What animals start with U? I’m not sure if you’ve ever pondered that question, but when I was driving home from the zoo the other day, my curiosity about this topic led me to an interesting conversation with my kiddos.
After a while, we were pretty good at finding these animals, so I thought it’d be fun to write about these fascinating animals that begin with the letter “U”. These animals are actually all pretty cool! You’ll be amazed at how many of them there are. Hopefully, you find this post useful whether it’s for school, work, or just for fun.
Now, you can’t look at an animal and tell if it starts with the letter U. But after going through our list, you can hold your head high and be ahead of the game. The list also includes pictures and information about the animals as well as facts about each animal.
This unique new world monkey is a sight to behold. This little primate has features that would make anyone wonder if it was really from this world. Its tiny tail, screaming red face, and tan fur make the Uakarai one of the most unique-looking primates in the world.
These monkeys live in the Amazon and live in groups of hundreds known as troops! They’re amazingly nimble, quick, and witty, choosing to hunt in much smaller groups of ten.
The southern two-toed sloth is known as the unau and is a slow, mysterious animal. This species of sloth can be found in South America hanging on trees in hot and humid rainforests.
The Unau spends most of its nocturnal life in the treetops. If they go on the ground, they can be eaten by jaguars and ocelots. Sloths might be slow to climb, but they’re incredible swimmers! Just like humans, they use breaststrokes when swimming through rivers.
Sheep aren’t always fluffy and cuddly. The urial is a type of wild sheep that has massive horns and is more similar to a ram.
Urials are native to central and south Asia. They are currently considered vulnerable and are a sight to behold in the Himalayan mountains.
They look intimidating with their long white beards, protruding horns, and brown coats. But their diets consist mostly of grass and other grains. Like other sheep, they have a great memory and can remember 50 people and sheep for many years.
Some humans can’t even remember their breakfast this morning!
The actual name of this fish is hemmigramus ulreyi. However, it is fondly called Ulrey’s tetra after biologist Albert B. Ulrey. This fish is native to the waters of Paraguay in South America.
Ulrey’s Tetra can be kept as a pet in an aquarium. It thrives in warm waters between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In the right conditions, it can grow to be up to 2 inches.
These alien-looking creatures are plentiful and found everywhere in the ocean. They can live from just under the shore to 5,000 meters below sea level! Sea urchins belong in a class of animals known as Echinoidea, which includes starfish and sand dollars.
They use their spiny outer bodies to protect themselves from predators. They’ll also eat nearly anything that floats near them. They were named after an old English word for spiny hedgehog (makes sense)!
The umbrellabird is indigenous to the Ecuadorian and Columbian rain forests of South America.
The umbrellabird is one of the largest Passerine birds in South America standing at 50 cm.
This bird is one of the most unique-looking in the avian world.
Its black crest resembles a mohawk (or umbrella) while the male’s danging wattle looks like a funky goatee.
This bird is not only beautiful but also tough. It shows its dominance over other males by extending its wattle in hopes of getting a mate.
As the name suggests, this fish sports a single “horn” in the front of its head that is much shorter than legendary unicorns. Unicornfish begin to grow horns in their head when they are about 13cm long.
They don’t use it as a weapon but do use their spines for protection. They are, however, still herbivores, and have a habitat extending from the Indian to the Pacific Ocean.
Uromastyx are small lizards that belong in the same family as bearded dragons and even frilled dragons. Uromastyx lizards are sometimes called spiny-tailed agamid, dabb lizards, or uros.
They can grow to be up to 30 inches in length, but normally are only 10 to 18 inches long. These are some of the most intimidating-looking lizards, having several spiked scales covering their tail and resembling an armadillo.
The uguisu is a symbol of beauty in Japan.
These Japanese bush warblers are known for their mating call, which signals the beginning of spring. These small birds are common in Japan, China, and Taiwan.
Their feathers are a dull-green olive color, with darker feathers towards its tail area. These birds might be heard, but live solitary lives in the shadows and are difficult to spot.
The Uganda kob is a type of antelope that lives in the sub-Saharan part of Africa. They can be found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and of course, Uganda.
