Animals/Wildlife: Most Popular Articles
An introduction to the six basic groups of animals including amphibians, birds, fishes, invertebrates, mammals, and reptiles.
All living organisms can be sorted into one of two groups depending on the fundamental structure of their cells - prokaryotes or eukaryotes.
Facts about owls, a group of birds known for their distinct calls, nocturnal habits, and silent flight.
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.
The following is an A to Z list of mammal profiles available, sorted alphabetically.
A new order of carnivorous insects has been declared. The Mantophasmatodea includes several formerly-unidentified specimens that date back to 1909.
A list of the largest species in each group of mammals that inhabit our planet today.
Learn about the key characteristics of animals including multicellularity, eukaryotic cells, sexual reproduction, movement, and more.
An introduction to six basic groups of invertebrates including arthropods, cnidarians, echinoderms, mollusks, segmented worms, and sponges.
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.
An A to Z list of animal profiles available in The Animal Encyclopedia, sorted alphabetically by common name.
A list of some of the animals that inhabit North America including the nine-banded armadillo, tufted titmouse, caribou, monarch butterfly, and more.
A list of some of the animals that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef including sea birds, mollusks, marine mammals, marine reptiles, and more.
Profile of arthropods, a group of invertebrates that includes insects, spiders, crustaceans, scorpions, centipedes, and many others.
Learn interesting facts about mammals and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the characteristics make them different from other animal groups.
Molluscs are a group of invertebrates that includes squids, octopuses, cuttlefishes, nudibranchs, snails, slugs, limpets, mussels, and many more.
Mammals display a remarkable array of adaptations, some of which (hair, mammary glands, specialized ear bones) are shared by no other animal groups.
Facts about bears, a group of carnivores known for their burly build, impressive agility and, in some species, their winter sleep habits.
An introduction to the basic mammal groups including aardvarks, bats, carnivores, cetaceans, elephants, marsupials, primates, rodents, and many others.
Mammals are a group of tetrapods that includes bats, carnivores, cetaceans, elephants, hoofed mammals, primates, monotremes, marsupials, and rodents.
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.
Put your animal identification skills to the test in this quiz.
Descent with modification refers to the passing on of traits from parent organisms to their offspring.
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.
The life cycle of a frog includes three stages: egg, larva, and adult. This article explores the developmental changes a frog experiences in its life.
Animals' bodies are made up of various organ systems, groups of organs that work together to perform a function.
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.
Jellyfish get a lot of negative press for the threats they can pose to swimmers and holiday makers visiting beaches around the world.
A list of animals of the Amazon River basin in South America including harpy eagles, three-toed sloths, toucans, and more.
Cnidarians are diverse and come in many shapes and sizes but there are some basic anatomical features that most members of the group share in common.
Explore the basic characteristics that are shared by all reptiles—from snakes and lizards to crocodiles and turtles.
Learn interesting facts about invertebrates, a group of animals that accounts for 97 percent of all known species.
Learn facts about frogs and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the characteristics make them different from other vertebrates.
A brief overview of the history of life from the time the first life evolved until the present day. Page 2.
Scientists have discovered that the clouded leopards that prowl the islands of Sumatra and Borneo are different to those that inhabit the mainland.
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.
The natural world is characterized by many complex interactions. Individuals belong, in turn, to populations, species, communities, and ecosystems.
Find out how scientists estimate and count the many millions of animal species that live on our planet today.
Octopuses are known for their intelligence, their uncanny ability to blend into their surroundings and the unique way they get around.
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 great horned owls and find out about the characteristics make them different from other animal groups, their life cycle and their evolutionary history.
Reptiles are cold-blooded vertebrates that diverged from ancestral amphibians about 340 million years ago.
Chordates are a group of animals that includes more than 75,000 species. Chordates are divided into three groups: vertebrates, tunicates, lancelets.
One criteria by which all animals are described is whether or not they have a backbone. This article explores facts about vertebrates and invertebrates.
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.
The most recognized image of a jellyfish is that of the adult jellyfish, with its bell-shaped body and long tentacles.
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.
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.
Definition of habitat destruction, a term that is used to describe the process by which natural habitat is damaged or destroyed.
