76 Animals That Start with I

Illustration with different animal species and text saying animals that start with I

When you think of the letter I, not many animal species come to mind. Yet, there are more animals in this world than one person can possibly imagine, so there will always be an excess of amazing creatures under each letter.

So, what animal species start with the letter I? Here’s a list of some of the many unique animals on this planet.

List of Animals That Start with I

Here are 76 animal species that start with the letter I.

1. Iago Sparrow

Iago sparrow in a tree
  • Scientific Name: Passer iagoensis
  • Habitat: Dry, open habitats of Cape Verde archipelago
  • Size: 4.9 to 5.1 inches long
  • Diet: Seeds, grass, grains, insects

These sparrows only live on the Cape Verde islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The males have reddish-brown patches on their heads while females are a dull brown color. They’re not picky about their habitats since they’ve been found everywhere from coastal cliffs to busy towns. They almost always travel in flocks, which could include birds of a variety of species. Iago sparrows are most closely related to house sparrows and Spanish sparrows.

2. Iberian Ibex

Iberian Ibex laying down
  • Scientific Name: Capra pyrenaica
  • Habitat: Rocky areas of the Iberian peninsula
  • Size: 77 to 176 pounds
  • Diet: Shrubs, bushes, grass

The Iberian ibex, also known as the Spanish ibex, is a species with short legs and flexible hooves. Those characteristics help them run and jump around steep rocky formations. Both males and females have curved horns, but the male’s horns are more prominent. Males and females travel in separate groups, and the young ibexes travel in the center of the female group for protection. If they sense danger, they will stand in a tall posture and point their head toward the threat to alert the others.

3. Iberian Lynx

Iberian lynx standing in nature
  • Scientific Name: Lynx pardinus
  • Habitat: Woodlands of southwest Spain
  • Size: 21 to 28 pounds
  • Diet: Rabbits, ducks, young deer

The Iberian Lynx is an endangered species that’s only native to Spain. There are less than 400 of these beautiful felines remaining. About 80% of these cats’ diets include rabbits, so whenever the rabbit population goes down, the lynxes suffer too. They don’t like to waste food, so if they don’t finish their prey, they’ll bury it to save for later. They’ve adapted to survive well in warm climates, such as having long fur on their paws so they’re silent when hunting on snow.

4. Iberian Painted Frog

Iberian painted frog in the mud
  • Scientific Name: Discoglossus galganoi
  • Habitat: Temperate forests of Portugal and Spain
  • Size: 1.7 to 2.5 inches long
  • Diet: Small invertebrates

Iberian painted frogs only live near water in Portugal and Spain up to 6,300 feet above sea level. They have round bodies with dark spots, and if you look closely, their pupils look like upside-down droplets. A female can produce up to 5,000 eggs each season, dispersed among several clutches in the water. The eggs only take two to six days to hatch, regardless of the conditions.

5. Iberian Rock Lizard

Iberian rock lizard on leaves
  • Scientific Name: Iberolacerta monticola
  • Habitat: Forests, shrublands, and rocky areas of Portugal and Spain
  • Size: About 9.4 inches long
  • Diet: Insects

Iberian rock lizards can be distinguished by their green bellies, and the coloring appears as they mature. These lizards are most common between altitudes of 3,281 and 6,562 feet. They prefer to hide in damp places if possible. During mating seasons, the females choose to mate with the males that have the most green on their bodies. After mating, the females lay the eggs under stones to protect them from predators.

6. Iberian Wolf

Iberian wolf with forest background
  • Scientific Name: Canis lupus signatus
  • Habitat: Forests and mountains of northern Spain
  • Size: 75 to 90 pounds
  • Diet: Wild boar, deer, rabbits, carrion

Iberian wolves live in packs led by an alpha pair. The wolves in each pack work together to hunt and raise young. While these canines prefer hunting for their food, they will take advantage of dead animals they find. They can howl and bark loudly, but they can also communicate silently with each other by using facial expressions. They rarely harm humans, but they’re known for killing livestock.

7. Ibiza Wall Lizard

Ibiza wall lizard climbing on rock
  • Scientific Name: Podarcis pityusensis
  • Habitat: Across the islands of Ibiza and Formentera
  • Size: 6 to 8.5 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, vegetable matter

Ibiza wall lizards usually have a mix of green, gray, white, and brown scales. Their tail is over twice the length of their body. They can be found in all types of habitats, but they prefer areas with lots of vegetation, such as gardens and pastures. Sadly, these lizards are often hunted by invasive snake species, causing their population to decrease. They’re now listed as a “near threatened” species.

8. Ibizan Hound

Ibizan hound on sand dunes
  • Scientific Name: Canis familiaris
  • Habitat: Domesticated
  • Size: 45 to 65 pounds
  • Diet: Domestic dog food

Ibizan hounds originated in the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The breed is named after the most popular of the islands, which is Ibiza. They first co-existed with humans about 3,000 years ago, and they were used to hunt rabbits. Thus, they have lots of energy and will welcome any chance to run they can get. They’re agile enough to jump over fences and gates, so training and supervision are essential.

9. Iceland Gull

Iceland gull close-up
  • Scientific Name: Larus glaucoides
  • Habitat: Coastlines of the Arctic Ocean
  • Size: 20 to 25 inches long
  • Diet: Small fish, mollusks, crustaceans, berries, seeds

Iceland gulls will scavenge and hunt, eating almost any food they can find. They will even steal the eggs and young of other animals. They will often grab food off the water’s surface while flying. These birds build nests on remote cliffs along the Arctic with beautiful views of the fjords. These gulls can be a difficult species to identify because they have many subspecies, one of which was labeled as a different type of bird for a while.

