Welcome to our blog post about animals that start with the letter D! The animal kingdom is vast and diverse, with a wide variety of creatures that inhabit every corner of the earth, from the depths of the ocean to the highest peaks of the mountains.
In this post, we will explore some of the amazing animals that start with the letter D, including their taxonomy, short description, fun fact, and a link to pictures. Whether you are a nature lover or just curious about the world around us, we hope you will enjoy learning about these fascinating creatures!
List of 35 animals that start with D
- Dassie Rat
- Deer Mice
- Dipper Bird
- Discus Fish
- Duckbill Platypus
- Dung Beetle
- Durango Salamander
- Dwarf Caiman
- Dwarf Crocodile
- Dwarf Gourami
- Dwarf Hamster
- Dwarf Mongoose
- Dwarf Sperm Whale
- Dusky Dolphin
- Dusky Shark
- Dusky Leaf Monkey
- Dusty Miller Moth
- Desert Tortoise
- Diamondback Terrapin
Taxonomy: Damselfish is the common name for a family of small, brightly colored fish that belong to the Pomacentridae family.
Short description: Damselfish are small, usually less than 10cm in length, and are found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. They are typically brightly colored, with a flattened body and a forked tail. Damselfish are active and social, often seen in schools swimming around coral reefs.
Fun fact: Some species of damselfish have the ability to change their coloration as a means of communication or to blend in with their surroundings. They also have a unique mating behavior where the male prepares a nest and aggressively guards it to attract a female.
Taxonomy: The Dassie rat, also known as the rock rat, is a species of rodent that belongs to the family Petromuridae.
Short description: Dassie rats are small, furry rodents that have adapted to living in rocky habitats in southern Africa. They have a short, bushy tail, large hind legs, and long, curved claws that allow them to climb and grip onto rocks. Dassie rats are herbivorous and feed mainly on leaves and bark.
Fun fact: Dassie rats are one of the few mammals that can survive without drinking water. They get most of their moisture from the succulent plants they eat, and can even obtain water from the dew that collects on rocks in the early morning.
Taxonomy: Deer are a group of herbivorous mammals belonging to the family Cervidae. There are about 90 species of deer that are found all around the world, except in Australia and Antarctica.
Short description: Deer are typically medium to large-sized animals with a distinctive set of antlers on the males. They have a slender, graceful body with long legs and a short tail. Most deer are herbivores, feeding on grasses, leaves, and twigs.
Fun fact: Deer are known for their ability to run fast, with some species capable of reaching speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. They are also excellent swimmers and can jump up to 10 feet high.
The deer mice, also known as the Peromyscus maniculatus, is a small rodent that belongs to the family Cricetidae.
Short description: Deer mice are small and agile rodents with long tails, big eyes, and large ears. They are found throughout North and Central America, and can adapt to a wide range of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and deserts. Deer mice are omnivores and feed on a variety of foods including insects, seeds, fruits, and fungi.
Fun fact: Deer mice have a remarkable ability to jump and run with great agility, even in dark or unfamiliar environments. They are also important for scientific research due to their ability to survive in a laboratory setting and their genetic similarity to humans.
Taxonomy: The degu, also known as Octodon degus, is a small, diurnal rodent that belongs to the family Octodontidae.
Short description: Degus are small, sociable rodents native to central Chile. They have a long tail, soft fur, and short legs. Degus are herbivores and feed mainly on seeds, grasses, and hay. They are highly social animals and live in groups of up to 100 individuals in the wild.
Fun fact: Degus are unique among rodents in their ability to develop diabetes, which makes them a valuable animal model for research on diabetes. They are also known for their vocalizations, which include barks, chirps, and whistles.
Taxonomy: The dhole, also known as the Asiatic wild dog, is a species of wild canid that belongs to the family Canidae.
Short description: Dholes are medium-sized wild dogs that are native to Asia. They have a reddish-brown coat with a bushy tail and white-tipped ears. Dholes are highly social animals and live in packs of up to 40 individuals. They are opportunistic predators and feed on a variety of prey, including deer, wild pigs, and small mammals.
Fun fact: Dholes are known for their unique vocalizations, which include whistles, screams, and clucks. They are also one of the few wild dog species that have a cooperative breeding system, in which non-breeding females help to care for and protect the young.
Taxonomy: The dingo is a wild dog that belongs to the family Canidae and is native to Australia.
Short description: Dingoes are medium-sized dogs with a lean, muscular body, and a bushy tail. They have a short, thick coat that can be sandy, reddish, or black in color. Dingoes are opportunistic hunters and scavengers, and feed on a variety of prey including small mammals, birds, and reptiles.
