101 Animals That Start with P

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

Animals are incredible! There’s no doubt about that. Yet, no matter how much a person loves animals, it’s impossible to name every creature on this planet. So, there are always plenty of animal species to learn about.

Lots of animals start with the letter P. Some are furry, some are scaly, and some are covered in feathers. Let’s explore some of those unique animal species.

List of Animals That Start with P

Here are 101 animal species that start with the letter P.

1. Pacific Electric Ray

Pacific electric ray in coral reef
  • Scientific Name: Torpedo californica
  • Habitat: Sandy bottoms and coral reefs of the northeastern Pacific Ocean
  • Size: 36 to 54 inches long
  • Diet: Fish, cephalopods

Pacific electric rays have glands on each side of their head that can produce an electric shock to subdue prey. Those glands make up about a sixth of the ray’s entire body weight. When hunting, they slowly drift around and brush past fish to stun them. While their shock is capable of knocking out a human, they usually avoid people if possible. During the day, they spend most of their time resting in the sand, but they’re awake enough to grab nearby fish.

2. Pacific Gull

Pacific gull flying near water
  • Scientific Name: Larus pacificus
  • Habitat: Along the southern coast of Australia
  • Size: 23 to 26 inches long, 54 to 62 inch wingspan
  • Diet: Crabs, mollusks, squids, sea urchins, fish

Pacific gulls are large gulls that can be distinguished by their red-tipped bills, which make it look like they’re wearing lipstick. These birds are scavengers that will regularly search for food along the ocean’s shore. However, they will also steal food from other birds if possible. They tend to avoid areas inhabited by humans. They build their nests by either scraping an area in the ground or by building a bowl out of sticks.

3. Pacific Horned Frog

Pacific horned frog close up
  • Scientific Name: Ceratophrys stolzmanni
  • Habitat: Dry forests and sandy shores of Ecuador and Peru
  • Size: 2 to 3.2 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, worms, small fish, small rodents

These frogs typically hide among leaf litter as they wait for prey to walk by. They will ambush any prey that can fit into their mouths. They’re most active during the rainy season, which is also when they breed. If no bodies of water are nearby, they may breed in large puddles. Overall, they rarely move around, even at night. If handled by humans, they may bite and draw blood using their sandpaper-like teeth.

4. Pacific Jumping Mouse

Pacific jumping mouse close up
  • Scientific Name: Zapus trinotatus
  • Habitat: Across California, Oregon, Washington, and western Canada
  • Size: 8.7 to 9.5 inches long with tail
  • Diet: Fungi, fish, insects, fruits, seeds

Pacific jumping mice can be found in a variety of habitats across their region, but they prefer moist areas above all else. They got their name because they’re able to jump up to five feet to escape predators. However, they may stand very still in some cases if their fur blends in with their surroundings. They can become aggressive if bothered, and they will thump their tails and make squeaking noises if they’re going to fight another creature.

5. Pacific Pygmy Owl

Pacific pygmy owl perched on branch
  • Scientific Name: Glaucidium peruanum
  • Habitat: Forests on the western slope of the Andes
  • Size: 5.9 to 6.7 inches long
  • Diet: Rodents, insects, lizards, small birds

Pacific pygmy owls, also known as Peruvian pygmy owls, will eat almost anything small enough to catch, and they hunt both day and night. Most pygmy owls can easily take down prey that’s larger than they are. They stay in the mid-level of the forest canopy, and they remain in the same area year-round. During the breeding season, they build their nests in tree cavities.

6. Pacific Tree Frog

Pacific tree frog in puddle
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris regilla
  • Habitat: Forests, grasslands, and farmlands across western North America
  • Size: About 2 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, algae, vegetation

Like most tree frogs, these little amphibians are great climbers because of the sticky pads on their toes. However, they don’t climb too far from the ground. Their skin color can change slightly based on the temperature and humidity of their environment. They’re usually a shade of green, but they may also look brown at times. They’re one of the few frogs in the world that makes a “ribbit” sound.

7. Pacific White-Sided Dolphin

Pacific white-sided dolphin jumping out of water
  • Scientific Name: Lagenorhynchus obliquidens
  • Habitat: Cool and temperate waters of the North Pacific
  • Size: 300 to 400 pounds
  • Diet: Squid, small fish

These dolphins are social animals that can travel in groups as small as ten or as large as several thousand. When hunting, they can dive underwater for up to six minutes to collect prey. They use their teeth to grab slippery sea creatures, and then they swallow them whole. Groups of these dolphins may work together to herd schools of fish to a certain area to make them easier to catch. Adult dolphins typically eat 20 pounds of prey every day.

8. Painted Stork

Painted stork standing in the water
  • Scientific Name: Mycteria leucocephala
  • Habitat: Freshwater marshes and flooded fields across southern Asia
  • Size: 3 to 3.5 feet tall, about a 5-foot wingspan
  • Diet: Fish, insects, amphibians, crabs, shrimp

Painted storks gather in small groups to feed in wetlands. They locate underwater prey by touching it with their half-opened bills. They use their feet to disturb the substrate beneath them, causing fish to swim out. They’re mostly silent, but they may clatter their bills or make croaking sounds. They don’t migrate, but they may travel small distances if food is scarce in their current area.

9. Painted Turtle

Painted turtle in mossy spot
  • Scientific Name: Chrysemys picta
  • Habitat: Lakes, ponds, and wetlands of the northern United States and southern Canada
  • Size: 5 to 6 inches long
  • Diet: Fish, insects, crustaceans, aquatic plants, carrion

Painted turtles are one of the most common turtle species in North America, and they can be distinguished by their red/orange markings. The males have longer claws because they rub their claws on the females’ skin to attract a mate. Each turtle’s sex is determined based on the incubating temperature of the egg. Eggs that are 84 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will be female. These turtles spend most of their time underwater, and they can live for up to 50 years.

10. Pallas’s Cat

Pallas's cat resting on rock
  • Scientific Name: Otocolobus manul
  • Habitat: Shrublands, grasslands, and rocky areas in parts of Asia
  • Size: 5.5 to 10 pounds
  • Diet: Small rodents, lizards, birds

Pallas’s cats are a species of wild cat, and they have some notable differences from domesticated cats. Most cats have vertical slits for pupils, but these cats always have rounded pupils. Pallas’s cats also make yelps like small dogs rather than meowing. These cats are solitary in the wild, and each feline occupies a territory of up to 7 square miles. Instead of chasing prey, they usually wait around and ambush it when it gets close enough.

11. Pallid Bat

Pallid bat skimming water
  • Scientific Name: Antrozous pallidus
  • Habitat: Arid regions from western Canada to central Mexico
  • Size: About 2.75 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, spiders, centipedes, scorpions

Pallid bats can be distinguished by their yellow fur and their large ears. Their ears are almost half the length of their body. They spend most of their time in dark spaces, and when the seasons change, they may hibernate in small groups by going into deep cave crevices. When they’re not hibernating, they need to stay close to a water source at all times.

12. Pallid Sturgeon

Pallid sturgeon on rocky substrate
  • Scientific Name: Scaphirhynchus albus
  • Habitat: Across the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers
  • Size: Up to 6 feet long
  • Diet: Mollusks, crustaceans, worms, insects

Not only do pallid sturgeons look like dinosaurs, but they also have ancestors that date back 78 million years. They’re currently one of the largest freshwater fish in North America. They’re an endangered species because dams built in the 1900s blocked access to their normal spawning grounds. So, these fish often travel hundreds of miles upstream to find somewhere to spawn. They can survive in brackish water (freshwater mixed with salt water).

