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Animals in Georgia

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The state of Georgia in the United States has heaps of different animal species in
them. Unfortunately, some of these are endangered. Georgia is home to many
armadillos, moles, bats, beavers, rats, mice, rabbits, white-tailed deer, and more.
There are many predators that thrive in this state such as bears, coyotes, bobcats,
mountain lions, otters, skunk, and more.

Lots of people visit George for its lively
cities but on the wild side, you will find alluring, amazing beauty provided by Nature.
The southern state offers you rich and unique experiences. The Northern
Appalachian Mountains are home to many of these animals but it will be up to you
where you wander.

Let’s check out the best of Georgias wildlife with our list of the most interesting and sought after animals in Georgia:

1. Brown Thrasher

This official state bird of Georgia, the Brown Thrasher, is widespread throughout the
state. Fortunately, it is still quite a common sight in Georgia. Their numbers have
declined, though, due to the loss of their natural habitat, collisions with cars, etc.
They still continue to decline. These are territorial birds, particularly when they are
defending their nests. They are not afraid of attacking anything that proves a threat
to them. They are noted for their mimicry, but not so much as the Northern
mockingbird. But in the breeding season, the male impersonates sounds from many
birds! His name is believed to be ‘Thrasher’ because of the thrashing sound he
makes when digging through ground debris looking for food. They have a varied diet
which includes nuts, berries, insects, beetles, caterpillars, and others. They won’t
turn their beaks away to other things like spiders, earthworms, crayfish, snails, frogs,
and lizards.

2. Largemouth Bass

bass fish

The magnificent largemouth bass was made the official state fish of Georgia back in
1970. This fish has olive grey-green scales on it. It likes to be in warm water,
streams, and rivers of Georgia, with lots of vegetation. It's got other names too, so if
you’ve heard people talking of Black Bass, Lineside Bass, Trophy Bass, Bigmouth
Bass, or Green Trout, then you know they are talking about the Largemouth Bass.

They grow about 8 inches in their first year of life already. By the time they are three
years old, they are measuring about 18 inches long already. Dark horizontal lines
form on both sides of the fish. The bigger the fish grows, the bigger their prey, but
they enjoy small insects, baitfish, scuds, and shrimp. They will also eat shad,
crawfish, snakes, snails, small water birds, frogs, baby alligators, and lizards. They
use vibration, sight, hearing, and smell to seize their prey.

3. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

swallowtail buttterfly Animals in Georgia

The eastern tiger swallowtail is very beautiful as you can see. It was recognized as
the official state butterfly of Georgia. They are common around this area. Who
wouldn’t want these butterflies in your space, flying around? They are just magical
creatures – these universally cherished insects all over the world. This is a big
butterfly and when they are in the sun their outspread wings can span around 5.5
inches from one tip to the other. Their colors are so vibrant – the yellow wings are
edged by black strips. The bottom edges of the hind wings are very colorful with
bluish scales and one or more red spots. They are solitary creatures, these. They will
often fly high into the treetops. A wonderful sight to behold is when a group of
swallowtail males “puddles” This is when the males come together at damp places in
the soil to drink water. Usually, this water has amino acids and sodium ions which
give them extra life. If an ‘enemy’ touches this butterfly, it will give off a putrid smell,
which gets wiped onto the enemy. You will see this magnificent creature from the
spring into the fall.

4. White-Tailed Deer 

White-tailed deer Animals in Georgia

In 2015, the elegant white-tailed deer became the state mammal of Georgia. It has
warm brown fur and a bright white tail, living in the marshlands and forests
throughout Georgia. But still, they are highly adaptable creatures and thrive in quite a
few habitats. They seem to be very suitably adapted to hardwoods, croplands,
pasturelands, and bushlands. They enjoy being in meadows, forested woodlots,
croplands, and brush areas.

