North American Animals List. Pictures & Facts On The Iconic Animals Of North America,

American bison, bald eagle, American alligator, grizzly bear, mountain lion, monarch butterfly, wolf, coyote, groundhog, roadrunner, moose and raccoon are among the most well-known North American animals.

A list of animals found in North America, along with pictures and information about each species, can be found on this page. Further information on specific animals may be found via the links.

Page Index

► Scroll down to learn more about all of the creatures on the list…

  • Alligator Snapping Turtle
  • American Alligator
  • American Bison
  • Atlantic Horseshoe Crab
  • Bald Eagle
  • Bighorn Sheep
  • Black Bear
  • Bobcat
  • Brown Bear
  • Bullfrog (American)
  • Chipmunk (Eastern)
  • Coyote
  • Elk
  • Gila Monster
  • Groundhog
  • Hellbender
  • Kit Fox
  • Monarch Butterfly
  • Moose
  • Mountain Lion
  • Nine-Banded Armadillo
  • North American Manatee
  • North American Porcupine
  • Virginia Opossum
  • Polar Bear
  • Pronghorn
  • Raccoon
  • Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
  • Roadrunner (Greater)
  • Wolf

                        Iconic Animals Of North America List


Alligator Snapping Turtle

  • Scientific name: Macrochelys temminckii
  • Type of animal: Reptile
  • Family: Chelydridae
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

The world’s biggest freshwater turtle is the alligator snapping turtle. Individuals weighing more than 220 pounds (100 kilograms) are exceedingly rare. In the southeastern United States, this prehistoric-looking North American reptile can be found in rivers and streams.

On its tongue, the alligator snapping turtle has a worm-shaped structure. This is utilized to draw fish into the turtle’s deadly jaws

American Alligator

  • Scientific name: Alligator mississippiensis
  • Type of animal: Reptile
  • Family: Alligatoridae
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

From North Carolina to the Rio Grande, as well as in the state of Tamaulipas in northern Mexico, the American alligator is a big predatory reptile. It’s one of only two living alligators (the other being the Chinese alligator), and it’s one of only two crocodilians native to the United States.

Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi have declared this iconic North American animal as their state reptile.

American Bison (Buffalo)

  • Scientific name: Bison bison
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Family: Bovidae
  • Conservation status: Near Threatened

The biggest North American land animal by weight and one of the most recognized species in North America is the American bison. The National Mammal of the United States is this massive herbivore, sometimes known as a buffalo.

Over 60 million American bison roamed the grasslands of North America in the late 18th century. By the end of the nineteenth century, fewer than 1,000 bison remained as a consequence of overhunting. The population of mature individuals has grown to around 13,000 as a result of conservation programs.

Atlantic Horseshoe Crab / American Horseshoe Crab

  • Scientific name: Limulus polyphemus
  • Type of animal: Arachnid (or close relation)
  • Family: Limulidae
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

The Atlantic horseshoe crab isn’t a real crab, despite its name. In reality, scientists have discovered that it is strongly linked to the arachnids, and some believe it is a kind of this group.

From Maine to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, horseshoe crabs may be found off the North American coast. Depending on the area, they emerge from the water to breed at different times of year.

Hundreds of millions of years before the dinosaurs arose, this ancient arthropod looks a lot like horseshoe crabs.

Bald Eagle

  • Scientific name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus
  • Type of animal: Bird
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The bald eagle is the avian equivalent of the American bison, which is North America’s iconic mammal. From northern Canada to northern Mexico, this huge, white-headed raptor may be found. It’s a kind of bird known as “sea eagles,” and it’s one of 10 species in the genus Haliaeetus.

Wetlands and coastal environments are home to the bald eagle. It eats mostly fish in most places, although it will eat birds, mammals, and reptiles if necessary. It is an adaptable opportunistic eater.

Bighorn Sheep

  • Scientific name: Ovis canadensis
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Family: Bovidae
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

When sheep crossed the Bering land bridge from Siberia 750,000 years ago, they first arrived in North America. Dall sheep Ovis dalli and bighorn sheep have since diverged from North American sheep into two species.

Males have big horns, whereas females have smaller and less curving horns. Bighorn sheep are named for the latter. Prior to the mating season, the males utilize their horns as “battering rams” in vicious battles for herd leadership.

