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Animals/Wildlife: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
The 6 Basic Animal Groups
An introduction to the six basic groups of animals including amphibians, birds, fishes, invertebrates, mammals, and reptiles.
Animals: Fact Sheet
Animals are multicellular organisms that are capable of locomotion and that rely on other organisms to obtain their nourishment.
10 Facts About Owls
Facts about owls, a group of birds known for their distinct calls, nocturnal habits, and silent flight.
The 6 Basic Invertebrate Groups
An introduction to six basic groups of invertebrates including arthropods, cnidarians, echinoderms, mollusks, segmented worms, and sponges.
Animals: Key Characteristics
Learn about the key characteristics of animals including multicellularity, eukaryotic cells, sexual reproduction, movement, and more.
Top 10 Wildlife Conservation Organizations
A list of my top ten favorite conservation organizations that work to protect animals and wildlife around the world.
What Are Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes?
All living organisms can be sorted into one of two groups depending on the fundamental structure of their cells - prokaryotes or eukaryotes.
10 Animals of North America
A list of some of the animals that inhabit North America including the nine-banded armadillo, tufted titmouse, caribou, monarch butterfly, and more.
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.
Organ Systems in Animals
Animals' bodies are made up of various organ systems, groups of organs that work together to perform a function.
10 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.
The 21 Basic Mammal Groups
An introduction to the basic mammal groups including aardvarks, bats, carnivores, cetaceans, elephants, marsupials, primates, rodents, and many others.
Mammals: Key Characteristics
Mammals display a remarkable array of adaptations, some of which (hair, mammary glands, specialized ear bones) are shared by no other animal groups.
What Do Turtles Eat?
Turtle eating habits are varied. Their diet depends on the available food sources, the habitat in which the turtle lives and the turtle's behavior.
10 Facts 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.
10 Facts About Reptiles
Reptiles are cold-blooded vertebrates that diverged from ancestral amphibians about 340 million years ago.
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 Facts About Amphibians
Learn facts about frogs and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the characteristics make them different from other vertebrates.
Population Biology Basics
Populations are groups of individuals belonging to the same species that live in a shared region at the same time.
Facts About Great Horned Owls
Great horned owls are a large species of true owls that inhabits many parts of North and South America.
Reptiles: Key Characteristics
Explore the basic characteristics that are shared by all reptiles—from snakes and lizards to crocodiles and turtles.
10 Facts About Invertebrates
Learn interesting facts about invertebrates, a group of animals that accounts for 97 percent of all known species.
The Largest 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.
Reptiles: Cold-Blooded Yet Charismatic
Reptiles are a group of vertebrates that colonized terrestrial habitats more extensively than their amphibian ancestors.
Endangered Species: What Are They?
Scientists and conservationists who study the animal species that face a high risk of extinction refer to such species as endangered species.
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.
10 Facts About Jellyfish
Jellyfish get a lot of negative press for the threats they can pose to swimmers and holiday makers visiting beaches around the world.
11 Facts About Octopuses
Octopuses are known for their intelligence, their uncanny ability to blend into their surroundings and the unique way they get around.
Animals and Their Environment
A first step to understanding individual animals and populations of animals is to understand the relationship they have with their environment.
Mammal Profiles: By Common Name
The following is an A to Z list of mammal profiles available, sorted alphabetically by common name.
The Life Cycle of a Jellyfish
The most recognized image of a jellyfish is that of the adult jellyfish, with its bell-shaped body and long tentacles.
Mollusks: Mussels, Clams, Scallops, and More
Mollusks are a group of invertebrates that includes squids, octopuses, cuttlefishes, nudibranchs, snails, slugs, limpets, mussels, and many more.
Mammals: The Furry Tetrapods
Mammals are a group of tetrapods that includes bats, carnivores, cetaceans, elephants, hoofed mammals, primates, monotremes, marsupials, and rodents.
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.
Creating a Wildlife Journal
Read how you can start keeping a journal to record your observations of animals and wildlife.
10 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.
Animals of the Great Barrier Reef
A list of some of the animals that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef including sea birds, mollusks, marine mammals, marine reptiles, and more.
10 Facts 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.
Arthropods: Centipedes, Millipedes, Spiders,...
