What Animal Am I?

By: Dustyn Deerman

Spider monkeys are given their name because of their spider-like appearance when they hang from trees using their tails. In fact, their tails are so strong, they use them as an extra arm as they make their way through the dense vegetation and massive trees in the rain forest.

Everyone's favorite super chilled out sloth can be found hanging out in Central and South America. They may be known for their hugs, but they're actually more of a solitary animal. Their bodies are home to small organisms like moths, beetles, and even fungi and algae.

The blue whale is the largest animal to have ever lived on earth. To put this into perspective, their hearts can weigh as much as a car, and their tongues can weigh as much as an elephant! Even though they're gigantic, they feed on super small organisms in the ocean, like plankton and super small shrimp-like creatures called krill.

Macaws are the largest of the parrot family. Some can span up to 3.5 feet in length, with a wingspan of up to 4 to 5 feet! There are around 20 species of the macaw, with many of them, unfortunately, being endangered and even critically endangered.

The mongoose can be found in parts of Africa, the Iberian Peninsula, and Asia. This feisty animal is frequently used to protect homes in India from poisonous snakes; the mongoose can withstand some venom from a snake if bitten, so that, coupled with its ability to fight, make it a formidable opponent for dangerous snakes.

The Tasmanian devil, who is in the same family as kangaroos, is the largest of the marsupials who eat meat. They have one of the most powerful bites in the world, which can crush through bones. They can even open their jaws up to 80 degrees. Imagine that coming at you!

Many people think the cheetah is the quickest in the animal kingdom, but it's the peregrine falcon! They can fly up to 240 mph, which is about where even the fastest of supercars will top their speedometers. These falcons usually hit this speed when they are doing one of their classic dive bombs during a hunt.

When they're not sticking their heads in the ground, ostriches can sprint up to 45 mph, with some of these birds even reaching up to 60 mph. While other animals are faster than the ostrich, its ability to hit these speeds make it the fasted animal on two legs.

While we do picture them being large and in charge, a mature grizzly can be as little as 250 pounds, which is smaller than some black bears. Most other species of bears typically weigh anywhere between 300 and 800 pounds. Still, there's no denying that this is an animal you do not want to mess with!

While walruses do spend a large percentage of their time in the water, they prefer shallow water so they can easily access their food and maneuver themselves out of the water. Since they do live in the Arctic, which is primarily made up of ice, if a walrus can't get to a beach to sunbathe, it will hop on top of large pieces of ice that can support its weight and float on them.

While we can certainly think of some huge dogs like the Great Dane or Mastiff, the gray wolf is still officially considered the largest of the Canidae (dog) family. Adult gray wolves typically weigh around 75 – 125 pounds, with male wolves sometimes weighing up to 175 pounds. What makes them look even larger is their fur. During the winter, when it is fully grown out, their fur can get to be as long as 4 - 5 inches, making them look much taller and broader.

The porpoise, who looks a lot like the dolphin, is the smallest of the cetacea order, which includes dolphins and whales (though, it's easy for just about anything to be small compared to a whale!). The way you can tell a porpoise apart from a dolphin is primarily by their smaller size, but they also have a rounder body shape and a lack of the "beak" we see on dolphins.

Bengal tigers are the only species that will sometimes grow white fur instead of the orange and black coat we know so well. This is because of a lack of the pigment pheomelanin. Compared to the orange Bengal tiger, the white Bengal can grow to be even faster and heavier than the orange.

It has been argued for decades whether or not the crocodile is a "living fossil," but the reality is this animal has lived through the multiple mass extinctions that wiped out dinosaurs and other mammoth creatures across the planet. Fossil records show they have maintained the same body form through all of this time, giving them the name "living fossil."

While all of the above snakes are highly dangerous and poisonous, none of them deliver the amount of venom (or death) that the inland taipan can. Each one of their bites can deliver up to 110 mg, which is powerful enough to kill 100 adult men or 250,000 mice. If left untreated, a bite from this snake could kill a person in 45 minutes.

