Z may be the last letter of the alphabet, but it sure doesn’t rank last on curious creatures! Not only will you get the inside scoop on animals that start with letter Z, learning interesting facts, each critter’s Genus(1) and Species(2) that make up their Scientific Name, but you can also be the smarty pants that know that Zebra is only one of the animals that starts with letter Z.
And for double the fun, check out our awesome Animal Coloring Sheets along the way!
Amphibians that Start with the letter Z
The interesting and mysterious looking critter on our spotlight for amphibians that start with the letter Z is Ziegler’s Crocodile Newt. Although it’s coloring is much different than the Crocs we’re used to seeing, their defined scaley-like backs and heads have quite a few similarities. This striking amphibian can be found crawling around in Southern China and Northern Vietnam. (3) Orange and Black never went so well together; work it Ziegler’s Crocodile Newt!
- Zacapa Salamander (Bolitoglossa zacapensis)
- Zapata Toad (Peltophryne florentinoi)
- Zapotec Salamander (Bolitoglossa zapoteca)
- Zaire Dwarf Clawed Frog (Hymenochirus boettgeri)
- Zhang’s Asian Toad (Leptobrachella zhangyapingi)
- Zhao Ermi’s Smooth Warty Newt (Paramesotriton labiatus)
- Zhushihe Mountain Toad (Ophryophryne koui)
- Ziama Torrent-frog (Odontobatrachus ziama)
- Ziegler’s Crocodile Newt (Tylototriton ziegleri)
- Ziegler’s Treefrog (Gracixalus ziegleri)
- Zimmer’s Cross Frog (Oreophryne zimmeri)
- Zoquitlan Thorius (Thorius maxillabrochus)
- Zuniga’s Dirt Frog (Craugastor zunigai)
- Zweifel’s Big-eyed Treefrog (Nyctimystes zweifeli)
Birds that Start with the letter Z
We’re definitely going to touch on Zebras later on, but take a look at this bird that starts with the letter Z, the Zebra Dove!
These fun-looking birds also have a fun long-running competition they partake in, in Thailand! It is referred to as a Cooing Contest, as these beautiful birds have quite the coo to them. And the Zebra Dove is a symbol of good luck to families who raise these birds in their homes, this is why there are so many Zebra Doves who can enter the Cooing Contest. (4) Trade in your Superbowl tickets for the Cooing Contest!
- Zambezi Indigobird (Vidua codringtoni)
- Zamboanga Bulbul (Hypsipetes rufigularis)
- Zanzibar Red Bishop (Euplectes nigroventris)
- Zapata Rail (Cyanolimnas cerverai)
- Zapata Sparrow (Torreornis inexpectata)
- Zapata Wren (Ferminia cerverai)
- Zappey’s Flycatcher (Cyanoptila cumatilis)
- Zarudny’s Sparrow (Passer zarudnyi)
- Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata)
- Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia castanotis)
- Zeledon’s Antbird (Hafferia zeledoni)
- Zenaida Dove (Zenaida aurita)
- Zenker’s Honeyguide (Melignomon zenkeri)
- Zigzag Heron (Zebrilus undulatus)
- Zimmer’s Flatbill (Tolmomyias assimilis)
- Zimmer’s Tapaculo (Scytalopus zimmeri)
- Zimmer’s Tody-tyrant (Hemitriccus minimus)
- Zimmer’s Woodcreeper (Dendroplex kienerii)
- Zino’s Petrel (Pterodroma madeira)
- Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis)
- Zoe’s Imperial Pigeon (Ducula zoeae)
- Zone-tailed Hawk (Buteo albontatus)
Dogs that Start with the letter Z
Look out! Adorable dog mix coming through! The Zuchon is cuddly breed mixed with a Shih Tzu and a Bichon Frise, giving it the cute teddybear look that it is well-known for. These little pups can grow to be around 12 inches in height, and most likely at a max of 15 lbs; what a tiny cutesy dog! The Zuchon breed’s debut wasn’t all too long ago, only in the 1990s, in the U.S., was it first brought into the dog world. Some dogs are bred for hunting or herding reasons, but the Zuchon was bred to be cuddly, affectionate, and a perfect addition to any family. (5) It’s safe to say the mission is accomplished!
- Zuchon (Shih Tzu Bichon Frise)
Fish that Start with the letter Z
Nope, we’re not at the Zebra just yet. But we do have an extremely interesting fish that starts with the letter Z for you to check out and learn about; the Zebra Lionfish!
Just as Lions have a large and striking Mane, the Zebra Lionfish displays quite the gorgeously patterned fins. But there is a big difference between these creatures, well, besides the fact that they are compelty different species. The Zebra Lionfish is stunning, but you don’t want to get your fingers near it. The Dorsal Fins of this particular fish are actually poisonous. (7)
- Zander (Sander lucioperca)
- Zebra Bullhead Shark (Heterodontus zebra)
- Zebra Danio (Danio rerio)
- Zebrafish (Danio rerio)
- Zebra Lionfish (Dendrochirus zebra)
- Zebra Loach (Botia striata)
- Zebra Oto (Otocinclus cocama)
- Zebra Pleco (Hypancistrus zebra)
- Zebra Shark (Stegostoma tigrinum)
- Zebra Tilapia (Heterotilapia buttikoferi)
- Ziege (Pelecus cultratus)
- Zingel (Zingel streber)
Insects & Spiders that Start with the letter Z
Sorry for the false alarm, this isn’t the Zebra spotlight yet, but take a look at this creature!
