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Animals / Wildlife: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
The Big 6: The Basic Animal Groups
An introduction to the six basic groups of animals including amphibians, birds, fishes, invertebrates, mammals, and reptiles.
The 10 Largest Living Mammals
A list of the largest species in each group of mammals that inhabit our planet today.
Animal Profiles: An A to Z List By Scientific...
An A to Z list of animal profiles available in The Animal Encyclopedia, sorted alphabetically by scientific name.
Top 10 Wildlife Conservation Organizations
A list of my top ten favorite conservation organizations that work to protect animals and wildlife around the world.
Animal Profiles: An A to Z List by Common Name
An A to Z list of animal profiles available in The Animal Encyclopedia, sorted alphabetically by common name.
Give A Hoot: Learn 10 Fantastic Facts About Owls
Facts about owls, a group of birds known for their distinct calls, nocturnal habits, and silent flight.
What's the Difference Between Prokaryote and...
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.
Mammal Profiles Sorted by Common Name
The following is an A to Z list of mammal profiles available, sorted alphabetically.
The 5 Basic Biomes of the World
Biomes are large regions of the earth that share similar characteristics such as climate, soils, precipitation, plants, and animals.
10 Simple Things You Can Do to Protect 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.
What Makes an Animal an Animal?
Learn about the key characteristics of animals including multicellularity, eukaryotic cells, sexual reproduction, movement, and more.
What Defines an Endangered Species?
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.
10 Cool North American Animals
A list of some of the animals that inhabit North America including the nine-banded armadillo, tufted titmouse, caribou, monarch butterfly, and more.
Fast Facts About Amphibians
Learn facts about frogs and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the characteristics make them different from other vertebrates.
7 Kinds of Animals Found at the Great Barrier...
A list of some of the animals that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef including sea birds, mollusks, marine mammals, marine reptiles, and more.
Evolution: The Basics and Beyond
A brief overview of the history of life from the time the first life evolved until the present day. Page 2.
The 8 Key Characteristics of Mammals
Mammals display a remarkable array of adaptations, some of which (hair, mammary glands, specialized ear bones) are shared by no other animal groups.
Arthropods: Centipedes, Millipedes, Spiders,...
Profile of arthropods, a group of invertebrates that includes insects, spiders, crustaceans, scorpions, centipedes, and many others.
The Basic Invertebrate Groups
An introduction to six basic groups of invertebrates including arthropods, cnidarians, echinoderms, mollusks, segmented worms, and sponges.
Cool Facts About Bears
Facts about bears, a group of carnivores known for their burly build, impressive agility and, in some species, their winter sleep habits.
Amazon River Basin Animals
A list of animals of the Amazon River basin in South America including harpy eagles, three-toed sloths, toucans, and more.
Mammals: The Furry Vertebrates
Mammals are a group of tetrapods that includes bats, carnivores, cetaceans, elephants, hoofed mammals, primates, monotremes, marsupials, and rodents.
Lions, Tigers, Leopards, Cheetahs and Other Cats
In this photographic guide, find out more about cats, their classification, adaptations, and natural history.
Basic Mammal Groups - Guide to Animal...
An introduction to the basic mammal groups including aardvarks, bats, carnivores, cetaceans, elephants, marsupials, primates, rodents, and many others.
Facts You Should Know About Birds
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.
Beyond the Arms: 11 Facts about Octopi:
From clouds of ink to chromatophores, there's more to octopi than eight arms.
What You Probably Don’t Know About Dolphins
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 Tidbits: What Do Turtles Eat?
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.
10 Facts About Jellyfish
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.
10 Little-Known Facts About Giraffes
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.
What You Should Know About Molluscs
Profile of molluscs, a group of invertebrates that includes squid, octopuses, cuttlefish, nudibranchs, snails, slugs, limpets, mussels, and many more.
Lion Pictures
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.
What's a Cnidarian?
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.
What Is Descent with Modification?
Descent with modification refers to the passing on of traits from parent organisms to their offspring.
Fast Facts About Mammals
Learn interesting facts about mammals and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the characteristics make them different from other animal groups.
Organ Systems in Animals
Animals' bodies are made up of various organ systems, groups of organs that work together to perform a function.