10. Icterine Warbler

Icterine warbler call
  • Scientific Name: Hippolais icterina
  • Habitat: Woodlands across Europe and Africa
  • Size: 4.7 to 5.5 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, fruit

Icterine warblers can be distinguished by their brown/olive backs and yellow bellies. You’ll usually hear their fast, loud songs before spotting them. They spend most of their time in Europe, but they may migrate to sub-Saharan Africa. They can be found anywhere there’s a wide variety of trees. For most of the year, they’re insectivorous, but they sometimes favor fruit in the late summer.

11. ‘I’iwi

I'iwi bird on a bush
  • Scientific Name: Drepanis coccinea
  • Habitat: High-altitude forests of Hawaii
  • Size: About 6 inches long
  • Diet: Nectar

‘I’iwi, or the scarlet Hawaiian honeycreeper, is one of the most recognizable Hawaiian birds thanks to its bright red plumage and curved beak. These birds used to be abundant in Hawaii, but habitat loss has caused them to stick to high-altitude areas with elevations of 4,300 to 6,200 feet. In Hawaiian history, these birds were considered sacred, and people would make accessories out of their feathers. People would capture the birds, take a few feathers at a time, and release them. Today, red-feathered garments are made with dyed feathers from other birds to protect the ‘i’iwi population.

12. Imitator Salamander

Imitator salamander on leaves
  • Scientific Name: Desmognathus imitator
  • Habitat: High elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Size: 2.5 to 4 inches long
  • Diet: Small invertebrates

Imitator salamanders earned their name because they look just like Jordan’s salamanders. They both have dark bodies with orange or red cheek patches. Imitator salamanders can be distinguished from Jordan’s salamanders because of a light line that stretches from their eye to jaw. They’re only found near the Great Smoky Mountains, mostly in damp areas. They ambush their prey, and they will eat any invertebrates small enough to fit in their mouths.

13. Immortal Jellyfish

immortal jellyfish floating in darkness
  • Scientific Name: Turritopsis dohrnii
  • Habitat: Temperate and tropical saltwater worldwide
  • Size: 0.18 inches
  • Diet: Plankton, mollusks, larvae, fish eggs

As the name implies, these jellyfish can keep regenerating and live forever. These creatures have been in the water since dinosaurs were around, and they cannot die naturally. Normally, jellyfish take different stages in life, starting as a fertilized egg and ending as a medusa. However, if an immortal jellyfish is starving or injured, it can fall to the ocean floor and become a polyp again, which is one of the early stages of a jellyfish’s life. Thus, unless something hunts them, they won’t die.

14. Impala

Impala in dry environment
  • Scientific Name: Aepyceros Melampus
  • Habitat: Wooded savannas of southern Africa
  • Size: 80 to 160 pounds
  • Diet: Grass, seeds, flowers

Impalas are agile antelopes that can jump up to 10 feet in the air when startled. If they’re being hunted, they can run up to 56 miles per hour to escape. They’re herd animals, so they often travel in groups of 100 or more. During wet seasons, the herd may split in half, and males and females will hunt separately. Female impalas don’t have horns, but males have horns that can grow as long as their body height. Males may challenge each other by fighting with their twisted horns.

15. Imperial Moth

Imperial moth on brick wall
  • Scientific Name: Eacles imperialis
  • Habitat: Forests of North and South America
  • Size: 3.5 to 7 inches
  • Diet: N/A

As caterpillars, imperial moths feed on a variety of trees, such as pine, oak, and maple. However, when they become adults, their mouthparts don’t fully develop, preventing them from eating. Thus, they only live about a week as adults, which is long enough for them to reproduce. Instead of spinning a cocoon, the caterpillars bury themselves in soil when developing into moths. The caterpillars molt four times before they’re ready to enter the next stage of their lives.

16. Imperial Shag

Imperial shag flying
  • Scientific Name: Leucocarbo atriceps
  • Habitat: Rocky coastal regions of southern South America
  • Size: 4 to 7.7 pounds
  • Diet: Fish, crustaceans, snails, slugs, octopuses

Imperial shags are cormorants that can dive up to 165 feet underwater to capture prey. They can stay underwater for up to a half hour, and they’ll gather whatever food they can find. Unlike similar species, these birds do not spread their wings to dry them after diving because it could cause them to lose body heat. During the mating season, these birds gather in thousands to compete for a mate. Males may spar for a female using their beaks like swords.

17. Inaccessible Island Rail

Inaccessible island rail blending in
  • Scientific Name: Atlantisia rogersi
  • Habitat: Across Inaccessible Island in the Tristan Archipelago
  • Size: 5 to 6 inches long
  • Diet: Worms, mites, beetles, flies

Inaccessible Island Rails are the smallest flightless birds, and they only live on the uninhabited Inaccessible Island. You cannot travel to the island without its government’s approval, so these birds really are inaccessible to most humans. No predators have been introduced to the island, so this species’ population continues to thrive, unlike many other flightless bird species. These birds mate for life, and they’re aggressive toward animals that invade their tiny territories.

18. Inca Dove

Inca dove perched in tree
  • Scientific Name: Columbina inca
  • Habitat: Residential areas of Mexico
  • Size: 6 to 9 inches long
  • Diet: Seeds, grass, weeds

Inca doves are most likely to forage near where people live. They walk around silently as they pick up scraps of food. When they coo from their perch, it sounds like they’re saying “no hope” repeatedly. These doves have red eyes that will become brighter when they feel threatened. They don’t handle cold weather well, so if it falls below freezing, the doves will huddle together to keep warm. Like other doves, these birds can produce a substance that resembles milk to feed their young.