Fun fact: Dingoes are believed to have arrived in Australia about 4,000 years ago, and they are considered to be one of the few species of dogs that are not domesticated. They are known for their unique vocalizations, which include howls, growls, and barks.
Taxonomy: The dipper bird, also known as the American Dipper or water ouzel, is a small, aquatic songbird that belongs to the family Cinclidae.
Short description: Dipper birds are small, plump birds with a dark brown to slate-gray plumage. They have a unique adaptation that allows them to walk on the bottom of streams and rivers in search of prey such as insects, crustaceans, and small fish. Dipper birds are found throughout North and Central America, and are often associated with clean, fast-moving water.
Fun fact: Dipper birds are the only songbirds in the world that can swim and dive underwater. They are also known for their unique courtship behavior, in which the male and female dipper sing duets to each other.
Taxonomy: The discus fish, also known as Symphysodon spp., is a genus of freshwater cichlid fish that belongs to the family Cichlidae.
Short description: Discus fish are known for their distinctive, disc-shaped body and vibrant, iridescent coloration. They are native to the Amazon River Basin in South America, where they inhabit slow-moving rivers, streams, and flooded forest areas. Discus fish are popular aquarium fish due to their unique appearance and peaceful temperament.
Fun fact: Discus fish are highly social and form strong pair bonds with their mates. They also exhibit a unique parenting behavior, in which both parents guard and fan their eggs until they hatch.
Taxonomy: The dodo, also known as Raphus cucullatus, is an extinct flightless bird that belonged to the family Columbidae.
Short description: The dodo was a large, flightless bird that was endemic to the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. It had a distinctive appearance, with a large, hooked beak, small wings, and a plump body. The dodo was a herbivore and fed on fruits, seeds, and roots.
Fun fact: The dodo is famous for its extinction, which occurred in the late 17th century due to human hunting and the introduction of non-native animals to the island. The dodo has become a symbol of extinction and the need for conservation efforts to protect endangered species.
Taxonomy: Dogfish is a common name used for several species of small sharks that belong to the family Squalidae.
Short description: Dogfish sharks are typically small in size, ranging from 2 to 4 feet in length, and are found in oceans around the world. They have a slender body, pointed snout, and sharp teeth that are adapted for catching fish and other prey. Dogfish sharks are often harvested for their meat, which is used in a variety of dishes.
Fun fact: Dogfish sharks are one of the few shark species that can survive in freshwater environments. Some species have been known to travel up rivers and even into lakes.
Taxonomy: Donkey, also known as Equus africanus asinus, is a domesticated member of the horse family, Equidae.
Short description: Donkeys are domesticated animals that have been used for transportation, agriculture, and as pack animals for thousands of years. They are known for their long ears, sturdy build, and surefootedness. Donkeys are social animals and have a gentle nature, making them popular as companion animals.
Fun fact: Donkeys have a reputation for being stubborn, but this is actually a result of their strong sense of self-preservation and caution. They are intelligent animals and can be trained to perform a variety of tasks, including riding, pulling carts, and carrying heavy loads.
Taxonomy: Dormice are a family of small, nocturnal rodents that belong to the family Gliridae.
Short description: Dormice are small, furry rodents that are found throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia. They are known for their hibernation habits and are often depicted as sleeping through the winter in literature and popular culture. Dormice have large, bright eyes and soft, dense fur that ranges in color from gray to brown.
Fun fact: Some species of dormice have been known to enter a state of torpor, a form of temporary hibernation, during the summer months when food is scarce. This allows them to conserve energy and survive until the next season.
Taxonomy: Dragonflies are insects that belong to the order Odonata.
Short description: Dragonflies are known for their long, slender bodies and their large, often brightly colored wings. They are found throughout the world in a variety of habitats, including freshwater ponds, streams, and wetlands. Dragonflies are predatory insects, feeding on other insects such as mosquitoes and flies.
Fun fact: Dragonflies have excellent vision, with some species able to see in all directions at once. They are also extremely agile fliers, able to fly forwards, backwards, and hover in place.
Taxonomy: Drongos are a family of small to medium-sized passerine birds that belong to the family Dicruridae.
Short description: Drongos are small to medium-sized birds that are found in Asia and Africa. They have distinctive forked tails and are often black or dark in color. Drongos are known for their aggressive behavior and are sometimes referred to as “hawk-cuckoos” due to their habit of stealing food from other birds.
Fun fact: Some species of drongos are known for their mimicry abilities, able to mimic the calls of other birds and even some mammals. This allows them to trick other birds into leaving their food sources, which the drongo can then steal.