The above eagles are all considered to be among the world's most powerful birds, but the harpy eagle reigns supreme among them. Their talons alone are the same size as a grizzly bear's at 3 - 4 inches long! Harpy eagles can grow to be nearly 4 feet long, with a wingspan of up to 7.5 feet.

The quills on a porcupine are purely there as a defense system. While they can not project them from their body, they are easily removed when brushed up on by a predator. What makes them sting is the fact that they're barbed, making it very hard for removal once stuck in the skin. Hedgehogs also have quills, but these are considered hollow hairs that are made stiff with keratin. They do not easily detach from their bodies, and they will not stick into the skin of someone who touches them.

Fruit bats are among the largest species of bats in the world, and they get their name, "flying fox," because of their cute, furry, fox-like faces. These flying critters eat only fruit juice, fruit pulp, and small insects, including mosquitoes. Even though they are harmless and will never typically attack humans, it is advised against trying to touch one; with their high diet of mosquitoes, they are known to carry the rabies virus.

Mama kangaroos take into account the chances of survival of their young based on environmental factors and other surrounding circumstances, and if they think chances are low, they will slow down the gestation period. And get this, not only can they slow the growth of their baby, but they can also determine its sex!

There are 32 species of lemur in the world, and of them, the ring-tailed lemur is the most popular. Much like the movie, you can only find them in nature in Madagascar, but you can still see them in zoos all over the world. While they are technically endangered in the wild, many are bred in captivity to thwart the many threats against its survival.

While the scientific name for the African wild dog means "painted wolf," it is more casually known otherwise as the painted hunting dog. No two wild dogs will ever have the same markings, making them easily identifiable by their individual "fingerprints."

Komodo dragons, who are now very hard to find in the wild, are the largest lizards currently living. They can grow to be 10 feet in length and weigh a whopping 200 pounds. They are as fierce as they look and are excellent hunters who like to prey on animals like pigs, deer, and even water buffaloes. Adding to their ferocity is their ability to inject venom when they bite into their prey.

Meerkats will live in groups of up to 40 or 50 animals. Within these groups, there will always be a sentry, or lookout, to keep an eye out for predators while the others forage for food or build their burrows. The structure of these groups is also matriarchal, meaning that an alpha female is the one to lead them.

Everyone's favorite gentle giant is truly that ... a giant! The average African elephant can grow to up to 13 feet tall and weigh up to 14,000 pounds. Males are usually the ones who will grow to be this size, with the females being significantly smaller. African elephants are considerably larger than Asian elephants; even their ears are bigger and resemble the shape of Africa!

While many tortoises will have a life span that is somewhat comparable to that of a human's, a large percentage of them have been found to live well past 150 years, up to 200. You can get a decent idea of how old a tortoise is by counting the rings on the top of their shell, just like you would with the inside of a tree.

The armadillo's name is an appropriate one. Their shells are so strong that there have been reports of people injuring themselves after trying to shoot one-- the bullets ricochet off the armadillo's shell and hit the person. That's crazy! While their shells are incredible sources of protection, they can also tell us the armadillo's species is (there are 20).

A platypus' bill is made of up thousands of cells that somehow give it an extra sense, especially when it is under water. When they dive, they become sightless and cannot smell, so they use their beak to navigate and to hunt for food.

The soft, fluffy emu is indeed the second largest bird in the world. While an ostrich can weigh between 220 and 350 pounds, an emu will weigh between 90 and 150 and can grow to be up to 6.5 feet tall. Still very big for a bird! Just like an ostrich, the emu is flightless but will beat you in a foot race with its powerful legs.

The Arctic fox is also known as the white fox or snow fox and is highly-adapted to living in frigid environments. Its super thick fur helps keep it warm in the winter and will also act as a camouflage; in the spring, you'll see Arctic foxes sporting more of a brown fur, and as soon as the winter comes, their white coat will come back in.

