Our Earth has an abundance of amazing animals. With each animal, there is plenty to learn! Some have fascinating features, such as the caiman lizard’s goggle-like eyes, or the chameleon’s ability to change colors!
Below, you’ll find a list of 73 captivating animals that start with the letter “C”- including unexpected facts that you can reveal to your students as you explore and learn about these cool creatures together! Jump right in to discover more.
1. Caiman Lizard
Are any lizard lovers here? The caiman lizard is a large, semi-aquatic reptile found in the hot climate of South America. The coolest fact about them is that they have an extra eyelid that acts like a goggle.
How easy is it for you to carry 200 pounds on your back? Well for camels, this task is effortless. These hoofed animals store fat in their humps which allows them to go long periods of walking without food and water.
Learn More: PBS
3. Camel Spider
Camel spiders, also known as wind scorpions, can be found in deserts throughout most of the world. Unlike their misleading name implies, they are not actually spiders. Instead, they belong to the class of arachnids.
Learn More: Smithsonian Magazine
Caribous are native to North America with the largest subspecies- the woodland caribou, being found all across Canada. These hoofed animals have glands on their ankles that release a scent to signal possible danger to their herd.
Learn More: Canadian Geographic
Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies and moths. They exist in the second stage of the butterfly/moth life cycle. After this stage, they form a cocoon for protection, prior to completing adult development.
Learn More: Woodland Trust
Many of us have the pleasure of having cats as pets! In fact, these domestic animals are even more popular than dogs. These cute creatures spend a third of their life sleeping and another third grooming themselves.
Learn More: Georgia Veterinary Associates
The catfish coined its name from the long barbels around its mouth that look like cat whiskers. These primarily freshwater fish can be found all around the world. Some species grow up to 15 ft and weigh up to 660 pounds!
Learn More: Britannica
8. Cedar Waxwing
Cedar waxwings are charming medium-sized social birds that you will find flying within flocks across the seasons. These berry eaters have a gorgeous color pattern with a light brown head, bright yellow tail tip, and red wing tips.
Learn More: All About Birds
Centipedes, famously known for their many legs, are commonly found in North America. Although they are considered household pests and have a venomous bite, they pose little danger to humans.
Learn More: Environmental Pest Control
Chameleons are fascinating reptiles and possess the ability to change color. In some species, their tongue is able to extend to lengths greater than the size of their own body!
Learn More: San Diego Zoo
Cheetahs are strikingly fast animals with strides that measure up to 21ft each! Similar to your pet cat, they cannot roar. Instead, they purr, growl and bark.
Learn More: Cheetah
Do you like to sing? So do chickadees. These birds have a variety of calls that can communicate a variety of messages. The classic “chick-a-dee-dee-dee” call is frequently used during feeding time.
Learn More: Nature Mentoring
Did you know that chickens outnumber humans? These farm animals have a population of more than 33 billion! Another interesting fact about them is that they use dirt to bathe themselves!
Learn More: BCSPCA
These great apes are remarkably similar to humans, sharing about 98% of their genes with us. Found throughout Central and Western Africa, these mammals are sad, an endangered species. It is estimated that only 300,000 wild chimps remain alive today.
Learn More: African Wildlife Foundation
Look at these cute furballs! Chinchillas are rodents with large eyes, round ears, and soft fur. Their soft fur can be owed to the 50-75 hairs that grow from a single follicle (humans only have 2-3 hairs/follicle).
Learn More: San Diego Zoo
Here’s another cute one! Chipmunks are tiny rodents that belong to the squirrel family. These bushy-tailed mammals are mostly found in North America, with the exception of one species- the Siberian chipmunk. Siberian chipmunks are located in Northern Asia and Europe.
17. Christmas Beetle
Why have these insects coined a name that goes with my favorite holiday? It’s because these predominately Australian-found beetles appear around Christmas time.
Learn More: Australian Museum
Cicadas can be found all around the world, but most of the 3,200+ species live in the tropics. These big bugs are known for their loud, characteristic calls that can be heard from over 2 km away!
Learn More: The Canadian Encyclopedia
Hey, it’s Nemo! A cool fact about these creatures of the sea is that all clownfish are born as males. When the single female of the group dies, the dominant male will turn into a female. This is called sequential hermaphroditism.
Learn More: Deep Marine Scenes
I admit that all snakes, even little garden snakes, frighten me, but cobras are on a whole new level! These venomous snakes are known for their large size and hooded physical feature.
Learn More: Live Science
Cockroaches aren’t the most pleasing critter to have to crawl around your home. Although many may find these insects scary, they are actually quite impressive. They can survive up to a week without a head and can run up to 3 mph!
Learn More: Pest World for Kids
22. Comet Moth
The comet moth, found in Madagascar, is named after the shape of the tail feathers that extend from their wings. They are one of the largest silk moths but survive only 6 days into adulthood.
Learn More: Kidadl
Smaller than a jaguar, cougars are the second largest cat in North America. They can purr but not roar, similar to cheetahs. Their diet primarily includes deer, but sometimes they feast on domestic animals too.