Taxonomy: Ducks are a group of waterfowl that belong to the family Anatidae, which also includes swans and geese.
Short description: Ducks are waterbirds that are found in both fresh and saltwater habitats throughout the world. They have a characteristic broad, flat bill, webbed feet, and waterproof feathers that allow them to swim and dive in the water. Ducks come in a wide variety of sizes and colors, from small teal to large mallards.
Fun fact: Ducks have a unique tongue structure that allows them to filter food from water. They are also able to adjust the size of their eyes depending on whether they are looking above or below the water’s surface.
Taxonomy: The duck-billed platypus, also known as the platypus, is a semi-aquatic mammal that belongs to the family Ornithorhynchidae.
Short description: The duck-billed platypus is a unique mammal found in eastern Australia. It has a beaver-like body with webbed feet, a flat tail, and a distinctive bill that resembles that of a duck. The platypus is covered in a dense fur coat that helps it stay warm in the water, and it has venomous spurs on its hind legs.
Fun fact: The platypus is one of only two species of mammals that lay eggs, instead of giving birth to live young. They also have a unique method of locating prey in the water – they use electroreceptors in their bill to detect the electrical impulses given off by the muscles of their prey.
Taxonomy: The dugong is a large marine mammal that belongs to the family Dugongidae, which is part of the order Sirenia. The dugong is the only living species of the family Dugongidae.
Short description: The dugong is a large marine mammal found in the waters of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans. They have a streamlined body and flippers, and a large tail which they use to swim. Dugongs are herbivores and feed mainly on seagrass.
Fun fact: Dugongs are sometimes referred to as “sea cows” due to their grazing habits and slow-moving nature. They can stay underwater for up to six minutes before surfacing to breathe, and are known for their gentle and docile nature.
Taxonomy: Duikers are a group of small to medium-sized antelopes that belong to the family Bovidae, which also includes sheep, goats, and cattle.
Short description: Duikers are small, shy antelopes found in forests and bushlands throughout sub-Saharan Africa. They are typically around 1 meter in length and weigh between 15 to 70 kg. Duikers have short, smooth fur and short, sharp horns in both males and females.
Fun fact: Duikers have a unique adaptation to help them escape from predators – they can “dive” into dense vegetation to escape danger, using their flexible bodies to quickly disappear from sight. Duikers are also known for their excellent sense of hearing and smell, which they use to detect predators.
Taxonomy: Dung beetles are a group of beetles belonging to the family Scarabaeidae, which includes more than 30,000 species worldwide.
Short description: Dung beetles are known for their unique adaptation to feed on and burrow into animal waste, which they use as food and habitat for their young. They have a robust, oval-shaped body with strong legs and powerful mandibles for breaking up and manipulating dung.
Fun fact: Dung beetles play an important ecological role by helping to recycle nutrients from animal waste back into the soil, which can benefit plants and other organisms in the ecosystem. In addition, some species of dung beetles are capable of navigating by using the stars to help them locate dung.
Taxonomy: Dunnarts are a group of small, carnivorous marsupials belonging to the family Dasyuridae, which is found in Australia and New Guinea.
Short description: Dunnarts are small, mouse-like marsupials with soft, dense fur and a pointed snout. They have a body length of about 6 to 12 cm and a tail length of about 5 to 10 cm. Dunnarts are mostly active at night and feed on a variety of small insects and other invertebrates.
Fun fact: Dunnarts are known for their exceptional ability to survive in harsh and arid environments, with some species capable of surviving without water for several weeks. Some species of dunnarts are also able to enter into a state of torpor during periods of food scarcity, which allows them to conserve energy until food becomes available again.
Taxonomy: The Durango salamander, also known as the Ambystoma dumerilii, is a species of salamander belonging to the Ambystomatidae family.
Short description: The Durango salamander is a medium-sized amphibian, with a body length of around 13 to 20 cm. It has a flattened head, a broad tail, and a dark grey to black body with irregular white spots on its back and sides. Its skin is smooth and moist, and it has small, round eyes.
Fun fact: The Durango salamander is considered a threatened species and is found only in a few isolated areas in the mountains of central Mexico. It is a unique species due to its ability to hybridize with other species of salamanders, creating a variety of different genetic combinations.
Taxonomy: The dwarf caiman, also known as Paleosuchus palpebrosus, is a small species of crocodilian belonging to the family Alligatoridae.
Short description: The dwarf caiman is a small-sized crocodilian species, with a length of around 1.2 to 1.5 meters. It has a dark olive-green coloration on its skin with black bands, and its body is covered with bony plates. The species has a broad head and short snout, with sharp teeth designed to grasp and hold onto its prey.
