Animals / Wildlife: Most Popular Articles
An introduction to the six basic groups of animals including amphibians, birds, fishes, invertebrates, mammals, and reptiles.
A list of the largest species in each group of mammals that inhabit our planet today.
An A to Z list of animal profiles available in The Animal Encyclopedia, sorted alphabetically by scientific name.
A list of my top ten favorite conservation organizations that work to protect animals and wildlife around the world.
An A to Z list of animal profiles available in The Animal Encyclopedia, sorted alphabetically by common name.
Facts about owls, a group of birds known for their distinct calls, nocturnal habits, and silent flight.
All living organisms can be sorted into one of two groups depending on the fundamental structure of their cells. These two groups are the prokaryotes and the eukaryotes.
The following is an A to Z list of mammal profiles available, sorted alphabetically.
Biomes are large regions of the earth that share similar characteristics such as climate, soils, precipitation, plants, and animals.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed in the face of species loss and habitat destruction. Here is a list of things you can do to help protect wildlife.
Learn about the key characteristics of animals including multicellularity, eukaryotic cells, sexual reproduction, movement, and more.
Definition of endangered species, a term used to refer to a species in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
A list of some of the animals that inhabit North America including the nine-banded armadillo, tufted titmouse, caribou, monarch butterfly, and more.
Learn facts about frogs and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the characteristics make them different from other vertebrates.
A list of some of the animals that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef including sea birds, mollusks, marine mammals, marine reptiles, and more.
A brief overview of the history of life from the time the first life evolved until the present day. Page 2.
Mammals display a remarkable array of adaptations, some of which (hair, mammary glands, specialized ear bones) are shared by no other animal groups.
Profile of arthropods, a group of invertebrates that includes insects, spiders, crustaceans, scorpions, centipedes, and many others.
An introduction to six basic groups of invertebrates including arthropods, cnidarians, echinoderms, mollusks, segmented worms, and sponges.
Facts about bears, a group of carnivores known for their burly build, impressive agility and, in some species, their winter sleep habits.
A list of animals of the Amazon River basin in South America including harpy eagles, three-toed sloths, toucans, and more.
Mammals are a group of tetrapods that includes bats, carnivores, cetaceans, elephants, hoofed mammals, primates, monotremes, marsupials, and rodents.
In this photographic guide, find out more about cats, their classification, adaptations, and natural history.
An introduction to the basic mammal groups including aardvarks, bats, carnivores, cetaceans, elephants, marsupials, primates, rodents, and many others.
Facts about birds, a group of vertebrates that includes nearly 10,000 species that are unique for their feathers and furculas, also know as wishbones.
From clouds of ink to chromatophores, there's more to octopi than eight arms.
Learn interesting facts about dolphins and find out about the characteristics make them different from other animal groups, their life cycle and their evolutionary history.
Turtle eating habits are varied--what they eat depends on the available food sources, the habitat in which the turtle lives and the turtle's behavior.
Learn interesting facts about jellyfish and find out about the characteristics make them different from other cnidarian groups, their life cycle and their evolutionary history.
Facts about giraffes, a group of mammals that are best known for their tall profile, long neck, and the distinct patchwork pattern of their fur.
Profile of molluscs, a group of invertebrates that includes squid, octopuses, cuttlefish, nudibranchs, snails, slugs, limpets, mussels, and many more.
Lions are the largest of all African cats. They are the second largest cat species worldwide, smaller than only the tiger. Lions range in color from nearly white to tawny yellow, ash brown, ochre, and deep orange-brown. They have a tuft of dark fur at the tip of their tail.
Cnidarians are diverse and come in many shapes and sizes but there are some basic features of their anatomy that most members of the group share in common.
Descent with modification refers to the passing on of traits from parent organisms to their offspring.
Learn interesting facts about mammals and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the characteristics make them different from other animal groups.
Animals' bodies are made up of various organ systems, groups of organs that work together to perform a function.
Endangered animals are species or populations that are at risk of becoming extinct.
The most recognized image of a jellyfish is that of the adult jellyfish, with its bell-shaped body and long tentacles.
Definition of lion pride, a term that refers to a group of line that typically includes about five females and two males and their young.