19. Inca Jay

Inca jay on vine
  • Scientific Name: Cyanocorax yncas
  • Habitat: Forests near the Andes of South America
  • Size: 11.5 to 12 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, seeds, fruit

Inca jays are noisy birds that forage in groups, constantly communicating with each other as they search for food. They stay in low, dark areas of forests to keep themselves hidden from predators. After hatching from eggs, the young birds stay with their parents for several years, helping them raise more eggs and chicks. Sometimes, larger birds will leave eggs in their nests to trick Inca jays into raising the chicks for them.

20. Inca Tern

Inca tern resting on rock
  • Scientific Name: Larosterna inca
  • Habitat: Across South America’s west coast
  • Size: 15 to 16 inches long
  • Diet: Anchovies, crustaceans, mote sculpins, silversides

Inca terns don’t develop their bright beaks and curled face feathers until they’re one to two years old. The longer their “mustache” grows, the healthier they seem to be, and they produce healthier chicks are a result. Inca terns live near Humboldt penguins, but they hunt in different water depths to avoid competition. Sometimes, these terns will use abandoned penguin nests when laying eggs. They nest in large colonies that can consist of thousands of birds.

21. Indian Blue Robin

Indian blue robin standing
  • Scientific Name: Larvivora brunnea
  • Habitat: Forests along the Himalayas
  • Size: About 5.9 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, worms, berries, seeds

Male Indian blue robins are dark blue with a red/orange belly while females are mostly brown. When foraging, these birds usually hop on the ground and search the undergrowth. They breed in the forests of India, Nepal, Myanmar, and Bangladesh. They’re noisy birds that make a variety of calls and chirps when interacting with each other. These robins are thought to be one of the only bird species that can recognize human faces.

22. Indian Bush Lark

Indian Bush Lark perched
  • Scientific Name: Mirafra erythroptera
  • Habitat: Arid areas of Pakistan and India
  • Size: 4.7 to 5.9 inches long
  • Diet: Seeds, insects

Indian bush larks get their name because they usually perch on top of bushes and sing. They always favor bushes over trees, fences, and wires. During the mating season, these birds fly high in the air while singing, and then they descend to a perch by using their wings as a parachute. They keep repeating this song-flight pattern to attract a mate.

23. Indian Cobra

Indian cobra curled up
  • Scientific Name: Naja naja
  • Habitat: Across Indian and nearby countries
  • Size: 3.5 to 5 feet long
  • Diet: Rodents, lizards, frogs

The Indian cobra, also known as the spectacled cobra, is one of the most dangerous snakes. When threatened, these snakes will stand upright and reveal their hoods. These venomous snakes bite at least 10,000 humans each year. Snake charmers commonly use this species because even though the snakes can’t hear the music, they’ll sway to the movement of the instrument. Indian cobras are important in Hindu mythology because serpent king Vasuki is associated with them.

24. Indian Cormorant

Indian Cormorant stretching wings
  • Scientific Name: Phalacrocorax fuscicollis
  • Habitat: Inland waters of the Indian subcontinent
  • Size: 20 to 21 inches long
  • Diet: Fish, crustaceans, amphibians

Indian cormorants, also known as Indian shags, dive into the water and scoop up any prey they can find. Sometimes they will hunt together so they can scare the fish into a corner to catch them. Like other cormorants, they sit with their wings stretched out after diving so they can dry them. They stand out from other species because they have bright blue eyes. During the mating season, they build their nests close to each other.

25. Indian Courser

Indian courser feeding chick
  • Scientific Name: Cursorius coromandelicus
  • Habitat: Dry, rocky areas of Bangladesh and southern India
  • Size: About 12 inches tall
  • Diet: Insects, larvae, mollusks, seeds

Indian coursers live in small flocks near dry grass. They prefer to walk among grass that’s shorter than them because tall grass can obstruct their view. They usually run for a short distance before taking flight, making a creaky call in mid-flight. They fly low to the ground and usually start running again when they land. Indian courser chicks have speckled feathers to help them blend in with sand and rocks. The eggs are also speckled for that reason.

26. Indian Crested Porcupine

Indian crested porcupine up close
  • Scientific Name: Hystrix indica
  • Habitat: Deserts and forests from Turkey to India
  • Size: 20 to 40 pounds, 2 to 3 feet long
  • Diet: Roots, fruit, grains

The long quills on the back of the Indian crested porcupine are sometimes called “rattle quills” because these mammals will vibrate their quills when they’re upset, which makes a rattling noise. If the vibrating sound doesn’t scare the threat, the porcupines will attack with their backs first. A porcupine’s body can neutralize infection if they accidentally poke themselves with a quill. They’re most active at night, and they’ll spend about seven hours a night foraging. While they forage, they often make grunting sounds.

27. Indian Cuckoo

Indian cuckoo sitting on branch
  • Scientific Name: Cuculus micropterus
  • Habitat: Open woodlands of southern Asia
  • Size: 13 inches long
  • Diet: Caterpillars, grasshoppers, butterflies

Like other cuckoo birds, Indian cuckoos usually lay their eggs in the nests of other birds and leave them behind for the other birds to raise. They have an unusual mating ritual, which involves the males building fake nests or taking over abandoned nests to attract females. Then, when a female gets close enough, the male flies away. The loud call of these birds only comes from the males because the females are silent.

28. Indian Desert Jird

Indian desert jird in burrow
  • Scientific Name: Meriones hurrianae
  • Habitat: Deserts of India, Iran, and Pakistan
  • Size: 7 to 11 inches long
  • Diet: Seeds, nuts, roots, insects

Indian desert jirds build complex burrow systems with at least two entrances. They usually build the entrances in shaded areas or spots hidden by stumps and plants. They’re found in barren areas with firm soil. These tiny rodents have tails that are about as long as their bodies. Jirds look like gerbils, but they have a more hunched posture and they’re more active during the day rather than at night.