13. Palmate Newt

  • Scientific Name: Lissotriton helveticus
  • Habitat: Forests, marshes, gardens of Western Europe
  • Size: 2 to 3.7 inches long
  • Diet: Aquatic and terresterial invertebrates

Palmate newt larvae stay underwater for the first few months of their life until they become juvenile land-dwelling efts. The efts remain on shore for several years until it’s time to breed, then they return to an adult aquatic form. The males of this species have distinct black webbing on their feet as adults, which is unique to this species. During the winter, these amphibians hibernate underground.

14. Palmer’s Chipmunk

Palmer's chipmunk on wood
  • Scientific Name: Tamias palmeri
  • Habitat: Conifer forests of the Spring Mountain Range in Nevada
  • Size: 8.3 to 8.8 inches long
  • Diet: Seeds, fruits, worms, fungi, insect larvae

Palmer’s chipmunks have a small range, so their population is decreasing due to habitat reduction. These rodents typically live at high elevations of 7,000 to 10,000 feet. They regularly hibernate during cold weather, but they don’t have to. If there are warm days in the winter, these chipmunks may come out of their hiding to collect more food.

15. Palo Verde Beetle

Palo Verde Beetle on rock
  • Scientific Name: Derobrachus hovorei
  • Habitat: Trees of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico
  • Size: 2 to 4 inches long
  • Diet: Wood tissue

These beetles lay their eggs in trees, and the larvae feed on parts of the trees. Their most common host is the palo verde tree, which they’re named after. However, the adults don’t eat anything, and instead, they rely on the energy collected as larvae to survive. The larvae can live in wood for years, but once they become adults, they only live for about one month. They’re one of the largest beetles in North America.

16. Pampas Deer

Pampas deer outside
  • Scientific Name: Ozotoceros bezoarticus
  • Habitat: Open grasslands across eastern South America
  • Size: 50 to 75 pounds
  • Diet: Grasses, forbs, leaves, shoots

These mammals live in small groups of two to six deer. These groups aren’t territorial or separated by gender. When males compete for a mate, they will initiate the challenge by rubbing their antlers on vegetation. Males may spar with each other using their antlers, but they rarely hurt each other. These deer often stay among tall vegetation to hide from predators, and they may stand on their hind legs to see over the plants.

17. Panamanian Golden Frog

Panamanian golden frog on rock
  • Scientific Name: Atelopus zeteki
  • Habitat: Forest streams of Panama
  • Size: 1.8 to 2.5 inches long
  • Diet: Small invertebrates

The bright yellow skin of these frogs indicates that they’re toxic. The toxins in their skin are dangerous enough to kill over 1,000 mice, so they can poison humans too. They’re toxic because of their wild diets, so in captivity, they aren’t dangerous if fed different food. That way, researchers can handle them without any risks involved. During the mating season, males attract females with movements instead of calls.

18. Panda Bear

Panda bear eating bamboo
  • Scientific Name: Ailuropoda melanoleuca
  • Habitat: Temperate forests of southwestern China
  • Size: 150 to 280 pounds
  • Diet: Bamboo

Pandas, also commonly known as giant pandas, spend 10 to 16 hours each day eating bamboo. 99% of their diet consists of bamboo and similar plants because pandas lack the digestive enzymes needed to eat other types of plants. Yet, they will occasionally eat other food sources like eggs and small animals if they have to. Since they’re eating so often, they also need to relieve themselves a lot. They usually poop about 40 times a day.

19. Panda Corydoras

Panda corydoras close up
  • Scientific Name: Corydoras panda
  • Habitat: Clear rivers of Peru
  • Size: About 2 inches long
  • Diet: Worms, insects, shrimp, crustaceans

These bottom-dwelling fish are peaceful and like to live in groups of their own species. They’re a small species of catfish that are regularly kept as a pet due to their black and white coloring, similar to a panda bear. They’re hard to find in the wild, but they’re regularly bred in captivity. Their barbels are smaller than other catfish, but they can still help them sense prey in muddy waters. Males and females look almost identical, but females are larger and rounder.

20. Panther Chameleon

Panther chameleon on tree branch
  • Scientific Name: Furcifer pardalis
  • Habitat: Coastal forests of northern Madagascar
  • Size: 9 to 21 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, worms, vegetation

Panther chameleons are born with dull brown scales, but males become more colorful by 18 months old. Females stay dull-colored for their whole lives. The males will change colors based on the temperature and as a way to communicate with other chameleons. Panther chameleons have long, sticky tongues that they can shoot out of their mouths to catch prey. They can spot prey that’s over 30 feet away.

21. Paradise Flying Snake

Paradise flying snake curled up
  • Scientific Name: Chrysopelea paradisi
  • Habitat: Trees of southern Asia
  • Size: 2 to 4 feet long
  • Diet: Rodents, lizards, amphibians, birds

Paradise flying snakes earned their name because they can glide between trees. They do this by jumping off a tree and doubling the width of their bodies until they land on the next tree. They can glide over 100 yards while their bodies are flattened. They’re constrictors who are mildly venomous and usually swallow their prey whole. They don’t forcibly inject venom into a victim, but instead, they drip venom into wounds. Thus, they rarely pose a threat to humans.

22. Parakeet Auklet

Parakeet auklet sitting on rock
  • Scientific Name: Aethia psittacula
  • Habitat: Islands of the North Pacific
  • Size: About 9 inches long
  • Diet: Jellyfish, crustaceans

Parakeet auklets spend most of their time on the open ocean, and they rarely form groups with other birds. They only travel to islands when it’s time to breed once per year. Their feet are large in comparison to their bodies so they can steer easily when swimming. They have rounded bills that are designed for picking up items off the sea floor. Their bills can also help them disintegrate larger objects to make them easier to eat.

23. Parma Wallaby

Parma wallaby in the grass
  • Scientific Name: Macropus parma
  • Habitat: Moist eucalypt forests of New South Wales
  • Size: 7 to 12 pounds
  • Diet: Grasses, herbs

Parma wallabies are smaller than any other kangaroo or wallaby species. However, they may look a bit larger than they are because their tails are as long as their bodies. These marsupials have pouches that they carry their offspring in for the first five to six months of their lives. Female parma wallabies can become fertile again only days after they give birth. The young wallabies climb into their mother’s pouch shortly after they’re born.

24. Parrot Crossbill

Parrot crossbill on pine tree
  • Scientific Name: Loxia pytyopsittacus
  • Habitat: Pine forests from northwestern Europe to western Russia
  • Size: 6.2 to 7 inches long
  • Diet: Seeds

These small birds have large, heavy bills that are ideal for breaking into hard seeds. Their bills can also help them remove seeds from conifer cones. These birds often travel in flocks, which may contain other species of crossbills. There are lots of color variations for these birds, but males are usually red or orange while females are mostly green or yellow. Their colors are usually toned down.

25. Parrot Snake

Parrot snake climbing tree
  • Scientific Name: Leptophis ahaetulla
  • Habitat: Forests of Central America and northern South America
  • Size: About 6 feet long
  • Diet: Frogs, lizards, insects, eggs

As soon as parrot snakes are born, they’re able to move and care for themselves. Many people consider these snakes nonvenomous, but in reality, they have a little venom. Their venom is only strong enough to harm their prey, so they don’t pose a threat to humans. Their teeth also sit further back in their mouths than most snakes, so it’s difficult for them to open their mouths wide enough to bite someone. Even if a human gets bit, they won’t need medical attention.