An introduction to the three basic groups of amphibians including salamanders and newts, caecilians, and frogs and toads.
In this photographic guide, find out more about cats, their classification, adaptations, and natural history.
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.
Carnivores are a group of mammals that includes dogs and their relatives, bears, racoons, mustelids, civits, hyenas, aardwolf, and cats.
Endangered animals are species or populations that are at risk of becoming extinct.
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.
Animals are multicellular organisms that are capable of locomotion and that rely on other organisms to obtain their nourishment.
Learn interesting facts about arthropods, a group of invertebrates that have an exoskeleton and a segmented body.
Populations are groups of individuals belonging to the same species that live in a shared region at the same time.
Profile of insects, a highly successful group of animals that accounts for more species of animals than any other class of animals.
Birds are vertebrates that have four limbs, wings, feathers, hollow bones and other adaptations for an aerial lifestyle.
Learn interesting facts about animals and find out about the characteristics make them different from other groups of living organisms.
Sponges are a group of simple aquatic invertebrates that include glass sponges, demisponges, and calcareous sponges.
The term species can be defined as a group of individual organisms that are capable of interbreeding to produce fertile offspring in nature.
Pictures of invertebrates including horseshoe crabs, jellyfish, ladybugs, snails, spiders, octopus, chambered nautiluses, mantises, and more.
Vertebrates are a group of chordates that includes lampreys, mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fishes.
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 frogs and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the what make them different from other amphibians.
Echinoderms are a group of marine invertebrates that includes star fish, sea lilies, feather stars, brittle stars, sea cucumbers and sea urchins.
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.
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.
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.
Profile of the deciduous forest, a type of forest in which the trees shed their leaves during the cold months of the year.
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.
Sexual dimorphism is the difference in form between male and female members of the same species.
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.
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.
Molluscs are a group of invertebrates known for their remarkable diversity—both sheer number of species as well as variety of form.
Reptiles are a group of vertebrates that colonized terrestrial habitats more extensively than their amphibian ancestors.
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.
Jellyfish are a group of carnivorous cnidarians with a bell-shaped body and tentacles. Jellyfish are delicate, soft-bodied animals.
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).
An overview of vertebrate evolution that explores the key developments in the evolution of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
Profile of tigers, the largest and most powerful of all cats that have a distinct orange coat, black stripes and white markings.
A first step to understanding individual animals and populations of animals is to understand the relationship they have with their environment.
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.
Pictures of mammals, including mammal photos such as pronghorn, meerkats lions, koalas, hippopotamuses, dolphins and more.
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.
Learn interesting facts about fishes and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the characteristics make them different from other animal groups.
Facts about zebras, a group of equids with a distinct black and white striping pattern.
Profile of the Appalachian Mountain Range, an ancient band of mountains that stretches in a southwestern arc from Newfoundland to Alabama.
Learn interesting facts about carnivores and find out about the characteristics make them different from other mammals, their life cycle and their evolutionary history.
An introduction to the basic fish groups including bony fishes and cartilaginous fishes.
Profile of cartilaginous fishes, a group of fishes that includes the largest and most formidable marine predators alive today -- sharks.
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.
Second page of 10-part introduction on cats. This part discusses traits, like claws, of the cat that make them adapt to many environments.
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.
Amphibians are a group of tetrapods that include modern-day frogs and toads, caecilians, and newts and salamanders.
Profile of bony fishes, a group of vertebrates characterized by having a bony skeleton unlike the cartilaginous fishes whose skeleton consists of cartilage.
Living organisms face a constant barrage of external stresses or threats that challenge their ability to survive and reproduce.
Pictures of arthropods including spiders, scorpions, horseshoe crabs, katydids, beetles, millipedes, and more.
Vipers are a group of snakes that include true vipers, bush vipers, rattlesnakes, pit vipers, adders and night adders.
Pictures of reptiles, including reptile photos such as anoles, chamelons, geckos, alligators, turtles, snakes and more.
Harvestmen, also referred to as daddy-long-legs, are a group of arachnids known for their long, delicate legs and their oval body.
Prokaryotes are organisms made up of cells that lack a cell nucleus or any membrane-encased organelles.
