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Animals That Start With Y

Yellow Mongoose (Cynictis penicillata) at the London Zoo.
Yellow Mongoose (Cynictis penicillata) at the London Zoo. By Steven G. Johnson - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11326536

Welcome to animals that start with y.

Animals whose names start with ‘Y’ may be less common than those beginning with other letters. However, in this list, you should encounter some familiar creatures. Let’s explore these unique creatures and their characteristics.

Read the entire article or jump to any animal with the letter y.

Overview of Animals that Start with Y:

1. Yabby

Blue yabby crayfish
Blue Yabby grayfish on branch. Image via Aaron Gustafson, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameCherax destructor
Where It LivesStreams, swamps and rivers in Australia
What It EatsThey are scavengers and eat any sinking food that fish eat.
Conservation StatusVulnerable, according to the IUCN

Fun Fact: A Yabby can travel many kilometers across dry land.

The Yabby is a freshwater crayfish species found in many parts of Australia. It is also called the Cyan Yabby due to its bright blue color. Catching these animals is a popular activity in Australia.

2. Yak

Yak (Bos grunniens) at Letdar on the Annapurna Circuit in the Annapurna mountain range of central Nepal.
Yak (Bos grunniens) at Letdar on the Annapurna Circuit in the Annapurna mountain range of central Nepal. By travelwayoflife – Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22106967
Scientific NameBos grunniens
Where It LivesRemote, high-elevation Tibetan plateau regions
What It EatsThey are herbivorous and eat grasses and shrubs.
Conservation StatusVulnerable, according to the IUCN

Fun Fact: Yaks, with their hefty fur, find it challenging to navigate lower altitudes, where milder temperatures lead to heat fatigue.

Living in Tibet, China, and Central Asia, these creatures carry some weight, literally and figuratively. Their thick coats make them well-equipped to endure chilly temperatures and thrive in locations with diminished oxygen levels. They are perfectly adapted for life on mountain peaks.

4. Yellow Ground Squirrel

Yellow-ground squirrel
By Yuriy75 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19589105
Scientific NameSpermophilus fulvus
Where It LivesSandy steppes in Afghanistan, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Russia
What It EatsBulbs, seeds, stems and leaves
Conservation StatusLeast Concern, according to the IUCN

Fun Fact: Yellow Ground Squirrels not only hibernate but also indulge in aestivation. Picture this as summertime hibernation, a unique twist in their seasonal rhythms!

Thriving in the sandy steppes, these creatures make their home amidst the vast landscapes, feasting on seeds, leaves, bulbs, and stems.

4. Yellow Mongoose

Yellow Mongoose (Cynictis penicillata) at the London Zoo.
Yellow Mongoose (Cynictis penicillata) at the London Zoo. By Steven G. Johnson – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11326536
Scientific NameCynictis penicillata
Where It LivesAfrica
What It EatsInsects and other invertebrates, sometimes small rodents, reptiles, and amphibians.
Conservation StatusLeast concern, according to the IUCN

Fun Fact: Certain yellow mongooses can harbor the rabies virus for years, remaining symptom-free yet capable of spreading infection.

Meet a mongoose species abundant in Southern Africa. Their fur coat ranges from yellow to reddish. Their long tails help them maintain balance when standing in an upright stance.

5. Yellow Sac Spider

Yellow sac spider
Yellow sac spider. By Dimitǎr Boevski – https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/148524704, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=133165172
Scientific NameCheiracanthium
Where It LivesIt can be found under stones and leaves
What It EatsInsects
Conservation StatusNo conservation status

Fun Fact: Unlike many spiders that rely on webs to catch prey, the Yellow Sac Spider takes a more proactive approach by actively hunting its prey.

In various regions across America, you’ll find the Yellow Sac Spider, accompanied by similar species in different corners of the globe. These nocturnal arachnids construct diminutive web sacs to serve as their daytime retreat.

6. Yellow-eyed Penguin

Penguin sitting on grass
Yellow eyed penguin. Image via Bernard Spragg. NZ from Christchurch, New Zealand, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameMegadyptes antipodes
Where It LivesNew Zealand
What It EatsRed cod, opal fish, sprat and squid
Conservation StatusEndangered, according to the IUCN

Fun Fact: These are the rarest species of penguins on the planet.

This is the fourth-largest penguin in the world. They are native to New Zealand. They are easily distinguished by their yellow eyes and the yellow stripe that runs from one eye to the other behind their head.