Fun fact: Dwarf caimans are known for their powerful jaws, which can exert a force of around 750 pounds per square inch. They are mostly active at night and feed on a variety of prey, including fish, crustaceans, and small mammals. They are also popular among exotic pet owners due to their small size and relatively docile nature.
Taxonomy: The dwarf crocodile, also known as Osteolaemus tetraspis, is a small species of crocodilian belonging to the family Crocodylidae.
Short description: The dwarf crocodile is a small-sized crocodilian species, with a length of around 1.5 to 1.9 meters. It has a light brown or olive-green coloration on its skin, and its body is covered with bony plates. The species has a broad head and short snout, with sharp teeth designed to grasp and hold onto its prey.
Fun fact: Dwarf crocodiles are mostly found in the forested regions of West and Central Africa. Unlike their larger counterparts, they are not typically considered a threat to humans, but can be aggressive if provoked or cornered. They feed on a variety of prey, including fish, crustaceans, and small mammals.
Taxonomy: The Dwarf Gourami, also known as Trichogaster lalius, is a small freshwater fish belonging to the family Osphronemidae.
Short description: The Dwarf Gourami is a small fish species, with a length of around 5 cm (2 inches). It has a bright and colorful body with iridescent shades of blue, red, and green, and a distinctive dark horizontal stripe running from the eye to the tail. The species has a labyrinth organ, which allows it to breathe air and survive in low oxygen environments.
Fun fact: Dwarf Gouramis are popular among aquarium enthusiasts due to their small size, beautiful coloration, and peaceful nature. They are native to the shallow, slow-moving waters of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. The species is known for its unique courtship behavior, where males build bubble nests on the surface of the water to attract females.
Taxonomy: The Dwarf Hamster is a small rodent belonging to the genus Phodopus, which includes several species such as Phodopus campbelli (Campbell’s Dwarf Hamster) and Phodopus sungorus (Winter White Dwarf Hamster).
Short description: Dwarf Hamsters are small in size, ranging from 5-10 cm in length, with a short tail and rounded body shape. They have a soft and dense coat that can come in a variety of colors, including brown, gray, white, and black. The species is nocturnal and spends most of its time in underground burrows.
Fun fact: Dwarf Hamsters are popular as pets due to their small size, cute appearance, and docile nature. They are native to the grasslands and deserts of Central Asia, where they feed on seeds, insects, and small invertebrates. Dwarf Hamsters are known for their ability to store food in their cheek pouches, which they use to transport food back to their burrows.
Taxonomy: The Dwarf Mongoose, also known as Helogale parvula, is a small carnivorous mammal belonging to the family Herpestidae.
Short description: The Dwarf Mongoose is a small species of mongoose, weighing around 350-400 grams and measuring up to 30 cm in length. It has a slender body with short legs and a long tail. The species has a brown or grayish-brown fur, with a lighter underbelly. The Dwarf Mongoose has sharp teeth and claws that are used for digging, climbing, and hunting.
Fun fact: Dwarf Mongooses are social animals that live in groups of up to 20 individuals. They are found in the savannas and grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa, where they feed on insects, small rodents, and reptiles. The species is known for its fierce defense of its territory, and will attack snakes and other predators that threaten their group.
Dwarf Sperm Whale
Taxonomy: The Dwarf Sperm Whale, also known as Kogia sima, is a small toothed whale belonging to the family Kogiidae.
Short description: The Dwarf Sperm Whale is one of the smallest species of whales, measuring only about 2.7-2.8 meters in length and weighing around 250 kg. It has a stocky body, a small head, and a blunt snout. The species has a dark gray or blue-black color, with a lighter underbelly.
Fun fact: The Dwarf Sperm Whale is a deep-water species that can dive to depths of up to 900 meters in search of food, which includes squid, octopus, and small fish. They are found in tropical and temperate waters around the world, including the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. The species is known for its ability to release a dark, ink-like substance when threatened, which may be used to confuse predators.
Taxonomy: The Dusky Dolphin, also known as Lagenorhynchus obscurus, is a small species of dolphin belonging to the family Delphinidae.
Short description: The Dusky Dolphin is a small dolphin species that grows up to 2.4 meters in length and weighs up to 100 kg. It has a sleek, slender body with a distinctive dark gray to black coloration on its back and white on its belly. The species has a long beak, pointed dorsal fin, and curved flippers.
Fun fact: Dusky Dolphins are known for their acrobatic behavior, including leaping, spinning, and riding the bow waves of boats. They are found in cold, temperate waters in the Southern Hemisphere, including the coasts of South America, New Zealand, and southern Africa. The species is highly social and is often seen swimming in groups of up to 100 individuals.
