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Animals in Tennessee

animals in tennessee

Tennessee is home to many zoos and natural parks, which provide a habitat for a variety of animals. Some of the rare species include lions, tigers, and bears. There are also strange animals such as Komodo dragons and venomous snakes. However, the majority of animals in Tennessee are native to the state. This includes approximately 75 animal species, such as black bears, cougars, bobcats, and elk. 

Tennessee is home to a variety of wildlife, including some unexpected species. For example, the state is home to both big brown bats and American mink. The American beaver is another animal that can be found in Tennessee. These animals are all interesting and provide residents with a glimpse into the state’s diverse ecosystem. Raccoons are perhaps the most well-known of Tennessee’s wildlife and they are the official wild animal of Tennessee.

These creatures are easily recognizable due to their black masks and are a common sight in the state. Raccoons are intelligent and curious animals, making them fun to watch. 

animals in tennessee

Catfish is the official commercial fish of the state of Tennessee. There are many different species of catfish, but the most popular ones for consumption are the channel catfish and the blue catfish. Catfish are raised on farms by locals and then shipped all over the world. They help to control populations of smaller fish and keep aquatic plants healthy. 

Tennessee also contains many insects, including three state insects: the ladybug, the honey bee, and the lightning bug. Ladybugs are a type of beetle that is often red or orange with black spots. They help to control pests by eating aphids and other small insects. Honeybees are important pollinators and play a crucial role in the agricultural industry. Lightning bugs, also known as fireflies, are a type of beetle that emits light from their abdomens. 

Tennessee’s state butterfly appears like a zebra swallowtail. It is black and white with yellow stripes on the wings. The body is black with white spots. The caterpillars are black with yellow stripes. They eat the leaves of maples, willows, and elms. Adults drink nectar from flowers. 

Tennessee is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including 84 natural areas that are perfect for observing animals in their natural habitat. While all of these areas have abundant wildlife, they are also perfectly safe for humans, as the animals in Tennessee are not known to be dangerous. 

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most biodiverse areas in Tennessee. The park is home to a wide variety of animals, including black bears, raccoons, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, and woodchucks. Bobcats are also known to inhabit the park, and their tracks can often be found in the soft soil. 

Many animals in Tennessee can be found in state parks, including Cumberland Mountain State Park, Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium, and Savage Gluch State Natural Area. There are also several zoos in Tennessee, including the Memphis Zoo and the Chattanooga Zoo.

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Orb Weaver Spider

Milk Snake

Sandhill Crane

Corn Snake

Fox Squirrel




Orb Weaver Spider

Orb Weaver Spider

In Tennessee, there are 40-50 different species of spiders, and the orb weaver spider is one of the most common. Orb weaver spiders are a type of spider that gets its name from the round, wheel-shaped web that it spins. These spiders are found in gardens and other areas with vegetation, and they use their webs to capture prey. Orb weaver spiders are generally brown or black in color, and they can grow up to 1 inch in length.

Although these spiders are not deadly, there is one species of spider in Tennessee that is considered to be dangerous to humans: the false black widow. This type of spider is similar in appearance to the orb weaver spider, but it is usually darker in color and has a more distinct pattern on its body. The false black widow is not aggressive toward humans, but its bite can cause severe pain and swelling.

These spiders come in a variety of colors, including yellow, red, orange, and light brown-black. Although they are not naturally hostile, if someone annoys them, they may bite. When they bite, the area around the bite becomes swollen and red in color. Orb spiders have venom, but it’s not potent enough to have adverse effects. These spiders typically construct their webs near buildings, tree branches, bushes, window or doorway corners, decks, and gardens.

They build their web near lights, where insects are attracted. The web looks like a frame, with a sticky spiral to hold the prey. The spider uses different silks to create the web, which has rare properties that make them strong. The prey will not be able to leave the web once it is caught. The orb weaver spider hangs itself with its head in a downward direction.

When an insect walks into the web, the spider feels the vibration and rushes over to wrap it up in silk and bites it to paralyze it. It then hangs upside down below its prey waiting for their venom to kill them. After the prey is dead, the spider will take it back to its web to eat it.

These spiders are also known for their unique mating habits. The male spider will travel towards the web of the female but will be afraid of getting eaten. Rather than travel to the female’s web, the male spider creates a special thread, called a mating thread. This thread is used to attract the female spider, and if the male is successful, the two will mate on this thread. 

