Animals that start with T – In the animal world, T seems to be a terrifying letter because some of the most fearsome animals, such as tiger and tarantula, start with T. However, T can also be an attractive letter because toucan and other tropical birds also start with T.
T is also among the most common starting letters for animal names. More than 25 members of the animal kingdom have this letter as their starting name. If you are curious about all animals that start with T, this list should satisfy you. Here are animals that have T as the starting letter of their names.
1. Tasmanian Devil
Tasmanian devil is a carnivorous marsupial living in the Island of Tasmania, which lies off the southern coast of the Australian mainland. In the past, Tasmanian devil lived in the mainland as well; however, since the introduction of dingo by Aboriginal Australians, the population of Tasmanian devils in the mainland, which became the prey for the dingo, dwindled rapidly to the level of extinction.
Now the Island of Tasmania is the only sanctuary for this animal. The Tasmanian devil gets their notorious name from their shrieks and groans, which early European settlers found frightening and devil-like.
Termite is a ravenous insect that can destroy even the sturdiest building made of wood. Termite is not a solitary animal and a colony of them may consist of 100 to 1 million termites. Termites live in warm regions, ranging from tropical countries to some temperate regions in North and South America.
Although usually called white ants, compared with ants, bees, and wasps, termites actually have more rudimentary biological features with incomplete metamorphosis. Termites recognize a caste system whereby reproductive termites, soldiers, and workers have their own specific roles in the colony.
The king and queen are generally larger than the rest, with the queen, capable of lay about 30,000 eggs a day, having the largest body that can be 20,000 times the size of worker termites.
Tarantula is a large hairy spider living in North America. The name tarantula is actually a misnomer as it is originally used to identify wolf spider, whose name is also based on a false allegation that the European wolf spider could cause tarantism.
Tarantula is a carnivore that feeds on animals as big as lizards and mice. Due to their large fearsome appearance, they don’t need the web to catch their prey. Contrary to popular belief, most tarantulas are harmless to human. Some are even kept as a pet and some are available as an edible meal.
Tiger seems to be a common name in the family of cats; however, tiger actually has some distinctive, very apparent, features that make them a truly specific animal. In the cat family, the tiger has the largest body. Tiger is also the only cat that has stripes on their body. Size and fur color are the most distinct features that differentiate one species of a tiger from another.
Sumatran tiger is considered the smallest of all tigers and Bengal tiger is known for their white striped fur. Tiger is considered the most admirable and fearsome predator, with all predatorial features that are considered excellent, including great power, graceful and swift movement, and intimidating look.
Tortoise is a member of the family of turtles that lives entirely on land, unlike other turtles that are aquatic or semi-aquatic. Tortoise can be found in almost every part of the earth, with the exception of Australia and Antarctica. The size of a tortoise ranges from only about 10 centimeters for an adult Madagascan spider tortoise to about 1.4 meters for an Aldabra giant tortoise.
A tortoise can weigh up to 254 kilograms—a weight that they can comfortably bear with their four powerful legs. Due to their weight, tortoise moves very slowly, if they ever move. Tortoise is mostly herbivorous, but they may also feed on worms, insects, and carcasses occasionally. Their slow movement prevents them from being an efficient prey chaser.
In the biological terminology, the word turtle can be used to name any reptiles with shell protecting their body. Colloquially, especially in the United States, on the other hand, the word turtle is used only to refer to the shelled reptile that lives in or near water, whereas turtles that live entirely on land are called tortoises. In many civilizations, turtles are considered culturally significant. In Asia, the turtle has long been believed to symbolize longevity.
Tarsier is a nocturnal primate native to Southeast Asian forests, especially those in Indonesia and the Philippines. Tarsier is so small that their size barely exceeds that of a rat. Besides being nocturnal, tarsier is also arboreal.
Their round goggle-like eyes help them see and forage for food better at night and their long slender hands and fingers are equipped with disks to hold on tree trunks. Tarsiers feed mostly on insects and small reptiles. Due to this nocturnal and arboreal lifestyle, tarsier’s biggest threat is an owl, another nocturnal predator.
8. Tiger Salamander
Tiger salamander is a large salamander that lives in North America. Tiger salamander is generally black in color. They get their name from the yellow or green strips overlaid on their dark skin. Male adults, recognized by their more colorful pattern and large eyes, are more reclusive than their female counterparts and prefer staying hidden in their underground burrows.
Tiger salamander is a carnivorous animal that feeds on insects, worms, roaches, small frogs, and small mice. Tiger salamanders are both terrestrial and aquatic. They have gill and excellent swimming ability but they dig their burrows on land. Due to their unique and vibrant look, tiger salamander is a popular pet for lizard lovers.