Learn More: Animal Fact Guide
Did you know that “cows” specifically refer to female cattle, whereas “bulls” refer to males? Cattle are a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions- producing about 250-500 L of methane gas from their digestion!
Learn More: Treehugger
When I lived in Western Canada, I could hear coyotes howling frequently. These members of the dog family are smaller than their wolf relatives. These efficient hunters rely on their smell, hearing, and speed to capture prey.
Learn More: Britannica
Crabs are quite the popular shellfish, with about 1.5 million tons being caught each year! There are thousands of different species. The largest is the Japanese spider crab which has legs that grow up to 4 meters in length!
Learn More: Facts.Net
27. Crab Spider
These spiders largely resemble crabs with their flat bodies. These interesting critters will use mimicry to disguise themselves in their environment. For example, some will simulate the look of bird droppings.
Learn More: Spider Spotter
28. Crested Caracara
Crested caracara, also called Mexican eagles, are birds of prey that resemble hawks but are actually falcons. They are the only species of their genus that build their own nest, rather than using the nests of other species.
Learn More: All About Birds
Have you ever tried crickets as your afternoon snack? I never have, but I do recall seeing cricket powder at my local grocery store a few years ago. These impressive insects actually contain more protein than beef or salmon!
Learn More: Children’s Museum of the Arts
Crocodiles are large reptiles and find their home in tropical regions around the world. The most intimidating species is the saltwater crocodile, which can grow up to 23ft long and weigh up to 2,000 pounds!
Learn More: Live Science
Ever seen a creature that looks like a blend of a raccoon and a monkey? Say hello to the Coati! Native to the Americas, these long-nosed mammals are omnivorous and have a unique ringed tail.
Learn More: New Hampshire PBS
Once believed to be extinct, Coelacanths are prehistoric fish that have been around for over 400 million years. Discovering them alive in modern times was like finding a living dinosaur!
Learn More: Phys.org
Also known as flying lemurs- Colugos are not actually lemurs nor can they fly. Instead, they glide gracefully between trees in Southeast Asia using their extensive patagium or skin flaps.
Learn More: Fact Animal
34. Coral Snake
Famous for their vibrant colored bands, Coral snakes are venomous reptiles that are mostly found in the Americas. They have a saying, “Red touch black, safe for Jack; red touches yellow, kill a fellow” that can be used to remind your kiddos of the importance of erring on the side of caution when it comes to snakes.
Learn More: Houstonia Magazine
35. Cottonmouth Snake
These venomous snakes are also called water moccasins. Found in the southeastern United States, they got their name from the white lining inside of their mouths.
Learn More: TN.gov
36. Coturnix Quail
A small and beautifully feathered bird; the Coturnix Quail has been domesticated for centuries. They are renowned for both their eggs and their melodic calls.
Learn More: Mother Earth News
37. Crowned Crane
Standing tall with a golden crest, the Crowned Crane is a sight to behold! Native to Africa, these birds can often be seen wading in water, hunting for insects and small fish.
Learn More: eBird
Not a fish, but a cephalopod! Cuttlefish are close relatives of squids and octopuses. They have an internal shell called a cuttlebone and are masters of camouflage; changing colors rapidly.
Learn More: Biology Dictionary
Often called a river rat or nutria, Coypu are semi-aquatic rodents native to South America. These herbivores have webbed feet and a unique set of orange-tinted incisor teeth.
Learn More: iNaturalist
Native to the islands of the South Pacific and parts of Australia, Cuscuses are marsupials that live in trees. Their slow movements and nocturnal habits make them hard to spot.
Learn More: Australian Geographic
With their long, curved bills, Curlews are wading birds that can be found in coastal areas, marshes, and grasslands. They use their bills to probe the mud for invertebrates.
Learn More: RSPB
A secretive bird found in grassy habitats, the Corncrake is known for its distinctive rasping call. Due to habitat loss, they are now sadly a rare sight in many parts of their range.
Learn More: Corncake LIFE
43. Cownose Ray
Easily recognized by their broad pectoral fins and unique lobed noses, Cownose Rays are found in the Atlantic Ocean. These graceful swimmers travel in large schools and have a gentle nature.
Learn More: American Oceans
44. Common Potoo
A master of camouflage, the Common Potoo is a nocturnal bird found in Central and South America. By day, they perch on tree stumps and mimic broken branches.
Learn More: Twitter
Civets are small to medium-sized mammals found in Asia and Africa. While they are famous for producing the expensive coffee ‘kopi luwak’, they are also admired for their sleek appearance and nocturnal habits.
Learn More: Wildlife SOS
An extremely diverse group of freshwater fish, Cichlids are found mainly in Africa and South America. Aquarists love them for their vibrant colors and complex behaviors.
Learn More: Hikari USA
47. Corn Snake
Popular among reptile enthusiasts- Corn Snakes are non-venomous constrictors. Native to North America, they are often mistaken for venomous snake species due to their similar coloration.
Ever seen a giant guinea pig? That’s what Capybaras resemble! These South American mammals are the largest rodents in the world. They love water and can often be found lounging in lakes and rivers.
