It is uncommon to find the letter Y at the beginning of a word.
Similar to its placement in the alphabet, Y is normally found at the end of words.
However, there are plenty of animals with names that begin with Y.
You may have never heard of many of these animals, but others are ones that you may know and love.
75 Animals That Start With Y
Many of the animals that have names that begin with Y are referring to their color or the location they originate from.
Each animal has its own traits, history, or talents that help them stay alive or keep the interest of humans.
Some of these animals are quite common, like the yellow lab, and some species are clinging to their last survivors before extinction occurs, such as the fate of the Yangtze giant softshell turtle.
1. Yellow Lab
The yellow lab is a variant of the Labrador retriever and is known for being a hard-working breed of dog.
Labrador retrievers have been America’s number one dog time and time again.
This is due to their ability to be not only excellent pets but potential service animals as well.
These dogs are eager to please and easy to get along with in all families.
2. Yellow-Eyed Penguins
Yellow-Eyed Penguins are native to New Zealand and tend to live in secluded spaces to the south.
They spend most of their lives at sea or near the shore.
Onshore, yellow-eyed penguins hunt for fish and build nests that are typically constructed on slopes or in forest bushes.
3. Yellow Anaconda
The yellow anaconda is native throughout South America, though it primarily makes its home in Paraguay.
These snakes mostly eat smaller animals in their vicinity.
Once its prey has begun digesting, the snakes may not have to eat for days or months.
This is because their digestive system is slow, and the time between eating is determined by the size of the snake’s last meal.
4. Yacare Caimans
Yacare Caimans are the most common crocodilian in South America.
Roughly 10 million Yacare caimans are estimated to live in Brazil alone.
These reptiles are smaller than a standard crocodile or alligator, making them prey to animals such as jaguars.
Their eating habits include foraging marshes for snails, eating fish, and hunting small mammals.
5. Yellow-Footed Rock Wallaby
Yellow-Footed Rock Wallabies inhabit a small portion of southern Queensland.
These wallabies distinguish themselves with golden fur on the feet and rings along the tail.
Their habitats are usually rocky dens, and they are known to climb trees from time to time.
Grass and leaves are favorite meals and act as ways to wear down their ever-growing teeth.
6. Yellow-Backed Duiker
The Yellow-Backed Duiker can be found in several parts of Africa and has the widest grazing range of any other duiker.
In the wild, Yellow-backed duiker can be found in forests with plentiful underbrush.
These creatures have no tolerance for cold environments, with 55 degrees Fahrenheit being their lowest tolerable temperature.
7. Yellow Ground Squirrel
Yellow Ground Squirrels can be found in Russia, Kazakhstan, Eastern Europe, and West China.
Burrows are constructed under dense soil, sand, or clay for habitat.
During the day, these squirrels come out to either eat or mate.
The burrow may be visited for midday naps, after which the squirrels will go out once more in the afternoon.
8. Yelloweye Rockfish
The Yelloweye Rockfish is an aquatic creature that can be seen along the west coast of the United States.
Fish of this species can live up to 150 years, though they only grow to be about three feet long.
The yelloweye rockfish are known to be slow to mature and reproduces anytime between five and 20 years old.
9. Yucatan Jay
Yucatan Jays are from southern Mexico, Central America, and are rarely found in Belize.
Despite thriving in degraded forests, these birds have an increasing population trend.
Populations of the Yucatan jay are found in flocks, usually no fewer than 10.
Males and females of this breed look nearly identical, except females are larger than males on average.
10. Yellow Dot Guard Crab
Yellow Dot Guard Crabs can be found all along the Indo-Pacific and are small in size.
Just under an inch, these crabs are usually found at low-pressure depths of no more than 150 feet.
Behavior can be described as nocturnal, and feeding on coral is done at night.
11. Yakka Skink
The Yakka Skink is the largest breed of skink in Australia.
Sizes recorded around 15 inches are estimated to represent maximum growth.
These reptiles hide in vegetation and brushy areas, although they suffer from habitat loss.
Yakka skinks are excellent hiders, with one of the only tells being droppings found nearby.
12. Yellow-Tailed Woolly Monkey
The Yellow-Tailed Woolly Monkey is only found in the Andes of Peru.
High elevations with cloud forests are where these primates call home.