29. Indian Elephant

Indian elephant in wooded area
  • Scientific Name: Elephas maximus indicus
  • Habitat: Woodlands of southeastern Asia
  • Size: 6,500 to 11,000 pounds
  • Diet: Grass, roots, fruit

Indian elephants are a subspecies of the famous Asian elephants. Like other elephants, their long trunks don’t have any bones in them, but instead, they’re made of 40,000 muscles. That’s about 62 times the number of muscles humans have. Indian elephants can drink up to 200 liters of water each day, especially when it’s hot outside. They only spend about two or three hours a day sleeping, and they spend about 19 hours eating.

30. Indian Flapshell Turtle

Indian flapshell turtle on rock
  • Scientific Name: Lissemys punctata
  • Habitat: Calm, shallow water of southern Asia
  • Size: 9.5 to 14.5 inches long
  • Diet: Shrimp, frogs, snails, aquatic vegetation

Indian flapshell turtles usually travel alone. To stay moist, they either burrow or keep moving to new bodies of water. They got their name because they have femoral flaps on their shells to cover their retracted legs to keep moisture inside. When there’s a drought, they use these adaptations to help them survive up to 160 days. They’re omnivores that will eat any small food to survive.

31. Indian Flying Fox

Indian flying foxes in the sky
  • Scientific Name: Pteropus medius
  • Habitat: In trees across the Indian Subcontinent
  • Size: Four to five foot wingspan
  • Diet: Fruit, nectar

Indian flying foxes, also known as greater Indian fruit bats, are one of the largest bat species. They get their name because up close, they look like foxes with wings. They’re social mammals that gather in groups of up to 100 at a time. Like other bats, they all sleep hanging upside down in the same few trees. The sleeping position helps them take off faster when they wake up. If needed, these bats can be great swimmers, using their wings as flippers.

32. Indian Giant Squirrel

Indian giant squirrel eating on branch
  • Scientific Name: Ratufa indica
  • Habitat: Tropical forests of India
  • Size: 3 to 4.5 pounds
  • Diet: Fruit, flowers, insects, bird eggs

The Indian giant squirrel’s tail makes up over half of its length. These squirrels use their massive tails to balance in the trees. They’re able to jump up to 20 feet when leaping from one tree to another. They use their long claws to grab onto tree branches. Their unique pattern of brown and tan fur allows them to blend into their natural surroundings. When threatened, they’ll lie flat against a tree to make them look like part of the bark.

33. Indian Grey Hornbill

Indian Grey Hornbill in fruit tree
  • Scientific Name: Ocyceros birostris
  • Habitat: Forests of the Indian subcontinent
  • Size: 20 to 24 inches long
  • Diet: Fruit, insects, snails

These hornbills play an important role in India’s ecological community because they eat fruits and distribute the seeds. When they’re not flying, they spend almost all their time in trees. They will only land on the ground to gather fallen fruits or give themselves a dust bath. They’re social birds that will compete with each other through aerial jousting, which involves two birds flying together and bumping into each other, often using their bills to “joust.”

34. Indian Grey Mongoose

Indian grey mongoose in dry environment
  • Scientific Name: Herpestes edwardsii
  • Habitat: Across southern Asia
  • Size: 2 to 4 pounds
  • Diet: Rodents, snakes, lizards, beetles

Indian gray mongooses are opportunistic hunters, and they’re not afraid of prey that other animals deem as dangerous. They will even pick up scorpions and throw them against rocks to kill them before eating them. They will also pick fights with snakes if needed. If they hunt in dirt or water, they can close their ears to prevent external factors from getting inside. Mongooses are one of the few mammals that can see as many colors as a human.

35. Indian Hare

Indian hare in a field
  • Scientific Name: Lepus nigricollis
  • Habitat: Forests and farmlands of the Indian subcontinent
  • Size: 3 to 15 pounds
  • Diet: Grass, flowers, crops

Indian hares, also known as black-naped hares, often damage crops, but they’re necessary prey for many other animals in India. Their population is currently thriving, but that may change in the future since poachers often hunt them for their soft fur. Their brown coats help them blend in with dry vegetation, and they will sometimes flatten their bodies to hide from predators. Indian hares are solitary, but they can communicate with each other by hitting their feet against the ground.

36. Indian Muntjac

Indian muntjac crouched down
  • Scientific Name: Muntiacus muntjak
  • Habitat: Forests, grasslands, and savannas of southern Asia
  • Size: 35 to 75 pounds
  • Diet: Grass, leaves, bark, fruit

Muntjac means “small deer,” which is fitting since this is one of the world’s smallest deer species. Some people also call them “barking deer” because they bark when they feel threatened. Their bark is sometimes mistaken for other creatures, leading to some paranormal stories. Smell is their strongest sense, so they use it to detect predators. They have an extra sense that allows them to notice scents left by other animals using an organ in the upper part of their mouth.

37. Indian Palm Squirrel

Indian palm squirrel sitting on wall
  • Scientific Name: Funambulus Palmarum
  • Habitat: Forests in India
  • Size: 6 to 7.8 inches long
  • Diet: Nuts, fruits, seeds, insects

Indian palm squirrels are considered sacred in India because of a Hindu text that depicts a squirrel helping a deity named Lord Rama build a bridge to save his kidnapped wife. However, Indian palm squirrels have been introduced to other countries where they’re now an invasive species. They can be distinguished from other squirrels in India because of the three brown stripes on their backs. Unlike other squirrels, this species doesn’t hibernate at all.

38. Indian Pangolin

Adult Indian pangolin outside
  • Scientific Name: Manis crassicaudata
  • Habitat: Grasslands and forests of India and neighboring countries
  • Size: 22 to 35 pounds
  • Diet: Ants, termites, beetles

Pangolins are sometimes called “scaly anteaters” due to their interest in ants and termites. However, they’re more closely related to cats, dogs, and bears than anteaters and armadillos. Their scales are made of keratin, which is the same substance that makes up human hair and teeth. They have long, sticky tongues to help them reach invertebrates in tight crevices. They may use their long claws to tear open termite mounds and anthills if needed.