The Uganda kob has a gorgeous, rustic brown coat that separates it from other kobs. Kobs are also gentle, choosing to court females when it comes time to mate.
Uganda Shrews are another animal in our list native to sub-Saharan African regions.
Uganda Shrews typically thrive in open areas with little to no undergrowth. They are larger than most shrews, growing over 4.5 inches.
These types of shrews are fairly mysterious, and there’s little information available on their population. Nevertheless, these shrews should be considered vulnerable on the IUCN list of threatened species.
This chipmunk is a familiar site for residents of the western United States. The Uinta Chipmunk is a solitary creature that hides from predators under rocks or shrubs.
The Unita Chimpunk has striking looks, sporting thick black stripes down its back. These creatures love to eat a variety of seeds, eggs, larvae, even pollen. They are extremely friendly and can even be hand-fed with their favorite snacks.
Uinta Ground Squirrel
Don’t let the name fool you. The Uinta ground squirrel is a unique rodent native to the Western United States and known as potgut in Utah.
Like the Uinta chipmunk, this rodent gets its name from the Uinta mountains it lives in.
They are greyish all around and reside on grasslands and meadows. These critters never stop, and are active year-round!
Unadorned Rock Wallaby
The unadorned rock wallaby is native, like its other marsupial family, to the Queensland region of Australia.
Its pale and plain looks earned it the name unadorned, which seems kind of mean.
This wallaby is small with male adults weighing only 10 pounds. These cuddly creatures love to eat grass, shrubs, and even small larvae.
Unalaska Collared Lemming
This rare rodent is part of the Cricetidae family native to Alaska. It inhabits the tundra and the islands of Umnak and Unalaska, hence the name.
The collared lemming finds ways to eat even while living under the snow, munching on twigs and willow. Its unique shaggy fur makes it fit to stand even in the coldest Alaska winters.
Underwood’s Long-Tongued Bat
The Underwood long-tongued bat is a fairly newly discovered species of bat. It is native to South America, including Belize, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama.
The species of bat was discovered in 1903 by the British scientist Oldfield Thomas. Their unique long muzzles and tongue gave it its name. Their mouths give them the ability to eat nectar and pollen.
Underwood’s Pocket Gopher
Underwood’s pocket gophers can be found throughout North and Central America. These small creatures have short legs yet strong longs and claws for digging.
These critters were named for their pockets lining the inside of their mouths. These pockets are fur-lined and can even turn inside-out.
Underwood’s Water Mouse
Underwood’s water mouse is a unique creature native to the Costa Rican and Panamanian cloud forests.
It can live at an altitude from 1500 to 2000 meters above sea level.
This small mouse gets its name due to its ability to swim. It is semiaquatic, living near streams, and has a carnivorous diet.
Unexpected Cotton Rat
This rodent is unique to the high-altitude mountains of Ecuador. It can live at elevations of up to 3500 to 4000 meters above sea level! It can be found living next to streams and also marshes.
Like other cotton rats, this rodent has s-shaped molars, giving it its genus name sigmodon.
Ungava Collared Lemming
The Ungava collared lemming can be found in the arctic’s expansive tundra.
These rodents are made to survive even the harshest weather conditions. Its unique, thick gray fur allows it to withstand cold temperatures year-round. It even molts and turns white!
These creatures are active year-round. They can dig underground and permafrost and continue to thrive even in winter. In the summer, they can feed on grass, berries, and sedges.
Unicolored Arboreal Rice Rat
The unicolored arboreal rice rat is a type of rodent belonging to the Oecomys family. It is native to Southern America, however, its exact range is a mystery. It has been found in Northwestern Brazil, Southeastern Colombia, and southern Venezuela.
These types of rats were named due to their negative effects on rice fields. They feast on seeds and even small vertebrae and are excellent swimmers.
Unicolored Tree Rat
The unicolored tree rat is also known as the short-furred Atlantic tree rat. As the name suggests, this rat sports short, reddish tan fur. It is native to Brazil and is considered critically endangered.