Taxonomy: The Dusky Shark, also known as Carcharhinus obscurus, is a large species of requiem shark belonging to the family Carcharhinidae.
Short description: The Dusky Shark is a large shark species that can grow up to 4.2 meters in length and weigh up to 350 kg. It has a stocky, cylindrical body with a grayish-brown coloration on its back and white on its belly. The species has a pointed snout, large pectoral fins, and a prominent second dorsal fin.
Fun fact: The Dusky Shark is known for its slow growth rate and long lifespan, with individuals living up to 70 years. They are found in tropical and temperate waters around the world, including the coasts of North and South America, Africa, Australia, and Asia. The species is a popular target for commercial and recreational fishing, which has led to a decline in its population in some areas.
Dusky Leaf Monkey
Taxonomy: The Dusky Leaf Monkey, also known as Trachypithecus obscurus, is a species of Old World monkey belonging to the family Cercopithecidae.
Short description: The Dusky Leaf Monkey is a medium-sized monkey species that can reach up to 60 cm in length and weigh up to 7 kg. It has a dark gray to black fur coloration with a lighter grayish-brown belly. The species has a long tail that is longer than its body and a distinctive white beard around its face.
Fun fact: The Dusky Leaf Monkey is a diurnal species that is found in the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. They are primarily herbivorous, feeding on leaves, fruits, and flowers. The species is social and lives in groups of up to 20 individuals, with females taking the lead in the group’s activities.
Dusty Miller Moth
Taxonomy: The Dusty Miller Moth, also known as Heliothodes diminutiva, is a species of moth belonging to the family Noctuidae.
Short description: The Dusty Miller Moth is a small moth species that can have a wingspan of up to 2.5 cm. It has a distinctive grayish-brown coloration with a pattern of dark brown lines on its wings. The species also has two small black dots near the center of its forewings.
Fun fact: The Dusty Miller Moth is native to the western United States and can be found in arid and semi-arid habitats, including deserts, shrublands, and grasslands. The species is nocturnal and is attracted to light sources at night. Its caterpillars feed on the leaves of various plants, including sagebrush, rabbitbrush, and bitterbrush.
Taxonomy: Duttaphrynus is a genus of true toad belonging to the family Bufonidae. The genus includes several species of toads found in Asia.
Short description: Toads of the Duttaphrynus genus are typically small to medium-sized and have a flattened body with rough, warty skin. Their skin coloration is often brown or gray with various patterns and markings. They have short, sturdy legs and a relatively short snout.
Fun fact: The Duttaphrynus genus includes several species of toads that are known for their loud and distinctive calls, which they use to attract mates during breeding season. Some species of Duttaphrynus are also known to produce toxic skin secretions as a defense mechanism against predators.
Taxonomy: The Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is a species of tortoise that belongs to the family Testudinidae, which also includes other tortoises, box turtles, and pond turtles.
Short description: The Desert Tortoise is a medium-sized tortoise that can reach up to 14 inches in length and weigh up to 15 pounds. They have a high-domed carapace (upper shell) and a flat plastron (lower shell) that protects their body. Their legs are strong and sturdy, with clawed feet adapted for digging and climbing. They are well adapted to the hot and dry desert environment, with a tough skin and the ability to store water for long periods of time.
Fun fact: Desert Tortoises are long-lived animals, with a lifespan of up to 80 years in the wild. They are also known for their slow metabolism, which allows them to survive without food or water for months at a time. They are an important keystone species in the desert ecosystem, providing habitat and food for many other animals.
Taxonomy: The Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) is a species of turtle that belongs to the family Emydidae, which also includes other freshwater turtles, such as pond turtles and sliders.
Short description: The Diamondback Terrapin is a medium-sized turtle, with adult males growing up to 6 inches in length and females up to 9 inches. They are named for their diamond-shaped pattern on their upper shell, which is usually gray or brown in color. Their lower shell, or plastron, is usually yellowish with black markings. They have webbed feet and strong claws, adapted for swimming and digging.
Fun fact: Diamondback Terrapins are unique among turtles in that they are adapted to live in brackish water, a mix of saltwater and freshwater. They are found along the eastern coast of North America, from Cape Cod to the Gulf of Mexico. They are also known for their beautiful, colorful eyes, which can be green, blue, yellow, or orange.
Throughout this post, we have explored a diverse range of animals that all share one thing in common – their names begin with the letter D. This post has provided just a small glimpse into the rich and diverse world of animals that begin with the letter D. Whether you are an animal lover, a student of biology, or simply someone who enjoys learning about the world around us, we hope that this post has been informative and enjoyable.