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Animals That Start With H

Honey badger
Honey Badger (Mellivora capensis) at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. Image via Jaffacity, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Welcome to animals that start with H. Animals that begin with the letter H are pretty fascinating. I can guarantee you will discover something new on this list. Enjoy our list of animals that start with H!

Overview of Animals that Start with H

1. Hagfish

Gill hagfish
Six gill hagfish Eptatretus hexatrema at the wreck of the Oakburn at Duiker Point on the Cape Peninsula. Image via Peter Southwood Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Scientific NameMyxini
Where it LivesDeep ocean waters worldwide, often found on the ocean floor
What it EatsCarrion, small invertebrates
Conservation StatusLeast Concern

Fun Fact: They possess a skull but no spinal column.

Hagfish are incredibly unique animals. Its slimy body can be pinkish-gray, blue, or purple. It is an eel-like animal that has no jaw.

Hagfishes possess glands on their bodies that produce thick, sticky slime to escape predators. They absorb nutrients through their skin and have three hearts.

2. Hammerhead Shark

shark hold breath
A hammerhead shark in malpelo island. Image via depositphotos
Scientific NameSphyrnidae
Where it LivesVarious oceans around the world, primarily in warm coastal waters
What it EatsFish, squid, octopus, crustaceans
Conservation StatusVulnerable

Fun Fact: The Hammerhead Shark has an almost 360-degree view with a blind spot in front of its nose.

Hammerhead Sharks are best known for their long, rectangular heads. Their unique heads give them an advantage when hunting as they can ram into prey.

Hammerhead Sharks love warm, coastal waters. Their size can range from 0.9 meters to 6.1 meters.

3. Hamster

A pet Syrian (also known as Golden Hamster). Image via Dennis Blöte, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameCricetinae
Where it LivesVarious habitats, including deserts, forests, and grasslands
What it EatsSeeds, fruits, vegetables, insects
Conservation StatusLeast Concern

Fun Fact: Female Hamsters put their young in the pouches in their mouths when they sense danger.

Hamsters are small rodents with stout bodies, stubby legs, and wide feet. They are gentle and popular house pets.

Hamsters can bite, but only when their sleep is disturbed. They have many predators, but they are quick and can escape sometimes.

4. Hare

Mountain hare
Mountain hare (Lepus timidus) near Orkelsjoen, in the mountains above Oppdal, Norway. Image via Charles J. Sharp, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameLepus
Where it LivesVarious habitats including grasslands, woodlands, and meadows
What it EatsGrasses, herbs, twigs, buds, and bark
Conservation StatusLeast Concern

Fun Fact: Hares’ teeth keep growing, so they have to grind it down by eating grass constantly.

Hares are small, furry animals with long ears, long hind legs, big eyes, and stout bodies. They are similar to rabbits, but they live above the ground, unlike rabbits.

Hares can leap 10 feet into the air, are capable of short bursts of speed between 40 mph and 50 mph, and consistent speed of 30 mph.

5. Harpy Eagle

Harpy Eagle on tree branch
Harpy eagle sitting on tree branch. Image Via, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameHarpia harpyja
Where it LivesTropical rainforests of Central and South America
What it EatsPrimarily monkeys, sloths, and other small mammals; also birds and reptiles
Conservation StatusNear Threatened

Fun Fact: The Harpy Eagle’s talons are about the same size as a Grizzly Bear’s claws.

Harpy Eagles are one of the largest eagle species. Their most distinctive features are the crown of feathers at the top of their heads and yellow feet.

They have extraordinary visual senses and can spot prey hundreds of feet away. They also have a wingspan of 6.5 feet.

6. Hedgehog

West European Hedgehog
West European Hedgehog. Image via Hrald – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Scientific NameErinaceus
Where it LivesEurope, Asia, Africa
What it EatsInsects, worms, snails, fruits, and vegetation
Conservation StatusLeast Concern

Fun Fact: Owning a hedgehog is illegal in many states.

Hedgehogs are known for the stiff and sharp spines on their coat. When they feel endangered, they roll up into a ball with the spines pointing outwards as a defense.

Hedgehogs eat some garden pests, making them good pets.

7. Hercules Beetle

Hercules beetle
Hercules beetle are harmless to humans. Image via Didier Descouens – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Scientific NameDynastes hercules
Where it LivesTropical rainforests of Central and South America
What it EatsFruits, nectar, and plant sap; larvae feed on decaying wood
Conservation StatusLeast Concern

Fun Fact: Hercules Beetles make a huffing sound when disturbed.

