The colors and patterns seen in wildlife have long been a subject of study for biologists. Animals use colors and patterns in a variety of ways, including camouflage, communication, and warning. In this article we will take a look at animals that are orange. Orange is seen in a wide variety of animals from birds to insects to tigers. Let’s take a look!
13 Animals That are Orange
Scientific Name: Panthera tigris
A list of orange animals isn’t complete without the tiger. While subspecies used to total nine, new studies and conservation efforts have grouped the remaining tigers into just two. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, all remaining tigers are now in two distinct subspecies: the continental tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) and the Sunda tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica). The largest big cat in all Asia, male tigers can grow up to 660 pounds in the wild. Tigers have a variety of habitats across their decreasing range.
The orange coat of the tiger sports irregular black stripes thought to help camouflage these massive predators while stalking their prey. The distinctive striping blends in with tall grasses and other plants, allowing tigers to blend perfectly with their surroundings.
Scientific Name: Amphiprion species
Numerous species of clownfish, also called anemonefishes, are bright orange with striking white stripes. Due in part to the popularity of the 2003 Pixar movie Finding Nemo, the clownfish is a favorite for aquarium owners.
The name “anemonefish” comes from Amphiprion’s preference for living in and around certain species of anemones in Pacific reefs. Although anemones have stinging tentacles that ward off other fishes, the clownfish is covered in mucus that protects against the painful stings. Clownfishes and anemones have a symbiotic relationship. The fishes are protected from the stings and eat excess algae that may otherwise damage the anemones.
Scientific Name: Pongo species
Three species of orangutan exist, Bornean, Sumatran, and the newly discovered Tapanuli. All three are critically endangered species with habitat loss the primary reason for declining numbers. Orangutans are one of humans’ closest living relatives, sharing 96.4-percent of the same DNA. The name “orangutan” comes from the indigenous Malaysian and Indonesian “orang-hutan,” which directly translates to “person of the forest.”
All three have shaggy, reddish-orange fur and similar appearances, although they are slightly distinctive from each other. Males and females also differ in appearance, most notably in size and the large cheek pads of males. Unlike the other non-human great ape species, orangutans are primarily arboreal and spend most of their lives in treetops.
4. Red Fox
Scientific Name: Vulpes vulpes
Like the orangutan, red foxes have reddish-orange to orange coats, sometimes varying into shades of brown and yellow. Red foxes grow to approximately 3-feet long and 2-feet tall at the shoulder, much smaller than many other wild canids.
These small omnivores have a varied diet, enjoying small mammals, carrion, and fruit. Communication among these canids includes scent marking, facial expression, and a myriad of vocalizations — scientists have recorded 28 different vocalizations!
5. Curled Octopus
Scientific Name: Eledone cirrhosa
The curled octopus displays various shades of red, yellow, or orange, but can change its body color for camouflage. It reaches up to 1.64-feet long. Found primarily in the waters around Europe, this octopus prefers depths between 30 and 450-feet deep, but sometimes as far down as 2600 feet!
Like other octopuses, the curled octopus has a powerful beak to pierce its prey, primarily lobsters and crabs. This species has a few other common names, including horned octopus and lesser octopus.
6. Golden Lion Tamarin
Scientific Name: Leontopithecus rosalia
Native to a small, distinctive region in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil, this small monkey is endangered due to extreme habitat loss. Agricultural clearing, urban development, and logging are the primary reasons for the loss of nearly 98 percent of this species’ native habitat.
Golden lion tamarins reach only 2 feet long from tip of nose to tip of tail, and weigh approximately 1.5 pounds. Coloring is typically golden-yellow to golden-orange. These small monkeys are arboreal, spending most of their time in trees feeding on flowers, eggs, and small vertebrates. Golden lion tamarins live in social family groups, often with eight or so individuals of varying age.
7. Red Slug
Scientific Name: Arion rufus
Despite its common names, including chocolate Marion and European red slug, this large gastropod is often times bright orange. Other colors include chocolate-orange, brick red, chocolate, and reddish-orange, with lighter and darker varieties of each. Reaching nearly 6-inches long, the red slug is the largest species in its genus.
Endemic to Europe, the red slug has also made its way into North America. It’s a common visitor in both gardens and parks, as well as more natural habitats such as woodlands and near bodies of water.
8. Goldfish and Koi
Scientific Names: Carassius auratus and Cyprinus carpio (respectively)
Goldfish and koi are both domesticated and ornamental varieties of carp species. While domesticated varieties come in a variety of different colors, patterns, sizes, and shapes, orange is a common color, either for the whole body or as part of a more intricate pattern. In captivity, both species are common in both indoor and outdoor enclosures, depending on specific climates.
While these two species are both carp, they are distinctive from each other, primarily in size. Goldfish have been known to grow to nearly 2 feet long and live for 30 years or more. Koi, on the other hand, may reach up to 4 feet long and live upwards of 50 years.
9. Baltimore Oriole
Scientific name: Icterus galbula
The Baltimore oriole is a beautiful, fruit loving bird found across eastern North America. While females are more of a yellow or dull olive color, adult males are a striking black and bright orange.
Baltimore orioles spend their winters in Mexico and Central America, then migrate into the U.S. during the spring. Many backyard bird enthusiasts will put out orange halves or grape jelly to attract them.
10. Red Panda
Scientific Name: Ailurus fulgens
Red pandas are quite unique looking, like a cross between a red fox, a raccoon and a bear. These cute creatures are classified as endangered because of significant habitat loss and poaching. As forests are cleared, they loose the trees they need to nest in, and the bamboo that makes up most of their diet.
In some areas they are hunted for their fur, especially their big bushy tails, or taken to be sold as exotic pets. They are now legally protected where they live in India, Bhutan, China, Nepal, and Myanmar. They are not yet extinct, but they could easily reach that status if we are not careful.
11. Monarch Butterfly
The monarch is perhaps the most recognizable butterfly in the United States with its bright orange and black wings with white spots. Its name even has a tie to its orange color, as its thought that the name “monarch” was given in honor of King William III of England, who was also known as “Prince of Orange”.
Each year, this pollinator travels south in the fall to spend the winter in the warmer climates of Florida, southern California and Mexico. That’s thousands of miles for many of these delicate creatures! They only lay their eggs on certain plants like milkweed, and as these plants become less common their population has unfortunately gone down.
Scientific name: Giraffa camelopardalis
Giraffes, which are native to Africa, are easy to identify and very unique looking with their extra long legs and neck. A full grown giraffe can reach just under 19 feet tall! While it is not known for sure why they grow their necks so long, it is believed that it has to do with competition for food.
They are able to reach much higher up into a tree canopy for leaves than any other leaf grazing land animals in their habitat such as kudu and impala. Giraffes eat about 75 pounds of food a day, grazing on trees and bushes. They often live together in all male or all female groups between 1 – 66 individuals.
13. Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock
Scientific name: Rupicola rupicola
The bold coloring and flamboyant feathers of the Guianan cock-of-the-rock only belong to the males of the species. These fantastical birds live in the rainforests of South America near rocky outcroppings where they nest. They eat mostly fruit with the occasional small snake or lizard.
Males will claim territory on the ground by making a “court”, which is a clearing where they carefully remove all debris to expose the dirt beneath. Competition for females is quite active in this species, and along with their plumage and other displays, females will also judge a male by his court.