Days in the lives of woolly monkeys are rigorous, entailing up to 30% of the day spent foraging.
These mammals are non-aggressive and show body language to communicate aggression.
13. Yeti Crab
Yeti Crabs are deep sea crabs that possess no eyes and live near hydrothermal vents.
These vents were found near Easter Island in the Pacific.
The namesake of this crab was earned by the long bristles on the arms, resembling hair.
Upon inspecting these bristles, experts have learned that they’re used as a way of gathering food.
14. Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtle
Praised in its home of Vietnam, the Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtle is a star.
These turtles, while incredibly rare, share ties to the mythology of Vietnam.
Sadly, this turtle’s population is down to fewer than 10 and the last captive female died in 2019.
Their diets consist of fish and crustaceans, mixed with leafy greens.
Lifespans of over 100 years are common.
15. Yellow-Wattled Lapwing
Adorned with a triangular wattle over its beak, the Yellow-Wattled Lapwing finds its way across the Indian subcontinent.
These birds thrive in shallow areas of water, including swamps, mudflats, marshes, and some fields.
Eating habits for these birds are quite helpful, as they eat bugs that may be harmful.
16. Yungas Pygmy Owl
From the eastern Andes in Peru, the Yungas Pygmy Owl is an extraordinarily rare creature.
These birds inhabit the areas between the Andes and the eastern forests of Peru and can only be found in high elevations.
This hunter most commonly finds prey, such as insects and other small birds, within the foliage of the forest.
Hunting mostly occurs at night but is not uncommon throughout the day.
17. Yellow-Spotted Tree Frog
Once believed to be extinct, the Yellow-Spotted Tree Frogs are creatures who call only a small portion of Australia home.
This species of frog went unrecorded between 1970 and 2009, due to lack of documentation.
Only one recorded population of these frogs is known to live.
Yellow-spotted tree frogs are currently listed as “critically endangered“.
18. Yellow-Vented Green Pigeon
Found in multiple nations across Asia, the Yellow-Vented Green Pigeon has some stunning features.
The features of this bird include a gradient coat of dark green to light yellow and a blue beak.
Primarily, these birds are foragers and search dense canopies to find their food.
19. Yellow-Bellied Marmot
Yellow-Bellied Marmots hail from the western border of Canada and some parts of the northwest US.
They are closely related to prairie dogs.
Unlike other marmots, the yellow-bellied marmots live in open dwellings as opposed to burrows.
These habitats include alpine meadows, steppes, and slopes.
Dietary habits for the yellow-bellied marmot consist of plants, though bugs aren’t uncommon.
20. Yellowline Arrow Crab
Crawling along the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, Yellowline Arrow Crabs live among coral reefs.
These crabs have a very oblong shape, with legs two to three times longer than the body.
During this crab’s lifetime, it will shed its exoskeleton multiple times.
A new exoskeleton is regrown by devouring the old shell and utilizing seawater for biological benefit.
21. Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terriers are world famous for their large personalities and tiny frames.
Yorkies are quite popular, with this breed being one of the top 10 most owned dogs in the US.
Although these dogs may be favorites for urbanites, they are also loyal watchdogs.
This trait comes from the fact that they were once utilized in mining work for chasing small critters out of workers’ ways.
22. Yellow-Footed Antechinus
The Yellow-footed Antechinus is a variety of marsupial found in southern Australia’s Mount Lofty Ranges.
Gray in body color, these rodents get their name from the golden hue among the feet.
Males often die around one year old, after breeding.
Females may die after giving birth to their first or second litters.
23. Yellow-Winged Bat
Labeled a “false vampire bat”, the yellow-winged bat is a mammal that gains nutrients from insects.
These bats don’t grow above three inches maximum.
Bats that look after their offspring have false nipples near the anus for their young to hang on.
24. Yellow-Spotted Amazon River Turtle
Commonly lurking in small bodies of freshwater, the Yellow-Spotted Amazon River Turtle is the largest river turtle in South America.
Although they may be the largest, the maximum size recorded has been around 17 inches long.
They are known to frequent shallow bodies of water and prefer a slower current.
They may also be found basking on rocks.
25. Yellowtail Damsel
Sapphire in color with a golden tail, Yellowtail Damsels are praised as being “the ultimate damsel” due to the sheer vibrance of color.