Hercules Beetles can be identified by their hard, armored shell and horn-like pincers. They can fly and are one of the largest flying insects.

Only males have horns, and they use them to fight. The Beetles spend most of their lives in larvae form, about two years.

8. Heron

Grey heron
Grey heron are the tallest birds in Britain. Image via Ardea cinerea Vaxholm, Sweden. By Bengt Nyman from Vaxholm, Sweden – EM1A2714, CC BY 2.0,
Scientific NameArdeidae
Where it LivesVarious habitats including wetlands, marshes, rivers, lakes, and coastal areas
What it EatsFish, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and small mammals
Conservation StatusLeast Concern

Fun Fact: Herons fly with their feet dangling down. Few birds fly like this.

Herons inhabit wetlands around the world. They are long-legged birds with a sharp beak and S-shaped necks.

The largest species, called the Goliath Heron, can grow as tall as 5 feet.

9. Hippopotamus

Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) with a Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis), Chobe National Park, Botswana. Image via Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Scientific NameHippopotamus amphibius
Where it LivesSub-Saharan Africa, near rivers, lakes, and mangrove swamps
What it EatsMostly grass, but also aquatic plants
Conservation StatusVulnerable

Fun Fact: Hippos secrete an oily, pink ‘sweat’ that is antibacterial.

Hippos are large, barrel-shaped, semi-aquatic mammals found in Africa. Their eyes, noses, and ears are located at the top of their heads.

They have enormous jaws lined with sharp teeth, but they are herbivores. Despite being large and having short, stocky legs, Hippos can run as fast as 30 mph.

10. Honduran White Bat

Honduran white bat
Honduran white bat found in plants. Image via Charlie Jackson – Honduran White Bat, CC BY 2.0,
Scientific NameEctophylla alba
Where it LivesRainforests of Central America, particularly Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama
What it EatsFruits, particularly figs
Conservation StatusLeast Concern

Fun Fact: The Honduran white bat only eats the fruits of one type of fig tree.

Honduran White Bats can be identified by their white fur and leaf-shaped nose. Its nose, lips, and ears are orange in color.

The bat is also known for building ‘tents’ to rest in with leaves. One male and several females inhabit this tent. He mates with all the females and goes on to his bachelor colony.

11. Honey Badger

Honey badger
Honey badger, Kruger National Park. Image via Sumeet Moghe – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Scientific NameMellivora capensis
Where it LivesSub-Saharan Africa
What it EatsOmnivorous; diet includes insects, small mammals, birds, reptiles, fruits, and roots
Conservation StatusLeast Concern

Fun Fact: Honey Badgers are naturally immune to snake venom!

Honey Badgers sometimes resemble overgrown skunks. It has a long body, flat head, and long claws. Its tough skin can withstand all manner of injuries, including machete cuts, arrow piercings, and bee stings.

Honey Badgers are fearless, and aggressive, and attack anything, including humans, when cornered. Like skunks, they also release a foul odor to repel predators.

12. Honey Buzzard

Honey buzzard
Oriental honey buzzard (Pernis ptilorhynchus) on a tree, Mudumalai National Park, Tamilnadu, India. Image via Timothy A. Gonsalves, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NamePernis apivorus
Where it LivesWoodlands, forests, and open countryside across Europe, Asia, and Africa
What it EatsPrimarily feeds on the larvae of wasps and bees, also eats other insects, small mammals, and reptiles
Conservation StatusLeast Concern

Fun Fact: Honey Buzzards are not kept in American zoos but can be found in European zoos.

Honey Buzzards are medium-sized raptors. Contrary to its name, it has nothing to do with honey. Instead, it’s the larvae of bees and wasps that it feeds on.

Its long, curved bill is specially adapted for catching and holding insects. On occasion, it feeds on small birds and frogs.

13. Horn Shark

Horn shark
Larger sharks and marine mammals prey on the horn shark. Image via Ed Bierman from CA, usa, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameHeterodontus francisci
Where it LivesEastern Pacific Ocean, ranging from southern California to the Gulf of California
What it EatsBottom-dwelling fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and small invertebrates
Conservation StatusNear Threatened

Fun Fact: Horn Sharks can live up to 50 years in the wild.

Horn Sharks can be identified by their blunt heads, curved snouts, and sharp spines. They also possess ridges above both eyes that resemble horns.

Horn Sharks feed by sucking up prey into their mouths. They also lay eggs.

