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Animals That Start With C

Capybara
Baby and mommy Capybara. Image by ericeven1 via Pixabay

Welcome to animals that start with C.

You should find some animals you are already familiar with here, but hopefully some new ones too.

You can read the entire article or jump to any section.

Overview of Animals That Start With C

1. Caiman

caiman laying flat in water
Caiman in water. Image by Anthony-X via Pixabay
Scientific NameCaiman spp.
Where it LivesCentral & South America
What it EatsFish, birds, small mammals
Conservation StatusLeast concern

Fun Fact: Caimans cannot chew food. They tear meat and swallow it whole.

Caimans, also spelled caymans, are social reptiles. They have eyes and nostrils on the top of their head and snout that often stay above water when they swim. They feed primarily hunt fish, but will also feed on other small animals. Caimans are smaller than alligators, crocodiles, and gharials. They are further characterized by their stocky bodies and U-shaped mouths. There are presently six extant species of caimans.

2. Caiman lizards

caiman lizard
Caiman lizard on tree branch. Image via Yinan Chen, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameDracaena spp.
Where it LivesCentral South America
What it Eatssnails, crawfish, freshwater clams
Conservation StatusLeast concern

Fun Fact: Caiman lizards are some of the largest lizards in the world and can grow as long as 5 feet!

Caiman lizards, also known as water tegus, spend much of their time in the water of marshes, streams, and flooded forests. Caimans have crocodile-like scales and are colored mostly green with a reddish head. There are two species of caiman lizards, the northern caiman lizard and the Paraguayan caiman lizard. Their main predators are crocodiles, snakes, and jaguars.

3. Camel

Camel in desert
Camel in Disco Tower, Nuweibaa, South Sinai, Egypt. Image via لا روسا, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameCamelus spp.
Where it LivesCritically endangered (one species)
What it EatsGrass, leaves, grains
Conservation StatusCritically endangered (one specie)

Fun Fact: Camels can survive for long periods without water, even for as long as ten months.

Camels are very recognizable mammals that live in arid deserts and scrublands in Africa and Asia. They can travel long distances across the desert without growing tired and, accordingly, have been used for centuries as a means of transport of passengers and cargo. There are three species of camels, two domesticated species, Dromedary and Bactrian camels, and one wild species, wild Bactrian camels, which are critically endangered.

4. Camel Spider

Camel spider found
Camel spider Solifugae sp., Duwiseb, Namibia. Image via Mozzihh, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific Name147 genera, >1,000 species
Where it LivesWorldwide, except Antarctica and Australia
What it EatsTermites, beetles, arthropods
Conservation StatusLeast concern

Fun Fact: Camel spiders may appear to chase humans, but in reality, they are following the shadow.

Camel spiders, also known as wind scorpions or sun spiders, are an order of arachnids known as Soliugae. They are neither true scorpions nor true spiders. They live in dry climates and are characterized by their large sizes and large jaws. Camel spiders do not pose a significant threat to humans.

5. Canada Lynx

canada lynx
Close up of a Canada lynx. Image by Michael Jerrard via Unsplash
Scientific NameLynx canadensis
Where it LivesCentral Canada, Alaska
What it EatsHares, ducks, squirrels
Conservation StatusLeast concern

Fun Fact: Canada Lynx has natural snowshoes to keep them warm.

Canada lynxes are solitary wildcats that have fluffy coats with long hair, and triangular ears with a long tuft of black hair at the tip. These cats are medium-sized and weigh between 11-37 lbs (5-17 kg). They live far north in North America and primarily prey on Snowshoe hares.

6. Cape Lion

Cape lion
Only known image of Cape Lion. Image via Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NamePanthera leo melanochaita
Where it LivedSouth Africa
What it AteLarge ungulates
Conservation StatusExtinct

Fun Fact: In 2000, lions guessed to be descendants of Cape lions were found in captivity in Russia, and two of them were brought to South Africa; however, DNA testing has never been done, so whether they are Cape lions has not been proven.

Cape lions are extinct. They once inhabited Africa’s southern Cape region and were distinct from other lion species by their black mane. They became extinct due to overhunting and habitat loss during colonization.