One criteria by which all animals are described is whether or not they have a backbone. This article explores facts about vertebrates and invertebrates.
An article examining how scientists estimate and count the number of animals that live on our planet today.
Learn interesting facts about great horned owls and find out about the characteristics make them different from other animal groups, their life cycle and their evolutionary history.
Profile of echinoderms, a diverse group of marine invertebrates comprising approximately 6000 species.
Definition of habitat destruction, a term that is used to describe the process by which natural habitat is damaged or destroyed.
Explore the basic characteristics that are shared by all reptiles—from snakes and lizards to crocodiles and turtles.
Learn interesting facts about invertebrates and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the characteristics make them different from other animal groups.
Learn interesting facts about reptiles and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the characteristics make them different from other animal groups.
Profile of carnivores, a group of mammals that includes dogs and their relatives, bears, racoons, mustelids, civits, hyenas, aardwolf, and cats.
Profile of insects, a highly successful group of animals that accounts for more species of animals than any other class of animals.
Put your animal identification skills to the test in this quiz.
Chordates are a group of animals that includes more than 75,000 species. Chordates are divided into three groups: vertebrates, tunicates, lancelets.
Profile of sponges, a group of simple aquatic invertebrates that include glass sponges, demisponges, and calcareous sponges.
The life cycle of a frog consists of three stages: egg, larva, and adult. As the frog grows it moves through these stages in a process known as metamorphosis. Page 4.
Definition of a niche, a term used to describe the role an organism or population plays within its community or ecosystem.
Learn interesting facts about marsupials and find out about the characteristics make them different from other animal groups, their life cycle and their evolutionary history.
The term species can be defined as a group of individual organisms that are capable of interbreeding to produce fertile offspring in nature.
Populations are groups of individuals belonging to the same species that live in a shared region at the same time.
Zoology is the study of animals; yet this definition implies a simplicity that does not exist; instead, zoology is a complex discipline, drawing upon a diverse body of scientific observation and theory.
Birds are vertebrates that have four limbs, wings, feathers, hollow bones and other adaptations for an aerial lifestyle.
Of all animals, birds are among the most varied in color, shape and size. In this gallery we'll catch a glimpse of a small handful of the many birds that can claim to be the cutest of their kind.
A heterotroph is an organism that is unable to obtain its carbon from carbon dioxide. Instead, heterotrophs obtain carbon from organic material such as other organisms, living or dead.
The natural world is characterized by many complex interactions. Individuals belong, in turn, to populations, species, communities, and ecosystems.
In this article, you'll learn interesting facts about arthropods and find out about their unique characteristics, their life cycle and their evolutionary history.
Reptiles are a group of vertebrates that colonized terrestrial habitats more extensively than their amphibian ancestors.
An overview of vertebrate evolution that explores the key developments in the evolution of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
Elephants' trunks are muscular, flexible extensions of their upper lip and nose. To drink, elephants suck water up into their trunk
The aquatic biome consists of habitats around the world that are dominated by water, from tropical reefs, to brackish mangroves, to Arctic lakes.
An introduction to the four basic groups of reptiles including crocodilians, lizards, snakes and turtles.
A keystone species is a species that plays a critical role in the structure of an ecological community and whose influence is greater than expected.
Learn interesting facts about frogs and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the characteristics make them different from other amphibian groups.
Animals are multicellular organisms that are capable of locomotion and that rely on other organisms to obtain their nourishment.
During the Devonian Period, about 375 million years ago, a group of vertebrates clamoured their way out of the water and onto land.
Pictures of reptiles, including reptile photos such as anoles, chamelons, geckos, alligators, turtles, snakes and more.
Cats belong to the group of vertebrates known as mammals. Within the mammals cats are classified with other meat eaters in the Order Carnivora (known commonly as 'carnivores'). Page 3.
Profile of elephants, a group of mammals that are noted for their large size, massive skull, and long muscular trunk.
An introduction to the three basic groups of amphibians including salamanders and newts, caecilians, and frogs and toads.
Profile of the lion, a species of large cat that has a buff colored coat, white underparts, and a long tail that ends in a black tuft of fur.
Vertebrates are a group of chordates that includes lampreys, mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fishes.