There is no doubt that this animal is one of incredible
beauty and power. It runs so gracefully at 40 miles per hour. It can jump a 9-foot
fence and swim 13 miles an hour. When browsing for food, it enjoys buds, twigs,
leaves, and other plants. These deer enjoy acorns, mushrooms, fruits, and
agricultural crops like corn and alfalfa. They live to be from 7 to 14 years. They
weigh up to about 300 pounds and can stand at a height of around 6 to 7 feet. They
will browse for food in the early morning and the evening time. It is only the males
that grow antlers and they shed these each year.

5. Green Tree Frog

Animals in Georgia tree frog

In 2005, the green tree frog became the official state amphibian of Georgia. Georgia
is actually home to around 85 different amphibian species. These cute little frogs are
a lime green color with bright white stripes on each side of their bodies which are
very smooth. They can be found throughout the state of Georgia, and you can hear
them chirping through the summer and spring months. With that smooth, green
body, it makes sense that they are considered to be of the most beautiful tree frogs
in North America.

Its legs are about one and a half times as long as its body so now
you know how well it can jump from around 8 to 10 feet should it need to. It’s got
round pads for his feet to climb trees very easily. You will find these little critters in
swamps, bayous, on the borders of lakes, on floating vegetation, and in trees and
bushes near the water. As long as there is water and dampness around, he is OK.
He enjoys crickets, houseflies, fruit flies, moths, ants, and worms – even crickets.

6. American Alligators

wild alligator in Florida Animals in Georgia

The American Alligator, during the first half of the 20th century, due to exploitation,
was almost completely depleted, but their recovery has turned out successfully and
they are no longer on the near-extinction list. Their top jaw overlaps the lower jaw.
It’s what makes it different from the crocodile. They like to inhabit a wide range of
areas in the USA, including Georgia. They can grow up to 14 feet so they will devour
a lot of different foods to feed that large frame.

The diet will include turtles, fish,
birds, reptiles, small mammals, and also small alligators. If you want to find an
alligator, look for them in freshwater swamps, marsh, rivers, lakes, and any other
small bodies of water. Can you believe that the alligator has a mouthful of teeth to
the tune of between 74 to 80 teeth? New teeth grow in to replace the lost and
damaged ones. When the water gets too cold, their foraging ceases – like when the
temperature drops below 68 degrees F.

The alligator hibernates in dens in
wintertime. It can live to be about 50 years old. The adult alligator does not have any
natural predators after it. The babies, on the other hand, do have to be taken care of
as otters, turtles, raccoons, cranes, and other alligators will eat them. They prey on
the nest where the eggs are and then eat the little hatchings as well. If they can
reach around 24-30 inches or so, then instead of becoming the prey, they become
the predators.

7. River Otters

Animals in Georgia otter

This cutest of animals, the river otter, is also a member of the weasel family. He is an
amphibious member of the family. Many of the USA states have experienced a
decline in river otters, but Georgia has remained fairly consistent with still thriving
numbers, even in Northern Georgian where they were almost depleted. Of course,
their existence does depend on habitat availability and quality. These creatures have
thick fur over their bodies that are usually dark brown, black, or reddish. Their bellies
are usually silvery or grayish-brown.

Their throat and cheeks are silver to yellow-
brown. They can range from being about three feet in length to almost five feet long
from the tip of their nose down to the tip of their tail. They weigh around 15 to 30
pounds. The hind feet of the otter are webbed. The otter can stay underwater for
about 4 minutes and dive to quite deep depths of about 60 feet. It can swim 6-7
miles per hour and run from 15 to 18 miles an hour.

They become active in the early evening right through to the next morning. These animals in Georgia love to be near lakes, marshes, ponds, and streams. The river otter is a carnivore and eats prey like young alligators
and crabs; sometimes even muskrats. Other things in their diet will include
amphibians, crustaceans, reptiles, insects, birds, and fish. In the rivers, they dine
mostly on fish.

8. Black bears

black bear globe

Black bears; the fiercest of the animals in Georgia are to be found in two parts of Georgia but they will go even beyond their normal areas in search of food. They are often found in the North Georgia
Mountains, along the Ocmulgee River drainage system. They also can be found in
the Okefenokee Swamp in the southeast. Their coat is black and shaggy, but it can
be in other colors too. From his nose to his tail, he is usually about 7 feet long and
stands two to three feet at the shoulders. He has small eyes, round ears, a long
snout, and a short tail.