7. Capybara

Capybara on dry grass
Rio Claro, Transpantaneira, Poconé, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Image via Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameHydrochoerus hydrochaeris
Where it LivesSouth America
What it EatsGrasses, aquatic plants
Conservation StatusLeast concern

Fun Fact: Capybaras are social and friendly; they have even been spotted being friendly with caimans.

Capybaras are semi-aquatic rodents native to swampy areas of South America. They have webbed feet that make them excellent swimmers and they enjoy. They are the largest rodent species in the world.

8. Caracal

Caracal
Southern and Eastern African Caracal (Caracal caracal ssp. caracal) Subspecies of mammal. Image via Christiaan Viljoen, CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameCaracal caracal
Where it LivesAfrica, Middle East, Central Asia
What it EatsSmall mammals, birds
Conservation StatusLeast concern

Fun Fact: Caracals have 20 muscles in each ear.

Caracals are medium-sized wild cats. They are typically nocturnal and often hunt in pairs. They are speedy and can leap high into the air, making them good hunters.

9. Caribou

caribou
Caribou main food source is lichens. Image by BarbaraJackson via Pixabay
Scientific NameRangifer tarandus
Where it LivesNorthern Europe, North America
What it EatsLichen, leaves, grass
Conservation StatusVulnerable

Fun Fact: In contrast to other deer species, both females and males have prominent antlers.

Caribous are also known as reindeer. Their distinct characteristic is their antlers, which grow bigger annually. Their fur varies in shade, becoming darker or lighter based on the climate of their habitat.

10. Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ant prefer damp areas
Carpenter ants are large ants (¼ in–1 in) indigenous to large parts of the world. They prefer dead, damp wood in which to build nests.Image via Richard Bartz, Munich Makro Freak, CC BY-SA 2.5 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameCamponotus spp.
Where it LivesWorldwide, wood in forests/houses
What it EatsHoneydew, insect parts
Conservation StatusLeast concern

Fun Fact: Carpenter ants can carry up to seven times their weight using their teeth!

Carpenter ants live in colonies in dead or decaying wood in houses or forests. They leave piles of wood shavings behind as they burrow through wood creating their nests. This is because, contrary to popular belief, ants do not eat wood, they only tunnel through it.

11. Carpet Viper

carpet viper
Carpet viper curled up .Shantanu Kuveskar, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameEchis spp.
Where it LivesSouth Asia, Middle East, North Africa
What it EatsLocusts, spiders, frogs, birds
Conservation StatusLeast concern

Fun Fact: The venom of the Carpet Viper is made of four different types of poison.

Carpet vipers, also known as saw-scaled vipers, are small and deadly snakes. They cause the most snake bite-related human deaths worldwide. There are 12 extant species of these snakes, all living in warm, arid climates.

12. Cassowary

Casuaruis  in forest
Single-wattled Cassowary(Casuarius unappendiculatus) in the Walsrode Bird Park, Germany. Image via Quartl, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameStruthio casuarius
Where it LivesNew Guinea, Australia, Yapen
What it EatsFruit, fungi, snails, insects
Conservation StatusEndangered

Fun Fact: Cassowaries will eat their feces if undigested.

Cassowaries are large, flightless birds characterized by their horn-like crests atop their bright blue heads and red necks. There are three extant species of cassowaries. Males construct their nests out of leaves on the ground. After mating, the male chases the female away and raises the chicks himself.

13. Catfish

catfish
Catfish is known for its whiskers . Image by Will Turner via Unsplash
Scientific NameSilurus glanis
Where it LivesEvery continent except Antarctica
What it EatsNine species are critically endangered
Conservation StatusNine species critically endangered

Fun Fact: Catfishes can live up to 20 years in the wild.

Catfishes thrive in fast-flowing rivers all over the world. They serve as food in many parts of the world. Their most distinguishing features are the ‘whiskers’ around their jaw that have a sensory function. Several species of catfish are critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable.

14. Cheetah

Cheetah legs
A cheetah’s legs are longer and leaner than those of other cats. Image via Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameAcinonyx jubatus
Where it LivesAfrica, Middle East, South Asia
What it EatsMedium-sized ungulates
Conservation StatusVulnerable

Fun Fact: In the past, cheetahs were tamed and employed in hunting to provide food for communities.

