This is a diverse group with more than 10,000 different species that feature prominently in the fossil record. Once the dominant terrestrial vertebrates on Earth, reptiles still occupy nearly every ecosystem beyond the extreme north and south.

See a full list of reptiles.


Fish are aquatic vertebrates. They typically have gills, paired fins, a long body covered with scales, and tend to be cold-blooded. "Fish" is a term used to refer to lampreys, sharks, coelacanths, and ray-finned fishes, but is not a taxonomic group, it is a clade or group containing a common ancestor and all its descendants.

Check out the full fish list.


Birds are members of the class Aves, which includes more than 10,400 extant species. Their feathers distinguish them from all other kinds of animals; no other animal on Earth has them. If you see an animal with feathers, it is undoubtedly a bird. Like mammals, birds are warm-blooded vertebrates with four-chambered hearts. However, they are more closely related to reptiles and are thought to have evolved from dinosaurs.

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See the full list of birds.


The official classification of amphibians is amphibians. To receive the classification of amphibian, an animal must be a vertebrate, need water to survive, be cold-blooded, and spend time on land and in water. While other animals only live on land or in water, amphibians have the unique ability to thrive equally in both environments. Amphibians comprise more than 6,000 different species worldwide, but about 90 percent are frogs.

See a full list of amphibians.


The definition of an invertebrate is any animal without a backbone or backbone. The most prolific and easily identifiable members of the invertebrate family are insects. It is estimated that there may be more than 30 million species of invertebrates, representing 90-95% of all living things on Earth.

See a full list of invertebrates.


All insects belong to the taxonomic phylum Arthropoda and they are collectively known as arthropods. It's common to see this name misspelled as "anthropod," but that's not the correct term. They are found in nearly every environment on Earth and currently account for more than half of all known organisms in the world. Depending on the resources available, they go through many cycles of evolution.

See a full list of insects.

Explore wildlife species from around the world

We track thousands of animals from every continent and corner of the planet and counting every day!

  • African Animals – Africa is home to some of the most incredible and dangerous animals in the world.
  • Animals of Asia – Asia has the longest coastline in the world, as well as a wide variety of exotic animals, birds, etc.
  • Central American Animals – Discover nearly 400 different species of animals that we track in Central America today.
  • Eurasian Animals – Eurasia is home to some of the world's rarest animals such as the Siberian tiger and snow leopard.
  • European Animals – We track over 500 different animals in Europe, including wolves and bears.
  • North American Animals – North America is home to many beautiful national parks that house some of the rarest animals on Earth.
  • Marine (Ocean) Animals – Oceans and life coexist, from the smallest shrimp to the largest animal ever – the Blue Whale!
  • Oceania Animals – Oceania has many islands and is home to the highest concentration of marsupials in the world.
  • South American animals – home to stealthy jaguars, friendly capybaras and more!
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View the list of endangered and extinct animals

AZ Animals follows the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species definitions for threatened and endangered animals. Check out the list below to learn more about which animals need our help the most

  • Extinction – Species that no longer exist on Earth
  • Extinct in the wild – a species known to survive only in captivity or cultivation
  • Critically Endangered – Animals that face a very high risk of extinction in the wild
  • Endangered – animal species at high risk of extinction in the wild
  • Vulnerable – animal species at risk of extinction in the wild
  • Near Threatened – Species facing population challenges and may soon be on the verge of extinction
  • Least Concern – Animals with large populations not expected to be at risk of extinction in the near future
  • Insufficient data – we lack sufficient information to assess species at risk
  • Not assessed – animal species that have not yet been assessed

Animal Types Alphabetized: Explore the A to Z List of Animals

See a list of animals beginning with each letter, from A to Z. We track all types of animals such as lions and tigers, dogs and cats, and even dinosaurs and spiders. Choose your favorite letter below to see all the animals that start with it today.

Everything to Know About Pet Dogs, Cats, Birds and More

Some of the most popular types of animals on the planet are pets. Pets are domesticated animals that live with people or family members, usually in a house. The most common pets include dogs, cats, fish and birds, but there are also many amazing exotic pets such as reptiles, lizards and more! Horses, goats and pigs can also be pets.

Pet dog

Dogs are the most popular type of pet on the planet, with nearly 500 million of them worldwide. That's almost one dog for every 15 people on Earth! There are hundreds of different dog breeds. The Irish Wolfhound is the largest dog breed and was bred to hunt wolves. Chihuahuas are the smallest and were likely bred for companionship or hunting of small rodents. The most popular dog breeds are as follows.

pet cat

Cats are the second most popular pets on the planet, with nearly 400 million of them worldwide. That's almost one pet cat for every 20 people on Earth! You can read about hundreds of different cats, from big to small. The most popular cat breeds are as follows

abyssinian cat

One of the oldest cat breeds in the world!


One of the larger domestic cat breeds!

Pet Product Reviews

Pets are important members of our family and deserve to be cared for. The team reviews the latest research on pet health, consults on veterinary best practices, and works directly with veterinary health experts to review the best products for your dog, cat, and other pets. We're excited to share with you our expert pet product recommendations, including the best dog food, best cat food and the best aquarium for your pet fish

The latest animal news, facts, rankings and more!

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Animal Reference Guides and Educational Resources

We believe that if people know more about the animals in the world, they will take better care of them. That's why we're building the world's greatest animal encyclopedia, completely free. Please take a moment today to learn more about animals using these helpful guides and resources:

  • Reference Library – view useful information on conservation, taxonomy, animal evolution and more
  • Glossary – list of scientific and technical animal terms, including definitions
  • Animal Habitats – A comprehensive look at different animal habitats
  • Diets – define different animal diets such as omnivores, herbivores and carnivores with examples
  • Behavior – Learn all about animal intelligence, communication, communities, language, migration and more.