39. Indian Peafowl

Indian peafowl in tree
  • Scientific Name: Pavo cristatus
  • Habitat: Forests and grasslands of India and Sri Lanka
  • Size: 6 to 13 pounds, 3.1 to 3.8 feet long (with up to 5-foot tail)
  • Diet: Seeds, insects, fruit, small reptiles

Indian peafowl are the most recognizable peacock species. They’re one of the largest bird species that can fly. Males have tail feathers that are longer than their body length, and they can raise them by lifting the short tail feathers beneath them. Females have dull feathers and no flowing tail. The males use their colorful feathers to attract females. After the mating season, the males shed some of their majestic feathers, but they grow more before the next breeding time.

40. Indian Pitta

Indian pitta on branch
  • Scientific Name: Pitta brachyura
  • Habitat: Jungles and forests of the Indian subcontinent
  • Size: 6.6 to 7.1 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, seeds, food scraps

Indian pittas are also known as “Navrang,” which means nine colors because of the variety of feathers they present. They usually forage in the leaf litter on the forest floor, picking out insects and any other prey they can find. These birds are loudest at dusk and dawn when they make two-note whistles. They’re more commonly heard than seen. During the breeding season, these birds gather at the foothills of the Himalayas.

41. Indian Pond Heron

Indian pond heron holding onto branch
  • Scientific Name: Ardeola grayii
  • Habitat: Near water in the Indian subcontinent
  • Size: 15 to 20 inches long
  • Diet: Crustaceans, aquatic insects, fish, tadpoles

Indian pond herons hunt by standing in the water very still. When they see prey move in the water, they ambush it. They may also scoop prey out of the water while flying. They’re solitary birds that will only gather near each other if less water is available. Their breeding season begins right before monsoons appear. Their nests are built in trees 29 to 33 feet off the ground. If their nests don’t get damaged, they will keep using them year after year.

42. Indian Python

Indian python curled up
  • Scientific Name: Python molurus
  • Habitat: Subtropical regions of southern Asia
  • Size: 13 to 20 feet long
  • Diet: Mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles

Despite being so massive, Indian pythons aren’t venomous. However, they still have sharp teeth that can deliver a painful bite if they feel threatened. When they strike their prey, they squeeze it and suffocate it before swallowing. They’re nocturnal snakes that spend most of their time on land, but they’re also great at climbing and swimming. They can stay submerged underwater for several minutes if needed. They often seek shelter in abandoned burrows of other animals.

43. Indian Rhinoceros

Indian rhinoceros and calf drinking
  • Scientific Name: Rhinoceros Unicornis
  • Habitat: Grasslands and savannas of India
  • Size: 4,000 to 6,000 pounds
  • Diet: Fruit, leaves, grass

At one point, the Indian rhinoceros almost went extinct, with less than 100 remaining. Now, the population is increasing, so it’s marked as “vulnerable” instead of “endangered.” On hot days, rhinos wade in the water when they’re not eating. Despite their massive size, they’re great swimmers that will eat the aquatic plants they come across. These rhinos have poor eyesight, but they can hear and smell well to keep them alert.

44. Indian Roller

Indian roller on dead branch
  • Scientific Name: Coracias benghalensis
  • Habitat: Grasslands of southern Asia
  • Size: 12 to 13 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, spiders, scorpions, frogs, small snakes

Indian rollers are the state bird for several states in India, including Odisha, Karnataka, and Telangana. They’re known for the aerobatic flight patterns they display during their mating season. These birds occasionally dive into the water to clean themselves, but they rarely hunt fish. They fly toward fires and tractors to pick up the disturbed insects nearby. They communicate with each other using loud crow-like sounds.

45. Indian Skimmer

Indian skimmer flying above water
  • Scientific Name: Rynchops albicollis
  • Habitat: Freshwater sources across India
  • Size: 15 to 17 inches long
  • Diet: Fish, crustaceans, insect larvae

Indian skimmers have unmistakable orange bills with the lower part longer than the upper part. They quickly fly along the water’s surface and “skim” the water with their beaks to capture aquatic creatures. They prefer slow-moving water, but they can be found near any freshwater in India. These birds often forage with small flocks of birds at dusk. During the mating season, they lay beautiful buff eggs with dark brown splotches.

46. Indian Star Tortoise

Two Indian star tortoises
  • Scientific Name: Geochelone elegans
  • Habitat: Dry forests of India and nearby areas
  • Size: 7 to 10 inches long, 3 to 5 pounds
  • Diet: Grass, fruit, flowers

Indian star tortoises can be distinguished by the bumpy star-like patterns on their shells. Due to their unique appearance, they’re commonly kept as pets. The hatchlings are born without markings, and the young tortoises raise themselves without parental support. They’re adaptable to all types of climates, but they may become inactive in cold months. They can live anywhere from 25 to 80 years, so adopting one is a big commitment.

47. Indian Triggerfish

Indian triggerfish swimming
  • Scientific Name: Melichthys indicus
  • Habitat: Shallow reef habitats from the Red Sea to Indonesia
  • Size: 9 to 10 inches long
  • Diet: Mollusks, echinoderms, algae, zooplankton

Indian triggerfish are also known as black-finned triggerfish because they have black, flowing fins that are separated from their body with a white line. They’re normally docile fish in the wild, but they can be highly aggressive toward other fish when protecting their eggs. Like other triggerfish, they have strong jaws that help them crush hard-shelled mollusks as they consume them. If they’re kept in captivity, they need lots of space to avoid aggression toward tank mates.

