Earth is teeming with all different creatures, heavily influenced by where they live and what other animals live near them.
Everywhere you look, you’ll find wildlife as unique as the people who live in the area.
These animals may share the first letter of their names, but the diversity in skills, habits, and physical traits show you a lot of what this planet has to offer.
75 Animals That Start With R
There are a variety of species and breeds that start with the letter R, ranging from the adorably fluffy red panda to the haunting redback spider.
Many breeds are named after where they can be found or the color of their fur.
Raccoons are your local dumpster divers because they love rummaging through trash cans with their incredibly sensitive hands.
There was a myth that raccoons always wash their food before eating it, but what they’re actually doing is using the water to increase their tactile ability.
Raccoons are omnivores, so they’ll eat whatever they can find.
2. Rough-Legged Hawk
The rough-legged hawk is a large bird of prey that can have a wingspan of 52 inches to 54.3 inches.
These birds fly against the wind to hover, allowing them to scope out the area for prey.
Rough-legged hawks can be found all over the Northern United States and Canada during the winter months.
However, they normally live and breed in the Arctic.
3. Red Bellied Newt
The red bellied newt can only be found in the coastal woodlands of Northern California.
These fiery amphibians have some of the best homing abilities seen in the animal kingdom.
Red bellied newts can travel miles away from their home, but they are still capable of going back to the same spot against a pond or stream that they’ve decided to call home.
The ragfish is found in the northern waters of the Pacific Ocean.
These fish will eat jellyfish, squid, octopus, and even other fish.
Ragfish are capable of growing up to 6.5 feet in length.
When ragfish are young, they have pelvic fins that disappear as they mature into adults.
Their anal fins are more pronounced when they’re younger but shrink in size as the fish ages.
Although rats are often seen as gross vermin that you normally don’t want in your house, they actually make great pets.
The veterinary professionals at Dewdney Animal Hospital believe this is the one pet that truly is good for children thanks to its low maintenance needs.
Rats are highly trainable.
They also sleep for 15 hours a day.
6. Red Panda
Red pandas are one of the cutest creatures to ever come out of the Eastern Himalayas, which make up 50% of the red panda’s entire habitat.
Their thick, soft, red fur keeps them warm, and their long, bushy tails help them balance.
They will also use their tails as a blanket for additional warmth in the winter months.
7. Reticulated Python
The reticulated python is one of the largest pythons in the world, with some of these snakes reaching lengths of 20 feet or more.
The largest recorded reticulated python was 28.5 feet long and weighed about 320 pounds.
The reticulated python has a diamond-shaped pattern that flows down the snake’s entire body, making a network-like pattern.
This distinctive pattern is what the first part of their name is referring to.
8. Russian Trotter
The Russian Trotter was once considered one of the fastest breeds of European horses.
These horses were once in high demand across all of Europe, until World War II.
They stood a little over 5.2 feet tall and were about the same length.
Similar to the American Standardbred, there are black, gray, chestnut, and bay Russian Trotters.
9. Red-Shanked Douc
The red-shanked douc is a critically endangered species of primate that can be found in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
The biggest threats that the red-shanked douc face are hunting and the illegal international pet trade.
These primates are also used in traditional medicines created by the locals who live near the red-shanked douc’s habitat.
10. Reeves Turtle
Reeve’s Turtles are tiny reptiles that are native to China, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan.
These freshwater turtles prefer slow-moving or still waters where they can easily eat the vegetation that floats above the water.
Reeve’s turtles are a fan favorite among turtle owners thanks to their reasonable lifespan of 10 to 15 years with proper care.
However, Reeve’s turtles have been recorded as living up to 20 years.
11. River Shark
The river shark is a freshwater shark that can be found in the tidal rivers of Australia and Papua New Guinea.
River sharks are critically endangered due to the river fishing that occurs in their native waters.
Sadly, there are fewer than 250 river sharks currently living in the wild.
Illegal gillnetting and hook-and-line fishing are major threats to river sharks.
12. Rocky Mountain Elk
During the early 1900s, the Rocky Mountain Elk population was down to less than 40,000 in all of North America.
This shocked and frightened early environmentalists and caused the local state parks to begin breeding elk in Colorado in 1916.
Thanks to their early efforts, the Rock Mountain elk population has reached 280,000.
Colorado is home to the largest elk population in the world.
13. Red Snapper
The red snapper is an oceanic fish that is unmistakably red.
While most adult red snappers are about two to four pounds, they can reach in excess of 50 pounds.
Young red snappers prefer to live in the safer waters that lie closer to shore, but adults venture out into deeper waters.
