X-rays, X-men, X marks the spot!
There are some letters in our alphabet that we don’t think of all that often. And one of those letters, I think we all can agree on, is the letter X.
But that doesn’t make it unimportant; there are some interesting critters amongst animals that start with letter X. Check it out for yourself!
And make sure to click on the Animal Coloring Sheets that are freely available, and be prepared to learn some cool facts and Scientific Names, a combination of each animal’s Genus(1) and Species(2)!
Amphibians that Start with the letter X
Tiny critters can go crazy lengths, and that goes for this little toad on our list of Amphibians that start with the letter X, the Xizang Alpine Toad.
Growing no more than around 2.4 inches in length, the Xizang Alpine Toad calls the regions of Western China and Nepal, India home. But there’s another place where they’ve decided to place some roots. At a whopping 17,290 ft in elevation, in a lake within the Sikkimese Himalayas is another decently sized group of Xizang Alpine Toads. And according to Amphibian population records, this is the highest elevation recorded for amphibians to be found living and thriving! (4) The Xizang Alpine Toad is living its highest life!
- Xiangcheng Toothed Toad (Oreolalax xiangchengensis)
- Xiangjiang Music Frog (Nidirana xiangica)
- Xianju Horned Toad (Boulenophrys xianjuensis)
- Xicotepec Salamander (Chiropterotriton melipona)
- Xizang Alpine Toad (Scutiger boulengeri)
- Xolocalco Bromeliad Salamander (Dendrotriton xolocalcae)
- Xucaneb Robber Frog (Craugastor xucanebi)
- Xuelin Paa Frog (Nanorana xuelinensis)
Birds that Start with the letter X
Hummingbirds are majestic in their tiny frame and the way they buzz around carefree. There are over 330 species of Hummingbirds alone(4)! Did you know there’s a species that can only be found in one area within the U.S.?
The first flying creature on our list of Birds that start with the letter X is the Xantus’s Hummingbird. This beautifully colored and petite bird can be found in particular habitats in Mexico, but within the U.S., they only like to hang around Baja, California. (5) Talk about a homebody!
- Xantus’s Hummingbird (Hylocharis xantusii)
- Xantus’ Murrelet (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus)
- Xavier’s Greenbul (Phyllastrephus xavieri)
- Xeme (Xema sabini)
- Xinjiang Ground-Jay (Podoces biddulphi)
- Xingu Scale-backed Antbird (Willisornis vidua)
Dogs that Start with the letter X
The Xoloitzcuintle, or Xolo for short, is a very special dog to Aztec and Mexican culture and history. This pup’s name derives from the Aztec Deity Xolotl, who was known as the escort for the afterlife and the god of fire because these sacred dogs are remarked for their healing abilities for humans, such as trouble sleeping, anxiety, pain reduction, and even asthma. And in ancient times, the Xolos helped guide people in long-distant journies. (6) Plus, if you’ve seen the Disney movie Coco you’ll be familiar with the loveable spirit guide dog Dante!
- Xiasi Dog
Fish that Start with the letter X
It’s cool when you can see the inner workings of something fascinating, right? Well, how about a living, swimming fish!
As you may have guessed by its name, the X-ray Tetra is a critter that you can see right through! Perhaps not just like looking out a glass window, but it’s pretty mind-blowing you can see into it at all. Want another mind-blowing fact? This species is able to have a litter as large as 400. (7) Good luck to those fish parents getting a fishy sitter!
