From an Aardvark to an Aye aye, here is a list of all the animals that starts with the letter ‘A.’ Find out just how many animals that start with ‘A’. You might not even have heard the names of some of them. Learn little details and interesting facts on all these animals that start with the letter ‘A’ in their initials.


Aardvark is a pig-like animal found all over Africa and the first animal in our list of animal that starts with a. It resembles an anteater, but you will be surprised to know that it is more closely related to the family of Elephants that it is to an Anteater. It is a nocturnal, solitary animal that eats insects, particularly termites and ants, using its long tongue, which can grow up to 30 cm and sharp-long claws.


Aardwolf is a type of Hyena, but for an extended period was not considered to be one. So, it gets its own spot in our list of animals that start with A. It looks like a skinny Striped Hyena and is an insectivore, meaning it eats insects and their larvae for survival. They are found in Southern, Eastern and North-Eastern parts of Africa where their primary food, Hodotermitidae termites are found.


Agouti is a species of rodent native to Central and North-Southern America as well as West Indies in Africa. They are not to be confused with the great cane rat, which is called by the same name in West Africa. They are closely related to Guinea Pigs but have longer legs and brown in color.


The first bird among the animals that start with A, Albatross is one of the largest flying sea birds habituating around the Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans. They have the largest wingspan of any bird, which is about 12 feet. It allows them to fly 10,000 miles without landing, making them the only birds that can do that. There are 22 different species of Albatross.


Alligators not to be confused with Crocodiles are large predatory, semi-aquatic Reptiles. There are only two sub-species of Alligators that are the American alligator and Chinese Alligator. As the name suggests, the America Alligator is found in Southern America from Texas to North Carolina, while the Chinese Alligators are common in eastern China.


Alpacas are animals similar to llama but noticeably different and are domesticated descendants of an animal called Vicuña. They are found over the Andes, the largest continental mountain range spanning over multiple South American countries. Alpacas have soft hair, which is used as a sheep’s wool in the textile industry. They have two sub-species; Suri Alpacas (a minority of only 10% of all the lamas) and Huacaya Alpacas.


Anacondas are also called Water Boas and are technically a species of Boa. There are four sub-species of Anaconda, but the largest and most common of them is the Green Anaconda found in the South-American countries, east to the Andes. Anaconda is carnivores who are infamous to use their muscular body to literally squeeze the life out of their prey and eat them whole. Their common food includes Caiman, Pigs, Capybara, and even jaguars. Female Anacondas who are commonly larger than the male may also eat the male sometimes.


You may know it as an angelfish or as a more scientific name Pterophyllum. It is a popular freshwater fish in aquariums due to their gentle nature, but in the wild, they do feed on smaller fishes and macroinvertebrates. They are native to South American rivers and basins but are now more commonly grown in captivity. Coming from the Cichlids family, they have laterally compressed-round bodies with elongated fins. Furthermore, it has stripes in its body that help in both camouflage; to hide predators as well as to hide and ambush their prey.


Anglerfish are deep-sea dwellers who most commonly have a fleshy growth in their head, which is used as a lure to hunt other fish. They show two strange qualities; sexual dimorphism (most noticeably in size and weight where a female is 10 to 20 times larger than the male of the same species) and Parasitic Symbiosis.

Many species of Anglerfish go through symbiosis for reproduction, where a male and female mutate into a single being. It mostly results in the much smaller male being completely observed into the female.


Anteater, as the name suggests, is an animal that feasts upon termites and ants, among other insects. They are found from South-Eastern Mexico, through Central America, and as south as Uruguay in Southern America. They use their thin, and a long tongue, with tiny hooks, made sticky with Saliva to shoot and retract critters from Ant and termite nests. Their tongues can grow to well over twice the size of their elongated heads and connected to the sternum allows them to flick over 150 times a minute. We have already talked about how many other animals like the aardvark, another animal that starts with A are often confused with the anteater.


Antelope is not a singular animal; there are 91 different species native to different parts of Africa and Eurasia. Even the inclusion of many antelopes in the Bovidae family (coven-hoofed animals) is up for debate, but for now, this was the only same classification we found. Along with hoofs, the majority of antelope species also have long and branching horns.

There are far too many species of antelopes to explain the entire class briefly. We will try to explain certain species of antelopes in other lists but most other species will have to be included in Antelope, one of the most diverse mammals in our list of animals that start with A.


Apes are highly-intelligent creatures that come from the same Hominoidea family as us Humans. Humans are even classified as ‘The Greater Apes.’ However Apes mostly compose of Gibbons, Chimpanzees, Apes, and Gorillas and their sub-species.

Apes are mostly inhabitants of North-Western and Southern Africa, but species of Orangutans and Gorillas are found in the forests of Indonesia and Malaysia as well. They are usually herbivores who either eat leaves or fruits, but Gorillas also are fond of eating termites and ants with the use of tools (thin, flexible stick to insert into termite/ant nests to hook and eat some of them).


A total of 10 different species of Toxotes are commonly called Archerfish. They get their name due to their unique style of hunting, where they squirt water droplets accurately enough to shoot down insects. Archerfish prefer to hunt terrestrial prey, which is strange for their aquatic nature. They are found in the brackish waters of Sri Lanka, Southern Asia, Northern Australia, and Melanesia. Archerfish is definitely the most interesting fish on our list of animals that start with A.


