9 Headstrong Animals That Start With H

By Kevin Myers | 2023 Update

There are over a million known species of animals, most of which live underwater or high up in the air. A compilation of all the different species and subspecies would be so long that reading it would be a chore in and of itself. Here is a short list of the most common animals whose names start with “H” (psst, the last one is a surprise).

Animals That Start With H

1. Hamster 

Hamsters are a type of rodent with round bodies and large eyes, particularly kept as pets in North American homes. Hamsters commonly have furry coats, wide feet, stout legs, and fragile bones, all adaptions that help them burrow for food and survive. People usually confuse hamsters for guinea pigs or gerbils, even though they’re distinctly different.

Fun fact: Breeding hamsters is tricky because of their sensitive personalities. It took breeders a century before they were able to breed them in captivity. 

2. Hare

Hare (or jackrabbit) is a type of rodent similar to a rabbit, but not exactly the same. They have slender bodies, long legs, and dusty coats. Hares can reach speeds of up to 80 km/hour (50 miles/hour) for short bursts and can maintain a speed of 55 km/hour or 35 miles/hour. They are considered a delicacy in South and Central Asia. They like to consume meat; they’re not strictly herbivores.

Fun fact: Unlike rabbits, hares don’t burrow underground. Even when nesting, they build their forms over the ground, and unlike rabbits, their babies can fend for themselves within a short time of being born. They like to consume meat; they’re not strictly herbivores.

3. Hedgehog

Hedgehogs are spread throughout the world, having been introduced to New Zealand and North America as pets. Their most distinguishing feature is their coat of sharp needle-like projections that keep them protected from predators. They can even curl up into a ball to protect themselves. Unfortunately, they don’t spin, dash, or run very fast.

Fun fact: The term hedgehog – a mixture of the words “hedge” and “hog” for their common habitat among bushes and their pig-like snout and foraging – has been in use since the 14th century. Some other names for the animal include “hedgepig” and “urchin.”

4. Hawk

Hawks are birds of prey found throughout the world. They are found on every continent except for Antarctica and across most known terrains. Like most birds, they have four photoreceptors – one more than humans – which allow them to see the spectrum of light visible to us. They also see ultraviolet light and the magnetic waves of the Earth. 

Fun fact: Hawks have a very unique style of mating that most people would find unearthly. The male and female will start by flying together in a circular motion until they reach a certain height, after which the male will dive toward the female. They repeat this a few times until the male latches onto the female, and then they begin to free-fall down to earth.  

5. Hermit Crab

Hermit crabs are some of the most fascinating creatures in the animal kingdom. They’re known for their affinity to build homes out of anything that fits their criteria, as long as it’s made of a crystalline substance. They enjoy carrying their homes with them wherever they go. They’re called hermits because of their reclusive nature, hiding away in their “homes” at any sight of danger. 

Fun fact: Hermit crabs have soft exoskeletons. This might be surprising, as crabs are known for their tanky exteriors, but this is the main reason why hermit crabs can’t survive too long without their shells.

6. Heron 

Herons are a family of wading birds found throughout the world. Their most distinguishing feature is their long necks that they bend into an S-shape at most times. They inhabit a lot of varied terrains, with the exception of only the coldest tundras and the driest deserts. This diversity is also reflected in their shapes and sizes, with the smallest member being only 11-12 inches high and the tallest species being up to 60 inches (or 5 feet).

Fun fact: Herons can eat fish worth nearly their own body weight in fish during a single day, e.g., a heron weighs 4-8 lbs on average and can consume 11 lbs of fish a day.

7. Horse 

Horses are probably the most common animal found throughout the world after dogs, and why shouldn’t they be? They have been a means of transportation for many of the most widespread civilizations throughout history. Today, they inhabit most terrains except sandy deserts and very dense jungles. They have a ton of stamina and can carry heavy loads.

