Magnificent. Majestic. Magical. The animal kingdom is full of marvelous animals that begin with the letter M!
When my oldest son was a toddler, he loved to pretend he was a monkey. He would swing from door knobs and jump around, making monkey sounds. His favorite song was Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. Clearly, he was monkey obsessed!
I loved my son’s imagination and creativity. By introducing animal facts early on, he developed a connection to nature and the world around him.
Now that he’s a teen, he’s much too cool to pretend he’s a monkey. He does, however, still love animal facts! He remembers what he learned when he was young and often uses them when we play Animal Trivia.
If you kids are animal lovers they are going to love leaning all about these animals that begin with the letter M. See how many animals that already know.
Common Animals that Begin with the Letter M
From the Macaw to the Mule, these common animals that begin with the letter M are familiar favorites. Teach your kids these fun facts about some familiar animals that start with m.
Macaws are brightly colored parrots who call the rainforest home. Their boldly colored feathers stand out against the dense green vegetation of the tropical rainforest. Macaws mate with only one partner in their long lifetime. When they find true love, they will stick close by their side for the rest of their lives. Sometimes they fly with their wings close together, like humans hold hands with their sweeties!
If your first reaction to a maggot is disgust, you’re not alone! These fly larvae are the royalty of decomposers. They’re uniquely helpful for crime scenes. Forensic investigators can determine the victim’s time of death based on the life stage of the maggots when the investigator arrives on the scene.
Mahi Mahi (Dolphin Fish)
Mahi Mahi is a Polynesian term that means “strong strong.” The mahi mahi fish is appropriately named because it is incredibly strong! Many fishermen enjoy fishing for mahi mahi because they are fast swimmers and can break free from fishing lines if you’re not careful. Mahi Mahi live in warm salt water, like the Pacific Ocean surrounding Hawaii. They reproduce quickly (like rabbits!), which makes them ideal for people to eat.
The mamba is one of the most feared and respected snakes in the world! Although it only has a few drops of venom, each drop is highly concentrated. A mamba’s bite is called “the kiss of death” because just two drops of venom will kill an adult human. Luckily, they don’t actively hunt humans. They will only attack if they feel threatened. Still, it’s probably best to avoid them if you can!
Man of War
Even though the Man of War is usually considered a jellyfish, it’s actually a different species! One similarity, however, is that their tentacles can give a nasty sting, even days after the Man of War dies. You might have heard that you should pee on a jellyfish sting, but there are far better ways to get a sting to stop burning. Rinse the sting with vinegar and soak it in hot water until the pain decreases. The better advice is to avoid touching the Man of War. They might be beautiful, but it’s not worth the pain!
Did you know that pirates used to think that manatees were mermaids? Boy, were they in for a surprise when they got up close and personal with these gentle sea cows! Unlike humans with brains that fold like a newspaper, manatees are smooth-brained. This means that they lack the ability to form complex thoughts. They can, however, learn basic tricks like swimming upside down or doing flips!
Manta rays are another gentle giant. They can grow over 20 feet wide and weigh over two tons! Despite their size, manta rays are scaredy cats! If they think that there is danger, they are quick to hightail it to safety. Manta rays love being clean. They will even wait in line to take turns being cleaned by smaller fish!
Deep in the African Savannah live communities of meerkats. Don’t let their cute faces and social nature fool you; meerkats are the mobsters of the animal kingdom! They’re extremely territorial and will use psychological warfare to maintain their status. They’re even considered one of the most murderous animals because they will plot to kill other meerkats who threaten them. Scary!
Most animals don’t recognize themselves in the mirror. They will excitedly interact with their new friend, never realizing that they are seeing themselves. Magpies, however, see their reflection and instinctively know that they see themselves. It’s remarkable how self-aware they are! Magpies don’t like shiny objects, though, so they probably won’t seek out a mirror to check themselves out. No narcissists here!
Prehistoric Sharks? What could be more awesome? The megalodon had a powerful bite and could crush something as big as a car in its jaws. Like modern-day sharks, megalodons shed their teeth. These teeth have been found by scientists and studied to learn more about their habits and characteristics. Some scientists believe there are still megalodons in the ocean, lurking in deep waters where explorers haven’t been yet. Time will tell if they’re right!
The mockingbird can learn over 200 songs in its lifetime! Scientists believe that this mimicry is a way for mockingbirds to attract their mates. Mockingbirds can lay up to 27 eggs in one year! When they’re nesting, they are very protective of their eggs. They will even sound an alarm if they feel threatened!
One of the most extraordinary things about moles is that they can smell in stereo. This means that each nostril can smell a different scent simultaneously! Can you do that? Smelling in stereo helps moles detect which way they need to go to find food. It’s especially useful because moles have poor eyesight and are colorblind.
Monarch butterflies are beautiful orange and black butterflies. Like many others in the animal kingdom, their bold colors warn predators. In the case of the monarch butterfly, the colors tell other animals that they are poisonous! Because the butterfly eats milkweed as a caterpillar, they have a toxin that can make other animals sick. This teaches them not to eat monarch butterflies because they don’t want to get sick again!
Monkey see monkey do? Apparently so! Monkeys have opposable thumbs, which means that they can play video games. Like many kids today, they like having fun. Wouldn’t it be funny to see a monkey vs. kid video game contest? Who do you think would win?
Every year, moose shed their antlers to make room for a shiny new pair. What’s cool is that each time they grow new antlers, the new set is fancier and more detailed than the old set. That’s why older moose have enormous antlers, called paddles. They’re like crowns that signify the importance of each moose.