The unicolored tree ray belongs to the family known as spiny rats. Be careful if you ever pick one of these up, as their small spines make their tails easily break off!
Unstriped Ground Squirrel
The unstriped ground squirrel is unique in that it’s the only member of the genus xerus. This rodent is native to Africa, although it resembles everyday squirrels of the United States.
They can be found in Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, and Sudan to name a few. While they burrow underground, they feast on roots and even rice. They can fall prey to birds and snakes, and protect each other using their tail to signal danger.
Unstriped Tube-Nosed Bat
This bat is also known as the less tube-nosed fruit bat. It is native to Western Papua, Indonesia, and Papa New Guinea.
It is a type of megabat, which is large and has a diet consisting of mostly fruit.
Megabats like the unstriped tube-nosed bat are known to be potentially dangerous to humans. They can potentially house viruses, and when eaten can lead to disease.
Ural Field Mouse
This tiny rodent is also known as a pygmy mouse. Ural field mice are part of the family Muridae. They are plentiful and are of least concern conservation-wise.
They can be found in Armenia, Austria, Romania, Mongolia, and everywhere in between. These mice are so tiny, they can even sit comfortably on an ear of barley!
Urartsk Mouse-Like Hamster
This rodent is as mysterious as it is cute. This rodent is also known as the Azerbaijan mouse-like hamster. It is one of the more well-studied animals in its Genus.
It belongs to the Genus Calomyscus. These types of mouse-like hamsters prefer to live in crevices and isolated areas. They eat seeds, flowers, and leaves.
This type of shrew is extremely rare and resides in the Tanzania region of Africa. These shrews are currently threatened due to habitat loss.
They reside in montane regions that have low elevation and lots of rainfall during the year. Although they might seem like rodents, the Usambara shrew is more closely related to a hedgehog.
Although most shrews are normally tiny, this shrew is the exception. Ussuri shrews are considered large for their size. They can grow to be up to 0.54 ounces.
This shrew can be found in Northeast Asia, from Russia all the way to Northeastern China. It is considered a musk shrew, and although plentiful, is rarely seen.
Ussuri Tube-Nosed Bat
This is a type of Vesper bat belonging to the Vespertilionidae family. These bats are native to north and south Korea and Japan. These bats are unique, as they are the only bats that hibernate within snowbanks.
The ussuri bats love to stay in close-knit, socially structured colonies. Although most bats have a longer lifespan, these bats only live from 4 to 4.5 years on average.
Utah Prairie Dog
Don’t let the name fool you. The Utah prairie dog lives all over North America, going as far south as Mexico. The prairie dog is a small critter weighing a maximum of 3 pounds.
It is currently endangered, and its population has been steadily increasing for 30 years due to conservation efforts. Although they look like hamsters, Utah prairie dogs are actually relatives of the squirrel!
Uganda Woodland Warbler
This small bird is the old-world’s version of a blue jay. Its white bellies and olive-colored feathers make this bird easily recognizable. The Uganda Woodland Warbler is located all throughout Africa.
It can be found in the tropical forests of Gabon, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Uganda Woodland Warbler can be distinguished from other birds by its fast, high-pitched songs.
The ultramarine flycatcher might be the most appropriately named animal on this list. Its striking, neon-looking blue top feathers contrast its white belly.
The flycatcher is located throughout India and the Himalayas. Its song is rarely heard, but its calls can be distinguished short chitters. Its diet consists of mainly insects.
The kingfisher has a unique look that would take anyone back. Its large, protruding beak and blue mask make it appear regal, hence its name. The ultramarine kingfisher is native to the Solomon Islands.
They can be observed sitting quietly and waiting to capture insects. When it does sing, the kingfisher has a distinguishable, loud call.
Uluguru Violet-backed Sunbird
This small sunbird can be found along the Eastern coast of Africa in Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique. It is named violet because males have a violet-colored crown.
Male uluguru sunbirds are vastly different from females, who have no violet color and are brown. This is known as sexual dimorphism and makes the sunbird unique.
Unlike the rest of the birds in this list, the unadorned flycatcher has muted and dull colors. This is why it received the name unadorned, due to its dull mix of gray and brown tones.