All horse breeds are divided into three distinct categories based on their disposition: “hot-blooded” horses are bred for speed and endurance, “cold-blooded” ones are built for labor-intensive work, and “warm-blooded” horses are bred for a combination of the two.

Fun fact: Horses can sleep standing up as well as laying down. 

8. Hippopotamus 

A hippopotamus, or Hippo for short, is a semi-aquatic mammal native to the African continent. Their name is a Greek word that can be directly translated to “river horse.” They have teeth that can easily crush a watermelon between them.

They are widespread throughout Africa, with two living species and 6 living subspecies classified so far. There may be other extinct species left yet to be discovered. 

Fun fact: Hippos can maintain a speed of up to 35 kilometers per hour or 20 miles per hour on land! That momentum, combined with its territorial disposition, makes it one of the most dangerous animals in the world.

9. Humans

Lastly, we have humans (Homo Sapiens). Arguably the most dangerous but definitely the most impactful species to have ever existed in our history. Most members of this species don’t even consider themselves a part of the animal kingdom. 

Unlike other animals who rely on their habitat for shelter, humans shape the environment around them to fulfill their needs. This made them spread out through all the terrains, and they populated most parts of the world. You can even find them thriving in places like Antarctica.

Fun fact: One of the main reasons behind human beings’ widespread success is that they can adapt to survive in almost any situation. They are the apex predators. 

List of Animals that Start wit H:

  • Haast’s Eagle
  • Habu Snake
  • Haddock
  • Hagfish
  • Haikouichthys
  • Hainosaurus
  • Hairy Frogfish
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Hairy-footed Flower Bee
  • Halibut
  • Hallucigenia
  • Hamburg Chicken
  • Hammerhead Shark
  • Hammerhead Worm
  • Hammond’s flycatcher
  • Hamster
  • Harbor Porpoise
  • Harbor Seal
  • Hardhead Catfish
  • Hare
  • Harlequin Coral Snake
  • Harlequin Rabbit
  • Harp Seal
  • Harpy Eagle
  • Harrier
  • Harris Hawk
  • Hartebeest
  • Hatzegopteryx
  • Havamalt
  • Havanese
  • Havapoo
  • Havashire
  • Havashu
  • Hawaiian Crow
  • Hawaiian Goose (Nene)
  • Hawaiian Monk Seal
  • Hawk
  • Hawk Moth Caterpillar
  • Hedgehog
  • Helicoprion
  • Hellbender
  • Hepatic Tanager (Red Tanager)
  • Hercules Beetle
  • Hercules Moth
  • Hermit Crab
  • Heron
  • Herrerasaurus
  • Herring
  • Herring Gull
  • Highland Cattle
  • Himalayan
  • Hippopotamus
  • Hippopotamus gorgops
  • Hoary Bat
  • Hobo Spider
  • Hogfish
  • Hognose snake
  • Hokkaido
  • Holy Cross Frog
  • Honduran White Bat
  • Honey Badger
  • Honey Bee
  • Honey Buzzard
  • Hooded Oriole
  • Hooded Seal
  • Hook-Nosed Sea Snake
  • Hoopoe
  • Horgi
  • Horn Shark
  • Hornbill
  • Horned Adder
  • Horned Beetle
  • Horned Grebe
  • Horned Lizard
  • Horned Viper
  • Hornet
  • Horse
  • Horse Mackerel
  • Horsefly
  • Horseshoe Crab
  • Houdan Chicken
  • House Finch
  • House Sparrow (English Sparrow)
  • House wren
  • Housefly
  • Hovasaurus
  • Hovawart
  • Howler Monkey
  • Human
  • Humboldt Penguin
  • Humboldt Squid
  • Hummingbird
  • Hummingbird Hawk-Moth
  • Humpback Whale
  • Huntaway
  • Huntsman Spider
  • Huskador
  • Huskita
  • Husky
  • Husky Jack
  • Huskydoodle
  • Hyacinth Macaw
  • Hyaenodon
  • Hyena

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