Profile of the Appalachian Mountain Range, an ancient band of mountains that stretches in a southwestern arc from Newfoundland to Alabama.
Facts about zebras, a group of equids with a distinct black and white striping pattern.
To understand animals and their biology, it helps to understand the cells, tissues, organs and organ systems that comprise them.
Profile of the deciduous forest, a type of forest in which the trees shed their leaves during the cold months of the year.
Profile of jellyfish, a group of carnivorous cnidarians with a bell-shaped body and tentacles.
Profile of bony fishes, a group of vertebrates characterized by having a bony skeleton unlike the cartilaginous fishes whose skeleton consists of cartilage.
Bird characteristics include numerous adaptations for flight such as feathers, a furcula and hollow bones. This article explores the key characteristics that together distinguish birds from other animal groups.
Learn interesting facts about animals and find out about the characteristics make them different from other groups of living organisms.
Living organisms face a constant barrage of external stresses or threats that challenge their ability to survive and reproduce.
An introduction to the 30 basic groups of birds including birds of prey, buttonquails, gamebirds, herons, hummingbirds, owls, rheas, and many others.
Learn interesting facts about fishes and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the characteristics make them different from other animal groups.
Profile of tigers, the largest and most powerful of all cats that have a distinct orange coat, black stripes and white markings.
Profile of perching birds, a group of birds known for their specialized feet and the complex vocalizations and songs.
Domestication is the process by which humans take wild species and acclimatize them to breeding and surviving in captivity.
Learn interesting facts about snowy owls and find out about the characteristics make them different from other owls, their life cycle and their evolutionary history.
Tigers are the largest and most powerful of all cats. They are extremely agile despite their bulk and can leap between 8 and 10 meters in a single bound. They are also among the most recognizable of cats thanks to their distinct orange coat, black stripes and white markings.
Amphibians are a group of tetrapods that include modern-day frogs and toads, caecilians, and newts and salamanders.
The following is an A to Z list of animal profiles available, sorted by animal group.
A first step to understanding individual animals and populations of animals is to understand the relationship they have with their environment.
Profile of cartilaginous fishes, a group of fishes that includes the largest and most formidable marine predators alive today -- sharks.
The following is an A to Z list of mammal profiles available, sorted alphabetically by scientific name.
Molluscs are invertebrates that include animals such as squid, octopuses, cuttlefish, nudibranchs, snails, slugs, limpets, sea hares, mussels, clams, oysters, scallops, as well as many lesser known creatures.
Vipers are a group of snakes that include true vipers, bush vipers, rattlesnakes, pit vipers, adders and night adders.
Waves give rhythm to the ocean. They transport energy over vast distances. Where they make landfall, waves help to sculpt a unique and dynamic mosaic of coastal habitats.
Cats are a group of carnivores that includes domestic cats, tigers, ocelots, lions, jaguars, mountain lions, lynx, leopards, and many other groups.
Put your animal identification skills to the test in this quiz.
Sexual dimorphism is the difference in form between male and female members of the same species.
Mouse-like rodents are a group of rodents that differ from other rodents in the arrangement of their jaw muscles and the structure of their teeth.
What reptiles eat differs from species to species but here you'll find out about some of the general dietary trends within the four subgroups of reptiles.
The critically endangered black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) inhabits eastern and southern Africa. The black rhinoceros has poor eyesight but acute hearing and sense of smell. It has a hooked upper lip that enables it to grasp vegetation and strip leaves from stems and branches.
A guide to the different kinds of binocular technology and their many features and how to select what you need for quality, comfort, ease, and price.
Pictures of invertebrates including horseshoe crabs, jellyfish, ladybugs, snails, spiders, octopus, chambered nautiluses, mantises, and more.
Pictures of arthropods including spiders, scorpions, horseshoe crabs, katydids, beetles, millipedes, and more.
Desertification is the development of desert-like conditions in regions that have experienced human disturbance such as deforestation, overgrazing, or poorly managed agriculture.
The cats of Africa include the caracal, serval, cheetah, lion, and leopard. Page 8.
Profile of The Nature Conservancy, a conservation group that works with governments, communities, and others to solve conservation challenges.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is a global-scale conservation organization that works in 100 countries and consists of nearly 5 million members worldwide.