14. Hornbill

Hornbill bird
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill (Tockus leucomelas) in Northern Sabi Sand, South Africa. Image via Luca Galuzzi (Lucag), CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameBucerotidae (family), various species
Where it LivesTropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Melanesia
What it EatsOmnivorous, diet includes fruits, insects, small mammals, and birds
Conservation StatusVaries by species

Fun Fact: Hornbills can ‘dye’ their bills themselves by rubbing them against a gland under their tails.

Hornbills are brightly colored birds with long-curved bills, and sometimes, a horn on said bill. It also has prominent eyelashes and a long tail.

It is believed that the horn is a hollow chamber used to amplify sound.

15. Horned Frog

 horned frog .
Orange Argentine horned frog. Image via PEAK99, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameCeratophrys (genus)
Where it LivesSouth America, primarily in tropical and subtropical regions
What it EatsInsects, small mammals, reptiles, and other amphibians
Conservation StatusVaries by species, some are of least concern while others are near threatened

Fun Fact: Horned frogs are popular in the exotic pet trade.

Horned frogs have pointy eyelids, giving them the appearance of having “horny” eyes. These eyelids resemble leaves, which helps the frog camouflage on the forest floor

This frog is aggressive and has a wide mouth to catch prey of its size. It would even attack animals bigger than itself.

16. Horned Viper

Horned Viper
Horner Viper observed in desert area of Umm Al Quawain. Image via Lxs – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Scientific NameHorned Viper
Where it LivesVarious arid and semi-arid regions across Africa and the Middle East
What it EatsPrimarily small mammals, birds, and reptiles
Conservation StatusVaries by species, some are of least concern while others are near threatened

Fun Fact: It is theorized that Cleopatra used this snake to end her life.

Horned Vipers reside in the desert and rocky areas. It has scales above its eyes and nose to protect it from the sand.

It is venomous and travels in a sideways manner.

17. Horseshoe Crab

Atlantic horseshoe crab
Atlantic horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) in Sussex County. Image via Delaware By Kaldari – Own work, CC0,
Scientific NameLimulus polyphemus
Where it LivesCoastal waters of North America, Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean
What it EatsSmall fish, mollusks, worms, and algae
Conservation StatusVulnerable

Fun Fact: Horseshoe Crabs are older than Dinosaurs!

Horseshoe Crabs, Contrary to their name, are, in fact, not crabs. It is related to spiders and can be identified by its horseshoe-shaped shell and long, stiff tail.

It has many eyes. There are eyes under its head and even its tail.

18. Humboldt Squid

humboldt squid
A humboldt squid swimming and inking in the water column. Image via Image courtesy of NOAA/MBARI 2006, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameDosidicus gigas
Where it LivesEastern Pacific Ocean, particularly off the coast of South America
What it EatsFish, crustaceans, and other squid species
Conservation StatusData Deficient

Fun Fact: Humboldt Squids change color to communicate.

Humboldt Squids are large cephalopods that possess cone-shaped mantles with two spring-like fins at the sides.

They have ten tentacles with 100 to 200 suckers each.

19. Humpback Whale

Humpback Whale
Humpback Whale breaching. Image via Deposit Photos
Scientific NameMegaptera novaeangliae
Where it LivesOceans worldwide, migrate between polar feeding grounds and tropical breeding grounds
What it EatsMostly small fish, krill, and plankton
Conservation StatusLeast Concern

Fun Fact: Humpback Whales do not have teeth. Instead, they have baleen plates made of keratin.

Humpback Whales received their names because of a hump near their dorsal fin and hair follicles on their head and jaw. It tends to live near the shores of oceans.

The albino humpback whale is extremely rare and is offered extra protection.

20. Huntsman Spider

Huntsman spider
Huntsman spider with eggs. Cherthala, Kerala. Image via Vis M, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameSparassidae spp.
Where it LivesFound in various habitats worldwide, often in tropical and subtropical regions
What it EatsInsects, other spiders, small vertebrates
Conservation StatusNot assessed

Fun Fact: Huntsman Spiders don’t produce webs but spin a cocoon out of silk.

Huntsman spiders are giant, venomous, and hairy spiders that hold their legs like crabs. It perches on flowers and ambushes insects on them.

Some people welcome it into their homes to help deal with cockroaches.

Summary of Animals That Start with H

YouTube video
“Learn Animals starting with H. What animals start with the letter H?”, Source: Youtube, Uploaded: “Saprize World

This was such a great list to put together. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Here is another animal list that starts with Z. We’ll see you next time. Thank you for reading about animals that start with H!

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