Adult red snappers tend to form around artificial reefs, oil rigs, and any other underwater structures.
14. Rococo Toad
The rococo toad is a poisonous amphibian that can be found in Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.
This frog has poison glands on the sides of its head and on both of its rear legs.
If given the proper care, these frogs can live for up to 40 years.
In Brazil, these frogs are known as “cururu toads”.
15. Rainbow Rock Skink
The rainbow rock skink comes in an array of color variations that change as the skink ages.
Young rainbow skinks are mostly a dark olive or even black with three brilliantly colored stripes on their body that envelope their entire tails.
Adult males will be almost completely olive or black with white spots all over their bodies and pale stripes.
16. Roseate Tern
The Roseate Tern is a seabird that is known for its beautiful feather pattern.
They have black feathers covering the top of their heads with a gray and white body.
Roseate terns can range from being as small as robins or big as crows.
On average, they are between 13.0 inches to 16.1 inches in length and weigh about 3.2 ounces to 4.9 ounces.
Rabbits may be small, but they’re capable of jumping three feet high and 10 feet in distance.
When rabbits are happy, you may see them run and jump around, which is known as “binkying”.
These adorable critters are smart enough to be trained to use a litter box and can learn their names in order to come when called.
Rattlesnakes are known for being venomous and can range in length from one to eight feet.
The rattle at the end of this snake’s tail is made up of dead tissues that the snake shakes by twitching small muscles located at the end of its tail.
It takes little force and energy for the rattlesnake to twitch these muscles, despite the high speeds at which it’s rattling its tails.
19. Redback Spider
The redback spider is a relative of the black widow that lives in Australia rather than the United States.
These two spiders look extremely similar, with the only difference being the shape of the red mark on their backs.
Females tend to have the brighter marking but they are also considerably smaller than males.
20. Rocky Mountain Horse
Rocky Mountain horses are slender, black horses that have light brown or even blonde tails and manes.
Before cars were commonly owned by the people of Kentucky, Rocky Mountain horses were the most common breed used for travel.
These horses are known for having gentle temperaments and being incredibly loyal, making them perfect for watching other livestock.
Rooks are a part of the same family as crows and can be found all over the United Kingdom.
These black birds will eat whatever they can find, whether worms, nuts, grains, insects, eggs, small mammals, and even other birds.
Rooks will even eat birds that are too young to leave the nest.
22. Razor-Backed Musk Turtle
The razor-backed musk turtle is a unique turtle that thrives in deep water habitats, unlike most turtles that prefer shallow, still waters.
They can be found all over North America, but have become a popular pet for those looking for an active turtle that spends most of its time swimming around.
23. Requiem Shark
Requiem sharks are torpedo-shaped sharks that can jet through the water in order to catch their prey.
They like to live in both small and large groups in the Gulf of California.
About half of all shark attacks are from requiem sharks, most likely due to how territorial these sharks are.
24. Red Tegu
The red tegu is a large lizard that can reach three feet to 4.5 feet and it originates from South America.
Despite its large size, the red tegu is incredibly docile and is easily tamed.
With proper diet and exercise, an adult male red tegu can reach up to 50 pounds.
In captivity, they can live for 15 to 20 years.
There are five different species of rhinoceros, which include the white rhino, black rhino, Indian rhino, Sumatran rhino, and the Javan rhino.
Due to poaching and habitat loss, there are fewer than 40,000 rhinoceroses left in the wild.
The horns that they’re hunted for are made out of keratin, which is the thing that hair and nails are made of.
26. Red Kangaroo
Red Kangaroos are one of four different types of kangaroos and the largest species of kangaroo.
They are also the national animal of Australia, but the increasing population of kangaroos has led to the Australian government asking their citizens to eat more kangaroo meat.
The low demand for the meat hasn’t made any of their citizens want to purchase a license to hunt them, which leaves the kangaroos running wild and food being wasted.
27. Ring-Tail Lemur
Ring-tail lemurs are known for their uniquely colored tails and some of their odd behaviors.
Their tails each have 13 alternating rings of black and white.
In order to warm themselves up, ring-tail lemurs will sit like they’re doing a yoga pose in an open area to gather warmth from the sunlight before they go foraging.
28. Red Admiral Butterfly
Red admiral butterflies are found all over North America and can even be found in the United Kingdom.
Their wings are black with a red ring marking between both wings and are typically between 1.75 inches to three inches in length.
29. Red Mullet
Red mullets are small ocean fish that prefer to stay closer to the ocean floor.
They can be found in waters all over the world, including the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Ocean, and even the Black Sea.