Places where one can find Orb Weaver Spiders in Tennessee

They can be seen in Knoxville, Tennessee. But you might easily come across them in your own backyard, in the ruins of nearby buildings, on the limbs of trees and plants, and so on.

Milk Snake

 milk snake

The milk snake is a common snake found throughout the eastern region of the United States. There are three subspecies of milk snakes that can be found in Tennessee, and they vary in size and coloration. The most common milk snake is the eastern milk snake, which can grow to a length of 24-36 inches. Eastern milk snakes are usually tan or grey in color, with 3-5 lines of reddish brown coloration and black edges on their blotches.

The other two subspecies of milk snakes that can be found in Tennessee are the southern milk snake and the western milk snake. Southern milk snakes are slightly smaller than eastern milk snakes, and they have a more uniform pattern of coloration. Western milk snakes are the largest of the three subspecies, and they have a very distinct pattern of black, white, and red bands.

These snakes usually have a Y or V-shaped tan mark on the rear side of their head, which is how they got their name. Milk snakes were named after an old myth that said they milked cows, but there is no true evidence to support this claim. However, these snakes are often found in barns and other agricultural buildings, possibly because they prey on rats.

Rats are among their favorite food items, and they can also be found in fields, woodlands, and rocky areas. Milk snakes are relatively easy to find and make popular pets due to their docile nature.

The milk snake is a nocturnal creature that spends much of its time burrowing underground. They are also found to be living under rocks, old logs, and old buildings. They also eat deadly vipers, raising the question of how they deal with the venom.? Well, The venom of other pit vipers can actually be eliminated by their blood.

A common kind of milk snake is the red milksnake which can be found in the northeast Tennessee region. They live in wooded areas and mountains and do not cause any harm to human beings. People love to see these milk snakes near areas of Tennessee.

Places where one can find Milk Snakes in Tennessee

Typically, you may find them in Tennessee’s eastern half. In addition to the above-mentioned locations, you may also find these animals in other parts of the country, such as the northern states of Maine and Ontario and the southern states of Alabama and North Carolina.

Sandhill Crane

sandhill crane

The sandhill crane is one of the largest birds in North America they are 4 feet in length and its wingspan can be up to 7 feet overall. The bird is also notable for its long neck and legs, and its distinctive call. Sandhill cranes are found in many different regions of the United States, including Tennessee, as well as parts of Canada and Mexico.

In 2013, the sandhill crane was added to the list of federally protected birds in the United States, and hunting of the bird is now banned. Prior to this, sandhill cranes were hunted both for their meat and for their feathers, which were used to decorate hats and other items. 

The sandhill crane is also known for its loud, high-pitched call, which can be heard from miles away. Every year, sandhill cranes migrate from their breeding grounds in the northern United States and Canada to their wintering grounds in the southern United States, Mexico, and Central America.

During the migration season, sandhill cranes can easily be seen in large flocks of several thousand birds. In the United States, they are most often seen in the states of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. However, they can also be found in other states along the Gulf Coast, such as Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. 

Every year, in the month of February, the sandhill cranes return to their breeding grounds in the Hiwassee region near the Tennessee River. It is a sight to behold, as nearly 20,000 of these majestic birds come together to nest and raise their young. To celebrate this natural wonder, the “Annual Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival” is held each January.

Tourists can take small buses out to see the cranes up close and learn about their fascinating ecology and life cycle. The sandhill crane is a beautiful bird, with a long neck and striking red crown. They are omnivorous and eat a variety of seeds, grains, insects, and small mammals.

Places where one can find Sandhill Cranes in Tennessee

About 10000-20000 sandhill cranes have been located near Tennessee and Hiwassee river. A few numbers of cranes may be spotted along the west Tennessee region (Reelfoot Lake and Hop In wildlife Refuge ).

Corn Snake

Corn snakes

Corn snakes are a type of snake native to Tennessee; they are also known as Red Rat Snakes. Corn snakes are non-venomous and typically grow to be between three and five feet long. They are predators of rodents and other small mammals and play an important role in controlling the populations of these animals. Corn snakes are also important as food for other animals, such as birds.

Despite their harmless nature, corn snakes can be dangerous to humans if they bite. When corn snakes bite, they often release a potent venom that can cause serious injury or even death.

They get their name from their typically yellow and black coloration, which resembles that of an ear of corn. Corn snakes are relatively small snakes, with adults typically measuring between 3 and 5 feet in length. Despite their small size, corn snakes are skilled hunters and can strike with a bite force of 1/3 to 1/2 of their body length.