The unadorned flycatcher is a native species of flycatcher living in Peru and Bolivia. It prefers the colder climate of montane forests.
This bird is plentiful and even chooses to live in mixed-species flocks. Its population is steadily declining, but it is still listed as of “least concern” in conservation efforts.
This bird has been known to exist since 1842. The undulated antpitta is native to South America. It can be found on the coasts of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.
This antpitta is larger than most, with a short body and long legs. It uses its unique plumes with gray and orange patterns to camouflage in the tropical forests.
The undulated antshrike can be found throughout South America. Its plums are a gorgeous, deep orange with gray specks throughout. It is larger than most antbirds.
The undulated antshrike is monogamous, mating for life with one partner. It prefers to forage for food in the dense understory of the Amazon.
The undulated tinamou almost looks like an exotic chicken. It is known as a ground bird and is native to the eastern and northern parts of South America.
The undulated tinamou has a small hidden tail. This gives it its genus name, Crypturellus, which is Latin for small hidden tail!
This unique bird is different from other ratites, which are birds the are related to dinosaurs. The undulated tinamou can actually fly, although not for too long. Its grayish body and long legs allow it to walk along the Amazon rainforest floors.
This gorgeous bird would make anyone green with envy. The unicolored jay has deeply saturated, dark greenish-blue feathers. It is native to the western cloud forests of Mexico.
These birds can live at elevations of 7 to 10 thousand feet above sea level. They rarely emerge from the tree-tops, preferring to stay in the canopies to feed on insects and small rodents, fruits, and seeds.
Uganda Clawed Frog
This unique frog is a native to Uganda and possibly the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Uganda Clawed Frog belongs to the genus Xenopus. Unlike other frogs, it is highly aquatic and thrives in freshwater.
Recent studies have shown that many of these frogs are going extinct due to habitat loss in Uganda. The Uganda clawed frog is also a polyploid, meaning it doesn’t just have 2 paired chromosomes, but 12!
Uluguru Blue-bellied Frog
The Uluguru blue-bellied frog belongs to the Microhylidae family of frogs. It is known as a narrow-mouthed frog, with narrow mouths and larger fat bodies.
This frog is native to Tanzania and prefers the subtropic and wet climate. It is considered endangered. Unfortunately, its habitat is threatened by man-made destruction.
The umar treefrog is native to West Papua, Indonesia. It belongs to the Pelodryadidae family of frogs. No one knows for certain how many of these frogs are located throughout Asia.
However, we do know it loves the subtropical and tropical rainforest climate, including wetlands and swamps.
Upland Chorus Frog
This frog is native to the United States and has recently been separated from other chorus frogs as a different species. The upland chorus frog is found in grassy, moist woodland ponds, marshes, and river swamps.
The upland chorus frog has a mating call that sounds much like running your fingers through a comb!
Usambara Torrent Frog
Also known as the Martiensen’s torrent frog, this lizard is unique to the mountains of Tanzania. They are so named because they lay their eggs close to torrential waterfalls and streams.
Their feet allow them to climb and attach to slippery rocks and live freely near water.
Conclusion: Animals that Start with U
U is the 21st letter of the English alphabet. It is preceded by T and followed by V. I personally feel that the letter U is a special letter. This list places in perspective just how awesome and powerful the letter U actually is. Everything that starts with the letter U is awesome, from unicorns to UFOs.
Now, most people know this but we here at AnimalHype love animals. We just can’t get enough of them. That’s why we’re always on the lookout for new and exciting critters that come in all shapes and sizes. I am sure this collection of creatures that start with the letter U will certainly whet your appetite for more.
These wonderful animals exemplify some of the different types of animals you can find on Earth. Hopefully, this intriguing list will stimulate your curiosity and encourage you to learn even more about these animals. I hope that you’ve enjoyed our list and that it has been a part of your research into the exciting world of the animal kingdom.
Thanks for reading this article, I hope you enjoyed it. Check out our related articles if you didn’t catch the first few letters or if you’re interested in reading more like this.