While animals that start with O are not numerous in North America, the ones that do live on the continent are quite spectacular. From the ones with 8 arms to the critters that make their own water slides. There are some outstanding animals that start with O, let’s learn about a few of them in this animal list.
10 Examples of Animals That Start With O
You may be surprised to know there are animals that are immune to snake venom and others that hold hands in the water so they don’t drift apart. Read on to find out about these and other animals that start with O, and view the great photos that go with them.
Scientific name: Didelphidae
This marsupial species was first identified in Virginia in the 1600s. Characterized by their long snouts, they have 50 teeth! Grey to brown in color, the females have pouches and can give birth to up to 20 babies.
Solitary and nomadic, they will only stay in one place as long as there is food and water to be easily had. The opossum usually lives in ready-made burrows or under houses. Typically, they eat dead animals, insects, rodents, fruit, and grain.
When threatened, they will play dead ( hence the term “play possum”). Literally rolling over, going stiff, and releasing a foul odor.
It is believed they are immune to snake venom.
Scientific name: Octopoda
Octopus can be found in coastal waters all over the United States. These mollusks spend much of their time in their dens, which are usually rock crevices and holes under the sea.
Their heads and feet merge into one, making them cephalopods. A ring of 8 arms surrounds the head. The arms are covered with suction cups that let them feel and taste. A hard beak allows them to break the shells of their prey, which includes crabs, lobsters, and snails.
Some unique characteristics include 3 hearts, no bones, and the ability to squirt an ink-like substance for defense.
Scientific name: Lutra lutra
Otters are known for being playful. Often seen playing with stones, frolicking with each other, they even make water slides out of organic materials!
Their flat tails and slender bodies help them to swim. The otter’s diet consists of fish, frogs, and crayfish. Usually they will rest in underground holes or vegetation near the shoreline.
Otters will hold hands when floating in the water so as not to get separated.
Scientific name: Strigiformes
With over 200 species, these majestic creatures are solitary and nocturnal in nature.
Characterized by their upright stance, broad heads, and large talons. The owl has the ability to rotate its head 270 degrees, since it cannot move its eyes.
Being carnivores, they live on insects and small rodents. The largest owl in North America is the Great Grey owl, at 32 inches tall.
5. Orb Weaver
Scientific name: Araneidae
This species of spider is known for spinning large circular webs on trees or bushes. This spider is usually found in bushes and gardens. No bigger than 1.5 inches, they come in brown, yellow, black, white, and gold.
Their prey includes mosquitoes, moths, flies, and grasshoppers that land in their web. Predators of the Irb weaver are birds.
Scientific name: Orcinus orca
Also known as the killer whale, Orcas can be found in North America in the waters off California up to Alaska.
Orcas can weigh from 6,600 to 8,800 pounds and between 16 to 26 feet long. Characterized by their black and white markings, their dorsal fin can be up to 6 feet wide.
Known to eat fish, seals, and dolphins, they have no natural predators. Though Orcas are not known to have ever attacked humans in the wild, they have attacked their handlers in captivity.
Scientific name: Leopardus pardalis
The Ocelot is only found in the United States in southwestern Texas. Their beautiful golden coats are peppered with black spots and stripes. Adults will weigh between 20 to 25 pounds and be 20 to 40 inches long.
Usually living in dense forests, grasslands, or mountains, they will stay in dens or hollowed out trees. This big cat’s prey includes fish, turtles, birds, and deer.
Being excellent swimmers and climbers helps them to escape jaguars, birds of prey, and large snakes.
Scientific name: Ostreidae
Oysters are quite plentiful in North American waters. The biggest population can be found in Chesapeake bay, Maryland.
Quite popular with humans, oysters are harvested for food, pearls, and their beautiful translucent shells. Their eyes cover their entire body. Usually great, white, or silver in color, they usually are no more than 2.5 in size.
Making their homes in brackish water, the oysters will eat algae and particles that land on their shells. Predators include humans, crabs, seabirds, and starfish. In captivity, an oyster can live up to 20 years.
9. Oak Toad
Scientific name: Anaxurus quercicus
This species of toad can be found in coastal regions of the southeastern United States. It is the smallest toad in North America at just .75 to 1.3 inches. Besides being known for its tiny presentation, this toad has a distinctive stripe on its belly and is covered in brown and black spots.
The oak toad will live in sandy pines, maritime forests, and scrub. Their diet consists of insects. To escape their many predators, they will burrow, puff up their bodies, secrete toxins, and pee!
Scientific name: Pandion haliaetus
This bird of prey can be found on every continent except Antarctica. In the United States, they are found everywhere from Alaska to Florida. Anywhere there is water with a food source is where they will call home.
Adults are about 24 inches with a wingspan of 71 inches. The Osprey is brown, gray and white. They have reversible outer toes to catch prey. Their nostrils can also close, helpful when diving into water to catch fish.
Having great eyesight, they can see their prey anywhere from 33 to 130 feet above the water. Though their diet consists almost entirely of fish, they will occasionally munch on rodents and rabbits.