- X-ray Tetra (Pristella maxillaris)
- Xanthogramma Sandperch (Parapercis xanthogramma)
- Xantic Sargo (Anisotremus davidsonii)
- Xenaploactis Anopta (Xenaploactis Aploactinidae)
- Xingu Corydoras (Xingu corydoras)
- Xingu River Ray (Potamotrygon leopoldi)
Insects that Start with the letter X
The Xylocopid Bee, known more commonly as the Carpenter Bee, has a large family of over 500 species across the whole world. A bit larger and darker than the bumble bees you may be used to seeing, the Xylocopid Bee has distinctly shiny colored wings and is also a big help in pollinating flowers. If you’re curious to know how they got their common name Carpenter Bee, this is because they like to claim their homes within the shallow depths of wooden foundations. They do this buy digging a hole through the wood! (8)
- Xami Hairstreak (Callophrys xami)
- Xerces Butterfly (Glaucopsyche xerces)
- Xuthus Swallowtail (Papilio xuthus)
- Xylocopid Bee (Xylocopa)
Mammals that Start with the letter X
Although the list of Mammals that start with the letter X isn’t long, the Xerus squirrel has enough cuteness to go around! These little guys are light brown with a thin white line on their sides and white-colored bellies. And let’s not forget that big bushy tail! They actually use their tail as an umbrella when it gets too warm during their hunting time. The Xerus, or the African Ground Squirrel, is quite the nibble and playful critter. (9)
- Xanthippe’s Shrew (Crocidura xantippe)
- Xerus (Xerus)
Reptiles that Start with the letter X
We can all agree that feet, no matter the species, are a bit weird. And the one and only creature on our list of Reptiles that start with the letter X would have much to say on this conversation!
The Xantus’ Leaf-Toed Gecko has, you guessed it, some interesting toes, to say the least. Almost in a cartoonish way, this reptile’s toes are spread far apart. Sort of like the different shapes along the sides of a leaf, giving its distinct shape. (10)
- Xantus’ Leaf-Toed Gecko (Phyllodactylus xanti)
Even though the list of animals that start with letter X isn’t incredibly long, the animals, knowledge, and coloring sheets are still a hoot! It just goes to show that no letter in our alphabet should be taken for granted; you never know!
Here is your very own easy-peasy scientific glossary that you can refer to in case a word looks peculiar to you. No one likes to have strange words thrown at them, especially if they’re left to scratch their heads and wonder what they just read. Not on our watch!
Genus: The usual major subdivision of a family or subfamily in the classification of organisms, usually consisting of more than one species. (1)
Species: The major subdivision of a genus or subgenus, regarded as the basic category of biological classification, composed of related individuals that resemble one another, are able to breed among themselves, but are not able to breed with members of another species. (2)
1) “Genus”, Dictionary.com, https://www.dictionary.com/browse/genus (accessed 09/08/2022)
2) “Species”, Dictionary.com, https://www.dictionary.com/browse/species (accessed 09/08/2022)
3) “Scutiger boulengeri.” Wikipedia. Last modified November 20, 2021. Accessed September 8, 2022. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scutiger_boulengeri.
4) “Hummingbird Species.” Hummingbird Central. Accessed September 8, 2022. https://www.hummingbirdcentral.com/hummingbird-species.htm#:~:text=The%20hummingbird%20family%20is%20very,and%20south%20of%20the%20equator.
5) “Xantus Hummingbird Species.” Hummingbird Plus. Accessed September 8, 2022. https://www.hummingbirdsplus.org/species/xantus/.
6) “Xoloitzcuintli Dogs 101: Everything You Need To Know.” YouTube Animal Insider. Accessed September 8, 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lBz56ShsME.
7) “Fun X-Ray Tetra Facts For Kids.” Kidadl. Last modified August 5, 2021. Accessed September 8, 2022. https://kidadl.com/facts/animals/x-ray-tetra-facts.
8) “Carpenter bee Xylocopa documentary.” YouTube Media Space. Accessed September 8, 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XUs0l-YK68.
9) “How Ground Squirrels Keep Cool in The Summer.” YouTube Smithsonian Channel. Accessed September 8, 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bJk1oSCEtQ.
10) “Phyllodactylus xanti.” Wikipedia. Last modified July 31, 2022. Accessed September 8, 2022. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phyllodactylus_xanti.