From small amphibians to larger animals such as rocky mountain elk, we’ve rounded up 60 animals that begin with the letter “R.” Whether you’re introducing your learners to new species or looking for some fun facts to broaden the horizons on curriculum content already covered, you’ve come to the right place! Dive right in as we take a look at a host of fun facts, habitat, and diet-specifics, all related to animals and critters that start with “R”!
1. Red-tail Lemur
This rusty-colored primate is native to Madagascar and is critically endangered. The red-tailed lemur lives between 15-20 years in the wild, and with our help, they can sometimes even survive for more extended periods!
Learn More: Smithsonian’s National Zoo
The rattlesnake is a remarkably adaptable creature that can survive in a diverse array of landscapes, including swamplands, deserts, and meadows. Their rattles are made from keratin, the same material that human hair, nails, and skin consist of!
Learn More: Tree Hugger
Just by looking at this red-crested fellow, one would never guess that it has up to 2900 feathers and can fly up to 17-32 mph! Thanks to their beautiful songs, robins are known as extremely cheery birds, but only the males tweet the “true robin song” to announce their nesting territory.
Learn More: Journey North
Raccoons are often regarded as neighborhood pests, but these dexterous animals are only after a little food. They are nocturnal animals that are fantastic swimmers, and although typically slow in pace, they can reach speeds of up to 15 mph if need be!
Learn More: Nature Mapping Foundation
5. Radiated Tortoise
The radiated tortoise, also known as “sokake”, finds their home in beautiful Madagascar. Their diet mainly consists of grass, but they have been known to enjoy cacti, fruit, and other plants. These humped-shell reptiles can weigh up to 16 kilograms and grow to 12 and 16 inches.
Learn More: Ten Random Facts
Ragamuffins are typical housecats and live between 8 and 13 years. Thanks to their abundance of fur, they appear bigger than they are but generally only reach 12 pounds in weight. They are placid in nature but need a routine that requires play and exercise to stay healthy and maintain good shape.
Learn More: Hills Pet
Rabbits are very social creatures and live in burrows or warrens with their families. Females are known as kits, whilst males are referred to as bucks. Did you know that a rabbit’s teeth never stop growing but are maintained in size thanks to their rapid chewing when enjoying grass, flowers, and vegetables?
Learn More: Nat Geo Kids
Although rats are often regarded as pests, they are extremely intelligent creatures and are often kept as pets. They are surprisingly clean animals that indulge in thorough grooming routines. Rats are fantastic climbers and swimmers and, due to their poor eyesight, rely on their strong sense of smell to get around and locate food.
Learn More: Rentokil
Ravens are superb hunters and have been known to kill prey twice their size! A group of ravens is known as an “unkindness” and often travel in large flocks before pairing off. Like their colorful parrot friends, ravens can mimic human sounds and other bird calls!
Learn More: Chirp For Birds
10. Red Fox
Red foxes can be found throughout the United States, all the way from Florida to Alaska. Their diet predominantly consists of rabbits and rodents, but they also enjoy amphibians, fruit, and birds. They are blessed with excellent hearing, which makes locating their prey easy!
Learn More: National Wildlife Federation
11. Reticulated Python
Reticulated pythons live in tropical forests and feed on mammals such as small rodents and large antelopes. Thanks to their mottled coloring, they can camouflage and capture their prey easily before using constriction to kill them. Reticulated pythons are the world’s longest snake- measuring in at up to 33 feet in length!
Learn More: Kids Zoo
If you haven’t been rudely awoken by a crowing rooster, count yourself lucky! These feathery friends claw and peck at the ground to find their food which is generally an assortment of worms and other insects, grains, fruit, and seeds. Roosters are, unfortunately, the targets of many predators, such as raccoons, hawks, snakes, and bobcats.
Learn More: Switch Zoo
13. Red-bellied Newt
Red-bellied newts are found in biomes such as forests and wetlands. They can live between 20-30 years and are predominately terrestrial for most of their life. These amazing salamanders repel predators by excreting a powerful neurotoxin through their skin.
Learn More: Animalia
There are more than 100 species of rockfish, but they are recognizable by the bony plates atop their head and body and their spiny fins. They generally live in kelp forests, where they survive on a diet of plankton, small crustaceans, and other fish.
Learn More: Monterey Bay Aquarium
Weird fact- roadrunners have 2 forward-pointing toes and 2 backward-facing toes! These birds are weak swimmers and fly but can reach speeds of up to 15 mph whilst running. They prefer barren landscapes where they breed and can find an abundance of insects, small rodents, and snakes to prey on.
