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16 Types of Animals That Can Growl (Pictures)

Growling is a common sound made by various creatures in the animal kingdom. In most cases, the animals that growl do so as an aggressive warning, but they can also growl as part of their play and mating process. They can also use growling as a way to communicate when something is wrong.

16 Animals That Growl

When you think of animals that growl, cats and dogs are probably the two that come to mind first. While we will discuss these in the list below, we will also look at other animals that growl, some of which may surprise you.

1. Domesticated Cats

Cat growling
Cat growling | image by Riik@mctr via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Felis catus

Yes cats are often associated with hissing, but if you have ever owned a cat then you will know that they can growl for a multitude of reasons. Among the most common are as a form of aggression or fear. Their growling can be used to defend their food or as a warning to stay away. Additionally, cats will also growl when playing, especially while they are still kittens, and use it as a way to communicate with other felines.

2. Domesticated Dogs

Black dog growling
Black dog growling

Scientific Name: Canis lupus familiaris

Like cats, domesticated dogs will growl as a way to communicate with other dogs and animals. When a dog feels threatened or angry, they will growl to warn others to stay away. They will also growl during periods of play, and may even growl when they are hurt or in pain.

3. Bears

Kodiak bear
Kodiak bear

Scientific Name: Ursidae

Bears are known for their loud growls, which they do when they feel threatened or as a way to show dominance. Bears have the ability to produce growls in various ranges, from low rumbles to even higher pitched scream-like growls, which they often do when an attack is imminent.

4. Crocodiles

A crocodiles
A crocodile | Image by miniformat65 from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Crocodylidae

Crocodiles will use a wide array of sounds as a way to communicate with other crocodiles and even other animals. They can growl, hiss, and grunt when they feel threatened or simply want to keep other crocodiles who are lower in the hierarchical line in check.

5. Raccoons

Raccoons in swamp
Raccoons in swamp | image by pedrik via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Procyon lotor

Raccoons are often thought of as pests due to their ability to break into homes and garages, as well as knocking over trash cans, looking for food. When raccoons feel threatened, they will growl and may even stand on their hind legs with their two front paws out. They do this as a way to warn the creature that is threatening them to stay away.

6. Tigers

A tiger roaring
A tiger roaring

Scientific Name: Panthera tigris

The roar of the tiger is so intimidating that it can strike fear in the heart of any creature that hears it, including the feline’s human trainers. Tigers will growl for various reasons, including as a way to warn predators to stay away or they will attack.

7. Lions

A lion
A lion | Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Panthera leo

Lions growl for many reasons, and some of these have nothing to do with scaring off predators. When a lion wants another member of their pack to move away from something, they will growl at the other lion. They also use growling as a way to express their aggression.

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8. Foxes

Red fox
Red fox | Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Vulpes

Foxes typically growl when they are defending their territory, be it from a predator or a rival fox, as well as a way to scare off potential threats. They can also growl if they themselves feel threatened or scared. Foxes will also produce other sounds, such as a guttural clicking noise during mating season.

Another noise foxes are known for is a very loud and high-pitched screaming noise, usually made at night.

9. Alligators

Alligators in lake
Alligators in lake Image by Jim Degerstrom from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Alligator

Alligators can produce a growl so loud that you may be able to hear it even through the water. In most cases, alligators growl when they feel threatened or in danger, as well as a way to scare away other alligators who may venture into their territory.

10. Ghost Crabs

Atlantic ghost crab
Atlantic ghost crab djhixson from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Ocypodinae

Ghost crabs may not be a creature you would consider when thinking about which animals that growl, but these crabs can produce a loud growling sound. They do so as a way to scare away predators and communicate with other ghost crabs.

11. Badgers

badger european
European badger | Image by andy ballard from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Meles meles

Badgers will growl when they feel scared or threatened, and it is also used as a way to alert other badgers of potential threats. Is it not uncommon for badgers to growl as a way to scare off potential predators, such as coyotes or foxes.

12. Red Gurnard

Red gurnard
Red gurnard | image by Bernard Spragg. NZ via Flickr

Scientific Name: Chelidonichthys cuculus

Red gurnards are found throughout the Eastern Atlantic Ocean from Mauritania to the British Isles. This unusual-looking fish has a flattened head that is rather large for its body and a spiny tail. When the red gurnard is angry or disturbed, it will let out a growling noise.

13. Hippopotamus

A group of Hippo playing on the river
A group of Hippo playing on the river | Image by Brigitte Werner from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Hippopotamus amphibius

Despite mainly consuming small plants and grasses, hippos are fierce creatures that will attack humans or other animals if they feel threatened. Hippos can also create a deep growl that can be heard a little over a mile away. These large semi-aquatic mammals are not to be messed with and can weigh up to 5 tons.

14. Opossums

Virginia Opossum
Virginia Opossums | Image by daynaw3990 from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Didelphidae

Commonly referred to as possums, these creatures often get a bad rap due to misconceptions about these animals. The truth is, opossums rarely pose a risk to humans and are tick-eating machines.

Additionally, opossums rarely ever get rabies due to their low body temperature, which doesn’t make a suitable environment for the rabies virus. What opossums will do, however, is growl when they feel threatened or scared.

15. Longsnout Seahorses

Longsnot seahorse underwater
Longsnot seahorse underwater | image by Brian Gratwicke via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Hippocampus reidi

During mating season, it is not uncommon to hear the longsnout seahorses make growling noises. They will also growl when they are stressed. An interesting fact about these creatures is that once a pair of seahorses breed, they stay together until their eggs hatch.

16. Llamas

Llamas on field
Llamas on field

Scientific Name: Lama glama

Despite their cute and cuddly appearance, llamas can actually be a bit aggressive and will even growl or spit when they are threatened. That doesn’t mean they are dangerous to humans, but they are often used as guard animals for sheep, goats, and various other livestock.

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Llamas are highly alert and aware of their surroundings, and they will make a load alert sound when a danger is nearby. Llamas are also known for walking or running towards the predator and will growl, spit, and even kick.