Endangered Animals
Endangered animals are species or populations that are at risk of becoming extinct.
What Life Is Like for a Jellyfish
The most recognized image of a jellyfish is that of the adult jellyfish, with its bell-shaped body and long tentacles.
How a Pride of Lions Operates
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.
Vertebrates Versus Invertebrates
One criteria by which all animals are described is whether or not they have a backbone. This article explores facts about vertebrates and invertebrates.
How Many Animal Species Are There on Earth?
An article examining how scientists estimate and count the number of animals that live on our planet today.
Great Facts About Great Horned Owls
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.
Do You Know What an Echinoderm Is?
Profile of echinoderms, a diverse group of marine invertebrates comprising approximately 6000 species.
Why Habitat Destruction Is So Harmful
Definition of habitat destruction, a term that is used to describe the process by which natural habitat is damaged or destroyed.
Reptile Characteristics: Scales, Scutes, and...
Explore the basic characteristics that are shared by all reptiles—from snakes and lizards to crocodiles and turtles.
Fast Facts About Invertebrates
Learn interesting facts about invertebrates and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the characteristics make them different from other animal groups.
What You Probably Don’t Know About Reptiles
Learn interesting facts about reptiles and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the characteristics make them different from other animal groups.
Fact Sheet: Carnivores - Racoons, Fur Seals,...
Profile of carnivores, a group of mammals that includes dogs and their relatives, bears, racoons, mustelids, civits, hyenas, aardwolf, and cats.
Incredible Insects
Profile of insects, a highly successful group of animals that accounts for more species of animals than any other class of animals.
Quiz - 6 Basic Animal Groups
Put your animal identification skills to the test in this quiz.
What’s a Chordate? You’re a Chordate
Chordates are a group of animals that includes more than 75,000 species. Chordates are divided into three groups: vertebrates, tunicates, lancelets.
Sponges: Glass Sponges, Demosponges, and...
Profile of sponges, a group of simple aquatic invertebrates that include glass sponges, demisponges, and calcareous sponges.
Learn About the Stages in a Frog's Life
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.
Why Species Have Niches
Definition of a niche, a term used to describe the role an organism or population plays within its community or ecosystem.
Get the Facts on Marsupials
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.
Can You Define “Species”?
The term species can be defined as a group of individual organisms that are capable of interbreeding to produce fertile offspring in nature.
Understanding Population Biology
Populations are groups of individuals belonging to the same species that live in a shared region at the same time.
Defining Zoology
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.
Learn the Basics About Birds
Birds are vertebrates that have four limbs, wings, feathers, hollow bones and other adaptations for an aerial lifestyle.
Top 10 Cute Birds
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.
Why You’re a Heterotroph
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.
How Communities and Ecosystems Interact
The natural world is characterized by many complex interactions. Individuals belong, in turn, to populations, species, communities, and ecosystems.
10 Interesting Facts About Arthropods
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: Scaly and Cold-Blooded, Yet...
Reptiles are a group of vertebrates that colonized terrestrial habitats more extensively than their amphibian ancestors.
The Basics of Vertebrate Evolution
An overview of vertebrate evolution that explores the key developments in the evolution of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
About Elephants' Trunks
Elephants' trunks are muscular, flexible extensions of their upper lip and nose. To drink, elephants suck water up into their trunk
Aquatic Biome: Tropical Reefs, Brackish...
The aquatic biome consists of habitats around the world that are dominated by water, from tropical reefs, to brackish mangroves, to Arctic lakes.
Learn the Basic Reptile Groups
An introduction to the four basic groups of reptiles including crocodilians, lizards, snakes and turtles.
Why Keystone Species Are So Important
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.
Fast Facts About Frogs
Learn interesting facts about frogs and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the characteristics make them different from other amphibian groups.
Animals: Arthropods, Chordates, Molluscs,...
Animals are multicellular organisms that are capable of locomotion and that rely on other organisms to obtain their nourishment.
Storming the Beaches: Tetrapods And The Tricky...
During the Devonian Period, about 375 million years ago, a group of vertebrates clamoured their way out of the water and onto land.
