Did you know that every animal species has two names? That’s right – the common name and the scientific name. The scientific name is often derived from Latin or Greek and tends to describe the animal’s physical characteristics or behaviours. But let’s talk about something more fun – animals that end with the letter “a”!
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From the agile Gazella to the heavyset Hippopotamus, there are a variety of fascinating creatures that bear this distinctive ending. Join me as we explore 20 awesome animals that will leave you in awe of the diversity and beauty of the natural world.
20 Awesome Animals That End With A
Standing tall and majestic, alpacas are a fascinating creature that has captured the attention of many animal enthusiasts. These South American beauties are often compared to their larger cousin, the llama, and share many similar characteristics.
With their long necks and thick coats of hair, alpacas not only look stunning but are also herbivores that mainly graze on grass and hay. It’s fascinating to learn that the alpaca’s scientific name is Vicugna pacos, and while they may seem like a distant species, they have become beloved for their unique charm and gentle nature.
The mere mention of anacondas sends shivers down the spines of many. These massive tropical snakes found only in South America are known for their incredible size and deadly capabilities. The common green anaconda, in particular, is the second heaviest snake in the world. But their size is not the only thing that is impressive about them.
Their diet is pretty diverse, consisting of everything from birds and fish to small and big mammals. The name anaconda, interestingly, comes from the Tamil word ‘anaikondran‘ which translates to ‘elephant killed’. One can only imagine the sheer power and strength required to take down an elephant!
South America is home to some of the world’s most unique and fascinating animals, including the capybara. These large rodents are not only the largest species in their group, but they are also herbivores, feeding primarily on grass and water plants.
Their aptly named moniker, “ones who eat slender leaves,” comes from the Tupian language and perfectly describes their diet. Despite their size, capybaras are gentle creatures who have become beloved by many. They are social animals who often form large groups and enjoy basking in the sun.
Chinchillas are adorable little creatures that call the mountains of South America their home. These furry rodents are incredibly popular as pets due to their playful nature and fluffy appearance. They are herbivores that mainly feed on plants like grasses, twigs, and leaves. Interestingly, the name Chinchilla is derived from the Andean people known as Chincha.
These creatures are much loved for their soft fur and big, expressive eyes. It’s no wonder that they have captured the hearts of many, and continue to be a favored pet around the world.
Cobras have always been shrouded in mystery and danger, perhaps due to their association with charmers in Indian culture. These venomous snakes belong to the Naja genus and are known for their distinctive hoods, which they flare out when threatened.
The cobra’s name is derived from the Portuguese “cobra de capello,” meaning “snake with a hood.” As carnivorous hunters, cobras prey on birds, lizards, other snakes, and amphibians. With a venomous bite that can be deadly to humans, cobras are animals to be respected and admired from a distance.
Gorillas are fascinating creatures that inhabit the lush forests of Sub-Saharan Africa. These great apes are known for their immense size and gentle nature. What many may not know is that they are also vegetarian animals.
Their diet consists of bamboo, grass, and various fruits that grow in their habitat. It’s interesting to note that the name Gorilla came from the Ancient Greek word “gorilla,” which translates to “tribe of hairy women.”
Hyenas may not be the first animals that come to mind when thinking of Africa, but these pack scavengers are an important part of the continent’s ecosystem. With their distinctive spotted coats and powerful jaws, hyenas are skilled hunters that mainly feed on birds, lizards, snakes, and mammals.
Interestingly, the scientific name for hyenas is Hyaena brunnea, derived from the Ancient Greek “hys” meaning hog or pig. Despite this seemingly unassuming name, hyenas are formidable predators that can take down prey much larger than themselves.
Meet the iguana – a fascinating reptilian species that has earned international fame for its unique looks and peculiar habits. These herbivore lizards are native to the lush tropical regions of South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean islands.
Despite their intimidating appearance, with sharp claws and tails that can whip in a flash, these creatures are gentle giants that love to munch on fruits, flowers, vines, and leaves. What’s more, their name has an intriguing backstory: it originated from the old Caribbean term “iwana,” which was how locals referred to these exotic animals.
These furry creatures are known for their distinctive appearance and gentle personality. It’s hard to resist being completely enamoured by their big round ears, button noses, and fluffy appearance. They are also expert climbers, with sharp claws that help them scale eucalyptus trees with ease. Speaking of eucalyptus, it’s the primary source of food for these herbivorous mammals, and they consume up to a kilogram of leaves per day!