Arthropods are a group of invertebrates that includes insects, spiders, crustaceans, scorpions, centipedes, and many others.
Animal Profiles: By Common Name
An A to Z list of animal profiles available in The Animal Encyclopedia, sorted alphabetically by common name.
How Many Animal Species Are There on Earth?
Find out how scientists estimate and count the many millions of animal species that live on our planet today.
The 4 Basic Amphibian Groups
An introduction to the three basic groups of amphibians including salamanders and newts, caecilians, and frogs and toads.
What Is Descent with Modification?
Descent with modification refers to the passing on of traits from parent organisms to their offspring.
10 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.
The 4 Basic Reptile Groups
An introduction to the four basic groups of reptiles including crocodilians, lizards, snakes and turtles.
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.
Birds: Our Fine Feathered Friends
Birds are vertebrates that have four limbs, wings, feathers, hollow bones and other adaptations for an aerial lifestyle.
10 Facts About Fishes
Learn interesting facts about fishes and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the characteristics make them different from other animal groups.
Starfish: The Stellar Echinoderms
Starfish are a group of echinoderms that include about 1500 living species. Starfish have five or more arms that radiate outward from a central body disc.
Can You Define “Species”?
A species is a group of individual organisms that are can interbreed and give rise to fertile offspring.
Fast Facts About Frogs
Learn interesting facts about frogs and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the what make them different from other amphibians.
What Is Sexual Dimorphism?
Sexual dimorphism is the difference in form between male and female members of the same species.
Learn About the Stages in a Frog's Life
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.
A to Z List of Mammals Sorted by Scientific Name
The following is an A to Z list of mammal profiles available, sorted alphabetically by scientific name.
A Guide to the Cnidarians
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.
Jellyfish: Fact Sheet
Jellyfish are a group of carnivorous cnidarians with a bell-shaped body and tentacles. Jellyfish are delicate, soft-bodied animals.
10 Facts About 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.
10 Facts About Animals
Learn interesting facts about animals and find out about the characteristics make them different from other groups of living organisms.
Amphibians: The First Vertebrates to Venture...
Amphibians are a group of tetrapods that include modern-day frogs and toads, caecilians, and newts and salamanders.
Zoology: The Science and Study of Animals
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.
10 Facts About Arthropods
Learn interesting facts about arthropods, a group of invertebrates that have an exoskeleton and a segmented body.
The Migration of the Christmas Island Red Crab
For most of the year, Christmas Island red crabs can be classified as pretty lazy crabs. During the dry season, these crabs rest in their burrows.
Habitat Loss, Fragmentation, and Destruction
Habitat destruction is fueled by a fast-growing human population. As human populations increase, we use more land for agriculture, cities, and towns.
Cephalopods: The Super-Smart Molluscs
Cephalopods are a group of mulluscs that include octopuses, cuttlefish, squid and the chambered nautilus.
Carnivores: The Mammals That Hunt
Carnivores are a group of mammals that includes dogs and their relatives, bears, racoons, mustelids, civits, hyenas, aardwolf, and cats.
Birds: Key Characteristics
Bird characteristics include numerous adaptations for flight such as feathers, a furcula and hollow bones.
Wildlife of The Great Lakes
The Great Lakes is a chain of five large, freshwater lakes that are located in central North America astride the Canada-Unisted States border.
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.
The 30 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.
Why Are Amphibians in Decline?
In recent years, scientists and conservationists have been working to raise public awareness of a global decline in amphibian populations.
A Guide to Vertebrates and 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.
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.
Invertebrates: The Spineless Majority
Scientists have identified nearly one million living species of invertebrates, but this is only a small fraction of the invertebrates alive today.
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.
Myriapods: The Many-Legged Arthropods
Myriapods are a group of arthropods that includes millipedes, centipedes, pauropods, and symphylans. Myriapods are noted for their having many legs.
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.
The 3 Basic Fish Groups
An introduction to the basic fish groups including bony fishes and cartilaginous fishes.
10 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.
Animals of the Arctic
The Arctic is a region that encircles the north pole and extends southward over the Arctic Ocean, Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Scandinavia, and Russia.
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.
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.
Insects: The Most Diverse of All Animal Groups
Profile of insects, a highly successful group of animals that accounts for more species of animals than any other class of animals.