7. Yellowfin Tuna

Guy in ocean with yellow tuna fish
Guy in ocean caught huge Tuna fish. Image via steve b, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameThunnus albacares
Where It LivesTropical and sub-tropical oceans around the world
What It EatsFish, squid and crustaceans
Conservation StatusNear threatened, according to the IUCN

Fun Fact: Newly hatched Yellowfin tuna are almost microscopic.

The long yellow fins that protrude from this tuna’s back and stomach make it distinctive. It may weigh about 450 pounds and is the second most commonly eaten tuna species.

8. Yeti Crab

Yeti crab  forms its own food
The hairy ‘arms’ of this tiny crab capture all kinds of bacteria that live and grow on the crab. Image via Andrew Thurber, Oregon State University, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameKiwa hirsuta
Where It LivesPacific-Antarctic ridge, south of Easter Island, along hydrothermal vents.
What It EatsFeed primarily through chemosynthesis, relying on the bacteria that live on their hairy appendages.
Conservation StatusVulnerable, according to the IUCN

Fun Fact: Yeti crabs stay on top of each other near hydrothermal vents for warmth; these mounds may have up to 700 crabs per square meter.

This is a species of deep-sea crabs that live near hydrothermal vents. They got their name from the ‘hair’ on their arms, which they use to gather bacteria to eat.

9. Yellow-winged Bat

Yellow winged bat
Picture taken of a yellow-winged bat (Lavia frons) in Tanzania. The bat was hanging inside a building. Image via Dries Sagaert, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameLavia frons
Where It LivesAfrica
What It EatsInsects
Conservation StatusLeast Concern

Fun Fact: Yellow-winged bats usually have two roosts at any time.

The Yellow-winged bat is a species of false vampire bats found in Africa. These bats feed on insects and live in trees, cavities, and sometimes buildings.

10. Yuma Myotis

Yuma Myotis
By Daniel Neal from Sacramento, CA, US – Myotis yumanensis (Yuma myotis), CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34163512
Scientific NameMyotis yumanensis
Where It LivesWestern United States and Mexico
What It EatsInsects
Conservation StatusLeast Concern, according to the IUCN

Fun Fact: The Yuma Myotis also uses its interfemoral membrane as a pouch to help it snag larger insects.

The Yuma Myotis is a species of vesper bats found in North America. It has a dull coat that is significantly lighter on the underside and an interfemoral membrane that aids its flight.

11. Yellow-throated Marten

Martes  flavigula
Martes flavigula yellow throated marten. Image via Rushenb, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameMartes flavigula
Where It LivesAsia
What It EatsSmall mammals, birds, insects.
Conservation StatusLeast Concern, according to the IUCN

Fun Fact: Yellow-throated martens prey on rats, mice, snakes, and nesting birds. They have also been reported to have killed cats and poultry.

The Yellow-throated Marten is the largest of the old-world martens in existence. It has beautiful fur blending white, yellow, brown, and black. To sum up, they are native to Asia.

12. Yellowhammer

Yellowhammer (Emberiza citronella) male, Aston Upthorpe, Oxfordshire
Yellowhammer (Emberiza citronella) male, Aston Upthorpe, Oxfordshire. By Charles J. Sharp – Own work, from Sharp Photography, sharpphotography, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39829981
Scientific NameEmberiza citrinella
Where It LivesEurope and Asia
What It EatsSeeds and insects
Conservation StatusLeast Concern, according to the IUCN

Fun Fact: The eggs of the Yellowhammer feature dark scribbles resembling ink markings as if someone has been scribbling on them!

Spread across numerous regions globally, this bunting bird species showcases its presence. The mature male Yellowhammer stands out with vibrant yellow plumage on its head and undersides, while others display a more subdued color palette following the same pattern.

13. Yacare Caiman

Yacare caiman (Caiman yacare), the Pantanal, Brazil.
Yacare caiman (Caiman yacare), the Pantanal, Brazil. By Charles J. Sharp – Own work, from Sharp Photography, sharpphotography, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44179089
Scientific NameCaiman yacare
Where It LivesSouth America
What It EatsFish, birds, and small mammals
Conservation StatusLeast Concern, according to the IUCN

Fun Fact: After hatching, Yacare Caimans display a unique behavior – they consume the shells of their own young.

The Yacare Caiman is native to Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. In the 1980s, these creatures faced significant hunting pressure for their valuable skins. Fortunately, stringent conservation measures have led to a rebound in their population.