These cats are categorized into five distinct subspecies by their geographical locations. They are easily recognizable by their characteristic “tear stains” extending from the inner corners of their eyes. Cheetahs are widely recognized as the world’s fastest land mammal, capable of running at speeds of 58-65 mph (93-104 km/h).

15. Chickadee

Chickadee
Chickadee in a Dogwood Tree in Winter located in Minnesota. Image via Mathieu Landretti, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NamePoecile spp.
Where it LivesNorth America
What it EatsSeeds, berries, insects
Conservation StatusLeast concern

Fun Fact: Chickadees have their name from the sound they make “chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee!”

Chickadees are a North American species of birds in the tit family. They have striking black and white plumage on their small, round bodies. They will build a new nest every year for each new brood.

16. Chinese Paddlefish

chinese paddlefish
Chinese paddlefish on beach stones. Image by Dennis L. Scarnecchia via Reviews in Fisheries Science & Aquaculture
Scientific NamePsephurus gladius
Where it LivedYangtze & Yellow River basins
What it AteSmall & medium-sized fish
Conservation StatusExtinct

Fun Fact: Chinese paddlefishes were hunted in the 1970s and 1980s for their eggs made into caviar and sold at a high price.

Chinese paddlefishes, also known as Chinese swordfish, were officially declared extinct in 2022, with an estimated time of extinction by 2005. Overfishing and the construction of dams, which affected their spawning migration, were the main causes of their extinction. They were characterized by their large paddle-shaped noses. These fish only had scales near their fins.

17. Chinstrap Penguin

Chinstrap penguin on grass
Chinstrap penguin on barrientos Island. Image via Photo: Gordon Leggett / Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NamePygoscelis antarcticus
Where it LivesAntarctica, South Atlantic islands
What it EatsFish, krill, shrimp
Conservation StatusLeast concern

Fun Fact: The largest chinstrap penguin colony has more penguins than San Francisco has people.

Chinstrap penguins are the most numerous penguin species in the world. They mate for life and are the most aggressive penguins in the world. They can also “microsleep” in 4-second intervals, which they do around 10,000 times per day.

18. Christmas Island Red Crab

christmas island red crab
Christmas Island Red Crab eating on a leaf .Image via John Tann from Sydney, Australia, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameGecarcoidea natalis
Where it LivesChristmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands
What it EatsLeaves, fruits, snails
Conservation StatusNot evaluated yet

Fun Fact: These crabs have shells so hard that they can puncture tires.

Christmas Island red crabs are characterized by their beautiful red carapaces (their exoskeleton). Mature crabs molt once annually. They use gills to breathe and will die if they dry out.

19. Colossal Squid

Colossal squid
Colossal squid on display in the Te Papa museum in Wellington. Image via Scotted400, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameMesonychoteuthis hamiltoni
Where it LivesAntarctic Ocean
What it EatsPlankton, large fish
Conservation StatusLeast concern

Fun Fact: Colossal squids have the most prominent eyes in the animal kingdom.

Colossal squids are, as implied by their names, enormous. Not to be confused with the giant squid, they can grow as long as 46 ft (14 m)! They are the largest known invertebrate in the world.

20. Cross River Gorilla

Cross river gorilla sitting by trees
Cross River gorilla, Limbe Wildlife Centre, Cameroon. Photo taken by Arend de Haas. Image via arenddehaas at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameGorilla gorilla diehli
Where it LivesCameroon, Nigeria
What it EatsFruit, herbs, bark
Conservation StatusCritically endangered

Fun Fact: They do not reproduce again until their young reach the age of 3 or 4 years.

Cross-river gorillas live in the mountainous region between Nigeria and Cameroon. They are a subspecies of the western gorilla and, unfortunately, are the most endangered great ape species in Africa. They are very social and usually live in groups of 2-20 with only one male gorilla who is the leader.

Summary of Animals That Start With C

YouTube video

Animals that start with C. Source: YouTube, Uploaded: Animals Around The Globe

And there we have it; animals that start with C. We hope you met some new friends or visited some old ones! Be sure to have a look at the other letters animals can start with!

Full Animal Alphabet:

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