Evolution: The Basics and Beyond
Evolution is change over time. Under this broad definition, evolution can refer to a variety of changes that occur over time—the uplifting of mountains, the erosion of riverbeds, or the creation of new species.
Owls
Owls are a group of birds that have strong talons, a downward-curved bill, acute hearing, and keen eyesight.
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.
Chordates: Bilaterally Symmetrical Critters
Chordates are a group of animals that includes more than 75,000 species. Chordates are divided into three groups: vertebrates, tunicates, lancelets.
10 Facts About Carnivores
Canids are long-legged carnivores that include wolves, coyotes, jackals, foxes, wild dogs and domestic dogs.
Cartilaginous Fish: Fact Sheet
Cartilaginous fishes are a group of fishes that includes the largest and most formidable marine predators alive today: the sharks.
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.
Turtles: The Carapace-Clad Reptiles
Turtles are a group of reptiles best known for the hard shell which is a modification of their ribcage and vertebral column.
Echinoderms: Famous For Their Five-Point Symmetry
Echinoderms are a group of marine invertebrates that includes star fish, sea lilies, feather stars, brittle stars, sea cucumbers and sea urchins.
Lion: Fact Sheet
The lion is 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.
Arthropod Pictures
Pictures of arthropods including spiders, scorpions, horseshoe crabs, katydids, beetles, millipedes, and more.
Perching Birds: Fact Sheet
Perching birds are a group of birds known for their specialized feet and the complex vocalizations and songs.
Bivalves: Clams, Scallops, Cockles and More
Bivalves are a group of molluscs that include clams, scallops, oysters, mussels, borers, trough shells and many others.
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.
What Do Reptiles Eat?
What reptiles eat differs from species to species but here you'll find out about some of the general dietary trends for various reptiles.
Tiger: Fact Sheet
Tigers are the largest and most powerful of all cats. Tigers have a distinct orange coat, black stripes and white markings.
Tetrapods And The Tricky Transition to Life On...
During the Devonian Period, about 375 million years ago, a group of vertebrates clamoured their way out of the water and onto land.
Fishes: Fact Sheet
Fishes are a group of aquatic chordates that have gills and lack limbs. Fishes include bony fishes, cartilaginous fishes, and hagfishes and lampreys.
Invertebrate Pictures
Pictures of invertebrates including horseshoe crabs, jellyfish, ladybugs, snails, spiders, octopus, chambered nautiluses, mantises, and more.
Barn Owls: The Heart-Shaped Face Owls
Barn owls are a group of owls that have a heart-shaped face, long legs and powerful talons. Barn owls are medium-sized birds with a large wingspan.
10 Facts About Zebras
Facts about zebras, a group of equids with a distinct black and white striping pattern.
Facts About Pelicans
Pelicans have webbed feet and are well adapted to catching fish, their primary food source. Many species dive or swim underwater to capture prey.
Cetaceans: Mammals of the Sea
Cetaceans are highly specialized mammals with numerous adaptations that make them well-suited for living in water.
Squamates: The Flexible-Jawed Reptiles
Squamates are a group of reptiles that sheds their skin periodically in patches and have uniquely jointed skulls and jaws.
Bony Fishes: Fact Sheet
Profile of bony fishes, a group of vertebrates characterized by having a bony skeleton unlike the cartilaginous fishes whose skeleton consists of cartilage.
The Domestication of Horses
Domestication is the process by which humans take wild species and acclimatize them to breeding and surviving in captivity.
Reptile and Amphibian Identification Key
Through a series of steps, this identification key will help you to learn the basics of identifying the main families of reptiles and amphibians.
Cnidarians: Fact Sheet
Cnidarians are a group of aquatic invertebrates that includes jellyfish, corals, sea anemones and hydras.
Crocodilians: Good Reptilian Parents
Crocodilians are a group of large reptiles that includes crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and the gharial.
Owl Pictures
Pictures of owls, including owl photos such as snowy owls, northern saw whet owls, great horned owls, barn owls and more.
Sponges: Glass Sponges, Demosponges, and...
Sponges are a group of simple aquatic invertebrates that include glass sponges, demisponges, and calcareous sponges.
