We’ve rounded up a list of 30 stunning animals that start with the letter “P.” Covering well-known animals such as the panda and polar bear to lesser-known creatures like the potto, we’ve got them all! Incorporate the facts listed here to improve existing curriculums or host a memorable brain-break session by exposing learners to the wondrous animal life found all across the globe. We can guarantee that they’ll be intrigued to know more once you get going!
Kicking things off with one of the most well-known animals that start with “P,” we have the beloved panda. These adorable animals have 6 fingers on each hand which aids them in scaling tall trees and molding bamboo into shapes for easy consumption. Their fat bellies come as no surprise when we learn that adult pandas have been known to spend up to 12 hours eating per day!
Learn More: China Highlights
2. Polar Bear
Polar bears can be found in 5 countries- Canada, Greenland, Norway, the US, and Russia. Despite their snow-white coats, polar bears have black skin, but thanks to their furry coating, they’re able to blend in with their surroundings and better stalk their prey. It’s uncommon to find these bears in large groups, but they’re referred to as sleuths when they are spotted together.
Learn More: Harper Collins
Penguins can be predominantly spotted in the Southern hemisphere. They cannot fly but have adapted to their surroundings by using their flippers for swimming and catching fish and other sea life. Living in cold environments is never easy, but these little fellas luckily have 4 layers of feathers and huddle with others to stay warm.
Learn More: Cool Australia
Porcupines are the second largest rodents in North America- the first being the beaver. Their coat of sharp quills is used to help them stay warm and fend off predators such as bobcats, great-horned owls, and coyotes. Although these animals are generally solitary in nature, they use grunts and other high-pitched sounds to communicate with family members.
Panthers are renowned as stealthy hunters- surviving on a diet of deer, warthog, birds, rabbits, and other similar creatures. Panthers are solitary animals and will only be found socializing during the months that comprise mating season. Panther populations have seen a rapid decline in recent years due to hunting and the effects of deforestation.
Learn More: Facts.net
These striking sea creatures are dubbed parrotfish due to their colorful markings and a beak-like mouth. There are more than 1500 species, and the incredible thing is that none of them look alike! Parrotfish secrete mucus from their gills that form a cocoon-like sack for them to sleep in, helping them disguise their smell from nocturnal predators.
Learn More: Barrier Reef Foundation
Peacocks are the national bird of India, and it is believed that their feathers represent wealth and good fortune. Female peacocks are not as striking as their male counterparts, who use their magnificent plumage to attract a partner during mating season. These beautiful birds live between 10-25 years and have even been known to survive for up to 50 years in captivity!
Learn More: Brightly
Word to the wise- don’t even think about taking a dip in the tropical rivers of Southern America! These aggressive predators hunt in large shoals and are sure to leave their mark on any entrant. They can only survive in warm water and have a lifespan of up to 25 years.
Learn More: Fact Animal
9. Pied Crow
These omnivorous birds can be found just about anywhere, from open country to mountain meadows. They are extremely intelligent and rely on their smart wit to forage for food. They have been known to harass large birds of prey to keep them away from their nests.
Learn More: Oakland Zoo
Despite their sweet-natured looks, plovers are actually carnivores that survive on marine crustaceans, worms, insects, and beetles! There are up to 40 different species scattered around the globe, close to bodies of water. These birds are incredibly mobile from birth and join their first migration as early as 2-3 weeks old!
Learn More: ThoughtCo
11. Palm Rat
Palm rats feed on a diet of palms and other fruit. They are excellent climbers and prefer to nest high off the ground. They can be particularly hazardous if they decide to nest in your roof, as they can chew through the tiles and enter your home. They are typically between 5 and 7 inches long and weigh between 75- 230 grams.
Learn More: Cats Eye Pest
Pangolins roll into balls when they feel threatened and rely on their strong exterior to protect them. They use their powerful claws to tear through anthills and mounds, and with no teeth, they rely on long, sticky tongues to retrieve the ants, termites, and larvae inside.
Learn More: Born Free
13. Painted Turtle
The painted turtle can be found in North America- spanning from Southern Canada to Northern Mexico. They feed on small crustaceans, fish, and insects. These turtles shed their skin as they grow and bask in the sunshine to kill off any parasites that may have attached themselves whilst the turtle swims.
Learn More: Nature Mapping Foundation
There are approximately 350 species of parrots that live throughout Australia, Africa, Asia, and both Central and South America. They vary in size and shape, but the heftiest of all has been likened in weight to the size of a cat!