26. Pea Pufferfish

Pea pufferfish swimming near plants
  • Scientific Name: Carinotetraodon travancoricus
  • Habitat: Lakes, rivers, and streams of southern India
  • Size: Up to 0.98 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, worms, insect larvae, snails

Pea pufferfish also go by the names dwarf pufferfish and pygmy pufferfish because they’re so tiny. They have beak-like teeth that they use to crack open prey with hard exteriors. Their teeth never stop growing because otherwise, they’d wear down too much. Like other pufferfish, they puff themselves up when they feel threatened. That’s because they can’t swim fast, and puffing up can make them too big for predators to swallow.

27. Peacock Butterfly

Peacock butterfly resting on leaf
  • Scientific Name: Aglais io
  • Habitat: Gardens, parks, and fields across Europe and northern Asia
  • Size: 1 to 2 inches long
  • Diet: Nectar, sap

Peacock butterflies are known for their beautiful eyespots, which are meant to scare away predators. They usually sit with their wings folded, but they will flatten their wings when they sense danger approaching. These insects can also make hissing sounds if they rub their wings together. Since they live in areas that get cold in the winter, they will hibernate in hollow trees until the temperature goes back up.

28. Peacock Spider

Peacock spider showing colors
  • Scientific Name: Maratus volans
  • Habitat: Temperate or subtropical areas of Australia
  • Size: 0.1 to 0.2 inches long
  • Diet: Small insects

Peacock spiders do not spin webs, but instead, they chase after prey and jump on it. They can jump up to 40 times the length of their bodies. They’re called peacock spiders because of the elaborate mating rituals they perform. The males show off their colorful abdominal flaps similar to how male peacocks show off their feathers. Females aren’t as colorful as the males, and they typically only mate once in their lifetimes while males may mate many times.

29. Pearl Gourami

Pearl gourami in dark water
  • Scientific Name: Trichopodus leerii
  • Habitat: Lowland swamps of Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia
  • Size: 4 to 5 inches long
  • Diet: Worms, algae, plant matter

In the wild, these fish are found in acidic water. However, they can be bred and kept in captivity if given the proper environment. When breeding, these fish make special nests called “bubble nests.” To do so, they mix their saliva with water to build a series of bubbles around their eggs. These fish have poorly developed gills, so they use a special organ called a labyrinth organ to help them intake extra air when needed.

30. Pel’s Fishing Owl

Pel's fishing owl up close
  • Scientific Name: Scotopelia peli
  • Habitat: Forests near water across parts of Africa
  • Size: 20 to 25 inches long
  • Diet: Fish, frogs, crabs, mussels

Pel’s fishing owls are nocturnal birds that perch near rivers and lakes. They wait until they see ripples in the water, and then they swoop down to catch their prey. Their flight is silent to avoid scaring off their targets. They only skim the water when they hunt, so they rarely swim or even get themselves wet. If prey is scarce, they may wade in the water or hunt during the day. They’re territorial over their stretch of the water, and they will hoot to claim their area.

31. Peloponnese Wall Lizard

Peloponnese Wall Lizard on rock
  • Scientific Name: Podarcis peloponnesiacus
  • Habitat: Rocky areas and gardens of southern Greece
  • Size: About 6.6 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, spiders, fruit

These agile lizards are regularly seen climbing on rocks, walls, and trees. They can hop long distances between rocks, but they usually climb to the ground to search for food. During the mating season, these reptiles can become highly aggressive toward other lizards. They form temporary mating pairs, which last longer than the pairs of most small lizards. Females lay their eggs in crevices or other hidden spaces.

32. Peppered Moth

Peppered moth on leaf
  • Scientific Name: Biston betularia
  • Habitat: Forests in parts of North America, Europe, and Asia
  • Size: 1.5 to 2.5 inches across
  • Diet: Nectar, fruit pulp, leaves, seeds

Peppered moths are commonly seen with white wings that have speckles of black like pepper. They use that coloring to blend into lichen on trees. However, peppered moth colors can vary based on their habitat. Peppered moths that live near cities are more likely to have black wings to help them blend into soot. The species is often used to describe natural selection because the moths that don’t blend in well are the ones that get eaten first in their area.

33. Peppermint Angelfish

Peppermint angelfish by coral
  • Scientific Name: Centropyge boylei
  • Habitat: Eastern central Pacific Ocean
  • Size: 1 to 3 inches long
  • Diet: Worms, crustaceans, sponges, organic matter

Peppermint angelfish are beautiful but difficult to find. They often dwell hundreds of feet below the water’s surface, so divers can’t always reach them due to extreme pressures. These fish usually have a designated hiding spot that they share with a few other fish. Whenever they search for food, they stay as close to their hiding spot as possible. Many people adore their candy-like pattern, but they’re not common in aquariums because they can cost thousands of dollars.

34. Père David’s Deer

Pere David's deer with fuzzy antlers
  • Scientific Name: Elaphurus davidianus
  • Habitat: River valleys and grasslands of China
  • Size: 300 to 450 pounds
  • Diet: Grasses, aquatic plants

In the late 19th century, this deer species became extinct in the wild. Thanks to conservation efforts, there are now thousands of these mammals in existence, and some have returned to their natural habitats in the wild. These deer usually live in moist areas, so they have webbed hooves to help them swim. Yet, their unique hooves make them worse at running than most deer. In the summer, they have red coats, but in the winter, their fur appears gray instead.

35. Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine falcon flying
  • Scientific Name: Falco peregrinus
  • Habitat: Mountains, forests, and valleys worldwide
  • Size: About 1.5 feet tall, 3.5-foot wingspan
  • Diet: Birds, small mammals, insects

Peregrine falcons can be found on all continents except Antarctica. They can dive from the air at extreme speeds to catch agile prey. They’re one of the fastest animals in the world because of their dives, which reach up to 240 miles per hour. When diving, they usually target the prey’s wings or legs. They primarily eat birds, and they’re known to hunt over 2,000 different bird species. These birds mate for life, so pairs travel and raise their young together. They usually nest on narrow ledges of cliffs.

36. Perez’s Frog

Perez's frog in pond
  • Scientific Name: Pelophylax perezi
  • Habitat: Forests, swamps, and marshes of western Europe
  • Size: Up to 3.9 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, spiders, worms

Perez’s frogs are also called Iberian waterfrogs, Iberian green frogs, or Coruna frogs. They can thrive in almost any area of their natural range as long as there is water available. These frogs may gather in groups of thousands during the breeding season, and they’re regularly seen among algae. They can lay hundreds of eggs at once, and their population is currently stable.

37. Peringuey’s Adder

Peringuey's adder in the sand
  • Scientific Name: Bitis peringueyi
  • Habitat: Across the Namib Desert
  • Size: 8 to 10 inches long
  • Diet: Lizards

The eyes of these snakes are situated on top of their heads so they can bury themselves in the sand while still seeing above ground. When hiding in the sand, they will ambush their prey, which mostly consists of lizards. They’re venomous snakes with retractable fangs, but they aren’t overly aggressive. If threatened, they can slither up to 18 miles per hour to escape, so they’re more likely to flee than bite if they can.

38. Persian Cat

Persian cat lying on the floor
  • Scientific Name: Felis catus
  • Habitat: Domesticated
  • Size: 7 to 12 pounds
  • Diet: Domestic cat food

Persian cats have been around since the 1600s, which is when they came from Persia to Europe. They became beloved because of their unique looks, which include flat faces and long, fluffy coats. Anyone who owns one of these felines will need to brush them almost daily to maintain their silky fur. They tend to be affectionate and laid-back, so they’re not as needy as other popular pets.

