Animals are a crucial part of our ecosystem. They support the activity on our globe, and without them, it would hardly be possible for the human race to survive.
Today, we are paying homage to some of these animals. The only thing is that they all start with the letter M. Can you recall other animals that start with the letter M except for a monkey, mountain lion, or perhaps, a mountain gorilla?
Well, here you will find the list of animals that you might not have heard about before!
List of Animals That Start With The Letter M
1. The Colorful Birds – Macaw
Macaws are the largest, colorful parrot species in the world. Luckily they are also birds that start with M. Macaws, are found in rainforests and tropical jungles, and their wingspan is 3 to 4 feet, and they have colorful bodies.
The colorful macaw species have curved beaks and are omnivorous. Related to the bird classification, macaws can live up to 50 – 60 years and can weigh up to 2kgs (4.4lbs).
2. Macaroni Penguin (Not What You Think)
Macaroni penguins get this name because of the distinct yellow crest feathers on top of their heads and orange beaks.
Also known for the “Yankee Doodle” nursery rhyme, Macaroni penguins get their names because the man in the poem stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni, hence the name macaroni penguin.
Macaroni penguins are found in ice islands or sub-Antarctica and are closely related to royal penguins. An average macaroni penguin lives for 20 years and can dive to a depth of 200 feet in the ocean. Unfortunately, the species of macaroni penguin is nearly threatened today.
See Related: African Penguin
3. Mountain Gorillas – The less famous Monkeys
There are many types of monkeys, and the mountain gorilla is one of them; their natural habitat are forests and mountains.
A mountain gorilla can live on elevations up to 8000 to 13000 feet. Compared to other monkeys, they have thicker fur, which helps them survive in cold temperatures. In addition, the mountain gorilla is used to rough climatic conditions and dangerous landscapes.
Endangered before, mountain gorilla species continue to grow amidst poaching and hunting.
4. The Biggest Ray – Manta Ray
A Manta ray is amongst the largest rays to exist in the ocean. The diamond-shaped flat ray has triangular pectoral fins like wings. A Manta ray can grow up to 29 feet in length and, on average, weighs a whopping 5300 lbs.
The Manta ray lives with a group of 100 to 1500 individuals and is present all over the world. In addition, because of the popular Chinese medicine made with its gill rakes, Manta rays can be overharvested.
A manta ray preys on filter fishes, shrimps, and planktonic organisms, and their predators are large orcas and sharks.
See Related: Fastest Animals in the World
5. Mountain Lion – Pumas
Found in central, north, and South America, a mountain lion is an apex predator that preys on deer, elks, and other animals. A mountain lion has no natural predators, making it one of the most savage mammals today.
In addition, mountain lions can run up to 50 miles per hour and they are the fastest runners among other primates. A mountain lion lives for about 20 years, weighs 29 to 90kgs (64-198lbs) and grows up to seven to nine feet. Moreover, the mountain lion is also called a cougar, puma, panther, or catamount and prefers a solitary environment.
6. The Double-Jawed Fish – Moray Eel
A moray eel is a fascinating species with razor-sharp teeth that belong to a large Muraenidae family. The eel has many species but is famous for its double jaws and sharp teeth.
Its appearance can make it look terrifying; however, these species need to keep their jaw unlocked to breathe.
The largest last recorded moray eel was 21 feet and weighed 131 lbs. Although, depending on the species, a moray eel can be anywhere from 1 to 13 feet in length.
Famous for its vicious bite, a moray eel has the most effective bite, and its poisonous skin also acts as a defensive shield for predators.
A moray eel is located in tropical oceans and is well-spread throughout the world. Stay clear of these bad boys because a moray eel can give you a poisonous bite.
7. Little Squeaky Mouse
A mouse is one of the rodents that start with M. These belong to the Rodentia family and are widely popular as house mice.
Although herbivores, a mouse can carry up to 200 human pathogens, including Salmonella. Moreover, known for its big appetite, a mouse can eat continuously.
They also breed a lot, as they can have 150 offspring in a year alone! The mouse has 711 species and is different from rats. Mouse and rats have similar characteristics. However, mice infest homes and are native to India, Europe, and Africa.
8. Climbing Champions – Mountain Goat
A mountain goat makes it to our list of animal names that start with the letter M. Mountain goat or Rocky mountain goat comes from the northern hemisphere and North America. Be it icy cliffs to rigged mountains when it comes to climbing, a mountain goat can beat other primates and even humans.
A mountain goat can weigh more than 60 to 90 kgs (130-200 lbs), but they support their weight with sturdy hooves and muscular legs.
A female mountain goat can be territorial in winters, while males prefer solitary. Unlike goats, a mountain goat has a thick white wool underfur.
See Related: Hirola Antelope
9. Our Closely Related Species- Monkeys
The most obvious mammals that start with M, monkeys, are a well-known species of mammals.
Monkeys are not endangered and live in troops, unlike mountain gorillas. These wild primates are most commonly found in Africa, Asia, Central America, Oceania, and South America.
A monkey is a world-renowned animal and is closely related to us humans. Although, chimpanzees slightly take the edge for being more related to humans.
A monkey has 250 other species, however, only one is not endangered. Tropical areas and forests are monkeys’ natural habitats where they use their long arms and tails to climb from one tree to another.