These fish are native to the Indo-Pacific and more specifically, the coral reefs.
Traditionally, the male yellowtails will take responsibility for the eggs they fertilize.
26. Yellow Mongoose
From the scrubby grasslands of southern Africa, the Yellow Mongoose is small but fierce.
These diurnal hunters eat insects that could be dangerous to African citizens.
Although they may keep people safe from bugs, these creatures are well known to be carriers of rabies.
27. Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo
Native to Australia, the Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo is a gentle specimen.
These nearly two-foot-tall birds are black in color, with a yellow accented tail and beak.
Both males and females create their nests together, while males hunt down food for the female.
Offspring of these birds typically don’t leave the nest until six months.
Spanning all across Europe and Asia, the Yellowhammer is a bird of sheer vibrance.
Males and females of this species are a bright yellow with females being duller.
Both genders have brown streaks: males have streaked backs, and females have streaked undersides.
Uncommonly enough, these birds create nests on the ground.
29. Yarrow’s Spiny Lizard
Between Arizona and Mexico lies the mountainous habitat where Yarrow’s Spiny Lizard makes its home.
These lizards live at the peaks of the Sky Islands.
The ecosystem in which these creatures thrive is vastly different from the grounds between the mountains.
In modern times, Yarrow’s Spiny Lizard doesn’t migrate from these peaks.
Historically, though, these reptiles once roamed between the different peaks.
30. Yellow-Bellied Weasel
Hailing from parts of the Middle East and Asia, the Yellow-Bellied Weasel has a long history with humans of their regions.
Fuzzy and 10 inches tall, yellow-bellied weasels get their name from their golden undercoats.
In contrast, the top side of the coat is dark brown.
The Nepalese once trained these weasels to attack other rodents and large animals for sport.
31. Yellowtail Amberjack
The Yellowtail Amberjack hails from the Southern Ocean and is a prized catch.
Fishermen from Japan have taken notice that these fish make excellent sushi and farm these fish for their meat.
At maximum, these fish grow to be about 25-40 pounds, although the largest one was 200 pounds and eight feet long.
32. Yellowish Streaked Lory
Lush mangrove forests in the islands surrounding Australia hide a beautiful bird from sight.
The Yellowish Streaked Lory is a vibrantly colored green that transitions to yellow tips.
Red hues cover the face, legs, and undertail of the yellow streaked lory.
These birds can live to be up to 20 years old.
33. Yosemite Toad
Yosemite Toads are found in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, along meadows and bodies of water.
In cooler months, these frogs plant themselves in sunny places to bask.
When the climate is higher, these frogs will stray no more than around 300 feet from bodies of water.
During the winter, the frogs will hibernate in rodent burrows and dense foliage.
34. Yellow Cup Black Coral
This coral may not actually be yellow or black, but it is a marvel, nonetheless.
More greenish in color, the Yellow Cup Black Coral gets its name from the black skeleton of the creature.
These corals themselves are actually multiple living organisms formed up to make one coral.
Numbers of these organisms can range so high that underwater forests can be made of these fibrous wonders.
35. Yellow Rat Snake
Domestic to North America, these snakes can be found in southeastern coastal states.
Yellow Rat Snakes are constrictors and will not bite their prey or predators.
Incredibly crafty, yellow rat snakes can climb trees to find bird eggs and frogs as prey.
36. Yellow-Knobbed Curassow
Named after the protrusion on its beak, the Yellow-Knobbed Curassow has a head to behold.
Males of this species possess a yellow beak, while females have black beaks.
In addition to these features, their heads are crowned with many curly black feathers.
Their whistle is described as sounding like an ascending firework and is usually followed by two claps of the wings.
37. Yakutian Laika
Bred for work from the start, the Yakutian Laika is a dog breed that’s been a professional for generations.
Yakutian laikas are masters of sled pulling, hunting, and herding.
Originating from northeast Russia, these titans of work typically weigh only around 60 pounds.
That may not sound tough, but they are durable enough to withstand the Arctic temperatures of northern Russia.
38. Yellow-Necked Spurfowl
The Yellow-Necked Spurfowl is a breed of African bird whose name is pinpoint accurate.