39. Peruvian Guinea Pig

Peruvian guinea pig on blanket
  • Scientific Name: Cavia porcellus
  • Habitat: Domesticated
  • Size: 1 to 3 pounds
  • Diet: Hay, vegetables, fruit

Peruvian guinea pigs are a type of guinea pig that can grow long, silky fur. Their fur can grow up to 20 inches long. They may chew on each other’s hair, which can either be a way to groom each other or a sign of dominance. Since their hair continuously grows, they may need occasional trims. Like all guinea pigs, they’re known for being vocal. These small mammals will make a series of squeaks and chirps, known as “wheeking,” when they’re excited about food.

40. Pesquet’s Parrot

Pesquet's parrot resting on tree branch
  • Scientific Name: Psittrichas fulgidus
  • Habitat: Cloud forests of New Guinea
  • Size: About 18 inches long
  • Diet: Figs, flowers, nectar

Pesquet’s parrots, also known as Dracula parrots, may have an intimidating appearance, but they’re harmless. They don’t drink blood like Dracula, but instead, they feed mostly on fruits. They don’t have any feathers on their face because a lot of fruits they eat are sticky. These birds have loud, raspy calls that sound like they’re being strangled. Males can be distinguished from females because they each have a red spot behind their eyes while females don’t.

41. Pheasant-Tailed Jacana

Pheasant-tailed jacana on water
  • Scientific Name: Hydrophasianus chirurgus
  • Habitat: Tropical areas of southeastern Asia
  • Size: 15 to 22 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, snails, worms, crustaceans

These unique-looking birds are most commonly seen walking on floating vegetation and picking insects off the water’s surface. They’re known for their long, flowing tails, which are only present during the breeding season. Females mate with several partners each season and produce several egg clutches. The males are in charge of raising their young alone, but they will destroy the eggs if they don’t think they’re the father.

42. Philippine Crocodile

Philipine crocodile resting by water
  • Scientific Name: Crocodylus mindorensis
  • Habitat: Freshwater rivers, ponds, and marshes in parts of the Philippines
  • Size: 200 to 420 pounds
  • Diet: Fish, aquatic invertebrates, small mammals, reptiles

Philippine crocodiles used to live all over the Philippines, but now they’re only found on parts of the islands of Dalupiri, Luzon, and Mindanao. They’re critically endangered due to exploitation and unsustainable fishing methods. The wild population may have fewer than 100 crocodiles left. Females build their own nests during the mating season, but males and females work together to guard their eggs. These crocodiles can lay 7 to 30 eggs in a clutch.

43. Philippine Sailfin Lizard

Philippine sailfin lizard up close
  • Scientific Name: Hydrosaurus pustulatus
  • Habitat: Tropical forests of the Philippines and souther New Guinea
  • Size: 2 to 4 feet long
  • Diet: Fish, frogs, insects, fruits, vegetables

These unique-looking lizards are usually found near water because they’re excellent swimmers. “Hydrosaurus” from the scientific name means “water lizard.” On their feet, they have flattened toes and fringed scales, which allow them to run on water for short periods. If threatened, these lizards may drop from trees into the water to escape predators. The males have larger sailfins and longer tails than the females.

44. Philippine Tarsier

Philippine tarsier
  • Scientific Name: Carlito syrichta
  • Habitat: Tropical rainforests of the Philippines
  • Size: 3.3 to 6.3 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, spiders, lizards, small birds

Philippine tarsiers have the biggest eyes relative to their body size of any living mammal. Their proportions would be similar to humans having grapefruit-sized eyes. They spend most of their time in the trees, and they will jump from branch to branch to pursue prey. They can jump up to 16.4 feet. When a tarsier searches for prey, it can turn its head 180 degrees while its body remains perfectly still to avoid startling its targets.

45. Pickerel Frog

Pickerel frog sitting on rock
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates palustris
  • Habitat: Marshes, forested wetlands, meadows of eastern North America
  • Size: 2 to 4 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, spiders, worms

Pickerel frogs have a unique spotted pattern on their skin, but females are typically larger with darker spots than males. These amphibians spend almost all their time near warm water, and in the winter, they hibernate beneath silt and debris in the water. When they emerge from hibernation, they seek out clear pools of water for breeding. During the breeding season, the males seem to have swollen thumbs.

46. Pictus Catfish

Pictus catfish in aquarium
  • Scientific Name: Pimelodus pictus
  • Habitat: The Orinoco and Amazon river basins
  • Size: 4 to 5 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, algae, snails, small fish

These fish are generally docile, but they have a sharp part on their dorsal fin that can cause a venomous sting to protect them from predators. They rarely sting other fish unless they feel threatened. One of their most notable traits is their barbels, which can grow 2 to 3 inches long. Their barbels help them detect food. These fish are social, so in an aquarium, they should be kept in groups of four or more.

47. Pied Avocet

Pied avocet standing on sand
  • Scientific Name: Recurvirostra avosetta
  • Habitat: Coastal wetlands and brackish lagoons in parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa
  • Size: 16.5 to 17.7 inches long
  • Diet: Crustaceans, mollusks, insects, worms

The odd-shaped beaks of pied avocets are used to help them catch aquatic critters. They sweep their beaks side by side in the water to stir up invertebrates in the mud before eating them. Their long legs make it easier for them to forage in the water without getting their feathers too wet. After pied avocets are born, they’re able to walk, swim, and dive within 24 hours. Yet, they stay at their nests for 4 to 6 weeks.

48. Pied Crow

Pied crow perched on branch
  • Scientific Name: Corvus albus
  • Habitat: Across Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Size: 18.1 to 20.4 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, eggs, seeds, carrion

Like other crow species, pied crows are highly intelligent. They use creative ways to crack open food, which sometimes involves them building tools. For example, they may drop rocks onto eggs to crack them open. They forage in pairs and small groups, and they will steal food from other birds if needed. When they mate, they usually form pairs that will last a lifetime. Males will fluff out their white throat feathers to attract the attention of a female.

49. Pied Tamarin

Pied tamarin on tree
  • Scientific Name: Saguinus bicolor
  • Habitat: Forests of Manaus, Brazil
  • Size: About 1 pound
  • Diet: Fruits, insects, flowers, frogs, lizards

Pied tamarins are critically endangered, only existing in the Brazilian city of Manaus. Over three generations, their population has dropped by 80% due to habitat loss. So, they currently live in a protected area. They’re one of the only tamarin species with hairless faces. They live in groups that consist of 5 to 15 members. The groups are led by dominant females, who are the only ones allowed to give birth.

50. Pied-Billed Grebe

Pied-billed grebe in a pond
  • Scientific Name: Podilymbus podiceps
  • Habitat: Ponds, lakes, and marshes across North and South America
  • Size: 12 to 15 inches long
  • Diet: Aquatic insects, crustaceans, small fish, mollusks

Pied-billed grebes spend most of their time in the water. They don’t fly well, so they usually dive to avoid predators. They can dive up to 20 feet below the water’s surface. They can trap water in their feathers so they can adjust how much they sink or float. They have lobed feet instead of webbed feet, which are great for swimming and diving but not for walking on land. Baby pied-billed grebes spend their first weeks of life riding on their parents’ backs.