Elephants: Fact Sheet
Elephants are a group of mammals that are noted for their large size, massive skull, and long muscular trunk.
The Key to Keystone Species
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.
Cat Pictures: The Small Cats
In this photographic guide, find out more about cats, their classification, adaptations, and natural history.
Vertebrates: Famous for Their Backbones
Vertebrates are a group of chordates that includes lampreys, mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fishes.
World Wildlife Fund
The World Wildlife Fund is a global-scale conservation organization that works in 100 countries and consists of nearly 5 million members worldwide.
Conservation Organizations That Protect Animals
If you are interested in getting involved in wildlife conservation, be sure to consider this list of organizations.
Scientific Method
Definition of the scientific method, a series of steps scientists take to acquire, test, and describe the natural world.
Lion Pictures
Pictures of lions, the largest of all African cats and the second largest cat species worldwide, smaller than only the tiger.
How Do Species Interact?
Wildlife species interact with each other in numerous, complex ways. Fortunately, we can make some general statements about these interactions.
Rodents: Fact Sheet
Profile of rodents, a group of mammals that includes squirrels, dormice, mice, rats, gerbils, beavers, gophers, kangaroo rats, pocket mice, and many others.
About Elephants' Trunks
Elephants' trunks are muscular, flexible extensions of their upper lip and nose. To drink, elephants suck water up into their trunk
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.
10 Facts About Snowy Owls
Snowy owls are large owls with white plumage and their extreme northerly range which includes tundra habitat throughout Alaska, Canada and Eurasia.
Top 10 Cutest Mammals
Mammals are easily among the cutest of all animals. Who can resist the cuteness of a furry face or a bushy tail? Here we'll explore ten of cutest mammals.
What Are the Largest Organisms on Earth?
Giant sequoias, blue whales, Komodo dragons, and African elephants all share the distinction of being among the world's largest organisms.
Mammal Pictures
Pictures of mammals, including mammal photos such as pronghorn, meerkats lions, koalas, hippopotamuses, dolphins and more.
The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is a conservation group that works with governments, communities, and others to solve conservation challenges.
Remembering Martha: The Last Passenger Pigeon
The extinction of the passenger pigeon in 1914 teaches us a great deal about our role in the decline of our fellow species, then and now.
Brief History of Life on Earth
To better understand living animals, it helps to examine the organisms that have lived throughout the history of our planet.
Wildlife Conservation Society
The Wildlife Conservation Society supports zoos and aquariums while promoting environmental education and conservation of wildlife and habitats.
Arctic Wolf: Fact Sheet
The Arctic wolf is a subspecies of grey wolf that lives in the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, and northern Greenland.
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.
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.
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.
Giraffes: The Tallest Land Animals
Giraffes are hoofed mammals with long legs and a long neck. Their skin is a patchwork of dark chestnut spots separated by thin cream colored lines.
The Temperate Forests
Temperate forests evolved 65 million years ago when global temperatures dropped and, in areas further from the equator, cooler climates emerged.
Primates: Fact Sheet
Primates form complex social units and many species possess adaptations suited for life in the trees, including dextrous hands and a prehensile tail.
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.
Asian Elephant: Fact Sheet
The Asian elephant is a species of elephant that has small ears, a long trunk and thick, gray skin.
Amphibian Pictures
Pictures of amphibians including red-eyed tree frogs, axolotl, green tree frogs, California newts, leopard frogs, and more.
Florida Panthers: Revived, with a Texan Twist
Florida panthers are healthier and fitter than they were fifteen years ago. They have higher diversity, better immunity, and fewer genetic problems.
Reptile Pictures
Pictures of reptiles, including reptile photos such as anoles, chamelons, geckos, alligators, turtles, snakes and more.
Great Barrier Reef Predators
Predators on the reef come in many shapes and sizes and include tiger sharks, reef sharks, whale sharks, manta rays, lobsters, and octopus.
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.
Eastern Deciduous Forests
Deciduous forests once stretched from New England to Florida and from the Atlantic Coast to the Mississippi River.
New World Monkeys: The Monkeys of Central and...
New World Monkeys are a group of primates endemic to Central and South America. New world monkeys include marmosets, tamarins, capuchins, squirrel monkeys, and many others.

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