Just about everyone has felt the itchy bite of a mosquito. Did you know that only female mosquitos bite people? They use the protein in the blood to fuel their body to reproduce. They can suck their whole body weight worth of blood for each meal. If humans did that, they’d have to eat hundreds of pounds of food a day!
Moths are the less colorful cousin of butterflies. Many people even mistake moths for butterflies! Like butterflies, moths go through metamorphosis. The caterpillar cocoons itself and emerges a new insect! Some types of moths don’t have mouths! They eat all of their nutrients before changing into their adult form. They only have one purpose: to mate. After they lay their eggs, their life is complete. They only live for about a week as adults, so they work quickly to ensure their eggs are safe.
Mountain lions are also called pumas or cougars. These big cats live in North and South America. They have a large territory; the only other mammal to have a similarly sized territory is humans! Mountain lions are excellent jumpers. They can jump 40-45 feet to catch their prey!
Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney’s beloved mascot, was the first cartoon mouse. Since then, mice have had a large role in entertainment! From Tom and Jerry to Mighty Mouse, people love seeing such a small animal overcome huge odds. Mice only live a few months in the wild due to having many predators. In captivity, as pets or in science labs, mice live for a couple of years! They thrive in environments with steady food sources and protection from their natural predators.
Mules are the offspring of a donkey and a horse. What you might not know is that mules are sterile. This means that they can’t have any babies of their own. All mules are first-generation combinations. Mules take the best qualities of a horse and make them better. Mules eat less, have a longer lifespan, and are less likely to get sick than a horse. This makes them ideal working animals, commonly found on farms and as pack animals.
Zoo Animals that Begin with the Letter M
Make sure to check out our list of Zoo Animals that Begin with the Letter M before your next adventure! Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to see one of these majestic animals! Tally how many you find.
- Macaroni Penguin
- Madagascar Tree Boa
- Magellanic Penguin
- Malayan Tiger
- Maned Wolf
- Marabou Stork
- Mexican Eagle (Northern crested caracara)
- Mexican Fireleg Tarantula
- Military Macaw
- Milk Snake
- Moccasin Snake
- Mojave Ball Python
- Monitor Lizard
- Moray Eel
- Moon Jellyfish
- Mountain Beaver
Uncommon Animals that Begin with the Letter M
Get ready to dive in to even more Animals that Begin with the Letter M! These uncommon animals are sure to peak your whole family’s curiosity! How many of these animals have you heard of before?
- MacGillivray’s Warbler
- Mackenzie Valley Wolf
- Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
- Madagascar Jacana
- Madora Moth
- Maghreb Magpie
- Magnolia Warbler
- Maine Coon
- Mal Shi
- Malayan Civet
- Malayan Krait
- Maltese Mix
- Maltese Shih Tzu
- Mamushi Snake
- Manchester Terrier
- Mandarin Rat Snake
- Mangrove Snake
- Mangrove Snapper
- Mantella Frog
- Marans Chicken
- Marble Fox
- Maremma Sheepdog
- Marine Iguana
- Marine Toad
- Marsh Frog
- Marsican Brown Bear
- Masked Angelfish
- Masked Palm Civet
- Mason Bee
- Mastiff Mix
- May Beetle
- Mayan Cichlid
- Mealworm Beetle
- Megamouth Shark
- Mekong Giant Catfish
- Mexican Alligator Lizard
- Mexican Black Kingsnake
- Mexican Free-Tailed Bat
- Mexican Mole Lizard
- Mexican Red Knee Tarantula
- Midget Faded Rattlesnake
- Milkweed aphids
- Mini Labradoodle
- Mini Lop
- Miniature Bull Terrier
- Miniature Husky
- Miniature Pinscher
- Minke Whale
- Mississippi Kite
- Modern Game Chicken
- Mojave Rattlesnake
- Mola mola (Ocean Sunfish)
- Mole Crab (Sand Flea)
- Mole Cricket
- Mole Snake
- Monocled Cobra
- Monte Iberia Eleuth
- Moonglow Boa
- Morpho Butterfly
- Moscow Watchdog
- Mountain Bluebird
- Mountain Cur
- Mountain Feist
- Mountain Gorilla
- Mourning Dove
- Mourning Warbler
- Mouse Spider
- Mouse-Deer (Chevrotain)
- Mozambique Spitting Cobra
- Mud Snake
- Mule Deer
- Mulga Snake
- Mullet Fish
- Muscovy Duck
- Musk Deer
- Muskellunge (Muskie)
- Mussurana Snake
- Mute Swan
There you have it! A huge list of animals that begin with M to learn and to have fun exploring with the kids. Did we forget an animal? Be sure to add any other animals that start with M to the list!
Do you want to learn about other interesting animals? Be sure to check out our other lists of animals!
- Awesome Animals that Start with A
- 230 Curious Animals That Start With C
- 115 Exciting Animals That Start With E
- 184 Intriguing Animals that Start with G
- 128 Fascinating Animals That Begin with J
- 187 Amazing Animals that Begin with K
- 249 Interesting Animals That Begin with L
- 163 Marvelous Animals that Start with M
- 373 Spectacular Animals that Start with S
- 155 Terrific Animals that Start with T
- 98 Wonderful Animals that Start with W
- 24 X-cellent Animals That Start With X
- 32 Fantastic Animals That Start With Y