Although these animals don’t often come up in conversation, they’re nonetheless important; playing a vital role in maintaining a healthy environment for both human populations and other animals. From marine mammals and venomous snakes to hairy-legged vampire bats, we’ve rounded up a list of 30 fascinating animals for you to explore. With images and interesting facts on each species, we’ve ensured that these special creatures get the recognition they deserve!
1. Vancouver Island Marmot
This species of marmot is indigenous to Vancouver Island, Canada. They are often found close to the island’s slopes; creating burrows in sub-alpine meadows. They are very social animals that make an assortment of unique sounds to communicate with one another.
Learn More: Nature Canada
2. Verreaux’s Sifaka
The Verreaux’s sifaka is native to the island of Madagascar. They are arboreal and are excellent climbers! These distinctly-colored lemurs are the only kind of their species that have partially webbed feet; helping them make long leaps between branches.
Learn More: Animalia
Vicunas are members of the Camelidae family; the umbrella term that covers the llama and camel family. These South American natives live in rocky mountainscapes and enjoy a primary diet of grass and other shrubs. Domesticated vicunas are sheared on a yearly basis and their fleece is then sold to make costly shawls, dressing gowns, and coats.
Learn More: Britannica
4. Volcano Rabbit
As you might have guessed, this rabbit’s name is derived from the fact that it only inhabits the volcanic slopes of Mexico’s four dormant volcanoes. The volcano rabbit is the tiniest bunny in the world- weighing a mere 400-600 grams!
Learn More: National Geographic
5. Visayan Warty Pig
The Visayan warty pig is indigenous to the Philippine Visayan Islands. They live for 10-15 years and survive on an omnivorous diet consisting of earthworms, fruit, and leaves. Although little is known about their ecology and behavior, scientists have discovered that they play a vital role in dispersing the seeds of some plants.
Learn More: Ultimate Ungulate
Did you know that vultures can easily cruise through high winds for hours whilst flying at a height of nearly 20,000 feet? There are 22 species of vulture; each of which enjoys a diet of decaying flesh. Throughout the years, they have adapted to a scavenging lifestyle; having developed a pouch, known as a crop, in their throats that allow them to go without food for long periods.
Learn More: Britannica
7. Vampire Bat
As their name suggests, vampire bats consume blood. Thanks to their lightweight and gentle incisions, vampire bats can suck blood from an animal for up to 30 minutes without it even being aware! They are nocturnal animals that live in caves, tree hollows, mines, and abandoned buildings in Mexico and Central America.
Learn More: National Geographic Kids
Verdins love arid environments and can typically be located throughout Mexico, Arizona, Western Texas, and Southern Nevada. Their primary diet consists of insects but is supplemented by nectar and fruit. Although conservation efforts are underway, the number of surviving verdins is quickly declining!
Learn More: All About Birds
9. Velvet Scooter
The velvet scooter is part of the duck, goose, and swan family. Its primary diet consists of crustaceans, shellfish, marine worms, small fish, and mollusks. You’ll often find them in boreal forests, close to bodies of fresh water. Their primary breeding grounds are Scandinavia and Estonia, migrating to Western Europe for the Winters.
Learn More: Bird Fact
10. Velvet Asity
This bird has a very distinct appearance; black with green skin above its eyes. They are endemic to Madagascar and can be found near fruit trees. They have a high-pitched call that has been likened to the scraping of nails on a chalkboard or a dry branch scraping a window.
Learn More: Ebird
11. Vampire Squid
The vampire squid is a deep-sea creature that dwells 2000-3000 meters below the ocean’s surface. They can be found in temperate to tropical latitudes across the globe. The vampire squid is a filter feeder; meaning that it feeds by straining food particles and suspended matter in the water.
Learn More: Oceana
12. Violet Sea Snail
The violet sea snail is a carnivorous species and is also commonly known as a “blue bottle”. They thrive in the tropical or temperate seas of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. These sea snails spend their lives floating atop the surface of the seas and cannot survive if washed ashore.
Learn More: Mesa
The vaquita is the smallest cetacean species. Additionally, they are the rarest and most endangered creatures. They have a dark ring around their eyes and small patches create a line from their mouths to their pectoral fins. Due to illicit fishing, there are unfortunately less than 10 surviving vaquitas.
Learn More: World Wildlife.org
Despite their scary appearance, these fish only grow to around 30cm in length! Viperfish are predators that attract their victims by floating motionlessly in the dark and dangling their lures above their heads. Their primary diet consists of crustaceans and small fish.
Learn More: Seasky
15. Velvet Crab
Typically found in the U.K. and Ireland, the velvet crab is also known as the lady crab or devil crab. They are aptly named because their blue shells and short hair that covers every inch of their bodies, give them a velvety look. They are a popular culinary choice in Spain and are often shipped over for this purpose.