In western Canada, the United States, and portions of Mexico, Bighorn sheep may be found in mountainous grassland and rocky environments.

Black Bear

  • Scientific name: Ursus americanus
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Family: Ursidae
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The black bear is the most common bear species in North America and the rest of the world. It is the smallest of the three native bears. It can be found in Canada, the United States, and northern Mexico, and prefers forest habitats.

Omnivores, black bears change their diets according to where they live and the season. It will also eat eggs, insects, carrion, and prey that it has captured itself, in addition to consuming a wide range of plant matter (including roots and fruit).


  • Scientific name: Lynx rufus
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Family: Felidae
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The bobcat (together with the Canada lynx) is one of four different species of the genus Lynx found in North America. The bobcat has black hair on its ears and a short tail, like other lynxes.

The Canada lynx, which specializes on the snowshoe hare, has a wider range of food than the bobcat. Rodents and other animals, birds, fish, and insects are also hunted by bobcats, as are rabbits and hares.

Brown Bear

  • Scientific name: Ursus arctos
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Family: Ursidae
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

Europe, Asia, and North America are all home to the brown bear. Brown bears from North America are often referred to as “grizzly bears,” however this term is sometimes used exclusively for brown bears living inland, rather than coastal.

Since the polar bear (which may be larger) is semi-aquatic, the brown bear is considered the world’s largest land carnivore.

Brown bears are omnivores, just like other bears. It devours plant material, carrion, and prey it has captured on its own. Brown bears in coastal areas with easy access to migrating salmon live among the world’s largest brown bears.

Bullfrog (American)

  • Scientific name: Lithobates catesbeianus
  • Type of animal:  Amphibian
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

In North America, the American bullfrog can be found in lakes, ponds, and other wetland habitats. Male bull frogs create a bull-like sound during mating season, which gives the species its name.

Bullfrogs are carnivorous, just like other frogs. The American bullfrog, like other species in the genus, preys on a broad range of invertebrates and vertebrates (it is not a picky eater).

Chipmunk (Eastern)

  • Scientific name: Neotamias minimus
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Family: Sciuridae
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The eastern chipmunk is one of the squirrel family (Sciuridae) of small mammals known as chipmunks, which includes around 25 small mammals..

In the eastern United States and southern Canada, the eastern chipmunk may be found in deciduous woodlands and parks.

The eastern chipmunk goes into a semi-hibernation mode known as torpor during the winter months and stays in its burrow.


  • Scientific name: Canis latrans
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Family: Canidae
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The coyote, a Canidae dog species native to North America, belongs to the Canidae family. Grasslands, woods, and deserts are all home to this species. The coyote, unlike its bigger cousin the wolf, is comfortable around humans and may be found dwelling near towns as opposed to in the wilderness.

Coyotes prey on a variety of tiny to mid-sized creatures, as well as carrion and garbage, and are opportunistic feeders. Coyotes are mostly prey on mountain lions and wolves, but they may also be eaten by bigger creatures.


  • Scientific name: Cervus canadensis
  • Type of animal:  Mammal
  • Family: Cervidae
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The elk, also known as the wapiti, is a large deer species in the Cervidae family. In North America and Asia, the species may be found in both forests and grasslands.

In North America, there are several elk subspecies, the largest of which is Roosevelt elk. This subspecies may grow to be up to 1,100 lb. (500 kg) in shoulder height and weigh up to 5.6 ft (1.7 m). The Pacific Northwest’s temperate rainforests are where you’ll find it.

Gila Monster

  • Scientific name: Heloderma suspectum
  • Type of animal: Reptile
  • Family: Helodermatidae
  • Conservation status: Near Threatened

The Gila monster, sometimes known as the desert lizard, may be found in both the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of southern Nevada. It has bead-like scales and orange / yellow patterns that are unusual.

One of two venomous lizards found in North America (the other being the Mexican beaded lizard), the Gila monster is one of two. The Gila monster’s bite is painful, but it is not deadly to healthy humans, despite the lizard’s fearsome reputation.

Groundhog / Woodchuck

  • Scientific name: Marmota monax
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Family: Sciuridae
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The groundhog is a large burrowing rodent that may be found across much of Canada and the eastern United States. It’s also known as the woodchuck.