Learn More: The Spruce
16. Red Panda
Red pandas were the first pandas to ever be discovered in 1825! Given their name, you might believe that they are relatives of the giant panda, but they are more closely related to raccoons. Red pandas survive on a diet that is approximately 98% bamboo, while the other 2% consists of other plants, eggs, birds, and small mammals.
Learn More: Red Panda Network
Did you know that rays are closely related to sharks? Their skeletons aren’t made of bone, as one would imagine but are instead made of cartilage! Rays are excellent predators and capture their prey by settling into the sandy ocean bed to camouflage and plan a surprise attack on their prey.
Learn More: Bristol Aquarium
18. Roseate Spoonbill
Juvenile roseate spoonbills are pale dusty pink in color and gain their bright flecks as they mature. They forage in shallow waters for crustaceans, insects, and plants to eat. Both males and females mature to a size of 71-86 cm and an average weight of between 12 and 18 kg.
Learn More: All About Birds
19. Rat Terrier
Rat terriers make wonderful family dogs as they are affectionate and kid-friendly. They are highly energetic, and their intelligent nature makes them easy to train. They live between 13 and 18 years and grow to a height of 13-16 inches.
Learn More: Dog Time
Horse racing is an ancient sport that dates back to the original Olympus. A racehorse weighs as much as 500kg and drinks up to 10 gallons of water daily to sustain itself! These gorgeous equine animals can reach 44 mph and rarely lay down, as this task requires more energy than standing!
Learn More: Easy Reader News
21. Russian Blue
Russian blues have double-layered coats, which makes their fur appear as if it shimmers. These cats are born with yellow eyes, which change to captivating emerald green as they age. Russian blues are one of the more affectionate breeds of cats and make for loving pets.
Learn More: Pet Ventures
22. Red Knee Tarantula
These hairy arachnids are nearing the borders of endangerment. They are commonly found in Central America and are known as nocturnal hunters. They have 2 fangs that are used to inject venom into their prey- first paralyzing the victim and then liquidizing it for easy ingestion.
Learn More: Active Wild
Rams can be identified by their extended set of curved horns, which they often use to settle fights with other male sheep. They can weigh up to 127 kg and are between 1.5 and 1.8 meters long. They are commonly found in North America and enjoy rocky mountain regions.
Learn More: Live Science
24. Red-eyed Tree Frog
Found in Central and South America, the red-eyed tree frog thrives in tropical rainforests close to rivers. Their diet consists of worms and other insects; contrary to popular belief, they are not poisonous. These brightly colored amphibians have a life span of 5 years and survive by camouflaging themselves against leaves in an attempt to hide from predators.
Learn More: Racine Zoo
25. Rough-legged Hawk
Rough-legged hawks are astoundingly 1 of only 5 raptors in North America that migrate entirely. They are known to undertake long water crossings of up to 100km in one stretch. Whilst hunting for prey, they can hover in place whilst searching the area below.
Learn More: Hawk Mountain
Rottweilers are extremely intelligent dogs but may become stubborn without proper training and socialization. These dogs are very protective and, albeit their size, would like to believe they are lapdogs! They are strong and require frequent exercise to maintain their physical nature.
Learn More: Rover
Ragfish grows to a maximum length of 218cm and can be found throughout North Pacific waters. They received their name due to their floppy bodies that lack a complete bone structure. Adult ragfish are untraditional in terms of appearance, as they lack both scales and pelvic fins.
Learn More: Fishbase
28. Red-shanked Douc
These primates are one of the more colorful of their species. Red-shanked douc has become endangered due to the effects of deforestation, illegal trade, and hunting. If protected or left in the wild to live in peace, they can live up to 25 years!
Learn More: New England Primate Conservancy
29. Rocky Mountain Elk
Rocky Mountain elk can be found in abundance in the state of Colorado. They thrive in cooler mountainous regions and live in large herds. A mature male can weigh up to 110 pounds with antlers that weigh up to 40 pounds alone!
Learn More: The Cold Wire
30. Rainbow Rock Slink
Rainbow rock slinks change in color as they age. Those that have matured are generally a dark olive green or black and have tiny white spots. They are aptly named as you can often find them lounging on rocks whilst sunning themselves.