Older red mullets can be found in colder waters, such as the English Channel and the Baltic Sea.
30. Red-Eared Slider
The red-eared slider is a freshwater turtle that is commonly kept as a pet due to its hardy nature.
They can grow to be between five inches and eight inches.
Females have fainter red stripes on the sides of their heads than males.
Males and females can be hard to tell apart when they’re young, but males will turn completely black as they age.
31. Ringed Salamander
The ringed salamander is a long, slender amphibian that is black with yellow rings along the body.
They have 15 riblike grooves on their sides and can grow to be five to seven inches in length.
Ringed salamanders are skittish creatures that like to hide under logs and rocks but can even be found hiding in burrows made by other animals.
32. Rafinesque’s Big-Eared Bat
Rafinesque’s big-eared bat is found all over North America.
These agile flyers are able to fly through tight spaces to catch their prey and are even capable of hovering in the air.
Rafinesque’s big-eared bat eats bees, ants, beetles, and cicadas.
However, 80% of their its consists of moths.
The only predators of this bat are black rat snakes, raccoons, opossum, and house cats.
Although ragamuffins may look like ragdoll cats, they are actually their own breed.
This breed of cat is large, fluffy, and extremely friendly.
These needy, affectionate cats break all the stereotypes normally associated with cats.
Females weigh about 10 to 15 pounds on average, but males can easily exceed 20 pounds.
34. Randall Lineback
The Randall lineback is the rarest breed of cattle in the United States and its genetics haven’t changed since the 17th century.
These cows are excellent for providing high-quality meat and milk.
In 2004, the Randall lineback was listed as critically endangered by the American Livestock Breed Conservancy.
Only about 250 Randall linebacks are put on the market each year.
35. Red Ruffed Lemur
The red ruffed lemur can be found in the tropical forests of Madagascar.
They are the largest lemurs in the world, weighing up to nine pounds.
This also makes them the largest pollinators in the world.
The pollination of plants typically happens while the red ruffed lemur feeds.
Pollen gets stuck on its soft, red fur and is shaken off as it swings from tree to tree.
36. Red-Cheeked Mud Turtle
Red-cheeked mud turtles are small, bright-headed turtles that call the waters of Honduras, Nicaragua, and Southern Mexico home.
These turtles live highly aquatic lives, but they never leave shallow waters.
Red-cheeked mud turtles may be omnivores, but they rarely eat plants.
They prefer snails, crayfish, mollusks, worms, tadpoles, and small fish.
37. Racking Horse
The racking horse is the state horse of Alabama and is known for its versatility, gentility, and amazing stamina.
Racking horses stand at about five feet, but occasionally are even taller.
Despite the breed of horse existing since colonial times, they were not recognized as their own breed by the United States Department of Agriculture until 1971.
38. Ruddy Duck
Ruddy ducks are as cute as their name, with their blue bills, brown bodies, and their black and white heads.
Similar to mallards, male ruddy ducks are vastly more colorful than females.
Females are ashy brown with nearly black bills.
You can tell whether a ruddy duck breeds by its coloring because nonbreeding males have more muted colors.
39. River Dolphin
River dolphins are freshwater dolphins that can be found in roaring rivers, such as the Amazon.
Environmental researchers will use the river’s local river dolphin population as a sign of the health of the river’s ecosystem.
When a river is healthy and teeming with life, the river dolphin population will be high.
40. Red-Sided Skink
Red-sided skinks have extremely long bodies that they flatten out to avoid danger and to help them bask in the sun.
The red-sided skink doesn’t stay out in the open air for long, due to a long list of predators in their natural habitat.
Instead, they prefer to stay in their burrows and hide beneath rocks.
41. Rio Grande Do Sul Blind Snake
The Rio Grande do Sul blind snake is considered blind due to the appearance of the snake not having any eyes.
Instead, the eyes are hidden under opaque scales.
This species of snake is only able to grow to be 12 to 16 inches.
They can be found all over South and Central America.
Robins are one of the most recognizable birds, with their bright red chests.
While most people believe that robins only eat worms, they actually eat a variety of fruits during the fall and winter when the ground becomes too hard for their beaks to break.
During spring and summer, robins will hunt worms and other insects.
43. Red Howler
Red howler monkeys are large neotropical primates that can weigh anywhere from 15 to 20 pounds, with females being even smaller.
They stand at anywhere between 1.5 feet and 2.3 feet.
Their diet is 60% leaves, but they also like to eat flowers and fruits.
When choosing what leaves to eat, they will avoid ones that are poisonous or seem unsafe.
44. Russian Blue
Russian blues are known for their pure, gray coats and their striking, yellow eyes.