48. Indian Vagabond Butterflyfish

Indian vagabond butterflyfish up close
  • Scientific Name: Chaetodon decussatus
  • Habitat: Across the Indo-West Pacific
  • Size: Up to 8 inches long
  • Diet: Algae, coral polyps

While Indian vagabond butterflyfish look almost identical to vagabond butterflyfish, they’re different species due to their unique DNA sequences. They’re more closely related to the threadfin butterflyfish. They usually swim near coral reefs and other rocky areas. As juveniles, they swim alone, but as adults, they stay with their mate for life. Mating pairs may be aggressive toward other fish that swim by.

49. Indian Vulture

Indian vulture searching for prey
  • Scientific Name: Gyps indicus
  • Habitat: Savannas and open habitat of India, Nepal, and Pakistan
  • Size: 32 to 41 inches long, 6.4 to 7.8 foot wingspan
  • Diet: Carrion

Indian vultures are scavengers that feed on carcasses. They soar over open areas in flocks, searching for dead animals to feast on. They may travel up to 62 miles a day in search of food. They rarely make sounds, except for occasional grunts. Indian vultures build their nests on cliffs, but they’ll never reuse them. The chicks pick off sticks from the nest slowly over time until the nest is destroyed.

50. Indianmeal Moth

Indianmeal moth on produce
  • Scientific Name: Plodia interpunctella
  • Habitat: Near human foods worldwide
  • Size: About 1/2 inch
  • Diet: Cereals, grains, nuts

Despite the name, these moths aren’t native to India, but instead, they’re worldwide pests. The larvae of these moths do significant damage to grain products, but the adult moths don’t feed. However, they’re attracted to human foods, so they will lay eggs in food packages before they pass away. The larvae can chew through plastic and cardboard, so they’re difficult to get rid of. When an infestation occurs, it’s best to dispose of all the food in that space.

51. Indigo Bunting

Indigo bunting on sunflower
  • Scientific Name: Passerina cyanea
  • Habitat: Wooded areas and farmland of Florida, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean
  • Size: 4.5 to 5.1 inches long
  • Diet: Berries, seeds, insects

Indigo buntings sing different songs based on where they grew up. They learn their calls at a young age by listening to males buntings nearby. A song that’s passed down from bird to bird may change as time goes on, but most songs stay consistent for about 20 years. These birds always migrate at night so they can use the stars to guide them. The mature males have vibrant blue feathers, but the females and young males have dull brown feathers.

52. Indigo-Capped Hummingbird

Indigo-capped hummingbird sitting on branch
  • Scientific Name: Amazilia cyanifrons
  • Habitat: Tropical moist lowland forests of Colombia
  • Size: 2.75 to 3.94 inches long
  • Diet: Nectar, insects

The feathers of indigo-capped hummingbirds are all green except for the patch of indigo on top of their heads. They have puffy white feathers on their legs and a thin red bill for reaching nectar. These birds have a stable population, but they only exist in Colombia. They like to stay in forests and gardens of high elevations, between 3,280 and 6,560 feet.

53. Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin

Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin close-up
  • Scientific Name: Sousa chinensis
  • Habitat: Coastal waters from India to Australia
  • Size: 350 to 550 pounds
  • Diet: Fish

Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins vary in color depending on where they live. They’re usually gray, pink, white, or a mix of the three. They get their name because their dorsal fin sits on a hump, but it’s not always prominent. They feed almost exclusively on fish, hunting whatever species are available. These dolphins usually travel in small groups close to the shore, so they’re seen by humans more often than other dolphin species. They usually swim slow, but they’re capable of chasing and killing sharks to protect themselves.

54. Indo-Pacific Sailfish

Indo-Pacific Sailfish jumping out of water
  • Scientific Name: Istiophorus platypterus
  • Habitat: Temperate and tropical saltwater worldwide
  • Size: 5.7 to 11 feet long
  • Diet: Small fish, squid

Male and female Indo-Pacific sailfish usually swim in pairs, but sometimes, several males will chase a female to try to mate with her. They have long, pointy “swords” on their faces that they can use to knock fish away from their schools. Each fish has a large fin on their back that resembles a sail, which they raise when they’re close to the surface. Scientists believe the sails are used to warm or cool the fish’s body due to the high number of blood cells inside.

55. Indochinese Box Turtle

Indochinese box turtle on mulch
  • Scientific Name: Cuora galbinifrons
  • Habitat: Woodlands in North Vietnam and Hainan Island
  • Size: Up to 8 inches long
  • Diet: Greens, fruits, worms

Indochinese turtles have dome-shaped shells that they can fully seal themselves inside. They spend most of their time near freshwater. They can swim well, but they prefer to walk on land or wade in swampy areas. They’re critically endangered and close to extinction because they’re often taken from their habitats to be sold as pets.

56. Indochinese Ground Squirrel

Indochinese ground squirrel on stump
  • Scientific Name: Menetes berdmorei
  • Habitat: Dry, open forests of southeastern Asia
  • Size: About 14 inches long
  • Diet: Nuts, seeds, fruit

These small brown ground squirrels, which are sometimes called Berdmore’s ground squirrels, have stripes on their sides that are only visible seasonally. They’re mostly solitary creatures that spend an equal amount of time on the ground and in trees. They spend most of their time in forests, but they may venture close to humans if food is available. However, people have not closely researched these rodents.

57. Indochinese Tiger

Indochinese tiger in the forest
  • Scientific Name: Panthera Tigris Corbetti
  • Habitat: Tropical forests of southeastern Asia
  • Size: 250 to 450 pounds
  • Diet: Wild boar, deer, cattle

These tigers spend most of their time hiding alone. No two Indochinese tigers look exactly alike because they all have different stripe patterns. Like domesticated cats, they have retractable claws to help them climb trees. When they see prey, they may jump between tree branches or swim to catch it. They can run up to 60 miles per hour when chasing prey. Sadly, these felines are endangered with only about 350 left.