9. Tapanuli Orangutan
For years, the orangutan was thought to be a one-species great ape that occupied two different islands in Southeast Asia: Borneo and Sumatera; however, recent studies show that there are actually three distinct orangutan species. Since one in Borneo called Bornean orangutan and two in Sumatra, called Sumatran and Tapanuli orangutan.
From the outside, there is almost no difference between the three species; however, after a detailed phylogenic study was done to the corpse of an adult Batang Toru orangutan that lived in Tapanuli area, it was discovered in 2017 that the skull of Tapanuli orangutan differed significantly from that of their Bornean and Sumatran siblings.
Toucan, most distinguished by its large beak, is often considered one of the most attractive birds both in the wild and in captivity. On their head, they have a large and vibrantly colored beak with a long tongue in it.
The large vibrant beak is useful especially for scaring away predators and the large tongue provides the bird with a stronger sense of taste, especially because toucans feed on fruits. Although the beak is large in size, it is actually lightweight and doesn’t cause a problem to the bird’s maneuverability when flying and stability when perching.
This animal that start with T uses their four toes, two of which face backward, to hold on branches when perching. Toucan’s plumage is dominated mostly by black and white in the body and yellow in the eye area. A smaller toucan with round beak, called aracari toucan, has a yellow spot on the lower part of their body.
11. Tree Frog
Treefrog or tree toad are frogs with improved climbing capability, thanks to the expanded disks at the tips of their toes. Tree frogs live in temperate and tropical regions and their chirps are usually used as a sign for the coming of the rainy season, especially because their breeding season, during which male frogs call their female counterparts with their chirps, coincides with the rainy season.
Tree frogs usually sport vibrant colors, with hues that range from brown to gray and green. Certain species can change the color of their skin depending on light and temperature levels. The brownish color is often associated with the Pacific species of these frogs whereas grayish color is common among American gray tree frogs that hide in decayed tree stumps during winter.
12. Tiger Shark
Tiger shark is a large shark that is often considered among the toughest and the most voracious of all sharks. Tiger shark is characterized by their sickle-like serrated teeth and jaws, which help them kill and break down their preys, which literally include all living animals that the shark can engage. Tiger shark is a voracious animal that actively attacks other animals and even sharks.
Tiger shark is also considered the most dangerous shark for human because they may attack human to satisfy their eating habit. Ironically, humans also actively hunt them not only to mitigate their threats, but also to collect their prized tough skin and vitamin-rich liver.
A tapir is an ungulate animal similar to a pig. A tapir is distinguished by their black and white panda-like skin color and their long flexible snout or proboscis. Tapir also has small eyes and firm erect ears. They are herbivorous animals that feed only on leaves and fruits. Tapir’s primary habitat is dense forests and grasslands and their only defensive mechanism is fleeing.
Because of this lack of defense against their swift predators—the cats—and the rapid habitat loss due to human’s activities, tapir’s population has dwindled significantly. In Central and South America, especially in Panama and the northern Andes, their existence has even been threatened to near-extinction level.
14. Tawny Owl
A tawny owl is a species of owl that lives in the Eurasian region. They are distinguished by their black round eyes, brown or gray feather, and tawny markings. A tawny owl is a medium-sized owl that fits cozily in a tree hole, where they build their nest and protect their eggs and young from bigger predators, which includes eagle owl and northern goshawk.
Just like other owls, a tawny owl is a carnivorous animal that feeds on land and airborne animals. Due to their smaller size, their primary preys are rodents and they may attack small airborne birds occasionally.
15. Thorny Devil
A thorny devil, more commonly called Moloch, is a species of lizard with distinct thorny scales all over their back to their head. The thorny devil lives in the deserts in Australia and the thorns that grow on their back are used as both for defending themselves and for collecting dew, which they will subsequently drink to obtain moisture.
Thorny on their top and wrinkly on their face, the wrinkle helps transport the collected water to their mouth. Thorny devil feeds mostly on insects, which they catch using their long and sticky tongue. Unfortunate ants may be caught immediately by this lizard the moment they emerge from their nest.
Tropicbird is a tropical bird with white feathers all over their body. They have long slender tail feathers and small legs. Although they look completely white when flying, their feather actually sports black markings at certain parts of their body. Their bill is bold in color (either red or yellow).
Tropicbirds prefer high places to build their nests, such as treetops and the edge of a cliff; however, they may also build their nest in a cave. The white-tailed red-billed tropicbirds are native to the Caribbean and may fly north to the subtropical regions in the United States. Another species of tropicbird, with red tail, lives mostly in the Pacific and Indian oceans.