If a groundhog sees its shadow on February 2nd as it emerges from its burrow, winter will continue for another six weeks, according to Pennsylvanian mythology. The groundhog became one of the most well-known North American animals thanks to Bill Murray’s film Groundhog Day, which was based on this myth.

The groundhog’s incisor teeth grow throughout the animal’s life, allowing it to bite on tough vegetation without fear of its teeth eventually wearing down, much as all rodents do.


  • Scientific name: Cryptobranchus alleganiensis
  • Type of animal: Amphibian
  • Family: Cryptobranchidae
  • Conservation status: Near Threatened

The hellbender is the largest amphibian in North America, and the fourth biggest in the world, with a growing length of 29 inches (74 cm) and a weight of 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg). It eats mostly crayfish and tiny fish, and lives in fast-flowing, well-oxygenated rivers and streams in the eastern United States.

The hellbender, unlike many other amphibians, is able to exist entirely in water as an adult. It breathes primarily via its skin, despite having lungs in adulthood.

Kit Fox

  • Scientific name: Vulpes macrotis
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Family: Canidae
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

In the southwestern United States and Mexico, the kit fox is a little fox that lives in deserts and other arid environments. The fox’s enormous ears serve two purposes: they help the animal hear better while also dissipating body heat. In the desert heat, this is an adaptation for keeping the kit fox cool.

Monarch Butterfly

  • Scientific name: Danaus plexippus
  • Type of animal: Insect
  • Family: Nymphalidae
  • Conservation status: Currently unrated rated by the IUCN

On the basis of their preferred food plants, the monarch butterfly belongs to the Danainae subfamily of insects, which is otherwise known as “milkweed butterflies.”

The long-distance migrations of this common orange-winged North American butterfly have been well-documented. Individuals may easily fly hundreds, if not thousands, of kilometers from the United States to Mexico and other southern locales throughout the autumn.


  • Scientific name: Alces alces
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Family: Cervidae
  • Conservation status :Least Concern

The moose is the second-largest land animal in North America (behind only the American bison) and the world’s third-largest living land animal (behind only Europe’s European bison). Large individuals have shoulder heights of about 6.9 feet (2.1 m) and weigh over 1,500 pounds (680 kg).

The Cervidae family of deer includes the moose as its largest member. Northern woods, usually near water, are home to this species. It can swim well and actively searches for aquatic plants beneath the water.

Mountain Lion

  • cientific name: Puma concolor
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Family: Felidae
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

Other names for the mountain lion include “puma” and “cougar,” among others. It is the most common Felidae (cat family) member in North America, and the bigger jaguar may be seen on rare occasions in some southern states.

The mountain lion, which is adaptable and may live in a variety of environments, from forests to grasslands to deserts, can be found across much of South America.

The mountain lion, like other wild cats, is a solitary hunter that relies on stealth and speed to catch its prey. It is a solitary hunter like many others.

Nine-Banded Armadillo

  • Scientific name: Dasypus novemcinctus
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Family: Dasypodidae
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The nine-banded armadillo is a subterranean animal with flexible, bone-plated armor protecting its skull, back, and tail. The species is the only armadillo that may be found in the United States and one of 21 surviving armadillos in South, Central, and southern North America.

When danger threatens, unlike other armadillos, the nine-banded armadillo does not roll up into a ball. Instead, it will try to flee or leap straight into the air.

North American Manatee

  • Scientific name: Trichechus manatus
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Family: Trichechidae
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

The West Indian manatee, sometimes known as the North American manatee, is a large aquatic animal. It belongs to the order Sirenia, which includes manatee species as well as the dugong. Members of this group are referred to as “sea cows.”

Rivers, estuaries, and coastal areas of northern Brazil, the southeastern United States, and Caribbean islands are home to the North American manatee.

Seagrasses and other aquatic plants are eaten by this herbivorous species. Every day, the manatee consumes between 4% and 10% of its total body weight in vegetation.

North American Porcupine

  • Scientific name:  Erethizon dorsatum
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Family: Erethizontidae (the New World porcupine family)
  • Conservation status:  Least Concern

The North American porcupine (behind the North American beaver) is the continent’s second-largest rodent. The majority of this slow-moving animal’s life is spent in the trees, and it is mostly active at night.