This creepy crawly spider that starts with the letter Z looks like it lurked straight out of a Tim Burton movie, it’s the Zebra Spider! These spiders are known amongst the Jumping Spider speieces, because, you guessed it, these critters can jump! They are tiny, fast, and jumpy spiders that don’t spin webs like other spiders but instead use their intimidating fangs and striking eyes. A Zebra spider has been known to hunt down Moths, which are much larger then they are and goes to show how insane their hunting skills can be. (8) You can never judge a spider by its size!
- Zebra Longwing Butterfly (Heliconius charithonia)
- Zebra Spider (Salticus scenicus)
- Zoraptera (Zoraptera)
Mammals that Start with the letter Z
Here it is, the moment you’ve been waiting for. We couldn’t go through a list of Animals that start with letter Z without mentioning the famous Zebra!
Unless you’re visiting a Zoo or wild animal Sanctuary, you won’t be able to set your eyes on the iconic stripes of a Zebra unless you’re in particular places in Africa. There are 3 different species of Zebras, but the one that’s most well-known is the Plains Zebra. Obviously not plain in appearance though, who wouldn’t be dazzled by that beautiful black and white pattern! And Zebras, no matter their species, love to travel in herds and stick together. Their herds can be in the thousands at times! (9) Can you imagine their family reunions, what a riot!
- Zacatecan Deer Mouse (Peromyscus difficilis)
- Zacatecas Harvest Mouse (Reithrodontomys zacatecae)
- Zacatecas Shrew (Sorex emarginatus)
- Zaisan Mole Vole (Ellobius tancrei)
- Zanj Sun Squirrel (Heliosciurus undulatus)
- Zaphir’s Shrew (Crocidura zaphiri)
- Zarudny’s Jird (Meriones zarudnyi)
- Zarudny’s Shrew (Crocidura zarudnyi)
- Zebra (Equus quagga)
- Zebra Duiker (Cephalophus zebra)
- Zempoaltepec Deer Mouse (Peromyscus melanocarpus)
- Zempoaltepec Vole (Microtus umbrosus)
- Zenker’s Fruit Bat (Scotonycteris zenkeri)
- Zimmer’s Shrew (Crocidura zimmeri)
- Zimmermann’s Shrew (Crocidura zimmermanni)
- Zinser’s Pocket Gopher (Pappogeomys zinseri)
- Zorilla (Ictonyx striatus)
- Zorro (Lycalopex)
- Zuniga’s Dark Rice Rat (Melanomys zunigae)
Reptiles that Start with the letter Z
We simply couldn’t resist ending this amazing list of Animals that start with letter Z without mentioning yet another fantastic critter that has Zebra in it’s name; it’s just too much fun!
Above is a picture of the interesting Zebra-tailed Lizard, and without having to look all that hard you can see why. If a Zebra-tailed Lizard finds itself in a bind, it can do two pretty handy things: it can either run on it’s two back legs for a short while, and these Zebra-tailed Lizards can run remarkably fast, or it can wag its black and white stripped tail at it’s predator quickly back and forth to cause a distraction. (10) If a Zebra-tailed Lizard wags its tail fast enough, do you think it could put someone under hypnosis?
- Zagrosian Lizard (Timon princeps)
- Zambezi Soft-shelled Turtle (Cycloderma frenatum)
- Zamboang Lipinia (Lipinia zamboangensis)
- Zamenis Hohenackeri (Zamenis hohenackeri)
- Zapallaren Tree Iguana (Liolaemus zapallarensis)
- Zebra Snake (Naja nigricincta)
- Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
- Zhou’s Box Turtle (Cuora zhoui)
- Zulia Toadhead Turtle (Mesoclemmys zuliae)
- Zululand Dwarf Chameleon (Bradypodion nemorale)
What a zany bunch of animals that start with letter Z! Disappointed you’re at the end? Well, the animal fun doesn’t have to end there. Take a look through our free and wildly adorable Animal Coloring Sheets, ready to be printed out and enjoyed!
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)
Dorsal Fin: The fin or finlike integumentary expansion generally developed on the back of aquatic vertebrates. (6)
1) “Genus”, Dictionary.com, https://www.dictionary.com/browse/genus (accessed 09/12/2022)
2) “Species”, Dictionary.com, https://www.dictionary.com/browse/species (accessed 09/12/2022)
3) “Tylototriton ziegleri.” Wikipedia. Last modified November 20, 2021. Accessed September 12, 2022. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tylototriton_ziegleri.
4) “Zebra Dove Cooing Contest has a Long Tradition in Thailand.” Thailand Travel Info. Last modified February 22, 2006. Accessed September 12, 2022. http://thailand-travel-info.blogspot.com/2006/02/zebra-dove-cooing-contest-has-long.html.
5) Hollinger, Hannah. “Zuchon.” Wag!. Last modified October 14, 2021. Accessed September 12, 2022. https://wagwalking.com/breed/zuchon.
6) “Dorsal Fin”, Dictionary.com, https://www.dictionary.com/browse/dorsalfin (accessed 09/12/2022)
7) McGrouther, Mark. “Zebra Lionfish, Dendrochirus zebra (Cuvier, 1829).” Australian Museum . Last modified January 19, 2021. Accessed September 12, 2022. https://australian.museum/learn/animals/fishes/zebra-lionfish-dendrochirus-zebra/.
8) “Zebra Spider The Jumping Spider (Salticus Scenicus).” YouTube AntManUK. Accessed September 12, 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sy1ls0lllmg.
9) “Zebra Facts!.” National Geographic Kids. Accessed September 12, 2022. https://www.natgeokids.com/uk/discover/animals/general-animals/zebra-facts/.
10) “Zebra-tailed lizard.” Wikiwand. Accessed September 12, 2022. https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Zebra-tailed_lizard.