Young corn snakes are particularly vulnerable to predation, as they are often hunted by larger snakes such as king snakes or coral snakes. To avoid becoming prey, corn snakes generally hide during the day under old buildings, animal burrows, or tree logs. When they do venture out, they must be careful of predators such as weasels, bobcats, hawks, and foxes.

Corn snakes are found in the wild from March to November, but they are most visible during the summer months in the nighttime. These snakes are nocturnal creatures, so they are often seen crossing roads at night. Corn snakes are different from other snakes in that they have a long stripe down their back.

This stripe is black with bold white patches that create a checkerboard effect. The corn snake’s belly is also black and white, although the pattern is not as pronounced. Unfortunately, it is illegal to own a corn snake in the state of Tennessee.

Places where one can find Corn Snakes in Tennessee

They inhabit the area around Southern Tennessee. Found with other animals at night in the western part of Mississippi and Louisiana, the southern part of Maryland, and the state of Tennessee.

Fox Squirrel

fox squirrel

Tennessee is home to five species of a squirrel: the fox squirrel, eastern gray squirrel, southern flying squirrel, red squirrel, and chipmunk. The name Sciurus Niger describes them scientifically. The fox squirrel is the largest of the five, with a body length of up to 70cm (including the tail) and a weight of up to 1kg.

The other four species are smaller, with body lengths ranging from 45-55cm. Squirrels typically live for 8-9 years in the wild, although some have been known to reach 18 years of age. However, their lifespan is often cut short by hunting, disease, and cold winter weather. One of the most common predators of squirrels is the eagle, which preys on them for food.

In Tennessee, they typically live in small patches of forested habitat where there are plenty of trees for them to climb. Fox squirrels prefer to build their homes in these areas so they have easy access to their favorite food – walnuts, pecans, and acorns. During the winter season, fox squirrels collect and hide food at many different locations so they can utilize it during the cold months. This behavior helps them to survive when food is scarce.

Fox squirrels are also good climbers and can often be seen scrambling up trees in search of food. The fur of these animals is typically greyish brown, with orange hair on the belly and edges of the tail. However, fox squirrels living in different parts of the country may have different coloration, depending on the local environment. There are two main types of fox squirrels: the Delmarva fox squirrel and Sherman’s fox squirrel.

These two subspecies are distinguished by their different coloration, with the Delmarva fox squirrel being mostly brownish-grey in color, while Sherman’s fox Squirrel is more orange-brown. Like many other types of squirrels, fox squirrels are primarily ground-dwellers but are also good jumpers and can travel up to 15 feet in a single bound.

Places where one can find Fox Squirrels in Tennessee

They inhabit the southern and northern parts of the state of Tennessee. The ones at Baldwin Wallace University can be easily spotted while browsing on the ground’s edges. They frequent areas with plenty of trees and woodlands.



Tennessee is home to bobcats, a common wild cat. They are skilled hunters with keen eyesight, keen hearing, and a keen sense of smell. Bobcats can live in woodlands, swamps, and deserts and are adaptable to this environment. They are also found in urban areas. Bobcats are mammals with long legs and short tails. Their pointed eyes may have tufts on them and they have wide faces with short mouths. 

Though they are often mistaken for mountain lions or lynxes, bobcats are actually quite unique animals with several distinctive features. One of the most striking things about bobcats is their fur. The fur on their back is typically black with spots and lines, while their face has black lines and a rope-like fur line that extends from their ears to the lower jaw.

Also, bobcats have white spots behind their ears and a black tail tip. Their paws are also noteworthy, as they are extremely sharp and curved in shape. This allows bobcats to climb trees with ease and helps them to be proficient hunters.

Bobcats range in length from 22.5 to 50 inches. Their tail is between 3.8 and 7.9 inches long and also have rather large ears, which range in size from 2.5 to 2.8 inches. These speedy predators weigh 10 to 40 pounds on average.

The majority of the time, bobcats are nocturnal animals that prefer to hide under dense shrubs in forested environments. Rats, mice, squirrels, and other small mammals make up the majority of their food. On rare occasions, they will also consume grass, deer, and snakes.

Places where one can find Bobcats in Tennessee

They live in the populous regions of Tennessee, such as Cumberland Mountain State Park, Bays Mountains Park, and Planetarium. They are found in the farmlands, wetlands, scrubland, and rocky areas of Tennessee, where they live with various species.