51. Pig

Young pig in pen
  • Scientific Name: Sus scrofa domesticus
  • Habitat: Domesticated
  • Size: 110 to 770 pounds
  • Diet: Vegetables, grains, grasses, leaves

Pigs were one of the first animals domesticated by humans. They wallow in mud because they don’t have proper sweat glands, so they cool off in mud on hot days. However, pigs are cleaner than people think because they won’t go to the bathroom in the same spot they sleep. They’re considered one of the most intelligent animals in the world, and they’re easier to train than most dogs. To tell a wild pig from a domesticated pig, you’ll need to look at the tail; domesticated pigs have curly tails while wild pigs have straight tails.

52. Pig-Nosed Turtle

Pig-nosed turtle swimming near fish
  • Scientific Name: Carettochelys insculpta
  • Habitat: Rivers, lakes, lagoons of northern Australia and southern New Guinea
  • Size: Up to 50 pounds
  • Diet: Fruits, flowers, mollusks, crustaceans

The family lineage of this species can be traced back 140 million years, which is 70 million years before dinosaurs went extinct. They’re territorial turtles that can act aggressively if not given enough space from other animals. Yet, they prefer to eat plants over meat if available. They almost always sleep after a meal. They have long pig-like snouts that they can use as a snorkel to help them breathe above the surface.

53. Pileated Finch

Pileated finch on the ground
  • Scientific Name: Coryphospingus pileatus
  • Habitat: Arid scrublands and forests of Venezuela, Colombia, and Brazil
  • Size: About 5 inches long
  • Diet: Seeds, insects

Pileated finches, sometimes called grey pileated finches, forage in small flocks on the ground. The males have crests of vibrant red and black feathers that stick up when they’re excited. The patch of red is sometimes hard to see when the crest is down. They always breed during the rainy season, so their mating season may vary depending on the weather each year.

54. Pileated Gibbon

Pileated gibbon in tree
  • Scientific Name: Hylobates pileatus
  • Habitat: Tropical forests of Thailand and Cambodia
  • Size: 8 to 18 pounds
  • Diet: Fruits, leaves, insects

You can tell the difference between male and female pileated gibbons by looking at their fur. Males have all black fur while females have mostly white/gray fur. They spend most of their time in the trees because they’re agile climbers. They can swing up to 35 miles per hour from one tree to another. During the breeding season, these gibbons form monogamous pairs, and then they live in family groups with their offspring.

55. Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated woodpecker on tree trunk
  • Scientific Name: Dryocopus pileatus
  • Habitat: Forests across southern Canada and the eastern United States
  • Size: 16 to 19 inches long
  • Diet: Ants, termites, insect larvae

Like other woodpeckers, these birds regularly drill their beaks into wood to eat wood-boring insects. This process causes severe damage to trees. However, they often favor dead trees if available. The population of these birds is increasing because they’re adaptable as long as wood is available. These birds don’t migrate, so they stay in the same area their whole lives. Once these woodpeckers find a mate, they remain monogamous for life.

56. Pine Barrens Tree Frog

Pine barrens tree frog in tree
  • Scientific Name: Dryophytes andersonii
  • Habitat: Swamps and moist forests of the southeastern United States
  • Size: About 1.5 inches long
  • Diet: Insects

These frogs have sticky toe pads to help them climb trees in damp environments. The males regularly make calls from March through September. When it’s time to breed, they come down from the trees and search for shallow, acidic ponds. They lay their eggs one at a time in the water. Sadly, this species is becoming near threatened due to habitat loss.

57. Pine Siskin

Pine siskin in the winter
  • Scientific Name: Spinus pinus
  • Habitat: Wooded areas across North America
  • Size: 4.3 to 5.5 inches long
  • Diet: Seeds, vegetable matter, insects

Most of a pine siskin’s diet consists of seeds. These birds will sometimes hang upside down when picking up the seeds on trees. They’re protective over the food they’ve collected, so they will make aggressive chattering sounds to scare off other birds. Their breeding patterns and migration paths change every year based on where the best food is available.

58. Pine Snake

Aggressive pine snake
  • Scientific Name: Pituophis melanoleucus
  • Habitat: Dry forests of the southeastern United States
  • Size: Up to 6 feet long
  • Diet: Rodents, birds, bird eggs

Pine snakes resemble rattlesnakes, but they’re nonvenomous and rarely dangerous to humans. They can even shake their tails to trick predators into thinking they’re more dangerous than they are. Overall, they’re shy snakes that spend most of their time in underground burrows. They have snouts designed for digging, so these reptiles dig their own burrows, which is where they lay eggs and hibernate.

59. Pink Salmon

Pink salmon in shallow water
  • Scientific Name: Oncorhynchus gorbuscha
  • Habitat: Across the northern Pacific Ocean
  • Size: 3.5 to 5 pounds, 20 to 25 inches long
  • Diet: Crustaceans, zooplankton, squid, small fish

Pink salmon can survive in both freshwater and saltwater environments. They hatch in freshwater rivers and then migrate to saltwater. They have a lot of predators, including humans, larger fish, and mammals. These fish don’t look very pink in the wild, but the species is named for their pink flesh when cooked. The more krill and shrimp a salmon eats, the pinker they become. After reproducing, these fish die because they use up all their energy returning to freshwater and building nests.

60. Pinktoe Tarantula

Pinktoe tarantula on wood
  • Scientific Name: Avicularia avicularia
  • Habitat: Rainforests in northern South America
  • Size: Up to 6 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, mice, lizards, frogs

Pinktoe tarantulas have prickly hairs and mild venom to protect themselves from predators. They can also shoot feces at a threat if needed. They spend most of their time in trees, so they often use silk traps to capture prey. These tarantulas can only jump short distances, about 3 to 4 centimeters. Females are usually larger than males, so they may eat their partner during the mating season. For that reason, females tend to live three times longer than males.

61. Pink-Backed Pelican

pink-backed pelican stretching
  • Scientific Name: Pelecanus rufescens
  • Habitat: Near freshwater in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Size: 49 to 51 inches long, 7 to 9.5 foot wingspan
  • Diet: Fish

Pelicans are one of the heaviest flying birds, but pink-backed pelicans are one of the smallest pelican species. Despite being large, pelicans can fly up to 24 hours without stopping, and they can cover 300 miles in that time. Most of the time, these pelicans have gray feathers with hints of pink, but the pink becomes more prominent when the birds are preening because they spread a gland across their bodies that causes the pink hue.

62. Pink-Necked Green Pigeon

Pink-necked green pigeon on branch
  • Scientific Name: Treron vernans
  • Habitat: Forests, parks, gardens of southeastern Asia
  • Size: 9.8 to 11.8 inches long
  • Diet: Fruits

These beautifully-colored birds are social and like to feed in groups. Their flocks can consist of up to 70 birds, and they’re not afraid to hang out near humans. They reproduce year-round, so the males and females take turns incubating the eggs. They often hide their nests from predators by extending their wings. While most pigeons coo, these birds are more likely to whistle or quack.

63. Piping Hornbill

Piping hornbill in tree
  • Scientific Name: Bycanistes fistulator
  • Habitat: Humid forests of central and western Africa
  • Size: About 20 inches long
  • Diet: Fruits, insects

Piping hornbills have mostly black feathers, but when they fly, their wings are black and white when they’re outstretched. They can be noisy, making a series of high-pitched whistles and rapid cackling notes. Despite having such large bills, these birds have much smaller bills than the average hornbill. In fact, they’re the smallest hornbill in their genus.