Learn More: Cornwall Good Seafood Guide
16. Venus Flytrap Sea Anemone
This huge sea anemone resembles a venus flytrap. Its body is covered in fluorescent light sensors which it uses to attract prey. They grow up to 40cm in height and lurk along rocky sea beds.
Learn More: SciNews
17. Variegated Squirrel
This tree squirrel, known as the variegated squirrel, is indigenous to South America. Apart from females who care for the young, variegated squirrels prefer to live alone. They typically inhabit dry evergreen forests and can also be spotted in plantations.
Learn More: Canopy Tower
Voles are small rodents that are frequently confused for mice. Their diet consists of tree needles, bark, seeds, insects, and grass. They are poor climbers and can be found in dense patches of grass or fields. Voles are destructive little menaces as they gnaw on the bark and roots of trees which often kills them.
Learn More: Pest World For Kids
19. Viper Snake
Vipers are renowned for their large, hinged fangs and are one of the deadliest snake species on Earth. They enjoy warm-blooded animals and generally feed on mice and rats. In order to help them detect these animals, they rely on two heat-sensitive sensors close to their mouth.
Learn More: DK Findout
20. Vulcan Lipinia
This skink species is a solitary creature. The Vulcan lipinia is endemic to the Philippines. When the Vulcan lipinia finds itself caught in a pickle, its tail falls off and continues to move around in order to trick its predator so that the lipinia itself can escape. They are extremely fast and make snake-like movements when on the ground.
Learn More: Mindat
21. Veiled Chameleon
The term “Veiled” in this chameleon’s name refers to the animal’s peculiar-looking cone-shaped headdress. These creatures are primarily insectivores and enjoy crickets, worms, flies, grasshoppers, and roaches. Veiled chameleons are extremely territorial and should be housed individually if kept as pets. They can live for 6-8 years in captivity and reach 18-24 inches in length.
Learn More: The Spruce Pets
22. Virgin Island Dwarf Gecko
This dwarf gecko hails from the British Virgin Islands. It is the world’s smallest species of both amniotes and reptiles. Adults weigh little more than 0.15 grams and grow up to 18 millimeters at the most. Dwarf geckos have adapted to survive in arid environments by staying relatively inactive during the day and living in humid microhabitats.
Learn More: Tree Hugger
23. Vanzo’s Whiptail
The vanzo’s whiptail is a lizard that lives in the Caribbean. It is also known as the Saint Lucian whiptail and the Maria Island whiptail. Only males have a turquoise belly and tail whereas females’ tails are creamy-brown in coloring. Their diet mainly consists of scorpions and insects, but they have also been known to enjoy figs and decaying animal flesh.
Learn More: Coffee and Creatures
24. Viceroy Butterfly
One of the most well-known butterfly species is the viceroy. It has a deep orange color with black veins and white patches on the margins of its wings. Another defining characteristic of it is its flying style. Viceroys follow a predetermined flight pattern where they flap their wings twice before gliding.
Learn More: Alabama Butterfly Atlas
25. Visayan Spotted Dear
The Visayan spotted deer, also known as the Philippian spotted dear, is endemic to the Visayan Islands. Surprisingly, it’s nocturnal! It enjoys a diet of assorted grasses, leaves, and young shoots. Due to deforestation and hunting, the population of Visayan spotted dear is rapidly decreasing.
Learn More: Slow Food Foundation
26. Vlei Rat
The vlei rat enjoys a herbivorous diet consisting primarily of grass. They live in marshes, pine plantations, and thicket habitats where they fall prey to barn and marsh owls as well as snakes.
Learn More: Species Status
Vinegaroons are a species of scorpions. Although they are typically found in desert environments, they have been reportedly found in grasslands, scrub, pine forests, and mountains. Despite the fact that they are non-poisonous, watch out if you get too close as these little attackers give a very painful pinch!
Learn More: Texas Insects
28. Vanikoro Flying Fox
Part of the bat family, the Vanikoro flying fox is also known as a basapine. It’s located in the Southern Solomon Islands in the Vanikoro region. After a study was conducted in the early 1990s it was thought to be extinct but was rediscovered in 2014.
Learn More: Observation.org
29. Virginia Opossum
Found from Costa Rica all the way Northward to Canada, Virginia opossums inhabit a wide array of habitats including; deserts, wetlands, and woodlands. These omnivorous creatures thrive on a diet of birds and other small mammals, worms, insects, plants, fruit, and seeds.
Learn More: Smithsonian National Zoo
Vangas are endemic to the island of Madagascar. Its primary diet consists of insects, but it has been known to also enjoy berries. They forage in groups of around 6 members and typically nest in dry deciduous forests as well as rainforests.
Learn More: Oiseaux