Feathers are a unique adaptation of birds. Feathers are made up of keratin, an insoluble protein that is also found in mammalian hair and reptilian scales.
Endangered species are at risk of extinction due to threats such as habitat destruction, climate change, or the ill effects of invasive species.
Learn interesting facts about carnivores and find out about the characteristics make them different from other mammals, their life cycle and their evolutionary history.
Giant sequoias, blue whales, Komodo dragons. Find out more about these and other sizable creatures in this article.
Mature forests often have several distinct layers including the forest floor, herb layer, shrub layer, understory, canopy, and emergents.
Pictures of owls, including owl photos such as snowy owls, northern saw whet owls, great horned owls, barn owls and more.
Pictures of mammals, including mammal photos such as pronghorn, meerkats lions, koalas, hippopotamuses, dolphins and more.
Segmented worms are bilaterally symmetrical invertebrates that include more than 12,000 species such as earthworms, ragworms and leeches.
For centuries, the naming and classification of living organisms into groups has been an integral part of the study of nature.
Net primary production (NPP) is the total energy (or nutrients) accumulated by an ecological unit of interest (such as an organism, a population, or an entire community).
The term fish is used to refer to any aquatic vertebrate that has a skin covered with scales, two sets of paired fins, some unpaired fins, and a set of gills.
An introduction to the basic fish groups including bony fishes and cartilaginous fishes.
Prokaryotes are organisms made up of cells that lack a cell nucleus or any membrane-encased organelles.
Second page of 10-part introduction on cats. This part discusses traits, like claws, of the cat that make them adapt to many environments.
Monotremes are a group of mammals that include echidnas and the platypus. This profile explores basic facts about monotremes including how they are classified, what they eat, where they live and the characteristics that make them different from other mammal groups.
Scientists have identified nearly one million living species of invertebrates, but this is only a small fraction of the invertebrates alive today.
The cell is a fundamental component of our modern definition of life and living things. The cell is regarded as the basic building block of life and is used in the elusive definition of what it means to be 'alive'.
Molluscs are a group of invertebrates known for their remarkable diversity—both sheer number of species as well as variety of form. Learn interesting facts about mollusks and find out about the characteristics make them different from other animal groups.
The term evolution is defined as simply change over time. But when applied to lifeforms, the term evolution--or more precisely biological evolution--takes on an added dimension of meaning. Biological evolution is defined as descent with modification.
Profile of the Arctic wolf, a subspecies of grey wolf that lives in the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, and northern Greenland.
Lions are the largest of all African cats. They are the second largest cat species worldwide, smaller than only the tiger.
Profile of the African elephant, the largest living land mammal and one three species of elephants alive today.
Pictures of Florida panthers, an endangered subspecies of panther that scientists believe are healthier and fitter than they were fifteen years ago. They have higher genetic diversity, better immunity to disease, and fewer genetic abnormalities. They suffer fewer heart defects, enjoy higher fertility and are better able to climb trees.
Put your bird identification skills to the test in this quiz.
Pictures of amphibians including red-eyed tree frogs, axolotl, green tree frogs, California newts, leopard frogs, and more.
Profile of turtles, a group of reptiles best known for the hard shell which is a modification of their ribcage and vertebral column.
Crustaceans are a group of arthropods that includes lobsters, crabs, and many other groups. There are about 42,000 species of crustaceans alive today.
Pelicans and their relatives include the blue-footed booby, brown pelican, red-billed tropicbird, cormorants, gannets, and the great frigatebird. Pelicaniformes have webbed feet and are well adapted to catching fish, their primary food source. Many species dive or swim underwater to capture their prey.
Definition of the scientific method, a series of steps scientists take to acquire, test, and describe the natural world.
The Subfamily Felinae, or the small cats, are a diverse group of carnivores. Page 4.
Profile of bivalves, a group of molluscs that include clams, scallops, oysters, mussels, borers, trough shells and many others.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) supports zoos and aquariums while promoting environmental education and conservation of wild populations and their habitats.
Profile of crocodilians, a group of large reptiles that includes crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and the gharial.
Profile of owls, a group of birds that have strong talons, a downward-curved bill, acute hearing, and keen eyesight.
A bird is an animal that belongs to the Class Aves.