64. Plains Leopard Frog

Plains leopard frog in the grass
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates blairi
  • Habitat: Shallow water across central United States
  • Size: 2 to 3.75 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, worms

Many of the areas these frogs are found in are known for being dry, but these amphibians always find a way to access water. They typically hang out near streams, creeks, and ponds. If they sense danger, they will quickly hop into the water. At night, they typically hunt insects, but they will eat anything that’s small enough. In some instances, they may even eat other frogs.

65. Plateau Pika

Plateau pika outside burrow
  • Scientific Name: Ochotona curzoniae
  • Habitat: Deserts, meadows, and forests of the Tibetan Plateau
  • Size: About 6.7 inches long
  • Diet: Bog sedge, grasses, krobresia

Like other pika species, plateau pikas dig a series of underground burrows that they live in. Their burrows help the soil hold more water, which can reduce flooding. However, in the 1950s, people believed plateau pikas were harming their habitats by eating too much grass. So, the Chinese government attempted to exterminate pikas in 1958 until they realized the environmental benefits the small mammals had.

66. Platypus

duck-billed platypus by water
  • Scientific Name: Ornithorhynchus anatinus
  • Habitat: Near creeks, rivers, and lakes of Australia
  • Size: 1.7 to 6.6 pounds
  • Diet: Insect larvae, shrimp, crayfish, tadpoles

The platypus, sometimes called the duck-billed platypus, is one of the most bizarre mammals on that planet. Male platypuses have venom glands on the spurs of their back legs, so they’re not as cuddly as they appear. Platypuses are also one of the only mammals that lay eggs. They spend about 12 hours each day in the water, so they have two layers of fur to keep their skin dry even when swimming. When they’re underwater, they use electronic impulses to detect prey.

67. Pleasing Poison Frog

Pleasing poison frog on wood
  • Scientific Name: Ameerega bassleri
  • Habitat: Moist, tropical forests of Peru
  • Size: 1.7 to 1.8 inches long
  • Diet: Small insects

Pleasing poison dart frogs can have yellow, black, and green patterns. Even though there are still lots of these frogs in Peru, their population recently became vulnerable. A lot of their habitat has been converted into cattle pastures and coffee plantations, leaving the frogs with less space. These frogs have very toxic skin, so coming into contact with them could cause cramping, paralysis, or seizures.

68. Plush-Crested Jay

Plush-crested jay on tree branch
  • Scientific Name: Cyanocorax chrysops
  • Habitat: Forests of central South America
  • Size: About 14 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, fruits, eggs, frogs, seeds

These beautiful birds are typically found in groups of about a dozen. They can be noisy, so they’re often heard before they’re spotted. They forage on all levels of the forest, and they can thrive in elevations up to 5,000 feet. During the breeding season, two to three other birds help each breeding female build the nest and feed her hatchlings. Females usually lay two to four eggs at a time.

69. Polar Bear

Polar bear resting on ice
  • Scientific Name: Ursus maritimus
  • Habitat: Arctic sea ice
  • Size: 330 to 990 pounds
  • Diet: Seals, walrus

Polar bears are a species of marine mammal because they spend most of their lives in the sea and on sea ice. They can swim for hours at a time to get from one piece of ice to another. They can smell prey over a half mile away, and almost their entire diet is made up of meat. Underneath their snowy white fur, all their skin is black. Sadly, climate change and habitat destruction are constant threats to this species, so they could become extinct within 30 years.

70. Polyphemus Moth

Polyphemus moth on tree
  • Scientific Name: Antheraea polyphemus
  • Habitat: Forests, parks, and orchards from southern Canada to Mexico
  • Size: 4 to 6 inch wingspan
  • Diet: N/A

Polyphemus moth larvae feed on trees and shrubs, but the adults can’t eat anything. The only purpose of the adult moth is to reproduce, so they rarely live more than four days. Males are capable of mating a few times in their short lives while females can only mate once. The spots on these moth’s wings are designed to scare off predators. Caterpillars can also deter predators by making clicking sounds or vomiting.

71. Pomeranian

Pomeranian sitting on rock
  • Scientific Name: Canis familiaris
  • Habitat: Domesticated
  • Size: 4.2 to 7.7 pounds
  • Diet: Domestic dog food

Pomeranians are one of the smallest dog breeds, typically weighing under 8 pounds. The breed used to be 20 to 30 pounds, but humans loved the small size, so they kept breeding them smaller and smaller. Despite being so tiny, their roots can be traced back to large sled dogs like Huskies and Malamutes. Their original purpose was to pull sleds, guard homes, and protect livestock, but today, they’re only bred as lapdogs.

72. Pool Frog

Pool frog resting on rock
  • Scientific Name: Pelophylax lessonae
  • Habitat: Puddles, ponds, and wetlands across Europe
  • Size: 1.9 to 3.5 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, worms, insect larvae

These frogs have a steady population today, but that wasn’t always the case. They went extinct in the United Kingdom in the 1990s, but some frogs were brought from Sweden to reintroduce them to England. They’re usually found in small pools of water, and their green skin helps them blend in with aquatic plants. These frogs can breed with marsh frogs to create a hybrid known as the European edible frog.

73. Porcupine Ray

Porcupine ray on ocean floor
  • Scientific Name: Urogymnus asperrimus
  • Habitat: Sandy sea floors and coral reefs of the Indian Ocean and Indo-West Pacific
  • Size: About 7.2 feet long
  • Diet: Crustaceans, worms, fish

Porcupine rays don’t have venomous stingers, but instead, their bodies are covered in prickly bumps known as dermal denticles, which act as armor. Touching a porcupine ray’s skin can be painful for humans. Despite being a vulnerable species, some humans will catch them to use their rough skin for leather. However, it’s more common for them to be caught accidentally. These aquatic creatures can be found anywhere from 3.3 to 98 feet below the water’s surface.

74. Port Jackson Shark

Port Jackson Shark on sea floor
  • Scientific Name: Heterodontus portusjacksoni
  • Habitat: Temperate waters near southern Australia
  • Size: Up to 5.5 feet long
  • Diet: Echinoderms, mollusks, crustaceans, small fish

Port Jackson sharks have different teeth than what you’d expect from a shark. They use their teeth to grind up prey with hard exteriors rather than biting into it. They’re capable of breathing and eating at the same time, which is an uncommon behavior for sharks. They usually acquire their food by swimming along the sandy floor and sucking up invertebrates out of the substrate. They can blow sand back out of their gills while eating their prey.

75. Portuguese Man O’ War

Portuguese Man O' War floating in the water
  • Scientific Name: Physalia physalis
  • Habitat: Across tropical and subtropical oceans
  • Size: 30 to 100 feet tall, counting tentacles
  • Diet: Small fish, fish fry, crustaceans

Portuguese Man O’ Wars may look beautiful, but they can be deadly to humans. They have lots of venom-filled cells that they use to paralyze and kill their prey. If a tentacle is severed from the creature’s body, it can still sting. They may look like jellyfish, but they belong to a group of animals known as siphonophores instead. This species is named after an old warship because people believe these creatures resemble the shape of the boat.

76. Powerful Owl

Powerful owl face
  • Scientific Name: Ninox strenua
  • Habitat: Woodlands across Australia
  • Size: About 1 foot long, 4.5-foot wingspan
  • Diet: Tree-dwelling mammals

Powerful owls are so large and strong that they’re the top nocturnal predators in their area. When they capture their prey, they sometimes take it apart to eat it in several pieces. They spend most of their time in breeding pairs, and the pairs have several perches they regularly visit. One breeding pair may consume up to 250 possums per year since that’s one of their favorite foods. Male powerful owls aren’t afraid to fight with other owls for territory and mates.

