38 Zany Animals that Start With Z

Last Updated on August 2, 2023 by Michele Tripple

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When you think of Animals that Start With Z, I bet Zebra is at the top of your list of favorites! You’re not alone; many of the animals on our list love mimicking the black-and-white striped pattern!

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My daughter is at the age where she is obsessed with animals. At seven years old, she has big plans to become an animal scientist and explore the world by researching new species and traveling to their homes. 

My daughter and I love to check out books about uncommon animals. Recently we learned about an entire group of animals that share “zebra” in their names! Many of these animals love to show their Zebra-inspired stripes! Find out what’s unique about each one by reading their facts below!

For more fun animals knowldge and facts, be sure to check out our Animals That Start With Y and our Animals That Start With X.

Common Animals that Start with Z

Are zebras white with black stripes or black with white stripes? Keep reading to find out the answer! 

in post image with black background, bold letter Z, name of an animal that starts with Z and an image of a zebra

Zebra

Underneath all of their fur, zebras have black skin! While their fun hairstyle is beautiful to look at, it actually serves a valuable purpose for the zebra. Zebras live in Africa, where it is very hot. The white stripes help the zebra keep cool when standing in the hot sun all day. If the temperature drops, the black stripes can absorb heat from the sun and keep the zebra from freezing!

Zebra Gecko

Like many lizards, zebra geckos love to live in the desert. Because they’re cold-blooded, it’s hard for them to stay warm in colder climates. Zebra Geckos hibernate in the winter, just like bears!

Zebra geckos also have many predators. They used their striped tails as their first line of defense. When they feel threatened, zebra geckos will raise their tails and wag them back and forth to confuse predators. This allows the gecko to have an extra moment to scurry away to safety. 

in post image with black background, bold letter Z, name of an animal that starts with Z and an image of a zebra finch

Zebra Finch

Zebra finches are one of the most popular birds to keep as pets! With their bright orange cheeks and beaks, they’re easily recognizable among a flock of birds. Male zebra finches are very protective of their homes and families. They will try to scare predators away by hissing at them. Zebra finches prefer to stay together in flocks for extra protection. They will all go to the waterhole to get a drink together, much like middle school girls going to the water fountain!

Zebrafish

While they’re not usually a person’s first thought when it comes to medical research, Zebrafish have the remarkability to mimic many human diseases, like tuberculosis or Alzheimer’s Disease. Researchers can use zebrafish to test new medicines and learn more about these diseases to help humans discover a cure! Zebrafish have also been sent to space. These tiny animals are helping us discover all sorts of new knowledge!

in post image with black background, bold letter Z, name of an animal that starts with Z and an image of a zebra shark

Zebra Shark

The zebra shark is known as a “carpet shark.” That’s because their flattened bodies can blend into the carpet of the ocean floor! While cruising along the ocean floor, the zebra shark eats clams and other mollusks. They have very strong jaws that can crush the shells of their prey. Despite their power, zebra sharks are quite gentle. They are pretty lazy, so as long as you don’t bother them, they’re happy to keep swimming around.  

Zebra Spitting Cobra

The Zebra Spitting Cobra is named for its ability to spit venom at its prey, and rightly so! The snake can spit the venom up to nine feet away! Their venom is very toxic because it contains a poison that destroys cell tissue. The good news is that the zebra spitting cobra is not very aggressive and doesn’t usually attack when left alone. That being said, I certainly wouldn’t want to see one in the wild! Scary!

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Zone-tailed Hawk

Where there’s a fire, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to spot a zone-tailed hawk! That’s because these hawks love to dine on the little critters that are trying to scamper away from the hot flames. Zone-tailed hawks are loners. They prefer to live alone and explore wide open spaces by themselves. Sometimes their travels lead them to unexpected places, like Canada! For the most part, the hawks prefer the warmer climate found in Mexico and the Southern United States. 

Zoo Animals that Begin with Z

Not many zoo animals begin with Z, so it will take an observant eye to spot these elusive species on your next zoo adventure!

in post image with black background, bold letter Z, name of an animal that starts with Z and an image of a zebra spiny-tailed iguana
  • Zebra spiny-tailed iguana
  • Zebra Tarantula
  • Zebu
  • Zonata snake

Uncommon Animals that Begin with Z

These zany animals that begin with Z are pretty spectacular! Check them out and see if you recognize any of these uncommon animals that begin with Z! 

in post image with black background, bold letter Z, name of an animal that starts with Z and an image of a zanzibar red colobus
  • Zanzibar Red Colobus
  • Zanzibar Red Duiker
  • Zapata Wren
  • Zebra Dove
  • Zebra Duiker
  • Zebra Longwing Butterfly
  • Zebra Mussels
  • Zebra Pleco
  • Zebra snake-necked turtle
  • Zebra Snake
  • Zebra-tailed Lizard
  • Zebrette
  • Zebroid
  • Zenaida Dove
  • Zigzag Salamander
in post image with black background, bold letter Z, name of an animal that starts with Z and an image of a zimmer's quail
  • Zimmer’s Quail
  • Ziphius
  • Zokor
  • Zone-tailed Pigeon
  • Zonkey
  • Zorilla
  • Zorro
  • Zorse
  • Zuchon
  • Zululand dwarf chameleon
  • Zyzomys (rodent)
in post image with black background, bold letter Z, name of an animal that starts with Z and an image of a zyzomys

There you have it! All the animals that begin with Z to learn and have fun exploring with the kids. Did we forget an animal? Be sure to add any other animals that start with Z to the list! 

Do you want to learn about other interesting animals? Be sure to check out our other lists of animals!

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