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17 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 the animals and show you a picture.

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.

17 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 wasp. Today there are around 12,000 identified species of ants.

However, there are likely still some 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. These creatures are found all over the world as they can live in nearly any climate, but they prefer warmer regions. They have four stomachs and can eat about 300 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.

Dogs mostly eat meat, along with some vegetables.


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 fend for themselves

Domestic cat breeds are predominantly small and don’t get as big as many types of dogs.


7. Bee

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

Scientific name: 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 name: 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. Their slippery coating is what led to the phrase, “slippery as an eel.”

They can live to be between 30 and 70 years old.


9. Owl

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

Scientific name: 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.

It exists as a cunning part of folklore in some cultures.


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 name: 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, and the guano found in bay dung can be used as fertilizer.


13. Rat

Scientific name: Rattus

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.


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.


16. Ape

Scientific name: 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.

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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.

About Patricia Greene

Patricia is a wildlife enthusiast that loves traveling and learning about wildlife all over North America and the world. Aside from being writer for Wildlife Informer, she's an avid bird watcher as well as the owner of several pet reptiles. She enjoys visiting national parks and seeing new sights in her free time.