This cat breed is considered to be naturally occurring, so no one knows its true origin.
They were first found and popularized in Northwest Russia.
During the 1800s, they became common pets on ships because they lived near the ports.
45. Red Long-Tailed Ututu Teiid
The red long-tailed ututu teiid is an elusive lizard that has been spotted in Argentina.
These lizards are agile and are incredibly skittish, making it difficult for people to find or study them.
The mystery surrounding these reptiles has led many wildlife photographers to search for them and get more photos of them in order to help researchers.
46. Rock Dove
Rock doves are more commonly referred to as pigeons and can be found all over the world.
Originally, they were only found in Europe, but settlers brought them aboard the pilgrimages to Jamestown and Plymouth.
Domesticated rock doves were once trained as homing pigeons, able to find their way back home from anywhere.
47. Rat Terrier
Rat terriers are known for being happy, hyper dogs that love to hunt and play all day.
This small dog breed was given its name by President Theodore Roosevelt after his own terrier took care of a rat infestation at the White House.
Rat terriers have longer lifespans and live for about 13 to 18 years with proper care.
48. Rio Tropical Racer
The Rio Tropical Racer is a fast, non-venomous snake that can be found in Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, Colombia, and northern Uruguay.
These snakes may not have venom, but their powerful bite is said to hurt worse than most.
At maximum, the Rio tropical racer is able to grow up to 6.5 feet.
The ragdoll cat is known for its beautiful, long coat and sky blue eyes.
All purebred ragdolls have blue eyes, meaning ragdolls with green or yellow eyes are a mix of breeds.
Ragdolls are known for being extremely dog-like, being as playful and social as one.
They are also incredibly loyal to their owners.
50. Round Stingray
While most stingrays have kite-like bodies, the round stingray resembles more of a dinner plate.
Most people who are attacked by stingrays are attacked by round stingrays.
In the wild, they will cover themselves in sand, only leaving their eyes out to watch for any predators.
Because they keep to the ocean floor, these rays will eat clams, shrimp, worms, mollusks, and small fish.
51. Russet Hawk-Owl
The russet hawk-owl has been spotted all over the United Kingdom, with each country making certain to keep this vulnerable species under their watchful eye.
These owls are small with finely spotted feathers, golden eyes, and white eyebrows.
Russet hawk-owls are given their odd name for being the only owl to act as if it were a hawk.
52. Redbone Coonhound
The redbone coonhound is a short-haired hunting dog that is known for being incredibly social with both people and other dogs.
These active dogs love to hike, swim, and run.
On average, a redbone coonhound will weigh 45 to 70 pounds and grow to be anywhere from 21 inches to 27 inches, with the females tending to be smaller than the males.
53. Rock Monitor
Rock monitors are monstrously large lizards that weigh anywhere from six pounds to 17.6 pounds.
These African lizards are capable of growing up to 6.5 feet long and living for 12 to 20 years.
Their grayish-brown body blends in with the dried grasses of the African savannah.
54. Rhesus Macaque
Rhesus macaques can be found in multiple parts of Asia, including Pakistan, Burma, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, Afghanistan, northern India, and southern China.
These monkeys are incredibly resilient to extreme weather, whether it be the hot, dry heat of the desert or the snowy, freezing winds of the Himalayas.
Rockfish have gray bodies and bright orange specks and spikey, venomous dorsal spines.
These fish are able to live up to 100 years and are able to grow anywhere between six inches and three feet in size.
The rockfish is ovoviviparous, which means that they give live birth to their offspring.
56. Red Knot
The red knot bird is a shorebird that likes to prey on small clams, marine worms, crustaceans, horseshoe crab eggs, and snails.
Red knots are small birds that are about the size of a robin.
Due to the decreasing population of horseshoe crabs and hunting the birds for sport, the red knot has seen a heavy decrease in population.
57. Rusty-Spotted Cat
The rusty-spotted cat is a wild cat that is smaller than most house cats.
You can only find this unique wildcat in the moist forests of Sri Lanka and India.
These cats prefer to live on their own, away from people and other rusty-spotted cats.
Due to their attacks on fowl farms and loss of habitat, they’ve become nearly threatened.
Roosters may be known for cawing at the break of dawn, but they don’t always wake up with the sun.
However, roosters do use the sun in order to reproduce.
A rooster’s reproductive organs will shrink and grow according to the season, which is why most baby chicks are born in the spring.
59. Red-Rumped Parrot
The red-rumped parrot is a beautiful and colorful bird from Australia.
These midsize birds are known for being sleek and slender.