The North American porcupine has a coat of sharp quills, just like other porcupines. The quills act as a defense mechanism against predators, acting as modified hairs.

Virginia Opossum

  • Scientific name: Didelphis virginiana
  • Type of animal: Mammal (Marsupial)
  • Family: Didelphidae
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

From Costa Rica to southern Canada, the Virginia opossum (also known as the North American opossum) is a cat-sized marsupial. It is only found farther north than any other marsupial in the United States and Canada.

Virginia opossums, like other marsupials, give birth to immature young that are further developed in a particular pocket in the mother’s body.

In addition to forests and scrublands, the Virginia opossum can be found in cities. In gardens and back yards, this nocturnal animal will often forage for food.

Polar Bear

  • Scientific name:  Ursus maritimus
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Family: Ursidae
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

While certain brown bears (particularly the Kodiak bear subspecies) may reach greater sizes, the polar bear is, on average, the largest member of the Ursidae bear family. Because of its white coat, which serves as camouflage and insulation, the polar bear is readily identified. The hairs are actually colorless and hollow, despite the fact that the coat appears white.

Ringed and bearded seals are the polar bear’s principal food. Because it spends so much of its time in the water, it is classified as a marine mammal.


  • Scientific name: Antilocapra americana
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Family: Antilocapridae
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The pronghorn isn’t an actual antelope, despite its name. It is neither a deer nor a deer relative, despite its outward appearance. The pronghorn is, in fact, the last of its kind in the Antilocapridae family; giraffes and okapis are its closest extant relatives.

After the cheetah, the pronghorn is North America’s fastest land animal and the world’s second-fastest. The pronghorn is thought to have developed their immense speed in order to outrun predators such as the American cheetah.


  • Scientific name:  Procyon lotor
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Family: Procyonidae
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The raccoon is one of the most well-known animals in North America, with its black and white face mask and ringed tail. Procyonidae, which includes coatis and the kinkajou, is the biggest raccoon family member.

The raccoon, which is noted for its ability, has evolved to thrive in cities after originally being a woodland creature. The varied diet of this nocturnal animal includes eggs, insects, small vertebrates, and the discarded remnants of human food. It is an omnivore.

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

  • Scientific name: Crotalus atrox
  • Type of animal: Reptile
  • Family: Viperidae
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

Rattlesnakes are divided into 36 species, with the majority of them residing in North America. They are all pit vipers, a group of venomous snakes that belongs to the Crotalinae subfamily. A heat-sensing organ in a pit between the eye and nostril on each side of the head is found in pit vipers.

After the closely-related eastern diamondback rattlesnake, the western diamondback rattlesnake is the second-largest rattlesnake. Most adult western diamondbacks grow to be 120 cm (4 ft) long, with exceptional specimens growing up to 6.5 ft (2 m). In the United States, the species is responsible for more snakebites. In fact, it is the only snake that does not bite.

Greater Roadrunner

  • Scientific name: Geococcyx californianus
  • Type of animal: Bird
  • Family: Cuculidae
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

One of two roadrunners (the other being the lesser roadrunner) is the greater roadrunner. Cuckoo birds belong to the Cucolidae family.

In the southwestern United States and Mexico, the bigger roadrunner may be found in desert and other arid environments.

The roadrunner spends most of its time on the ground, despite the fact that it can fly. It may travel faster on land than any other bird that can fly and may go at speeds of 20 mph (32 km/h) or more.

The bigger roadrunner eats a variety of invertebrates and vertebrates. Little rattlesnakes, tarantulas, and the deadly tarantula wasp are among the prey it may attack.


  • Scientific name: Canis lupus
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Family: Canidae
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The largest member of the Canidae family is the wolf, often known as the gray wolf. The domestic dog is considered a subspecies of gray wolf by many zoologists.

North America, Europe, and Asia all have wild wolves. Wolves live in the wilds of North America, far from human communities. Packs of wolves consist of an alpha pair and their offspring. The pack may hunt bison, moose, and elk with a pack, which is particularly advantageous.

The howls of wolves at night are well-known. To claim territory, to alert other pack members of impending danger, and to bring the pack together before a hunt, howling is utilized.

North American Animals List: Discover More with Active Wild

What is your favorite US animal? Have you seen any of the species listed here? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

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