Easy to spot, the yellow sheen on its neck explains the first part of its name.
Multiple types of Spurfowl exist, all gaining the title from the spike on their ankles, resembling spurs.
These birds hunt at both dawn and dusk for insects along paths and farms.
39. Yellow-Spotted Monitor
Growing to be about three to five feet long, the Yellow Spotted Monitor is an apex predator within northern Australia.
Seemingly greenish, the yellow spots are predominantly on the gular pouch.
These pouches are exposed when the monitors believe themselves to be in danger.
The first step in these monitors’ defense is to stand up on their hind legs to balance with their tails.
This gives them a large advantage in the Australian wilderness.
40. Yellow-Mantled Widowbird
A native to the continent of Africa, the Yellow-Mantled Widowbird has a surprisingly large range.
These birds have no naturally endemic nation, but rather occupy the east and west coastlines of Africa.
Males have broad yellow shoulders, while females are easily mistaken for other birds.
They primarily inhabit marshes, wet grasslands, and foliage.
41. Yellow-Banded Poison Dart Frog
From southern Central America and northern South America, the Yellow-Banded Poison Dart Frog is vibrant but deadly.
Frogs of this breed are colloquially called “bumblebee frogs” due to their black and yellow striped pattern.
The poison in their skin comes from a hearty diet of ants and other small insects.
Without this strict diet, they lose toxicity.
42. Yellow Bullhead
Originally native to the East Coast of the United States and northern Mexico, Yellow Bullhead have become vastly more widespread.
The Yellow Bullhead is a breed of catfish, adorned with long horns from the forehead and chin.
Scales are not present, as these fish possess an olive toned skin instead.
Somewhat unimportant to game hunters, these fish only grow to an estimated four pounds.
43. Yellow-Rumped Flowerpecker
The Yellow-Rumped Flowerpecker is a breed of bird found only around Borneo.
In nature, these birds can be found all around the forests of Borneo, especially along slopes.
Both male and female varieties are true to their name, having a yellow underside to their tails.
44. York Chocolate
York Chocolates are a breed of cat that have a very brief history.
In 1983, these cats were originally bred from long haired ancestors.
Personality wise, these cats are very much akin to dogs.
They love to be near their owners and enjoy being close to them.
As these felines are highly energetic, they require considerable play time.
At the current time, these cats are believed to be extinct.
45. Yellow-Lipped Sea Krait
Found nearly worldwide, the Yellow-Lipped Sea Krait can be found among coral reefs.
The favorite climates of these sea creatures include warm tropical climates and coastal shorelines.
Their name derives from their mouths, which have a yellow upper lip.
The largest of the yellow-lipped sea kraits was found to be around 11 feet long, although on average maximum size is around four feet.
46. Yellow-Crowned Amazon
Yellow-Crowned Amazons get their name from a bright yellow patch atop their heads, in contrast to their green feathers.
They also happen to live in Amazon basins in southern Central America to northwestern South America.
Flying far from the forests isn’t a common occurrence, but these birds can be found along mountainsides when they do leave.
47. Yellow-Necked Field Mouse
The Yellow-Necked Field Mouse gets its name from the band of yellow around its neck.
These mice are primarily found in the UK and prefer dense forests with many dead trees.
Dead branches and roots of these trees are hollowed out to create homes.
As a defense mechanism, these mice can shed the skin from their tail, despite not being able to regrow it.
48. Yellow Bromeliad Tree Frog
Yellow Bromeliad Tree Frogs are endemic to central Jamaica.
These frogs get their names from the plants that they choose to create homes from.
They live and lay eggs on bromeliad flowers in deciduous forests.
Vocal sacs are absent from the yellow bromeliad tree frog, and they were thought not to have a call for an extensive period.
49. Yelkouan Shearwater
The Yelkouan Shearwater can be found flying along the coasts of the Mediterranean, Tyrhenian, and Black Seas.
Populations of these birds show a slight decline, due to introduced species becoming predators of them.
Survival has also been made difficult, as fishermen catch the fish that the yelkouan shearwater would naturally hunt.
50. Yellow Tang
Yellow Tangs, part of the surgeonfish family, is a vibrant beauty from Hawaii’s depths.
These fish can be found in coral reefs around Hawaii, but they do not frequent the most tropical of areas.
