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25 Animals With 3 Letter Names (Pictures and Facts)

There are millions of animals throughout the world, but some are more common than others. Many of these animals are easily recognizable, with names that are easy to remember. In this article we compiled a list of common animals with 3 letter names. We also give you a couple of fun facts about these animals and show you what they look like!

From common pets to animals living in the jungle, these animals are everywhere. For some of these creatures, the only thing they have in common is the number of letters in their name.

25 animals with 3 letter names

1. Elk

tule elk | source: USFWS Pacific Southwest Region

Scientific name: Cervus canadensis

Elk are some of the largest land mammals in North America, Central America, and East Asia. It’s an herbivore that mostly eats grass, small plants, and shrubbery. They can be found living in mountains, forests, and near meadows. When seen in the wild, they are often confused with moose.

Despite being a popular target for hunters, populations have risen in recent years.


2. Ant

Scientific name: Formicidae

Ants are one of the smallest insects, and can be found on every continent except for Antarctica. They live in colonies and are considered a type of social insect. Today there are around 12,000 identified species of ants. However, there are likely many species that have yet to be discovered.


3. Cow

Scientific name: Bos taurus

Cows are mammals that are often used for milk, meat, and leather. There are different types of cows found all over the world as they can live in nearly any climate, but they tend to do better in warmer climates. They have four stomachs and can eat about 30 pounds of food each day. Some male cows, called bulls, will grow horns.


4. Pig

Scientific name: Sus scrofa scrofa

Pigs are another common farm animal that are thought that have been domesticated as early as 9,000 BC. They can be found everywhere except North Africa, far northern Eurasia, and Antarctica. Pigs are social creatures, and considered to be quite intelligent.

They are one of the main food sources for people in many countries, with around 60 million on farms in the United States.


5. Dog

cocker spaniel

Scientific name: Canis lupus familiaris

Domestic dogs are one of the most popular options for pets in the world. They are known for being loyal and smart, and many people love having them as companions. They are numerous different dog breeds, with sizes ranging from 2 pounds to 200 pounds.


6. Cat

Scientific name: Felis catus

Just like dogs, cats are common house pets. While they are mostly meat-eaters, they also enjoy some vegetables in their diet. Cat have retractable claws that allow them to easily hunt small prey, like rodents or birds. While cats are domesticated, there are plenty of feral cats that wreak havoc on native ecosystems by feeding on wildlife.


7. Bee

Bumble bee (Bombus bimaculatus) | image by John Baker via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific clade: Anthophila

Bees are flying insects that play an important role in pollinating many types of plants. This pollen, along with flower nectar, is their main source of food. Bees live in large colonies that contain queens, drones, and workers.

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8. Eel

freshwater eel | image by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters

Scientific order: Anguilliformes

Different eel species can vary in size, from just a few inches to 13 feet long. Despite how closely they resemble snakes, they are considered fish. They have a slime-like coating on their skin that helps them fit into tight spaces and also help to keep parasites from attaching themselves to the eel. Eels have been considered somewhat of a mystery when it comes to their reproduction and it has only been recently discovered that some species rely on external fertilization to reproduce.


9. Owl

image: Bureau of Land Management | Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific order: Strigiformes

Owls are nocturnal birds that prefer to live in solitude. Their sharp talons allow them to hunt mice, rabbits, and other birds. Some owl species hunt insects, while others have been known to grab small dogs out of yards.

There are as many 19 different species of owls in the United States, and over 200 in the world. Most of these birds of prey are nocturnal, elusive and rarely seen. If you do manage to spot one consider yourself lucky!


10. Fox

red fox

Scientific name: Vulpes vulpes

These small mammals are omnivorous and known for being intelligent and resourceful. They live on every continent except for Antarctica and are quite adaptable. The most common fox is the red fox, which is spread widely around the world. Fox are often depicted as cunning and sly in many types of folklore.


11. Hen

Scientific name: Gallus gallus domesticus

Hens, also known as chickens, are domesticated farm animals used for eggs and meat. They are originally from Southeast Asia, but today are found all over the world. The males of the species are known as roosters. There are more chickens in the world than any other type of bird.


12. Bat

common vampire bat | deposit photos

Scientific order: Chiroptera

Bats are the only mammals that can sustain flight and can maneuver better than birds when in the air. There are various types of bats that vary in size, but they all provide benefits to humans. They eat pest insects, some are very important pollinators and the guano found in bay dung can be used as fertilizer.