The males can be about 300 pounds in weight. Being
omnivores, they eat plant-based foods, like herbs and grass, root, shoots, buds,
nuts, honey, berries, fruit, and seeds. They also eat fish, dead animals, insects, and
small mammals. They love salmon that they catch in the streams. They are active
just before sunrise and like to nap for a couple of hours in the day before going to
sleep after sunset. During the winter months, they hibernate.

They are solitary creatures, not roaming around in pairs or in groups. The black bear is very strong; he
can just flip heavy boulders that weigh 140 kg over with a single paw! They are
excellent climbers because their claws give them excellent grip. They can live for
about 18 years in the world.

9. Wild Turkeys


Wild Turkey

Animals in Georgia: The wild turkey is the largest of the upland game birds. Some of the males can
weigh over 20 pounds and stand three feet tall. As wild turkeys, they are lean when
compared with domestic turkeys. They are more slender with small, almost bare
heads. During the mating season, the wild turkey’s head gets red, white, and blue.
During this time the males develop a layer of fat over their crop and breast cavity. It
gives them the energy needed in the very active mating season. Male wild turkeys
are called Toms.

These animals in Georgia nest on the ground, preferring dense foliage to keep them
concealed and walk around in flocks searing for food. They use their strong feet to
scratch the leaf litter out of the way in search of food. Because wild turkeys are large
and quite heavy-looking birds, it is assumed that they cannot fly. But in actual fact,
wild turkeys are very powerful fliers and take to the air if they are threatened using
their broad, rounded wings.

At night, the wild turkeys will fly up into trees to roost in
groups. They like to roost in unused fields and places adjacent to roads. The eggs of
wild turkeys are speckled and brown. They are also bigger than chicken eggs. Wild
turkeys need a diverse habitat for their feeding requirements, so they are constantly
on the move, eating during the day. Searching for food and moving all the time, they
can cover a few miles as they hunt.

Mostly a wild turkeys diet consists of
about 90% plant material and 10% animal matter. They eat fruit, green leaves,
insects, seeds, and buds. They also eat cultivated crops like grain, sorghum, chufa,
tubers, and millet.

10. Alligator Snapping turtles

snapping turtle

There is a slight difference between the alligator snapping turtle and the common
snapping turtle. Both of them look pretty prehistoric. But they are slightly different
and are in fact, distant cousins. But in actual fact they have some important
differences. The alligator snapping turtle is the one we are talking about and it has a
very restricted natural range. It only lives in the river systems that drain into the Gulf
of Mexico northern coast, and east into southern Georgia.

The alligator snapping turtle likes deeper waters that move a lot, but every now and then you will find them
in a lake. Sometimes you will find them in other kinds of waterways as well, that
adjoin rivers. Maybe the most noticeable difference between the alligator snapping
turtle and the common snapping turtle is their shells. There are three distinct ridges
on the shell of this turtle. As far as the skull is concerned, the alligator snapping turtle
has a triangular head.

The common snapping turtle has a head that is ova-shaped.
An alligator snapping turtle has two distinct features that make it different to the
common snapping turtle. One feature is its red, worm-like lure in its mouth. So when
it opens its jaw, unsuspecting fish take it for a worm – as they get closer to
investigate, they are snapped into the mouth of the alligator snapping turtle for a
quick meal.

They are tanned in color to black as
well. The sharp cutting edge on their mouth is capable of biting
your finger off, so be careful when around a snapping turtle – leave them alone.
They don’t have many predators who want to eat them, but every now and again they will face an attack from bears, coyotes, and river otters. And sometimes when its territory overlaps with those of the American alligators, then it needs to watch out.

Summary of Animals in Georgia

How amazing are these animals of Georgia? If you are hoping to travel to North America in suit of uncovering wild and rustic beauty, take a look at some of our state categorized wildlife blogs; animals in Ontario and Florida. Let us know what you think and which state you’d love to visit first!

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