77. Prairie Rattlesnake

Prairie rattlesnake in dry grass
  • Scientific Name: Crotalus viridis
  • Habitat: Grasslands and prairies of central United States
  • Size: Up to 5 feet long
  • Diet: Small mammals, birds, other snakes

Prairie rattlesnakes don’t bite humans unless provoked, but if you get bit, the venom could cause severe pain or be lethal. These snakes don’t have great eyesight, so they rely on smell and movement to help them locate prey. They aren’t born with a rattle on the end of their tails, but instead, they have a tiny nub when they’re born. Every time they shed their skin, another nub grows until it looks like their signature rattling tail. Female rattlesnakes never lay eggs because the eggs hatch inside them, causing a live birth.

78. Proboscis Monkey

Proboscis monkey in forests
  • Scientific Name: Nasalis larvatus
  • Habitat: Jungles of Borneo
  • Size: 19 to 45 pounds
  • Diet: Leaves, fruits, seeds, insects

Proboscis monkeys are excellent at both climbing and swimming. They’ve evolved to have webbed feet to help them swim away from predators faster. The stomachs of these monkeys are divided into about nine chambers. Each stomach contains healthy bacteria to help them digest their food better. While these monkeys are known for their bizarre noses, only males have large, rounded noses. Females have smaller pointed noses, similar to human noses.

79. Pronghorn

Pronghorn in a field
  • Scientific Name: Antilocapra americana
  • Habitat: Dry plains and deserts of western North America
  • Size: 75 to 140 pounds
  • Diet: Grasses, forbs, sagebrush

Pronghorns are the fastest land mammal in North America, running up to 65 miles per hour. Baby pronghorns can run faster than adult humans at only two days old. The only land mammal faster than this species in the world is the cheetah. Both males and females of this species have horns, but the males have much longer horns. Their hair shafts are hollow which can help them stay insulated from the cold in the winter.

80. Przewalski’s Horse

Przewalski's horse in a field
  • Scientific Name: Equus ferus przewalskii
  • Habitat: Steppes of the Gobi Desert
  • Size: 550 to 800 pounds
  • Diet: Grass, leaves

These large mammals are a species of wild horse in Mongolia. They have 66 chromosomes while domesticated horses only have 64. However, these horses can produce fertile hybrids with domesticated horses. They live in groups that consist of many females, a dominant male, and any of that male’s offspring. Przewalski’s horses are often called “takhi,” the Mongolian word for “spirit.”

81. Puff Adder

Alert puff adder
  • Scientific Name: Bitis arietans
  • Habitat: Savannas and grasslands across Africa
  • Size: 2.5 to 3.5 feet long
  • Diet: Small mammals, birds, lizards, amphibians

Puff adders got their name because they can puff up their bodies to appear bigger if a predator approaches. These snakes are highly aggressive and venomous, so humans should avoid them at all costs. Their venom directly attacks and destroys the tissue of their victim. Like many snake species, puff adders can use vibrations in the ground to locate prey. The females give live births, which typically include 20 to 50 young snakes.

82. Puku

Puku in wild habitat
  • Scientific Name: Kobus vardonii
  • Habitat: Floodplains and grasslands of south-central Africa
  • Size: 150 to 180 pounds
  • Diet: Grasses

The puku is a near-threatened antelope species in Africa. About one-third of the population is in protected areas, national parks, and zoos. Males have sharp, ridged horns, but females don’t. The females gather in large groups to forage for grass while males spend most of their time alone. If a puku feels threatened, they will let out a shrill whistle sound to warn others.

83. Puli

Shaggy Puli dog
  • Scientific Name: Canis familiaris
  • Habitat: Domesticated
  • Size: 22 to 33 pounds
  • Diet: Domestic dog food

This is one of the most recognizable dog breeds because of the natural dreadlocks in the fur. These dogs’ cords of fur require more grooming than the average dog because debris can easily get trapped in their coats. They originated in Hungary, where they were primarily used for herding and guarding livestock. The most common plural form of the puli is pulik.

84. Puma

Puma resting on rock
  • Scientific Name: Felis concolor
  • Habitat: Forests, plains, and rocky areas from southern Alaska to southern Chile
  • Size: 115 to 220 pounds
  • Diet: Rodents, birds, fish, other mammals

Pumas are the same species as mountain lions and cougars. The three names are used interchangeably. These large felines are very athletic, jumping as far as 20 feet. They can also run up to 50 miles per hour. They’re more closely related to small felines than big cats because they don’t roar. Like house cats, they make a wide range of noises to communicate with each other, including purrs, whistles, squeaks, and screams.

85. Pumpkin Patch Tarantula

Pumpkin patch tarantula on dirt
  • Scientific Name: Hapalopus sp Columbia
  • Habitat: Warm, humid areas of Colombia
  • Size: 2.5 to 4 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, worms, small frogs, lizards

The pattern on these tarantulas’ abdomens isn’t spotted or striped, but instead, it looks like a pumpkin patch. They’re a species of dwarf tarantula that’s commonly kept as a pet because of their unique coloring. These spiders are venomous, but their venom poses little threat to humans. Plus, they’re skittish and shy, so they’re unlikely to bite. They spend most of their time in underground burrows, and they come out at night to hunt.

86. Puna Ibis

Puna ibis resting on wire
  • Scientific Name: Plegadis ridgwayi
  • Habitat: Swamps, marshes, and lakes of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru
  • Size: 22 to 24 inches long
  • Diet: Amphibians, aquatic insects, insect larvae, mollusks

These birds gather along the edge of the water in groups to forage for food. They probe at the substrate below them with their long, curved bills to locate prey. They have long, skinny legs to allow them to wade in shallow water without getting their feathers wet. The Uru people of Bolivia have domesticated these birds to raise them for meat and eggs.

87. Purple Emperor

Purple emperor butterfly on leaf
  • Scientific Name: Apatura iris
  • Habitat: Oak woodlands of southern England
  • Size: 2.8 to 3.1 inch wingspan
  • Diet: Aphid honeydew, tree sap, carrion

These butterflies once stretched across Asia and Europe, but now they’re mostly restricted to small areas of England. Their caterpillars are green with stripes, but the butterflies have beautiful blue/purple wings with white, black, and orange patterns. Females are larger than males and don’t have iridescent wings. Unlike most butterflies, they don’t eat nectar. Sometimes, they will collect moisture and salt from dead animals.

88. Purple Finch

Purple finch on tree branch
  • Scientific Name: Haemorhous purpureus
  • Habitat: Forests across parts of the United States and Canada
  • Size: 4.7 to 6.3 inches long
  • Diet: Seeds, berries, buds, insects

Despite being called purple finches, these birds don’t always look purple. They’re typically brown with hints of dark red, which looks purple in certain lighting. The intensity of the red-purple on the bird’s feathers may help them find a mate. They’re social birds that gather in groups of 200. They communicate with each other using ticking sounds, even when flying. These birds become highly aggressive toward each other during the mating season.

89. Purple Grenadier

Purple grenadier on tree branch
  • Scientific Name: Uraeginthus ianthinogaster
  • Habitat: Dry shrublands of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda
  • Size: 5.25 to 5.5 inches long
  • Diet: Grass seeds, insects

Males of this species have red-brown feathers that have purple blotches across their bellies and around their eyes. Females look similar, but their spots are smaller and blue rather than purple. They forage in pairs or flocks, which can sometimes be mixed with other species. These birds almost always pick their food off the ground. They make high-pitched squeaking and whistling sounds when communicating with each other.