Learn More: PBS
49. Common Dolphin
These playful and intelligent creatures are widespread in the warm seas. Recognizable by their hourglass color pattern, Common Dolphins often swim alongside boats, much to the delight of onlookers.
Learn More: NPS
Native to Australia and New Guinea, the cassowary is a flightless bird known for its striking blue and black coloration. Beware of its powerful kick, though– it’s one of the world’s most dangerous birds!
Learn More: YouTube
A North American diving duck, the Canvasback gets its name from its distinctive white back. They feed mostly on aquatic plants and make a long migratory journey each year.
Learn More: All About Birds
52. Cotton-top Tamarin
With a head full of white, fluffy hair, these petite primates are a joy to watch. Cotton-top Tamarins chirp and whistle as they leap through the trees of Colombia’s tropical forests.
Learn More: National Geographic
53. Common Newt
Also known as the Smooth Newt, this little amphibian can be found in ponds across Europe. During mating season, the males develop a wavy crest from head to tail.
Learn More: Natural History on the Net
54. Civet Cat
Despite its name, it’s not really a cat! Civet Cats are nocturnal creatures that are found in Africa and Asia. They are best known for their musky scent which is found in many perfumes!
Learn More: Kopi Luwak Direct
55. Common Loon
These water birds are iconic in northern lakes throughout Canada and the northern United States. Their eerie, echoing call is a sound that, once heard, will never be forgotten.
Learn More: ABC Birds
56. Congo Tetra
A vibrant freshwater fish, the Congo Tetra is a favorite among aquarium enthusiasts. With flowing fins and shimmering scales, they are a beautiful addition to any tank.
Learn More: Modest Fish
57. Clydesdale Horse
Named for its area of origin in Clydesdale Scotland, these large draft horses are recognizable by their feathered legs and often bay color. They’re notoriously known for their heavy hauling skills used in agriculture during the mid-1700s.
Learn More: Magzter
58. Common Tern
These seabirds have a graceful flight and are known to travel impressive distances during migration. They can easily be recognized by their black caps, and sharp, forked tails.
Learn More: National Audubon Society
59. Cuban Tody
This small, colorful bird is a gem of the Caribbean. With bright green feathers and a rosy throat, the Cuban Tody is a treat for birdwatchers lucky enough to spot one.
Learn More: BirdNote
60. Cane Toad
Originally from Central and South America, these large toads were introduced to various regions to control pests. Unfortunately, in places like Australia, they’ve become an invasive species.
Learn More: Australian Museum
61. Corridor Snake
Slender and vibrant; the Corridor Snake is found in the rainforests of Central and South America. They are recognizable by their eye-catching patterns and how they often hang in a ‘U’ shape when trying to catch prey.
Learn More: The Green Corridor
62. Crested Porcupine
Hailing from parts of Africa and Italy, these large rodents sport an impressive array of quills. Their quills are embedded in their skin musculature and will often rattle them when feeling threatened.
Learn More: Tierpark Berlin
63. Common Buzzard
A widespread bird of prey in Europe, the Common Buzzard soars with broad wings. They have a variety of plumages but often show a band of dark feathers across their belly.
Learn More: Glenlivet Wildlife
64. Coral Banded Shrimp
Coral Banded Shrimp are known to wave their white antennae to communicate. With their striking red and white bands, these shrimps are a favorite in marine aquariums.
Learn More: Aquarium Breeder
65. Clouded Leopard
This elusive cat from Asia is known for its stunning coat patterned with large, irregularly-shaped, dark-edged ellipses. They’re excellent climbers and often hunt in trees.
Learn More: The Third Pole
This jet-black bird, related to crows, is known for its high-pitched call and acrobatic flight. They can be found along the coasts of Western Europe.
Learn More: Birds On The Edge
Originating from Australia, this charming bird is known for its expressive crest and bubbly personality. Widely kept as pets, Cockatiels are talented whistlers and often mimic household sounds.
Learn More: Animal World
These large water birds are often seen standing with their wings outstretched to dry. They dive underwater to catch their prey and can go surprisingly deep!
Learn More: AZ Animals
69. Collared Peccary
Native to the deserts of the Americas, the Collared Peccary is a pig-like mammal that travels in groups. They are mostly known for the musky odor they emit- earning them the nickname “musk hog”.
Learn More: Potawatomi Zoo
70. Common Octopus
An incredibly intelligent and elusive creature, the Common Octopus is known for its ability to change both color and texture to blend into its surroundings. Fun fact- It uses a cloud of ink to evade predators!
Learn More: South Carolina Aquarium
71. Cottontail Rabbit
Common in North America, these adorable bunnies have a distinctive white, fluffy tail. They’re crepuscular, which means these Cottontail Rabbits are most active during dawn and dusk.
Learn More: Wildlife Illinois
72. Common Seal
Also known as Harbor Seals, they are often seen lounging on the shores or gliding through the waters. Their large, round eyes give them a peculiar appearance.
Learn More: PTES
73. Clown Triggerfish
With bold patterns of spots and stripes, this vibrant fish stands out in any coral reef. Their strong jaws help them in feeding on hard-shelled prey.
Learn More: Animal Spot