During the Devonian Period, about 375 million years ago, a group of vertebrates clamoured their way out of the water and onto land.
Biomes are large regions of the earth that share similar characteristics such as climate, soils, precipitation, plants, and animals.
Pictures of owls, including owl photos such as snowy owls, northern saw whet owls, great horned owls, barn owls and more.
Segmented worms are bilaterally symmetrical invertebrates that include more than 12,000 species such as earthworms, ragworms and leeches.
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.
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.
To maintain correct body temperature, mammals must conserve body heat in cold conditions and dissipate extra body heat in warmer conditions.
To understand animals and their biology, it helps to understand the cells, tissues, organs and organ systems that comprise them.
Elephants' trunks are muscular, flexible extensions of their upper lip and nose. To drink, elephants suck water up into their trunk
The cats of Africa include the caracal, serval, cheetah, lion, and leopard. Page 8.
The following is an A to Z list of mammal profiles available, sorted alphabetically by scientific name.
Profile of elephants, a group of mammals that are noted for their large size, massive skull, and long muscular trunk.
Profile of the Arctic wolf, a subspecies of grey wolf that lives in the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, and northern Greenland.
Mature forests often have several distinct layers including the forest floor, herb layer, shrub layer, understory, canopy, and emergents.
Domestication is the process by which humans take wild species and acclimatize them to breeding and surviving in captivity.
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'.
The total energy (or nutrients) assimilated by an ecological unit (such as an organism, a population, or an entire community).
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.
The black rhinoceros is a critically endangered species of rhinoceros, It has poor eyesight but acute hearing and sense of smell.
For centuries, the naming and classification of living organisms into groups has been an integral part of the study of nature.
Stony corals are a remarkable group of animals that inhabit tropical marine waters around the world and form vast colonies known as coral reefs
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.
Squamates are a group of reptiles that sheds their skin periodically in patches and have uniquely jointed skulls and jaws.
The American black bear is a large carnivore that inhabits the forests, swamps, tundra throughout the more northerly reaches of North America.
Profile of the American beaver, one of two living species of beavers and the world's second largest rodent, only the capybara of South America is larger.
A group of primitive aquatic animals that includes jellyfish, corals, and sea anemones.
What reptiles eat differs from species to species but here you'll find out about some of the general dietary trends for various reptiles.
Profile of perching birds, a group of birds known for their specialized feet and the complex vocalizations and songs.
Grebes are group of medium-sized freshwater diving birds that inhabit wetlands such as lakes, ponds and slow-flowing rivers.
Cats are a group of carnivores that includes domestic cats, tigers, ocelots, lions, jaguars, mountain lions, lynx, leopards, and many other groups.
Bivalves are a group of molluscs that include clams, scallops, oysters, mussels, borers, trough shells and many others.
Scientists have identified nearly one million living species of invertebrates, but this is only a small fraction of the invertebrates 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.
Pictures of amphibians including red-eyed tree frogs, axolotl, green tree frogs, California newts, leopard frogs, and more.
Profile of the spotted hyena, a scavenger that inhabits the grasslands, savannahs, and semi-deserts of sub-Saharan Africa.
Giant sequoias, blue whales, Komodo dragons, and African elephants all share the distinction of being among the world's largest organisms.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are tiny birds that have metallic green feathers on their back and white feathers on their belly.
The identification of the various panthera species (or 'roaring cats') can be confusing but armed with a few facts, you can quickly narrow down the possibilities when trying to place a name with a cat. Page 9.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) supports zoos and aquariums while promoting environmental education and conservation of wild populations and their habitats.
Wildlife species interact with each other in numerous, complex ways. Fortunately, we can make some general statements about these interactions.
Profile of crocodilians, a group of large reptiles that includes crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and the gharial.
Butterflies are a group of insects that include more than 15,000 species. Members of this group include swallowtail butterflies, birdwing butterflies, white butterflies, yellow butterflies, blue butterflies, copper butterflies, metalmark butterflies, brushfooted butterflies, and skippers. Page 2.
Profile of owls, a group of birds that have strong talons, a downward-curved bill, acute hearing, and keen eyesight.