Related Article: Do Iguanas Hibernate or Migrate In Winter? [All Facts Explained]
Llamas are fascinating creatures, native to South America and closely related to alpacas. These woolly herbivores are domesticated animals and primarily feed on grass. But did you know that the name “llama” actually comes from the Spanish phrase “Como se llama”?
This translates to “what is the name,” which makes sense as the name of these majestic creatures is just as unique as their appearance. With their long necks and distinctive woolly coats, llamas have become popular in recent years as pets and even hiking companions.
Native to South Central China, these majestic creatures are known for their herbivorous nature and their main source of food being bamboo. Interestingly, the name Panda has a fascinating origin, derived from the Nepali word “ponya” which means “bamboo eater”.
These remarkable bears have evolved over time to cope with their significant diet modification, with one expert claiming that they have “effectively developed their own unique way of life”.
The puma, also known as the panther, cougar, or mountain lion, is a majestic animal that can be found roaming the mountains of North and South America.
Known for their power and speed, these large cats are formidable predators that can take down a wide variety of prey, including sheep, pigs, horses, coyotes, raccoons, and rabbits. Interestingly, the name ‘puma’ comes from the Quechua language and means ‘powerful,’ a fitting name for such an impressive creature.
Tarantulas are undoubtedly one of the most fascinating creatures on the planet. These big, hairy spiders can be found in almost every corner of the world, and their name comes from the town in Italy, called Taranto.
While tarantulas may evoke fear in some people, they are actually vital members of their ecosystem. Most tarantulas are insectivores, and they play an essential role in keeping insect populations in check.
Rheas are fascinating flightless birds that are closely related to emus and ostriches. These giant creatures, which can weigh up to 80 pounds, are omnivores, but they mostly feed on plant-based foods like seeds, fruits and roots. Interestingly, their name derives from ancient Greece, where it meant “a flowing stream”. In Greek mythology, Rhea was the mother of all gods, a symbol of fertility and motherhood.
With their striking black and white stripes, zebras are undoubtedly some of Africa’s most iconic creatures. These herbivores typically stick to grazing on grass, but they’re happy to munch on leaves, bushes, and stems as well. Interestingly, the name Zebra has its roots in old Latin – specifically, the word “equiferus”, which translates to “wild horse”. Despite not being horses at all, zebras certainly have a similar grace and elegance to these familiar animals.
The piranha is a fascinating freshwater fish that can be found living in many different bodies of water throughout South America, including ponds, lakes, and reservoirs. While they are known for being predatory creatures that mainly feed on fish, it may surprise you to learn that they are actually classified as omnivores. Interestingly, the piranha’s unique name actually originates from the Tupi language and is formed from two words – “pira” which means fish, and “sainha” which means tooth.
The graceful orca, also known as the killer whale, is an unmistakable and powerful creature that commands respect in the oceanic world. With its striking black and white body, the orca is unmistakable and can be found in waters around the world, including the Arctic and Antarctic.
As an apex predator, the orca feeds on a wide variety of sea creatures such as fish, seals, birds, and even other toothed whales. The orca’s name is derived from the mythical Roman god Orcus, the god of the underworld who was associated with death and the ocean.
The Mamba is one of the most feared and deadly predators in Africa. Its name stems from the Zulu word “imamba” and translates to “tree asp.” These snakes are renowned for their lightning-fast speed and potent bite, making them a force to be reckoned with. As carnivores, they prey mostly on birds and small vertebrates, using their agile bodies and keen senses to hunt and strike with precision.
Although they are often feared and avoided, Mambas play a vital role in their ecosystem and are an integral part of the African wilderness.
In the African wild, there are few sights more graceful than the impala in motion. These medium-sized antelopes can be found living amongst the woodlands and savannahs of the continent.
They are herbivores, subsisting mostly on young grass, shrubs, and herbs. What’s even more interesting is the etymology behind their name. The word “impala” itself derives from the Tswana language of southern Africa, specifically the word “pala,” which means red antelope.
Boas are majestic creatures that roam the lush tropical regions of South America and the Caribbean. These non-venomous snakes are among the largest in the world and are a sight to behold with their shiny scales and impressive size.
As carnivores, they primarily feed on medium-sized animals and birds, using their constricting abilities to overpower their prey. It’s interesting to note that the name “Boa” originated in the late 14th century and translates to “large snake.”
An animal enthusiast with an interest in zoology, studying the behavior and activities of animals in the wild habitat. I work on research projects related to species conservation and endangered species protection. I also leverage zoology to become an educator, educating others about the importance of protecting our natural environment and the beauty of animals in their natural habitats.