Armadillo in Spanish Terminology means “little armored one,” which very correctly defines it. It is a nocturnal animal found in the American continent. Nine Species and their sub-species have unfortunately already been extinct while 21 species still exist. Their appearance and feeding upon insects often get them associated with Anteaters like an aardvark.


Commonly known as the bony fish or bony tongues for their bony heads and elongated body, Arowanas are surface hunters. Wild Arowanas are expert in jumping with certain species being able to jump 6 ft. over water’s surface to eat insects and birds.

A toothed bone on its bottom it uses to hunt, which looks like its tongue could also be the deviatory factor for its name. Certain species are also prized aquarium fishes that cost a fortune. They are a symbol of wealth in certain Asian cultures.


Maybe more common as a donkey, an ass is a domesticated descendant of an African Wild Ass. It has been domesticated for over 5000 years and used for transport, carrying load, and meat. In recent years they have also been pets rather than just farm animals. Donkeys have a well-known stubborn behavior that comes from a higher sense of self-preservation.

Other than being wild and domestic, there is not much difference between the wild and domestic donkeys. Breeders will casually capture Wild donkeys for breeding purposes, but to train an adult wild donkey is a difficult task, so we have included both the separated species into the same category. Wild Donkeys also grow to a uniform size of about 49 inches, whereas domestic donkeys vary as per how they were raised.


Avocet composes of 4 species of birds that have recognizable upcurved bills. They love to feast on shores and mudflats upon aquatic insects and other small creatures. They have webbed-feet, they use to swim occasionally. Their four different species are found in different continents.


The axolotl is one of the rarest and most unique animals that start with A. It has very limited known habitats, which are very few lakes like Lake Xochimilco and Lake Chalco in Mexico. They are salamanders, but since they become adults without metamorphosis, unlike its salamander relatives, Axolotl has an aquatic lifestyle.

It was declared endangered in 2010 after growing water pollution, urbanization, and the introduction of invasive fishes like perch and tilapia to its habitat. Aztec history records Axolotl being a staple food item.

Aye Aye

Contrary to its rodent-like teeth and appearance, Aye-Aye actually belongs to the primate-lemur family. It is a native to Madagascar and has an anatomical specialty in the form of an abnormally long-looking middle finger.

Aye-Aye feeds on insects and grubs within trees by tapping the bark to scan them out. Then he meticulously uses his rodent-like incisors to make a hole and then his middle finger to claw the grub out. Striped Possum and Woodpecker also use similar hunting tactics.

Table Of All The Animals That Start With ‘A’

Animals That Start With A Phylum Class Scientific Name Average Life Span
Aardvark Chordata Mammalia Orycteropus Afer 23 years (Captivity)
Aardwolf Chordata Mammalia Proteles cristata 8-10 Years (Wild)

15-19 years (Captivity)

Agouti Chordata Mammalia Dasyprocta 6 years (Wild)

20 years (Captivity)

Albatross Chordata Aves Diomedeidae 50-60+ years (Wild)

The oldest bird in the world is a female Laysan Albatross estimated to be almost 70 years old

Alligator Chordata Reptilia Aligatorinae American Alligators: 50 years & Chinese Alligator: 30-50 years in the Wild

More research required, an American Alligator in Serbia is well over 80 years old

Alpaca Chordata Mammalia Vicugna pacos 15-20 years
Anaconda Chordata Reptilia Eunectes


10 Years (Wild)

Up to 50 years (Captivity)

Angelfish Chordata Actinopterygii  



Not much older than 10 years in captivity. (Since Angelfish is a common aquarium fish, an individual creature’s survival depends totally on the owner’s care and responsibility to the fish)
Angler Fish Chordata Actinopterygii Lophiformes Not Over 24 years in the wild
Anteater Chordata Mammalia Virmilingua Most common species of Giant anteater can live anywhere from 14-17 years in captivity or wild
Antelope Chordata Mammalia Bovidae


Impossible to research lifespan in the wild. Wildebeests have been known to live around 20 years, and impalas in average grow up to their teenage years in captivity
Ape Chordata Mammalia  



Chimpanzees’ average lifespan is 15 years in the wild; they could also easily survive for over 27 years. In the wild, their median lifespan in 30-39 years with females having a higher average than the males

Bonobos typically live for 40 years

Bornean Orangutans live for 35-45 years in the wild and well over 60 in captivity.


Archerfish Chordata Actinopterygii Toxotes Around 10 years in captivity
Armadillo Chordata Mammalia Cingulata


The nine-banded armadillo has an average lifespan of 12-15 years in captivity.
Arowana Chordata Actinopterygii Ostioglossidae


Silver Arowanas average lifespan is 10-15 years in captivity


African Wild Ass

Chordata Mammalia Equus Africanus Asinus

Equus Africanus

25-30 years


Up to 40 years

Avocet Chordata Aves Recurvirostra 7 years in average

Oldest recorded Avocet is almost 24 years old

Axolotl Chordata Amphibia Ambystoma mexicanum 10-15 years
Aye Aye Chordata Mammalia Daubentonia madagascariensis 20-23 years (captivity)

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