Gibbon, a type of monkey, can leap through branches at a speed of 34 miles per hour. A monkey is an intelligent species but is still a victim of threats and predators, especially humans, who are relatively the biggest threat to a monkey.
Deforestation and clearing out trees in places like central Africa can disrupt the ecosystem and endanger their species.
On average, a monkey can live up to 15 years; however, a larger monkey can stick around for 35 years in the wild.
10. The Wild Cat – Maine Coon
Belonging to the list of wild animals names that start with the letter M, the main coon is from the Felidae family and is also known as a gentle giant.
A Maine coon lives up to 13 years and weighs about 8-25 lbs. Known for its unique appearance compared to other house cats.It is a long-haired domesticated cat
Among many animal names starting with M, Maine coons are the most lovable, friendly, and furry animal.
11. Not Actually Wolf – Maned Wolf
This wild animal that starts with the letter M lives in the habitat of grasslands, forests, and scrubs.
The maned wolf is unfortunately almost extinct, with only an estimated population of 23,600.
A maned wolf can live for 12 to 15 years and have a speed of 47 mph, and they can weigh up to 51 lbs.
This wolf, starting with the letter M, is the largest canid in South America, which means they are solitary animals.
See Related: Animals That Start With X
12. The Smallest Baleen – Minke Whale
Usually found in the boreal region circling the northern hemisphere, these minke whales are also animals beginning with M.
A minke whale belongs to the Balaenoptera family and is the smallest member of the Baleen whale species.
A Minke whale prefers to live in herds and weighs up to 5 to 14 tons. Despite its size, a minke whale can swim as fast as 24 mph while escaping its predator, killer whales. A minke whale can also stay underwater for more than 20 minutes.
There are two different species of a minke whale, the common minke whale and the Southern or Antarctic minke whale. Unfortunately, they are near threatened because they are widely hunted by killer whales and humans.
13. Marine Toad
Amongst amphibians beginning with M, a marine toad is from the Bufo genus. A marine toad has a large body and rough exterior and lives in forests and other fields close to water.
A marine toad preys on small animals and insects and likes to live in solitude. It can live for 10 – 15 years and weighs 200 to 800 grams. Marine toads are from one of the largest toads in the Bufonidae family.
Fun fact: A marine toad produces a toxin used in arrow darts.
14. Marsh Frog
Also, among animal names that start with M, a marshall frog is known for its bright green skin. A marsh frog can live for 5 to 10 years and is the largest frog are native to Europe.
A male marsh frog can grow 4” long while females grow up to 4.3”, on average. Marsh frogs are found in lakes, ponds, pools, and marshes.
A marsh frog has no problem living in muddy or swampy water and can survive in a polluted area.
15. Another Frog – Mantella Frogs
These Mantella frogs are just too unique to not have an honorary mention in this list of animals starting with M.
A Mantella frog is one of the smallest frogs in the world and is hugely popular because of its vibrant color patterns and skins.
These smallest frog creatures are found in the Islands of Madagascar in southern Africa. A Mantella frog only measures from 0.71” – 1.22” and lives in colonies for about 5 to 10 years.
Fun fact: They might be the smallest frog and tiny but are very toxic.
16. The Feisty Feline – Malayan Tiger
Belonging to the Panthera genus, this animal name also starts with the letter M. As the name suggests, a Malayan tiger can run at a top speed of 60 mph and can be found in Asia.
These feisty creatures can also weigh 80 to 150kgs (176 – 330lbs) and have a lifespan of 18 to 25 years.
A Malayan tiger can be found in Southeast Asia like China and Bengal and is territorial. In addition, this species is also highly endangered in the world. A Malayan tiger only has one predator, and that is humans.
Fun fact: Malayan tigers are great swimmers.
See Related: Sumatran Tiger
17. Ever-growing Antlers – Moose
Among other common animals that start with M is the moose. Although common, these animals are the tallest mammals in North America.
A moose is often recognized by its huge antlers and can weigh anywhere between 1200 to 1800 pounds. Belonging to the Cervidae family and Alces genus, a moose has a recognizable long face and can live for 10 – 16 years.
A deer and a moose belong to the same species. However, moose are the largest among all.
Fun fact: A moose can renew its antlers every year.
18. Mexican Alligator Lizard
Is it an alligator or lizard? This rare lizard is amongst the many reptiles that start with M. A Mexican alligator lizard is distinct because of its vibrant colors like orange and green. It can live for ten years and preys on insects like grasshoppers and crickets.
The Mexican alligator lizard lives in Mexico’s cloud forests at 130 feet and is going extinct because of illegal poaching.
19. Mallard Duck
These mallard ducks also make it to this list and belong to the bird family and make it to the animals that start with m list. A mallard can travel at a speed of 60 mph and are widely known for their appearance. Usually found in the Northern hemisphere, the mallard is a large water body with a distinct green or blue head plumage with yellow beaks.
Almost all domestic ducks in the world are of mallard descent and are amongst the most famous birds out of all their species.
20. Masked Palm Civet
Mostly found in Asia, these are also animals that start with the letter M. A masked palm civet is from the Viverridae family and Paguma genus and are largely found in India and China. A masked palm civet has a lifespan of 15 – 20 years and weighs 1.4kg to 4.5kgs (3-10lbs).
Don’t fall for its looks; this animal is more closely related to a mongoose than a cat.
Fun fact: A masked palm civet sprays a foul scent to scare off its predators.