Learn More: The Cold Wire
31. Redback Jumping Spider
Watch out for this intimidating-looking arthropod as they have a bite that packs a venomous punch. Unlike the cute fuzzy jumping spiders you might find hopping around in your home, these poisonous evil twins reside in oak woodlands and coastal dunes.
Learn More: Picture Insect
32. Red British Squirrel
Although they may not have a British accent, Red Squirrels sport an auburn coat and a bushy tail. They’re native to the United Kingdom along with common gray squirrels and are at risk of becoming extinct as their gray counterpart gradually continues to outnumber them.
Learn More: Wildlife Trusts
He might be mistaken for a lemur with his fuzzy striped tail, but this petite guy is a member of the mask-wearing raccoon family. They’re nocturnal in nature and can be found in parts of the United States as well as Mexico.
Learn More: Oregon Wild
34. Red-Bellied Woodpecker
You’ll find this stunning woodpecker feasting on small bugs from tree bark as it pecks out of hiding. The red-capped bird’s distinct chirp and tree tapping will echo through the forest while its unique feather markings will catch any birdwatcher’s eye.
Learn More: Audubon
35. Rainbow Shark
A favorite among aquarium hobby enthusiasts, the Rainbow Shark is both rare and attractive with its multicolor scales that give off a dazzling sheen. These aquatic animals enjoy eating both plant and animal matter, and their lifespan is estimated to be about six years.
Learn More: The Consolidated Fish Farms Inc.
36. Resplendent Quetzal
Not only are these beautiful birds robed in Christmassy colored feathers, but they also inspired the creation of a Mesoamerican god of the Earth. According to Aztecs and Mayans, the Resplendent Quetzal represents goodness and light and according to me, he is pretty darn cute!
Learn More: ABC Birds
37. Red Winged Blackbird
This unique-winged black bird is quite the player having up to fifteen different mates at a time. Females make nests of delicate grass and plant stems and spend their time protecting their eggs. Its sleek, dark-colored feathers contrast its red shoulders, and they reside happily in North America’s wetlands.
Learn More: NatureMapping Foundation
38. Right Whales
Despite what the name suggests, there is no such thing as a “wrong” whale or a “left” whale. Right Whales are one of the largest aquatic animals that have a built-in skimmer for ingesting small crustaceans. They weigh seventy tons and eat a whopping five tons a day.
Learn More: Ocean Conservancy
39. Red-Backed Shrike
The Red-Backed Shrike is known as a “butcher bird” due to its interesting food storage skill; piercing its prey on sharp thorns in the woods before ingestion. They eat insects as well as small animals, such as frogs, which they grab onto with their hawk-like feet.
Learn More: Oiseaux Birds
40. Reticulated Giraffe
Did you know there’s more than one kind of Giraffe species? One of the four subspecies, the Reticulated Giraffe, has autumn-colored spots that are surrounded by white fur. The giraffe has a tongue that is a foot and a half long; making it easy for them to consume leaves from the tallest trees.
Learn More: San Francisco Zoo
41. Roborovski Hamster
These Russian hamsters are sure to make you declare “I want that one” at the pet store. Not only are they the smallest hamster species, but some argue that they’re also the most adorable! Even though they’re cute, they ironically don’t enjoy cuddling like some of their other subspecies.
Learn More: Pet Helpful
42. Rusty-Spotted Cat
Not as large as a housecat, these rare felines are a small species that mostly dwell in Indian forests. Thought to be nocturnal, these cats are skilled hunters and climbers. Rusty-spotted kittens are born with light blue eyes and don’t develop spots until they’re adults.
Learn More: International Society for Endangered Cats
43. Rubber Boa
As the name suggests, these relatives of the Python appear to be as smooth as rubber with their uniform scales. Whether they’re burrowing into the ground or slithering through rocky areas these snakes are known to move fast and feast on a variety of small animals.
44. Ruffed Grouse
Similar in size to a common crow, this brown and black bird dwells in the forest among the trees. The Ruffed Grouse eats a variety of food whether it be seeds and insects or the buds from leaf-shedding trees.
Learn More: All About Birds
45. Rothschild Giraffe
Named after a famous English zoologist, this group of Giraffes is a subspecies of the Northern Giraffe. Darker in appearance than the Reticulated kind, the Rothschild Giraffe is almost twenty feet in height!
Learn More: Giraffe Worlds
46. Red River Hog
These ginger-coated mammals resemble furry pigs and enjoy nightly swims in their local river. For nourishment, they find insects in the ground and uproot small plants using their strong snouts. You’ll most commonly find these hogs in African forests where there is wadable water.