Males have mostly green bodies with hints of yellow and blue all over, but their rumps are always red.
Females tend to be more olive and yellow rumps.
60. Ringtail Cat
Ringtail cats are one of the cutest animals in North America, with markings similar to the ring-tailed lemur.
Despite being a cat, they are closely related to raccoons.
They are omnivores that will eat nearly anything they can find and then will wash themselves off after eating, like a true cat.
61. Racket-Tailed Treepie
The racket-tailed treepie has a slim, slender body with eyes as blue as the ocean.
Their long tails are nearly as long as their entire body and are just as thin as the handle of a racket.
The racket-tailed treepie is a member of the crow family, but their bodies are gray with a green tinge.
62. Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander
The reticulated flatwoods salamanders are aquatic amphibians that look extremely similar to axolotls.
They’re quite small and can only grow to be 5.2 inches at maximum.
Reticulated flatwoods salamanders will migrate from ponds and large puddles in order to breed.
63. Red-Capped Manakin
The red-capped manakin is a mostly black bird with an incredibly bright red head.
These small birds are known for being round and plump.
Males are the only ones that are colorful.
The females are all brown with orange beaks.
They can be found in Belize, Ecuador, Honduras, Peru, Panama, Guatemala, Mexico, and Nicaragua.
64. Rhodesian Ridgeback
Rhodesian ridgebacks come from South Africa and were once bred by mixing the local Khoikhoi dog and the dogs that European settlers brought with them, such as Great Danes, Greyhounds, Bloodhounds, and Mastiffs.
These dogs were originally bred to be big enough to hunt lions, but with short enough hair and strong enough stamina to hunt in the South African savannah.
65. Rough-Scaled Plated Lizard
The rough-scaled plated lizard can be found all over Africa.
They have large bodies with small heads and massive eyes.
Despite being quite large, they prefer to eat insects, flowers, and fruits.
During their mating season, their throats become a bright pink as a signal to other rough-scaled plated lizards that they’re ready to mate.
66. Rainbow-Bearded Thornbill
The rainbow-bearded thornbill is a beautifully colored bird that has a mostly dark olive body with a rainbow of colors peeking out from underneath.
This bird also has a brightly colored beard that goes above its eyes and begins to resemble a mohawk.
They can only be found in some parts of Colombia and Peru.
67. Red Fig-Eating Bat
Red fig-eating bats are small bats with distinct noses that take up the majority of their faces.
While red fig-eating bats love to eat fruit, there is no evidence of them actually eating figs.
These bats only grow to be about 2.7 inches in length and weigh only 1.09 ounces.
68. Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
The Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep have massive horns that can weigh up to 30 pounds.
A large male can weigh up to 300 pounds in total and stand up to three feet tall.
Unless it is the breeding season, males and females will join separate groups.
Males will leave their mothers’ groups after two to four years.
There are two different types of rheas, which include the greater rhea and Darwin’s rhea.
These flightless birds are native to South America.
Rheas are known for being silent birds, only chirping when they’re extremely young and when a male is looking for a female to mate with.
Rottweilers may have a reputation for being mean, aggressive dogs, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
They are a working breed of dog that descends from the Mastiff breeds used by the Roman legions.
They’re known for being incredibly playful, goofy, and sturdy, making them the perfect dog for families with active children.
71. Red Salamander
The red salamander is a brightly colored salamander with black specks covering its entire body.
They are most commonly found under rocks near rivers, streams, and ponds in South Carolina and Georgia.
They tend to grow to be four to six inches in length and will lose their color as they age.
72. Red-Bellied Lemur
Red-bellied lemurs are found in the moist forests and lowland rainforests of Eastern Madagascar.
These lemurs love to eat flowers, fruits, and a variety of leaves.
Red-bellied lemurs prefer to live in small families of two to five lemurs.
73. Red Fox
The red foxes can be found all over the United States in nearly every type of habitat, including woodlands, suburban neighborhoods, wetlands, and even bustling, urban cities.
Red foxes are highly adaptive to their surroundings and local ecosystems.
They eat anything from frogs to house cats or even your trash.
74. Rock Hyrax
The rock hyrax is a tailless rodent from Africa that prefers rocky or shrub-filled areas where it can burrow under rocks.
On average, these rodents weigh anywhere from four to 12 pounds and like to eat any plant that they can find, even ones that may be poisonous to other animals.
Reindeer, which are also referred to as caribou, are able to migrate more than 3,000 miles in a single year.
In order to adapt to different climates, reindeers’ hooves are able to expand in the summer to offer more protection and shrink in the winter to make it easier to walk through the snow.