Groundhogs are also commonly referred to as woodchucks and are members of the squirrel family. These furry ground creatures can be found in many regions, including Tennessee. Groundhogs go by many names, including Canada marmot, monax, chuck, wood-shock, whistle pig, and land beaver. They typically reside in rocky or mountain areas. Groundhogs are well-known for their burrowing behavior and their ability to climb trees. 

Groundhogs help in maintaining soil health in woodland and plain areas. They are known as “vital habitat engineers.” Groundhogs are able to work in teams and have been found to be intelligent within their natural surroundings. They have been known to create complex social networks and have a good relationship with baby groundhogs.

They use whistles as their primary method of communication and threat assessment, but they can also adjust their behavior as needed. Their teamwork allows them to complete various tasks such as creating mines or tunnels. They are herbivorous, which means they eat only plants. Their diet consists of mainly wild grasses and other vegetation but can also include crops, berries, etc., based on the season and what is available in the fields.

Occasionally, groundhogs also eat small animals such as snails, baby birds, grubs, and grasshoppers. However, they are not considered to be true omnivores, as the majority of their diet consists of plants. During the month of June, groundhogs enter a period of decreased activity known as ‘summer dormancy. During this period, they eat less and use less energy. Instead of storing food for the winter, groundhogs hibernate underground.

Most people don’t know that groundhogs don’t drink water. They fulfill their need for liquid by drinking the juices of plants and vegetables that they eat. Groundhogs are also relatively large rodents. The length of males can reach a maximum length of 68.5 centimeters and a weight of 3.83 kilograms. Females have a weight range of 3.1-5.07 kg smaller than males. Groundhogs also have incisor teeth that grow at a rate of 1.5 mm per week.

This is necessary because their teeth wear down quickly from all the digging they do. Groundhog teeth are white in color, but the tips are usually a slightly different shade, ranging from ivory to white. Groundhogs have short and wide legs that end in long claws, which help them to dig efficiently. Also, their tails are noticeably shorter than those of other squirrel species.

Places where one can find Groundhogs in Tennessee

Groundhogs are mostly found close to farmlands as they enjoy eating agricultural crops. However, they can also be found in various other locations such as fence rows or field borders.



Elk is one of Tennessee’s native animals and play an important role in the state’s ecosystem. Unfortunately, the elk population is decreasing due to hunting and habitat destruction. Thus, elk are now considered an endangered species. Though they are no longer as common as they once were, elk can still be found in some parts of Tennessee

Elk are some of the largest animals in Tennessee, and they can be dangerous if they feel threatened. Adult male elk can weigh up to 700 pounds and stand five feet tall at the shoulder. Female elk are slightly smaller, but they are just as strong and aggressive when it comes to protecting their calves. If you see an elk calf, it is best to avoid it and maintain a safe distance. The mother elk will not hesitate to attack if she feels that her calf is in danger.

Elk are one of the largest species in the deer family, and they can be found throughout Tennessee. Elk hunting is a popular sport in many countries, but in others, like Tennessee, it is strictly prohibited. It is also important to note that feeding elk can be dangerous.

When humans hand-feed elk, it alters their natural diet and can lead to health problems. Additionally, elk are large animals, and they can become aggressive when they feel threatened. Thus, it is important to respect their space and refrain from feeding them in parks or other public areas.

Places where one can find Elk in Tennessee

Elk can be seen in two great places in Tennessee: the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area and the Cataloochee area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Both of these locations are relatively easy to get to from Knoxville, and elk can be seen throughout the year.

The best time to see elk is in the early morning or late evening when they are most active. During cloudy or rainy days, elk will also often be out grazing, so keep your eyes peeled for these magnificent creatures no matter what the weather is like.

Summary of Animals in Tennessee

Tennessee is home to a wide variety of animals, from common household pets to more exotic species. The state is home to several species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, many of which are unique to the region. While this list only includes a few of the animals that can be found in Tennessee, it should give you an idea of the diversity of life that can be found in this region.

Author Profile
Rahul M Suresh

Visiting the Zoo can be an exciting and educational experience for all involved. As a guide, I have the privilege of helping students and visitors alike to appreciate these animals in their natural habitat as well as introducing them to the various aspects of zoo life. I provide detailed information about the individual animals and their habitats, giving visitors an opportunity to understand each one more fully and appreciate them in a more intimate way.

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