Learn More: Saint Louis Zoo
47. Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo
In total, there are five different subspecies of the Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo with populations scattered across Australia. These large birds tend to travel in groups of two or three and roam where food is abundant. Living throughout the eucalyptus forests of Australia, they spend their days looking for seeds, fruits, and insects to eat.
Learn More: Australian Museum
Known as the “otter” of Australia, the Rakali is a water rodent that has a strong tail for steering through rivers and lakes. Their feet are also webbed which makes them well-equipped natural swimmers. Although Rakalis vary in color from golden hues to reddish browns, they all have a distinctive white-tipped tail.
Learn More: ABC
49. Ruppell’s Vulture
This critically endangered bird holds the record for flying maximum heights in the sky. These winged animals can also live for as long as fifty years and spend their time traveling the Sahel Region of Africa on quests for food. The Ruppell’s Vulture is sadly decreasing in population due to indirectly ingesting pesticides from their prey.
Learn More: The Peregrine Fund
50. Ringed Seal
Ringed Seals live in subarctic regions and get their name from the ring pattern that’s dispersed across their dark-haired bodies. Polar bears are their biggest predator and this seal variety often has to find shelter in icy caves to hide.
Learn More: NOAA Fisheries
Rinkhals are venomous snakes that are native to southern parts of Africa. They’re medium in size with dark-mottled bodies and solid-colored stomachs. You can find these slithering animals in Southeast Africa making their way through a variety of wetlands. Similar to Cobras, these snakes spit venom and even play dead to trick their prey.
Learn More: About Animals
52. Red-Headed Rock Agama
The diurnal reptile embodies both fire and ice with its bright face and entire body of blueish scales. You’ll find these small lizards in Africa; most likely south of the Sahara. Because they’re territorial, these lizards often change color and move their head offensively when battling a competitor.
Learn More: Mpala Live
53. Rainbow Bee Eater
The majority of these exquisite blue and green birds are found in Australia and like to make their home in forests near water. Not only do they like to munch on bees and wasps, but will also dash after beetles and butterflies when they want a tasty treat.
Learn More: Birdlife Australia
54. Red-Haired Wallaby
The Red-Haired Wallaby is an Australian species that’s equipped with a pouch to carry their babies. Unfortunately, these smaller kangaroo relatives are often killed by people for sport or the selling of their valuable skin. Because of their strong legs and short tails, they’re excellent jumpers that could double dutch better than any of your learners.
Learn More: Zoo New England
55. Red-Legged Pademelon
The Red-Legged Pademelon is a smaller version of a Wallaby and has a rat-like tail. These furry brown creatures live in forests and areas that are packed with shrubby hiding places. From foxes to feral cats, this species is threatened by a variety of predators.
Learn More: Australian Museum
56. Roan Antelope
The Roan Antelope is a picky eater- mostly munching on grass and the occasional shrub. Males fight for dominance in their herd and battle horn-to-horn for territorial purposes. While they graze in the tall grass, these antelopes can protect their babies in a landscape full of hiding places.
Learn More: African Wildlife Foundation
57. River Cooter
River Cooters are large reptilian creatures that have black and yellow markings on their bellies with a large flattish shell on top. Like most herbivores, they’re big fans of salad– a salad of the sea, that is. The River Cooters from North Carolina tend to breed with Florida Cooters; creating a unique hybrid.
Learn More: Amphibians and Reptiles of North Carolina
58. Red-Eyed Crocodile Skink
Born in New Guinea, these nocturnal lizards are awake at night and spend time insect hunting. With brown scaly skin and copper-ringed eyes, you’ll notice that these creatures look like mini crocodiles. They run along the leafy grounds of tropical forests and can live for up to a decade.
Learn More: The Bio Dude
59. Razor Shell
Sorry to all you Pokemon fans, but we’re not talking about the game’s razor-shell move. We mean the species that’s found along the coasts of Britain. Their smooth long, brown shell resembles a small knife as the name suggests. Overfishing has caused their population to rapidly dwindle over the years.
Learn More: Serious Eats
60. Rusa Deer
With their bronzy coat and furry manes, this species of deer can live up to fifteen years. Although originally found in Indonesia, the majority of the population now lives in Australia. Like a typical deer family, they prefer heavily wooded and grassy areas for grazing.
Learn More: Deer Scan