58. Indri

Indri climbing tree
  • Scientific Name: Indri indri
  • Habitat: Rainforests of eastern Madagascar
  • Size: 13 to 21 pounds
  • Diet: Fruit, leaves, flowers

Indris are the biggest living species of lemur. They live in families of two to six lemurs, which usually include a pair of adults and their children. Unlike other primates, females are dominant in these groups, so they get to feed first. Both males and females make wailing sounds to communicate with each other and announce their territory. They have a great sense of smell so they can avoid fights if they smell other lemurs.

59. Inland Taipan

Inland taipan curled up
  • Scientific Name: Oxyuranus microlepidotus
  • Habitat: Semi-arid plains of Australia
  • Size: 6.5 to 8.5 feet long
  • Diet: Rodents

Inland taipans could be the deadliest snakes on the planet. One bite from these snakes could contain enough venom to kill 100 humans. If untreated, the mortality rate of this bite is 90%, but luckily, these snakes are usually timid and stay away from humans. Almost all reported bites occurred because a human was knowingly interacting with this dangerous species. During mating season, the males sometimes pick fights with each other but without injecting venom.

60. Intermediate Egret

Intermediate egret wading in water
  • Scientific Name: Ardea intermedia
  • Habitat: Wetlands of Africa, Australia, and southern Asia
  • Size: 22 to 28 inches long
  • Diet: Fish, crustaceans, insects

Intermediate egrets are difficult to identify because they look similar to several other species. They usually have a bright yellow/orange bill, but when looking for a mate, it may turn black. These birds spend most of their time wading in shallow water, standing very still until they see prey to ambush. They usually jab their prey with their sharp beaks before swallowing it whole. They gather in large colonies during the breeding season, often with other species like herons and ibises.

61. Intermediate Horseshoe Bat

Intermediate horseshoe bat up close
  • Scientific Name: Rhinolophus affinis
  • Habitat: Tropical and temperate areas of southern Asia
  • Size: 2.3 to 2.5 inches long
  • Diet: Flies, moths, beetles

These bats have large, horseshoe-shaped noses covering the majority of their face. Then, they have a large mouth with sharp teeth hidden beneath their noticeable nose. They usually roost in dark areas, such as caves or hollow tree trunks. They may share their space with other bat species. Scientists suspect that the way these bats’ wings are shaped is to help them forage in crowded spaces.

62. Intermediate Roundleaf Bat

Intermediate roundleaf bat in limestone cave
  • Scientific Name: Hipposideros larvatus
  • Habitat: Caves and rock crevices of southern Asia
  • Size: 2.1 to 2.7 inches long
  • Diet: Beetles, moths, flies, mosquitos

Intermediate roundleaf bats roost in dark, rocky areas such as caves, abandoned mines, and crevices in buildings. They usually gather in groups of hundreds. Some of the bats in the roost may be different species. These bats are usually found at elevations between 598 and 2,822 feet. They will eat a variety of flying insects and other creepy crawlies, but their preferred prey is beetles.

63. Io Moth

Io moth on leaf
  • Scientific Name: Automeris io
  • Habitat: Across eastern North America
  • Size: 2 to 3.25 inches
  • Diet: N/A

Like many other moth species, Io moths don’t feed. Instead, they survive off the food stored up from their larval stage, which includes host plants like oak, willow, and wild cherries. Thus, they only live up to two weeks as an adult. Io moth caterpillars have venomous spines that are painful to the touch. The red and white stripes on the caterpillar’s green body alert predators that it’s dangerous.

64. Iraq Babbler

Iraq babbler hiding behind leaf
  • Scientific Name: Turdoides altirostris
  • Habitat: Reed beds of Iraq and neighboring countries
  • Size: 7.8 to 9.4 inches
  • Diet: Insects, spiders, worms, berries

These birds are called Iraq “babblers” because they travel in noisy flocks. Their calls sound like “pi” or “pit” being repeated in a high-pitched tone. They like to perch on reeds and other plants near wetlands. Their tails are usually longer than their wings, which is a common trait among babblers. Both males and females have brown feathers and a curved beak.

65. Irrawaddy Dolphin

Irrawaddy dolphin floating on back
  • Scientific Name: Orcaella brevirostris
  • Habitat: Coastal areas of southern Asia
  • Size: 200 to 440 pounds
  • Diet: Fish, crustaceans, cephalopods

Irrawaddy dolphins stand out from other dolphins because their faces are rounded like porpoises. They have expressive faces, and they may spit water out of their mouths to communicate with other creatures. They may also spit underwater to confuse fish and make them easier to catch. These dolphins usually travel in groups of up to six, and they will dive underwater when scared. The exact population of these dolphins is unknown, but sadly, they’re listed as endangered.

66. Island Fox

Island fox in tall grass
  • Scientific Name: Urocyon littoralis
  • Habitat: Across the Channel Islands in California
  • Size: 2.5 to 6.5 pounds
  • Diet: Rodents, birds, fruit, lizards

Despite being so small, island foxes are the largest mammals native to the Channel Islands. They’re also the only carnivore that’s unique to California. They’re ancestors of the gray fox, and they’re about a third smaller than those ancestors. These little foxes have no natural predators on the island, so they hunt at any time of day. They can be territorial toward each other, and they will bark or growl at each other if they feel threatened. They’re not picky eaters, so they will eat just about anything they can get their paws on.

67. Island Trevally

Pair of island trevally fish
  • Scientific Name: Carangoides orthogrammus
  • Habitat: Tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans
  • Size: Up to 2.4 feet long
  • Diet: Small fish, crustaceans, cephalopods, mollusks

These fish travel in large schools, grabbing prey as they swim. 98% of this species’ diet consists of small fish, but they will eat other sea creatures if they live in regions where suitable fish are scarce. They commonly swim near islands with volcanic activity. They’re commonly attracted to human fishing lures, so they’re caught and used for meat occasionally.