13. Rat

Scientific name: Rattus spp.

The name rat can be applied to various types of rodents as long as they reach five inches or more in length. Smaller rodents are considered mice. The brown rat and house rat are the most common and can be found nearly anywhere with a human population. Many rat species have spread far past their native regions and are now considered invasive species in many places.


14. Emu

image: Pixabay.com

Scientific name: Dromaius novaehollandiae

Emus are found in Australia, and they are one of the largest bird species. They can grow to six feet tall and have a similar appearance to ostriches. They eat seeds, fruits, bugs, and small animals. In the wild, they can live to be anywhere from five to ten years old.


15. Gnu

gnu or wildebeast

Scientific name: Connochaetes

Gnus, also known as wildebeests, are a type of antelope found in Africa. They resemble thin but muscular cows and are closely related to goats and sheep. Gnus can be identified by their curved horns, manes, and beards.

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16. Ape

Scientific clade: Hominoidea

Primates that lack a prehensile tail are known as apes. These include gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans. Some prefer to stay in trees while others can be found living on the ground. Apes have the largest brains of any primate and can live to be 60 years old.


17. Koi

Scientific name: Cyprinus rubrofuscus

Koi fish are commonly kept in both indoor and outdoor ponds as decoration. This type of fish is hundreds of years old and descended from carp. Their vibrant coloring is what has led them to be used as ornamental fish. If cared for properly, they can reach between two and three feet long.


18. Doe

Female White-tailed Deer
Female white-tailed deer | image by Fyn Kynd via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Cervinae

Doe is a female deer found worldwide, lacking the antlers seen in males. Smaller and agile, Does are vital for rearing young, usually birthing one to three fawns each spring. They live in diverse habitats, from forests to prairies, and can adapt to urban environments. Does are selective feeders, choosing plants that support milk production for their fawns.


19. Ewe

A flock of sheep grazing
A flock of sheep grazing | image by Katriona McCarthy via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Ovis aries

Ewe is a female sheep, known for lacking large horns and being smaller than males. Valued for producing lambs, wool, and milk, ewes show strong maternal instincts. They typically give birth to one to three lambs per season and are found globally, thriving in diverse climates from grasslands to mountains. Ewes are notable for their flocking behavior, which protects predators. .


20. Yak

Yak
Yak | image by Jim, the Photographer via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Bos grunniens

Yaks are large, long-haired bovids native to the Tibetan Plateau and nearby high-altitude regions. Adapted to cold, they have dense undercoats for insulation and are valued for milk, meat, fur, and as beasts of burden. Wild yaks are larger with impressive horns, while all yaks live in herds and thrive in elevations above 3,000 meters.


21. Bug 

Ladybug
Ladybug

Scientific class: Insecta

“Bug” commonly refers to various insects and arthropods, with true bugs in the Hemiptera order featuring piercing-sucking mouthparts. Found worldwide in diverse ecosystems, their behaviors include camouflage, mimicry, and social organization. Bugs play essential roles in pollination, pest control, and act as environmental indicators.


22. Boa

Boa constrictor slithering
Boa slithering | image by Eduardo Santos via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Boa spp.

There are many species of Boas which are large, non-venomous constrictor snakes with heat-sensing pits, found from the Americas to certain Pacific and Indian Ocean islands. They inhabit environments from rainforests to deserts, are nocturnal, and feed on mammals and birds.


23. Cod

Murray cod | image by Steve Harris via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific name: Gadus morhua

Cod are cold-water fish found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, known for their olive-green to brownish coloring and distinctive chin barbels. Primarily bottom-dwellers, they feed on small fish and invertebrates and exhibit schooling behavior. Historically important as a food source, cod populations have been challenged by overfishing.


24. Gar

Alligator gar
The alligator gar | Image by Jason Goh from Pixabay

Scientific family: Lepisosteidae

These odd looking fish inhabit fresh and brackish water in North and Central America and the Caribbean. Some species, like the alligator gar can grow to be up to 9 feet long and up to 350 pounds, making them one of the largest freshwater fish in North America. 

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25. Goa

credit: Ashwin Viswanathan via Wikimedia Commons

Scientific name: Procapra picticaudata

The Goa, also known as the Tibetan gazelle is one of the most endangered antelope species. They are smaller than most antelope species, growing to be about 26 inches tall at the shoulder. Another unique fact about the Goa is that they do not tend to form large herds like many other ungulate species and form smaller groups of no more than 10 other individuals.