90. Purple Honeycreeper

Purple honeycreeper on damp branch
  • Scientific Name: Cyanerpes caeruleus
  • Habitat: Wet forest edges of northern South America
  • Size: About 4.5 inches long
  • Diet: Nectar, insects, spiders, fruits

The narrow, curved bills of purple honeycreepers are used to collect nectar from plants. However, they will eat a variety of other food sources too. These birds often listen for the calls of ferruginous pygmy owls so they can ambush them and steal their food. During the breeding season, they build small, cup-shaped nests as places to lay their beautiful white and brown blotched eggs.

91. Purple Martin

Purple martin on branch
  • Scientific Name: Progne subis
  • Habitat: Open, grassy areas of eastern North America
  • Size: 7.5 to 8.5 inches long
  • Diet: Flying insects, spiders

Purple martins almost always eat and drink in mid-flight. They will catch flying insects in the air and scoop up water by skimming the surface. In the late summer, these birds may roost with thousands of other purple martins. However, some species of sparrows and starlings often steal the nests of these birds. To attract purple martins to your yard, you can put up a house for them and offer crushed eggshells because the birds will eat the eggshells as grit to help them digest insects with hard exteriors.

92. Purple-Naped Lory

Purple-naped lory on tree
  • Scientific Name: Lorius domicella
  • Habitat: Forests across Indonesian islands
  • Size: About 11 inches long
  • Diet: Seeds, fruits, nectar

Despite being mostly red and green, these endangered birds are named after a patch of purple they usually have on their necks. Their main threat is being trapped by humans and sold as pets. They’re typically found in pairs, but they’re secretive birds that are rarely spotted. They make a variety of sounds to communicate with each other, including melodious songs, raptor-like whistles, and harsh screeches.

93. Puss Moth

Puss moth clinging to leaf
  • Scientific Name: Cerura vinula
  • Habitat: Gardens and woodlands of Europe and northern Africa
  • Size: 1.9 to 3.1 inches long
  • Diet: Leaves from poplar and willow trees

The fuzzy exterior of the puss moth makes it seem cat-like. These moths are most active at night, and they use the moon to help them find their way. However, manmade lights can confuse them. If something attacks them, they will fight back. They have small whips on their wings, and they can squirt formic acid at a threat. The hairs on puss moth caterpillars can leave severe rashes on human skin.

94. Pygmy Cormorant

Pygmy cormorant drying wings
  • Scientific Name: Microcarbo pygmeus
  • Habitat: Lakes and rivers of southeastern Europe
  • Size: 17.7 to 21.6 inches long
  • Diet: Fish

Like larger cormorants, these little birds perch on the shore until they’re ready to dive into the water for a fishing expedition. They usually hunt in groups. When they’re done hunting, they come back to the shore and fan out their wings to dry them. They use sticks and reeds to build their nests along the dense vegetation of the water’s shore to keep their eggs hidden from predators. They’ve adapted to living near humans, so they’re not as skittish as other wild animals.

95. Pygmy Hippopotamus

Cute Pygmy hippopotamus
  • Scientific Name: Choeropsis liberiensis
  • Habitat: Swamps and rivers of West Africa
  • Size: 400 to 600 pounds
  • Diet: Leaves, roots, fruits

Pygmy hippopotamuses look like hippos that never outgrow their baby stage, but they differ in behavior and characteristics. They don’t spend nearly as much time underwater as larger hippos do. These mammals might be heavy, but common hippos still weigh about ten times more. If these hippos stay in the sun too long, they will release pink fluid known as “blood sweat” from their skin to keep them hydrated and protected from sunburn.

96. Pygmy Marmoset

Pygmy marmoset sitting on branch
  • Scientific Name: Callithrix pygmaea
  • Habitat: Rainforests across South America
  • Size: 4.6 to 6 inches long
  • Diet: Tree sap, nectar, fruits, grubs, spiders

These tiny primates are the smallest true monkeys in the world. Yet, they can jump over 16 feet to get from one tree branch to another. They have sharp nails that help them cling to trees. They can rotate their head 180 degrees to survey their surroundings. Since these mammals are so cute, the pet trade is one of the biggest threats to their population. Not only is owning one illegal in most areas, but they also make terrible pets due to their advanced care requirements.

97. Pygmy Python

Pygmy python curled up
  • Scientific Name: Antaresia perthensis
  • Habitat: Sandy areas of Australia
  • Size: 8 to 20 inches long
  • Diet: Lizards, small mammals

As the name implies, these reptiles are the smallest pythons in the world. They’re also called anthill pythons because they often build their dens in termite mounds or anthills. These snakes are always solitary outside of the breeding season. When they’re ready to breed, males will follow pheromone trails to find females. Since these snakes are small and not venomous, they’re not dangerous to humans.

98. Pygmy Seahorse

Pygmy seahorse blending in with coral
  • Scientific Name: Hippocampus bargibanti
  • Habitat: Near corals in the Indo-West Pacific
  • Size: 0.55 to 1.06 inches
  • Diet: Small crustaceans

Most pygmy seahorses are small enough to fit on an adult human’s fingernail. They’re almost impossible to spot in the wild because they turn into the color of whatever their host coral is, which is almost always a species of gorgonian coral. They also dwell 52 to 131 feet below the water’s surface. Most male seahorses have a pouch on their tail for their young, but pygmy seahorses have a pouch on their trunk. These creatures were discovered by accident in 1969 when scientists were researching coral.

99. Pygora Goat

Pygora goats wearing bandanas
  • Scientific Name: Capra aegagrus hircus
  • Habitat: Domesticasted
  • Size: 65 to 95 pounds
  • Diet: Grass, hay, grains

Pygora goats are a hybrid goat species that was created in 1987. They’re a mix between Angora goats and pygmy goats. They have soft, curly coats like sheep, so they’re primarily bred for producing fleece because their coats can produce three different types of fleece. Their coats come in a variety of colors, including white, brown, black, gray, and red. These goats also have playful, friendly personalities.

100. Pyjama Shark

Pyjama shark close-up
  • Scientific Name: Poroderma africanum
  • Habitat: Temperate coastal waters of southern Africa
  • Size: 1.9 to 3.5 feet long
  • Diet: Crustaceans, small fish, squid, octopus

These sharks got their unique name because the stripes on their back resemble striped pajamas. They stay near the ocean floor in shallow waters, but they’re generally harmless to humans. They usually wait in one spot for a while, and when prey swims past, they ambush it. They have two rows of teeth on each side of their jaws, and each row contains 14 to 25 teeth. Each tooth has three sharp points.

101. Pyrenean Frog

Pyrenean frog close up
  • Scientific Name: Rana pyrenaica
  • Habitat: Rivers of the Pyrenees Mountains
  • Size: About 2 inches long
  • Diet: Insects, aquatic larvae

Juveniles spend most of their time on land, but as adults, these frogs are almost always found in or near rocky streams. They stay near water so they can dive in and hide in crevices if they sense danger. They’re active both day and night whenever they’re not hibernating. During the breeding season, the females lay their eggs underneath stones in the streams.

Animals Come in All Shapes and Sizes

The letter P covers a wide variety of animal types. Some are small enough to hold in our hands while others tower over us. However, the animals on this list are only the beginning. If you’re interested in learning about more animal species, there are a variety of options under every letter of the alphabet.