Orangutans share 97% DNA with humans, and much like us, they are highly capable of using tools and can even communicate through sign language. What sets them apart from other primates is their ability to learn from demonstration. Whether it is using soap, using a specific tool, or using a damp rag to cool themselves, they're able to learn more quickly and remember what they've learned compared to other primates (and let's face it, some humans!).

The chameleon's most outer layer of skin is transparent and underneath that, are several layers that contain cells called chromatophores. These are what allow them to change color; they are filled with sacs of different pigments that reflect different colors. Much of why a chameleon will change its color is not always because of its surroundings but could be because of its body temperature or even its mood.

This is no lie, the anteater's tongue is 2 feet long! It starts back at their breastbone and is covered in backward-facing spines and sticky saliva, perfect for scooping up ants and termites. With how long their tongue is and how it works, they're able to slurp up hundreds of ants at a time. What's especially interesting is that anteaters don't have teeth.

It may be the tallest animal on earth, but they are still hard to spot, even if you go on a safari. For one, their distinctive markings are great for camouflage, but they also are not likely to just come right up to you in the wild. If they do, they are known to be quite friendly and will take food from you with their gigantic tongues.

The black bear's size will vary quite a bit between male and female; males can weigh up to 400 pounds, while females will only weigh up to 175 pounds. What primarily makes them seem so much smaller is that they typically are only about 3 feet tall when they are on all fours and around 5 to 7 feet when they are standing upright. These bears may be shorter than some people, even when upright.

Pigeons have been able to so successfully live in cities due to their ability to turn just about any ledge, crevice, or nook into a hospitable environment for their nests and shelter. It sure helps them out knowing they can rely on humans dropping scraps and voluntarily feeding them!

Otters have two thick layers of fur; they have an undercoat and then the longer hairs that are much more visible. Altogether, an otter will have up to one million hairs per square inch. All of this fur helps keep them dry in the water and helps them float by trapping air in between the two layers.

There are some big snakes in the world, but the green anaconda is by far the largest. These snakes can grow to be 29 feet in length and weigh 550 pounds! They are non-venomous and contrary to what we've seen in the movies, they are not known to eat humans.

The jaguar can only be found in North, Central and South America. In North America, they primarily dwell in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Southern California. However, the largest population of them can be found in the Amazon rain forests. The jaguar is the third largest of the big cats and the largest of all the big cats you'll see in the Americas.

You can find coyotes all over the country, but you will mainly see them near cities in states like Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. Often they carry the reputation of being a pest, but in reality, they can help with population control of other problematic animals, like rodents.

They may be huge and very intimidating, but whale sharks will never attack humans. Much like whales, they feed on tiny micro-organisms by swimming slowly through the ocean and filtering out creatures like plankton and krill with their teeth. They are extremely docile and are even accustomed to swimming alongside humans.

Explore More Quizzes

Image: Ed Reschke / Stockbyte / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Animals, we see them every day. From walking down the street to exploring out in nature, to simply sitting on our couch, they are very much a part of our every day lives. Our interactions may vary from daily cuddles and hugs to quick glances to even complete avoidance, but every day, we continue to share our environment and our communities with them. 

Scientists say that there are anywhere between 3 million and 30 million species of animals on the planet; not only have most of us barely scratched the surface on actually seeing these animals in person, but many of us probably can't name most of them.

Whether you're an animal lover and have a small herd of pets at home or you tend to stay away from them, there's no doubt you'd still recognize what a good number of them are at the drop of a hat. Maybe it's a tiger's stripes or giraffe's spots that give it away or the gigantic size of a blue whale or the African elephant that triggers your memory. 

In this quiz, you'll be challenged to name 40 animals, from those that soar the skies to those that dwell in the deep blue sea. Along the way, you'll also pick up some super interesting facts about these animals, some of which may surprise you. Let's find out how well you know the animal kingdom!


About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!