Tamarin is a member of marmoset family of the order of monkeys. Tamarin is unique not only in the way they look externally. The uniqueness of this animal lies more specifically on their tooth formation. Unlike other monkeys, tamarin has only two molars on each side of the upper jaw instead of three.
Tamarin’s canine teeth are also uniquely longer than their incisors. While other monkeys have nails on their toes, tamarins have curved claws on all toes except the great ones. From the outside, tamarin appears unique with their black hair and eyes and exceptionally long white mustache. The golden lion tamarin, a distinct species, has golden hair and a black face without the mustache.
A tanager is a colorful songbird that is distinguished by their conical beak. There are many species of tanager, most of which are tropical birds living near the equator. There are four species that live in North America, but all of them will migrate southward when the air gets colder. Tanager is fruit eater, but certain tanager species have evolved beak that can be used to feed on nectar.
Color distinguishes the gender of a tanager, with adult male having scarlet plumage and black wings and tail and adult female having olive-green plumage; however, during the breeding season, before the birds migrate southward, adult males can exchange their red plumage with olive-green feather similar to that of adult females.
Tenrec is a Madagascan mammal that feeds primarily on insects. They have pointed snout that is useful for routing potential preys, mostly insects, but occasionally also worms and grubs. Tenrec’s appearance is often compared with other animals, including possum, hedgehog, and mole.
Tenrec has a pair of black eyes, but their vision is so poor that they barely use their eyes for exploring, hunting and defending. Instead, they use their heightened auditory and smelling awareness to detect their surroundings and for communication.
20. Tiger Beetle
Tiger beetle is the name of more than 1,300 species of predacious beetles with a metallic golden-green body and bright spots. Tiger beetle moves very swiftly on land and has sharp and strong jaws that they use for digging and killing.
Tiger beetle lives mostly in warm regions. The majority of them live in tropical regions whereas few species live in sandy terrains in temperate and arid regions. Some tiger beetle species are wingless and some actively fly when moving or hunting. Tiger beetle is a fearsome hunter in their scale. Even their larvae are active hunters that trap preys while hiding inside the soil.
A takin is a rare ruminant Asian mammal that lives in mountains. Similar to a mountain goat, a takin has larger body size and heavier build. Like other ruminants, takin has a pair of horns that curve backward. To protect their body from elements, they grow long shaggy hair all over their body.
Takin is commonly found in the Himalayas as well as China. Despite their heavy build, their limbs and their neck are rather short. Takins are rarely seen because they are rare animals and because they are shy and elusive.
A tayra is a South American weasel that is known as a swift runner. Their habitat ranges from Mexico and Trinidad in the north to Argentina in the south. Tayra looks and behaves almost the same with marten does.
Their distinctive features lie on their brown-colored coat and distinct markings on their head and their throat. A tayra is an omnivorous animal that uses their agile climbing ability for hunting and foraging purposes. Their meals include small mammals, birds, and fruits.
Tuatara is a reptile with a look similar to that of a lizard. Tuatara’s ancestors can be traced back to the Jurassic period, making it the only species that has survived the harshness of natural selection since millions of years ago. Tuatara looks mean with their large head, stocky body, and spiny crest that extends from the head to the tail.
Although tuatara is lizard-like and sometimes isn’t easily distinguishable from a lizard, tuatara is not a lizard because they have temporal arch behind their eyes, which lizards don’t have. In fact, tuatara is a predator for lizard as well as other small animals, including insects, snails, chicks, and eggs. Tuatara lives only in some 20 islands off the coast of New zealand.
A tern is a white seabird with white feathers all over their body and black head. Tern resembles a seagull, but their body is much slenderer, like a tropicbird. A gray variant of this bird is also present in the wild, but generally, all terns are black and white in color.
Tern’s beak is bright-colored and their legs’ color follows the color of the beak. Terns live in tropical and subtropical regions. They migrate in the winter to a warmer area.
The term toad can be explained in some ways. Firstly, it may refer to an amphibian similar to a frog, except that toad has dry warty skin due to the large number of glandular tubercules, shorter legs, and lives mostly on land. They go to the water only for the breeding purpose.
Secondly, a toad may also refer to any amphibian that resembles a toad as explained above. Horned toad, which is of a different taxonomic family, fits this description.
A tahr is a ruminant animal that looks similar to a goat. Tahr is exceptionally swift and sharp-sighted. Tahr lives in mountainous regions in Asia and is an excellent climber that has no problem living in high cliffs. Tahr has a shaggy coat to keep their body warm and a pair of curved horns for defending.
Male tahr has a darker coat and larger body compared to their female’s. Their limbs are long and strong, which help them subdue their surroundings easily.