Coloration of this species is almost entirely yellow, save for the scalpels near the tail.
When the yellow tangs become threatened, they will flex their tails and the sharp scalpel shaped fins act as a first defense.
51. Yellow-Headed Amazon
Within Mexico resides the Yellow-Headed Amazon.
Sometimes called the Double Yellow-Headed Amazon, both the crown and nape of their heads are a vibrant yellow.
It is not uncommon for these birds to have fully yellow heads only a few years into their lives, as yellowing increases with age.
These birds are also monogamous and pair for life.
52. Yellow-Nosed Cotton Rat
The Yellow-Nosed Cotton Rat comes from regions near Texas and northern Mexico.
Nests are built either on the ground or below ground, but never in elevated places.
Young are tended to for about 15 days, but they mature rapidly.
Infants of this breed can begin eating solid grass at about one week old.
Usually, two to six young are born per litter, but it is not common for these rodents to live more than a year.
53. Yellow-Spotted Newt
Yellow-Spotted Newts, sometimes called Spotted Salamanders, are amphibious creatures with a deadly defense mechanism.
These newts are shiny black in color and have two rows of yellow spots down their backs.
When encountering predators, their slick skin releases a sticky toxin that does not bode well for the attacker.
Each year, these salamanders will frequent the same breeding pond that they have attended their whole lives.
54. Yellowhead Jawfish
Brilliantly colored, the Yellowhead Jawfish is a translucent blue beauty with a yellow-tinged head.
As a passive fish breed, they will not attack other fish or people within proximity.
They can be found along the Bahamas or Caribbean at shallow depths of 10-130 feet.
Carnivorous in diet, these fish will eat smaller crustaceans.
55. Yemen Chameleon
Yemen Chameleons are about one to two feet long and live mostly on the ground as opposed to trees.
Their coloration is based on their state of well-being instead of basic camouflage.
When warm and content, these reptiles will shine more vibrant colors, though when feeling ill or stressed, they will turn darker.
As omnivores, these creatures primarily eat bugs, but will also eat vegetation for hydration.
56. Yuma Myotis
The Yuma Myotis hunts for insects along the western United States and make their homes in hollow tree cavities.
Most of the insects hunted by the Yuma myotis are over water, but cliffs and forests are popular feeding grounds as well.
Forests are also key resting places for these small mammals, however, habitat loss threatens their numbers.
57. Yellow Mud Turtle
Yellow Mud Turtles are mostly endemic to Texas, but they have fanned out over some of the surrounding states.
This may be due to these turtles needing multiple habitats depending on the season.
Habitats suitable would be uphill lands, aquatic marshes, or sandy environments.
Their name comes from the fact that their necks are yellow underneath.
Yellow accents are also found on their marginal shields.
58. Yellow Collared Lovebird
The Yellow Collared Lovebird is endemic to Tanzania, although they can be found in other parts of Africa.
Birds of this breed have two different names that refer to their physical features.
The first one references its yellow neck, while the other name is the Eye Ringed Lovebird.
That would refer to the white rings around their eyes.
As their beaks never stop growing, they need constant chewing on either natural wood or bird toys to trim them down.
59. Yellow-Bellied Toad
Yellow-Bellied Toads are a bumpy brown on their back and their underside presents a bright yellow pattern with brown in between.
They can live up to 20 years in captivity, and do well with frogs of their own size.
If they are kept in a habitat with smaller frogs, the yellow-bellied toad will be food aggressive.
Food aggression can quickly morph into cannibalization of the smaller creature.
60. Yellow Pine Chipmunk
With differences aplenty from other chipmunks, the Yellow Pine Chipmunk is a fascinating creature.
These chipmunks can grow to about nine inches tall and have evenly sized stripes.
Another aspect separate from other chipmunks is that there is no hibernation for yellow pines.
Instead, a state of torpor is induced. During torpor, these chipmunks will sleep for five to seven days at a time and wake up only to eat small amounts of food.
61. Yellow Rail
The Yellow Rail is described as America’s hardest bird to see.
This is because of the dense, scrubby yellow grass that these birds typically inhabit.
Preferring the ground over the air, they can run at speeds matching small rodents.
Their wings also reveal white spots on the underside on the rare occasion they do fly.