Learn More: Smithsonian Magazine
15. Patas Monkey
Patas monkeys are the fastest primate known to man! They live in large, male-dominated troops in the Savannas of West Africa and are fast approaching endangered status. Their diet consists of seeds, fruit, young birds, and eggs, as well as insects acacia gum, and flowers.
Learn More: Rosamond Grifford Zoo
16. Peacock Spider
Peacock spiders are certainly a rare sighting as they can only be found on Australia’s mainland. Their size makes them even harder to spot- measuring in at a mere 2.5-5mm! Males perform a mating ritual for females they wish to impress, but if he should not meet the females’ expectations, she has no problem devouring him.
Learn More: May Exterminating
These fish are characterized by their long paddle-like snout. Their skin is a smooth green and grey mottle, and you’ll find them swimming around rivers preying on other fish. They can weigh up to 60 pounds and live for close to 30 years!
Learn More: A-Z Animals
18. Parrot Snake
Although often believed to be poisonous due to their bright coloring, parrot snakes are not venomous in the slightest. They are, however, aggressive hunters that seek out small animals and insects to prey on. They are commonly found in South America, where they enjoy the tropical rainforests and lush vegetation, but have also been spotted in dry desert areas.
Learn More: All Things Nature
Pelicans are large birds with a net-like membranous pouch used to scoop up and hold fish whilst in flight. They are approximately 1.2 meters tall and live anywhere between 15 and 25 years. They can fly up to 30 mph, and for a dive to be successful, they must approach from a distance of at least 9m above sea level.
Learn More: Sea World
Pekingese were once bred to be part of royal Chinese families. Today, however, they are loving companions to families worldwide. They are affectionate and loyal in nature and are very intelligent dogs. To maintain their luscious coats, serious upkeep is required, so be prepared for regular trimming and brushing!
Learn More: American Kennel Club
21. Paint Horse
Paint horses are distinguished by their striking markings caused by a special gene they carry. These spotted beauties are obedient and extremely gentle- making them the perfect horse to learn to ride on. You’ll find them all over the United States, and although they are a common breed, they are unique in that not one paint horse’s markings resemble another!
Learn More: Cowgirl Magazine
22. Painted Stork
Painted storks can be found wading through Asia’s wetlands and tropical plains. Males are distinguished from females by their larger size and wingspan of 150-160 cm. Painted storks feed on small crustaceans, fish, amphibians, insects, and reptiles.
Learn More: Animalia
23. Pantropical Spotted Dolphins
These stunning dolphins are inhabitants of the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Due to a surplus of tuna fishing, they were once at risk of endangerment but have recently become a thriving species once again- estimating a population of over 3 million!
Learn More: Our Breathing Planet
Unlike humans, who can sweat to keep cool, pigs don’t have sweat glands, so they roll in mud to maintain a moderate temperature. They have more than 20 different grunts and squeals and have been known to “sing” to their babies as they nurse.
Learn More: World Animal Protection
25. Pictus Catfish
Although frequently kept as fish, pictus catfish have the ability to grow up to a yard in length whilst in the wild. They are peaceful bottom dwellers and eat insects, small fish, and snails, but will easily adapt to a pellet diet if kept as a pet in a tank.
Learn More: The Spruce Pets
Pottos thrive in dense tropical rainforests- hiding in the vegetation during the day and emerging at night to hunt. They are regarded as arboreal primates as most of their life is spent in trees and amongst other vegetation. Since they are omnivores, their diet consists mainly of fruit and other plants.
Learn More: Soft Schools
Although these birds look rather plump, they’ll surprise you by reaching up to 60 mph whilst in flight. They are popular game birds throughout the United States but first originated in China. In captivity, they can live up to 18 years and will settle in their roosts to keep warm during cooler months.
Learn More: Pet Keen
The platypus is thought to be one of the weirdest creatures in the animal kingdom- having its body likened to that of an otter, feet to a duck, and bill to a beaver! These creatures are surprisingly venomous, and the secretion can cause swelling and excruciating pain if humans are exposed to it.
Learn More: Live Science
29. Pacman Frog
These nocturnal amphibians are commonly found in the rainforests of South America. If their habitat dries up or they struggle to find sufficient food, their outer skin layer dries up to retain the moisture held in the inner layer. Once they are rehydrated, the outer layer will shed, and the frog will eat it.
Learn More: Top Flight Dubia
30. Panther Chameleon
Wrapping up our list of unique animal finds is the marvelous panther chameleon. Although they can be found in a number of places around the globe, their primary home is on the island of Madagascar. Their tonged feet allow them to better grip the trees they live in, ensuring that they don’t plummet to the ground!
Learn More: Chameleon School