Reptile Pictures
Pictures of reptiles, including reptile photos such as anoles, chamelons, geckos, alligators, turtles, snakes and more.
Classification of Cats
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.
What to Know About Elephants
Profile of elephants, a group of mammals that are noted for their large size, massive skull, and long muscular trunk.
Learn Your Basic Amphibian Groups
An introduction to the three basic groups of amphibians including salamanders and newts, caecilians, and frogs and toads.
Learn About Lions
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: Famous for Their Backbones
Vertebrates are a group of chordates that includes lampreys, mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fishes.
Learn About Appalachian Mountain Habitat
Profile of the Appalachian Mountain Range, an ancient band of mountains that stretches in a southwestern arc from Newfoundland to Alabama.
Things You Probably Don’t Know About Zebras
Facts about zebras, a group of equids with a distinct black and white striping pattern.
Animal Cells, Tissues, Organs and Organ Systems
To understand animals and their biology, it helps to understand the cells, tissues, organs and organ systems that comprise them.
What’s a Deciduous Forest?
Profile of the deciduous forest, a type of forest in which the trees shed their leaves during the cold months of the year.
What You Should Know About Jellyfish
Profile of jellyfish, a group of carnivorous cnidarians with a bell-shaped body and tentacles.
Bony Fishes: Ray-Finned Fishes and Lobe-Finned...
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: Feathers, Flight, and More
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.
10 Essential Facts About Animals
Learn interesting facts about animals and find out about the characteristics make them different from other groups of living organisms.
The Biggest Threats to Animals and Wildlife
Living organisms face a constant barrage of external stresses or threats that challenge their ability to survive and reproduce.
30 Groups of Birdies: The Basic Bird Groups
An introduction to the 30 basic groups of birds including birds of prey, buttonquails, gamebirds, herons, hummingbirds, owls, rheas, and many others.
Fast Facts About Fish
Learn interesting facts about fishes and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the characteristics make them different from other animal groups.
What to Know About Tigers
Profile of tigers, the largest and most powerful of all cats that have a distinct orange coat, black stripes and white markings.
Perching Birds: Wagtails, Swallows, Crowas,...
Profile of perching birds, a group of birds known for their specialized feet and the complex vocalizations and songs.
Domestication of Horses
Domestication is the process by which humans take wild species and acclimatize them to breeding and surviving in captivity.
Interesting Facts About Snowy Owls
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.
Tiger Pictures
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.
Get Educated About Amphibians
Amphibians are a group of tetrapods that include modern-day frogs and toads, caecilians, and newts and salamanders.
Animal Profiles from A to Z
The following is an A to Z list of animal profiles available, sorted by animal group.
Animal Environments
A first step to understanding individual animals and populations of animals is to understand the relationship they have with their environment.
Cartilaginous Fish - Chondrichthyes - The...
Profile of cartilaginous fishes, a group of fishes that includes the largest and most formidable marine predators alive today -- sharks.
Mammal Profiles - An A to Z List of Mammals
The following is an A to Z list of mammal profiles available, sorted alphabetically by scientific name.
10 Interesting Facts About Molluscs
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: The Notorious, Venomous, Long-Fanged...
Vipers are a group of snakes that include true vipers, bush vipers, rattlesnakes, pit vipers, adders and night adders.
How Waves and Tides Work
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: The Perfect Predators
Cats are a group of carnivores that includes domestic cats, tigers, ocelots, lions, jaguars, mountain lions, lynx, leopards, and many other groups.
Quiz - Basic Mammal Groups
Put your animal identification skills to the test in this quiz.
Why Males and Females Look Different
Sexual dimorphism is the difference in form between male and female members of the same species.
Mouse-Like Rodents: Rodents With Mighty Medial...
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.
The Crazy Things Reptiles Eat
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.
Black Rhinoceros
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.
How to Choose the Right Binoculars
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.
Invertebrate Pictures
Pictures of invertebrates including horseshoe crabs, jellyfish, ladybugs, snails, spiders, octopus, chambered nautiluses, mantises, and more.
Arthropod Pictures
Pictures of arthropods including spiders, scorpions, horseshoe crabs, katydids, beetles, millipedes, and more.