68. Italian Agile Frog

Italian agile frog on leaf
  • Scientific Name: Rana latastei
  • Habitat: Forests of northern Italy
  • Size: 2.5 to 3.1 inches long
  • Diet: Small invertebrates

Italian agile frogs are a vulnerable species that only live near northern Italy. Their biggest population threat is habitat destruction. These frogs rarely travel farther than the lower parts of mountains because cold climates can prevent the larvae from developing properly. The water temperature needs to be at least 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit for their eggs to hatch.

69. Italian Crested Newt

Italian crested newt on land
  • Scientific Name: Triturus carnifex
  • Habitat: Near bodies of water in the Balkans and Italy
  • Size: About 7 inches long
  • Diet: Invertebrates, amphibian larvae

Italian crested newts transition between terrestrial and aquatic forms throughout their lives. As larvae, they live underwater like most young salamanders, but as juveniles, they adapt to living on land with dark, bumpy skin. Then, before the mating season, they go back to aquatic living, and they develop large crests on their backs. The males perform an elaborate dance to seduce the females underwater. Each female will lay 200 to 400 eggs per year.

70. Italian Stream Frog

Italian stream frog in damp environment
  • Scientific Name: Rana italica
  • Habitat: Rivers, swamps, and marshes of Italy
  • Size: 2.8 to 3 inches long
  • Diet: Small invertebrates

Italian stream frogs are tiny frogs that only inhabit moist areas of Italy. Their hind legs are about the same length as their bodies, so they primarily get around by jumping. They make vocalizations to each other underwater, so their sounds are rarely heard by humans. Their three main calls sound like “grongron,” “squack,” and “uh.” Their population is declining due to habitat loss, but they’re still listed as “least concern.”

71. Italian Tree Frog

Italian tree frog on large leaf
  • Scientific Name: Hyla intermedia
  • Habitat: Near water in Italy, Slovenia, and Switzerland
  • Size: 1.6 to 2 inches long
  • Diet: Flies, mosquitos, midges

Italian tree frogs were once thought to be a subspecies of European tree frogs, but now they’re listed separately. They can be found in any wooded, moist areas up to 6,000 feet above sea level. Dominant males will announce their territories by calling to other frogs. Smaller male frogs may hide nearby to intercept female frogs heading toward the dominant male calls.

72. Italian Wall Lizard

Italian wall lizard climbing
  • Scientific Name: Podarcis siculus
  • Habitat: Across Italy and surrounding countries
  • Size: 5.9 to 9.8 inches long
  • Diet: Caterpillars, grasshoppers, beetles

Italian wall lizards are native to Italy and nearby areas, but they have been introduced to other countries, including Spain, Turkey, and the United States. This species has a wide variety of colors, including green, yellow, tan, or light brown with a white, grey, or green belly. Males may have a red tint to their scales during the mating season. These lizards prefer to eat their prey when it’s not conscious. They have muscular hind legs so they can run quickly when hunting or feeling threatened.

73. Italian Wolf

Italian wolf in the woods
  • Scientific Name: Canis lupus italicus
  • Habitat: Across the Apennine Mountains and the Western Alps
  • Size: 53 to 88 pounds
  • Diet: Deer, chamois, wild deer

Italian wolves are a subspecies of grey wolves. Sadly, they’re endangered with less than 3,000 of their kind remaining. They live in packs, and they’re adaptable to a variety of different habitats. There are no records of these wolves attacking humans, but they sometimes hunt livestock. They can eat about 6.6 pounds of meat a day, and they usually target large animals when hunting. They’re not picky eaters, so they will hunt whatever animals are available.

74. Irish Wolfhound

Irish wolfhound in the weeds
  • Scientific Name: Canis familiaris
  • Habitat: Domesticated
  • Size: 105 to 150 pounds
  • Diet: Domestic dog food

Irish Wolfhounds are gentle giants that love taking a nap beside their families, but they weren’t meant to be so docile and lovable at first. In the Middle Ages, they were bred as war dogs and taught to be fierce fighters when necessary. They’re sighthounds, so they rely on sight more than smell when hunting. In the 1860s, this majestic dog breed almost went extinct, but British army captain George Graham searched for all the remaining Irish wolfhounds so the breed wouldn’t disappear.

75. Ivory Gull

Ivory gull flying
  • Scientific Name: Pagophila eburnea
  • Habitat: The High Arctic
  • Size: 15.8 to 16.9 inches long
  • Diet: Fish, crustaceans, insects

Ivory gulls spend most of their time near icy waters. They live further north than any other bird species. Sometimes they even build their nests on floating ice. These birds forage by hovering over the water and scooping prey from the surface. They nest in large colonies during the breeding season, and the biggest reported colony consisted of 4,500 breeding pairs. They communicate with each other vocally, often in mid-flight.

76. Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

Ivory-billed woodpecker eating fruit
  • Scientific Name: Campephilus principalis
  • Habitat: Forest and swamps in the United States and Cuba
  • Size: 19 to 21 inches long
  • Diet: Berries, nuts, seeds, insects

This bird species is listed as critically endangered, but it could be extinct in the wild. The last sighting occurred in 1986, but universally accepted evidence hasn’t occurred since the 1940s. Researchers have been combing the species’ natural habitat for years with no luck. The lack of sightings is even more troubling since these birds rarely travel far from their homes. In the past, they were only observed traveling to build a nest in a new dead tree.

I is Only the Beginning

If this many animals can fall under the letter I, then just imagine how many have names starting with more popular letters. No matter how many animals we learned about, there will always be more to find out. That’s the beauty of animal facts!