14. Yellow-footed Antechinus

Yellow footed antechinus
Yellow-footed antechinus (Antechinus flavipes) in Rise and Shine Nature Reserve, Clydesdale, Victoria, Australia. Image via patrickkavanagh, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameAntechinus flavipes
Where It LivesAustralia
What It EatsInsects, small vertebrates
Conservation StatusLeast Concern, according to the IUCN

Fun Fact: Yellow-footed Antechinus have a short life span of less than a year.

You can find this tiny marsupial in Australia. Similar to many marsupials, it possesses a pouch, yet it resembles a shrew in appearance.

15. Yellowjacket

A social wasp (Vespula germanica)
A social wasp (Vespula germanica). By Alvesgaspar – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2995290
Scientific NameVespula spp. / Dolichovespula spp.
Where It LivesWorldwide
What It EatsInsects
Conservation StatusNot Specified

Fun Fact: Since they feed on crop pests, yellowjackets benefit agriculture.

The Yellowjacket is an aggressive species of wasp that can be found anywhere humans reside. They have yellow and black stripes that are similar to that of Bees.

16. Yellow-backed Duiker

Bovidae on grass
Cephalophus silvicultor YELLOW-BACKED DUIKER. Image via NasserHalaweh, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameCephalophus silvicultor
Where It LivesCentral and West Africa
What It EatsFruits, seeds, leaves, and small animals
Conservation StatusLeast Concern, according to the IUCN

Fun Fact: Yellow-backed duikers have yellow hairs on their back that stand when they are threatened.

Another interesting member of the animals that start with y club. This is the most common type of duiker in western and central Africa. These speedy animals are quick to bolt at the sign of a threat.

17. Yellow Anaconda

Yellow Anaconda (Eunectes notaeus)
Yellow Anaconda (Eunectes notaeus) By Ben P – https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/97943548, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=116575174
Scientific NameEunectes notaeus
Where It LivesSouth America
What It EatsFish, birds, small mammals
Conservation StatusData Deficient

Fun Fact: Yellow Anacondas are not venomous, they kill prey by squeezing them to death.

This is a snake species found in many regions of South America. It is one of the largest snakes in the world and can be found near bodies of water.

18. Yellow-eye Rockfish

Sebastes
Sebastes ruberrimus in water. Image via By V. O’Connell, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Image ID: nur00516 – http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/htmls/nur00516.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1997370
Scientific NameSebastes ruberrimus
Where It LivesNorth Pacific Ocean
What It EatsSmall fish
Conservation StatusNot Specified

Fun Fact: The Yellow-eye Rockfish boasts an impressive lifespan, with some individuals living up to 120 years.

Residing in the eastern Pacific, the Yellow-eye Rockfish is a sizable fish species. Notably, these fish undergo a captivating color transformation as they age, transitioning from reddish hues to vibrant orange and eventually to a pale yellow shade.

19. Yungas Pygmy Owl

Owl on tree branch
On the road from Cuzco to Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge. Image via TonyCastro, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameGlaucidium nana
Where It LivesSouth America
What It EatsInsects, small vertebrates
Conservation StatusData Deficient

Fun Fact: Yungas Pygmy Owls can turn their necks up to 270 degrees like all owls.

The Yungas Pygmy Owl is a species of owl found in Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru. Also, these owls have dark feathers and false eyes on their napes to trick attackers.

20. Yellow-banded Poison Dart Frog

Bumblebee
Yellow-Banded Poison Dart Frog, Yellow-Headed Poison Dart Frog or Bumblebee Poison Frog. Image via Holger Krisp, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific NameDendrobates leucomelas
Where It LivesNorthern South America
What It EatsInsects
Conservation StatusLeast Concern, according to the IUCN

Fun Fact: These frogs rely on eating certain insects for their poison. Therefore, without those, they’d become harmless.

These frogs are found in Venezuela, Brazil, and the eastern edges of Columbia. They are highly poisonous and noted for their yellow and black coloration.

Summary of animals Starting With Y

YouTube video
“Animals Names That Start With A Y”, Source: Youtube, Uploaded: “The Animal Planet

Several of these animals that start with y are more common than you might think and could live closer to you than expected. Keep an eye out as you explore nature, and you will be surprised at how many you can spot. Take a look at this exciting list of animals that start with u.

Full Alphabet:

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