What Is Desertification?
Desertification is the development of desert-like conditions in regions that have experienced human disturbance such as deforestation, overgrazing, or poorly managed agriculture.
Cats of Africa - Caracal, Serval, Cheetah,...
The cats of Africa include the caracal, serval, cheetah, lion, and leopard. Page 8.
The Nature Conservancy
Profile of The Nature Conservancy, a conservation group that works with governments, communities, and others to solve conservation challenges.
World Wildlife Fund
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: Their Structure and Function
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: Frequently Asked Questions
Endangered species are at risk of extinction due to threats such as habitat destruction, climate change, or the ill effects of invasive species.
Facts About Carnivores
Learn interesting facts about carnivores and find out about the characteristics make them different from other mammals, their life cycle and their evolutionary history.
The Largest Organisms on Earth
Giant sequoias, blue whales, Komodo dragons. Find out more about these and other sizable creatures in this article.
From Forest Floor to Canopy: The Layers of a...
Mature forests often have several distinct layers including the forest floor, herb layer, shrub layer, understory, canopy, and emergents.
Owl Pictures
Pictures of owls, including owl photos such as snowy owls, northern saw whet owls, great horned owls, barn owls and more.
Mammal Pictures
Pictures of mammals, including mammal photos such as pronghorn, meerkats lions, koalas, hippopotamuses, dolphins and more.
Segmented Worms: More Than Merely Earthworms
Segmented worms are bilaterally symmetrical invertebrates that include more than 12,000 species such as earthworms, ragworms and leeches.
How Animals and Wildlife are Classified
For centuries, the naming and classification of living organisms into groups has been an integral part of the study of nature.
Net Primary Production
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).
What Are Fish?
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.
Learn Your Fish Groups
An introduction to the basic fish groups including bony fishes and cartilaginous fishes.
Prokaryote
Prokaryotes are organisms made up of cells that lack a cell nucleus or any membrane-encased organelles.
A Guide to Cats
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
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.
Invertebrates: The Animal Kingdom's Spineless...
Scientists have identified nearly one million living species of invertebrates, but this is only a small fraction of the invertebrates alive today.
The Anatomy of a Cell
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'.
Facts About Molluscs
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.
Can You Define Evolution?
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.
Learn About the Arctic Wolf
Profile of the Arctic wolf, a subspecies of grey wolf that lives in the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, and northern Greenland.
Lion Portrait
Lions are the largest of all African cats. They are the second largest cat species worldwide, smaller than only the tiger.
What You Should Know About African Elephants
Profile of the African elephant, the largest living land mammal and one three species of elephants alive today.
Florida Panther Pictures
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.
Quiz - Birds From Around the World
Put your bird identification skills to the test in this quiz.
Amphibian Pictures
Pictures of amphibians including red-eyed tree frogs, axolotl, green tree frogs, California newts, leopard frogs, and more.
Turtles: From Side-Necked Turtles to Hidden-Nec...
Profile of turtles, a group of reptiles best known for the hard shell which is a modification of their ribcage and vertebral column.
Crustaceans - Shrimp, Crabs, Barnacles,...
Crustaceans are a group of arthropods that includes lobsters, crabs, and many other groups. There are about 42,000 species of crustaceans alive today.
Facts About Pelicans
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.
Scientific Method
Definition of the scientific method, a series of steps scientists take to acquire, test, and describe the natural world.
About Cheetahs, Lynxes, Caracal and Other Small...
The Subfamily Felinae, or the small cats, are a diverse group of carnivores. Page 4.
Fact Sheet: Bivalves - Cockles, Mussels,...
Profile of bivalves, a group of molluscs that include clams, scallops, oysters, mussels, borers, trough shells and many others.
Wildlife Conservation Society
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) supports zoos and aquariums while promoting environmental education and conservation of wild populations and their habitats.
Crocodilians: Alligators, Caimans, Gharials,...
Profile of crocodilians, a group of large reptiles that includes crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and the gharial.
Owls
Profile of owls, a group of birds that have strong talons, a downward-curved bill, acute hearing, and keen eyesight.
Bird
A bird is an animal that belongs to the Class Aves.
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