62. Yellow-Throated Marten
As the largest marten of the old world, Yellow-Throated martens are fierce and sizable enough to take down small deer.
They are omnivorous, eating plants and nectar but also will eat small mammals and reptiles.
When eating fruit, they will disperse the seeds throughout their area.
Their yellow throat extends down to their hind legs, where the coat browns.
63. Yellow-Billed Teal
Yellow-Billed Teals are South American ducks with a preference for high elevations.
Their habitats are usually freshwater lakes, lagoons, or marshes surrounding mountains.
Near these bodies of fresh water, these ducks will find amphipods and invertebrates for food while swimming.
64. Yellow-Footed Tortoise
The Yellow-footed tortoise is endemic to many countries in South America.
These tortoises can grow to be 20–36 inches long and have a lifespan up to 50~60 years.
Communication between tortoises is performed through a series of head movements.
Although a renowned creature, residents of its native area hunt these reptiles at a rapid rate for food.
65. Yellow Warbler
Yellow warblers are a breed of bird endemic to North America and parts of northern Central America.
They are a bright yellow sheen all over, with males possessing red underside streaks.
They are compact, at roughly five inches long and about half a pound.
Yellow warblers inhabit small forests with dense trees, so that they may hunt their favorite insects along the branches.
During the winter, some of these warblers are prone to migration to the mangrove forests of South America.
66. Yucatan Squirrel
The Yucatan Squirrel is a rodent derived from the Yucatan peninsula, and its habitat ranges to Guatemala and Mexico.
Squirrels of this variety spend most of their time in trees, scrounging for soft fruits, nuts, and seeds.
They primarily forage in the morning, and wind down as the day goes on.
67. Yellowfin Tuna
Yellowfin Tuna are an Atlantic fish that have a deep blue sheen on their bodies, and yellow fins all along their bodies.
Most noticeable is the dorsal fin on its back, as it is a long horn-shaped protrusion.
These tuna are caught in large quantities as gamefish.
Their size can grow up to around 400 pounds at maximum.
68. Yellow-Bibbed Fruit Dove
From the islands to the side of Papua New Guinea, these cartoonishly colorful birds are true eye-catchers.
Adorned with green feathers, a yellow crest under the neck, and hot pink spots on the head make these birds truly stand out.
Their call resembles a car alarm, as it’s a steady series of “woot” sound effects.
69. Yellow Common Seahorse
Yellow Common Seahorses are natively found in the Pacific Ocean, from Australia to China, although their commonalities as pets has bumped their status to “international”.
While horses on land get ridden, Seahorses occasionally ride on Sargassum.
By hooking their tails to the macroalgae, they’ve been seen as far as 12 miles from shore.
Males and females can be distinguished by the brooding pouch on females.
70. Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker
The Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker is endemic to the northern United States and southern Canada.
Both males and females display a red crown, but males display additional red on their necks.
Their underbellies are either white or a yellowish color, hence the name.
As for nutrition they drill neat rows of holes into tree bark and poke their beak through to harvest sap and whatever insects are trapped in it.
The Yacarerani was a type of crocodilomorph that roamed around in the late Cretaceous period and were carnivores.
Upon cranial inspection, it has been noted that there were two long teeth that pointed outwards on the top and bottom jaws.
It was likely these were used for digging.
Yaks are gentle giants from the Himalayan Mountains.
This makes them the highest altitude living animal on earth.
They are not aggressive towards humans and other animals, but mothers will bluff charge toward potential threats to their calves.
Common Yabby are a type of crawfish from southeastern Australia.
They stay near freshwater ponds and lakes.
In these lakes, they are prone to being hunted by the platypus and other freshwater fish that are larger in size.
74. Yangtze Finless Porpoise
The Yangtze Finless Porpoise is one of two types of dolphins to come from Asia’s longest river.
The other being the Baiji Dolphin, which has been extinct for some time.
Yangtze Finless Porpoises are best known for their grin and similar intelligence to a gorilla.
75. Yellow Jacket
Yellow Jackets are commonly mistaken for bees, due to their yellow coloration, but there are some stark differences at hand.
More closely related to hornets, wasps can sting multiple times as opposed to a bee’s one-and-done stinger.
They will also attack if potential threats get within a few feet of their hive.