8 Animals That Start With J

By Kevin Myers | 2023 Update

Exciting animals are a dime a dozen on Earth, and all of these magnificent creatures differ from each other in some very unique ways. Evolution has played its part, and now we’re left with a collection of diverse beings. Each one is unique with much to know about.

With so many animals to focus on, it helps to familiarize ourselves with them if we start making a list. So without further ado, here’s a list of animals whose names begin with “J”, plus a bonus fun fact to help you learn more about some of your favorites.

Animals That Start With J

1. Jackal

A small wily canine family member, the Jackal is a staple of African wildlife. They’re sharp, quick-witted, and able to handle all sorts of situations. They share a lot of biological similarities with foxes. There are three main species of jackals spread out across the globe, and they’re all as big as an average domesticated dog.

Jackals are opportunistic scavengers capable of making all sorts of noises to communicate. They can yip, wail, and yap, depending on the situation. Jackals can either live alone or with close-knit, supportive family groups. They can run at 16km/h for long periods and use their sharp teeth to hunt reptiles.

Fun fact: The jackal was considered to be one of the oldest-known species of dogs. 

2. Jabiru

The Jabiru is a large stork, also considered the symbol of the Pantanal. It is native to South and Central America. They have swollen necks and use their giant beaks for hunting fish in wetlands. They also feature a red ring around their necks. 

Jabiru is considered some of the tallest flying birds on Earth. They live in large groups and near ponds or wetlands. They build their nests out of sticks atop large trees near their feeding grounds. An average male Jabiru is 20% larger than their female counterparts. 

Fun fact: Jabirus have featherless heads and necks. They are at risk of extinction due to habitat loss since their feeding grounds are drying up. Dam construction projects are ramping up, so their numbers are dwindling in places like Costa Rica. 

3. Jaguar

Jaguars are one of the largest cats on Earth. They are native to the Americas and live near large bodies of water since they are great swimmers. Jaguars have spots that cover their fur called rosettes, which help distinguish them from other felines like leopards. 

These magnificent animals belong to the Felidae family, a diverging line called Panthera. Jaguars are scientifically called Panthera Onca and are indigenously referred to as Yaguareté (one who leaps and kills).  Both male and female jaguars can roar and prusten, whereas smaller cats like cougars, ocelots, and bobcats can only purr. 

Fun fact: Jaguars also existed in Europe but went extinct ages ago. According to estimations, only 174,000 of them are left in the wild, and most live near or within the jungles of Brazil.

4. Jackrabbit

Jackrabbits are fluffy and bigger than an average household rabbit. They can grow up to two feet long, feature powerful hind legs, and live in pairs. These furry creatures are hares, not rabbits. They eat meat, jump very high, and bite off a finger. They live alone or in pairs, in flattened nests called “form.” Hares give birth to leverets with all of their fur and open eyes, unlike rabbits born naked and blind.

They have large ears that stand up, which caught famous author Mark Twain’s eye when he noticed them and coined the name “Jackass Rabbit.”

Fun fact: Jackrabbits can stand on their hindlegs and punch each other if they’re in a pinch with another hare. 

5. Jellyfish

Some jellyfish are dangerous enough to kill you, and others just shock your nervous system. These alien-looking marine animals are terrifying to come across and have been around for hundreds of millions of years. You can find them scattered all across the globe. 

They aren’t fish. They’re invertebrates because they have no backbone. Not just that, they’re basically 90% water. They are capable of slowing down their aging process. They can also use transdifferentiation to reverse their own life cycle. Some jellyfish use tentacles to hunt, while others have stingers. There are many kinds of jellyfish, even some with tentacles that stretch up to 10ft. 

Fun fact: Around 150 million people get stung by jellyfish annually.

6. Jerboa

A Jerboa may be confused for a kangaroo rat, but they’re something completely different. Although other jumping mice exist, the jerboa can outshine them when it comes to soaring through the air. They can jump up to 3ft straight up in the air.

Jerboas are native to Northern Africa and Central Asia. They don’t even drink from a water source; they get their hydration from the food they consume. Some species of Jerboa are strictly herbivores, while others consume insects. Most of them eat both plants and insects. They can travel for miles away from their main burrow.

Fun fact: They’re highly elusive, and it’s rare to spot them during the day. They’re almost strictly nocturnal and create several burrows within an area to guarantee their escape from an unsavory situation. 

7. Jumping Spiders

Jumping spiders are very common. There are about 5000 sub-species, and they are present all across the globe, even in places with arctic weather. They make up 13% of all living spider species on Earth. Thankfully enough, they’re not as terrifying as they sound.  Only some jumping spiders can bite through human skin, so they are relatively harmless compared to other arachnids. 

The average size of a jumping spider is about half an inch, but it can cover a large amount of distance with its jumps.

Fun fact: They have the best eyesight and can make sounds to attract mates. They come in all shapes and sizes, and one species even mimics the outward appearance of an ant.

8. Jaguarundi

A wildcat native to South and Central America, the Jaguarundi is a formidable predator. They have short legs, fur all over their bodies, and long tails. They resemble much larger cougars but differ immensely from other neo-tropical cats. These felines have a slender build that makes them resemble otters or weasels.

Unlike ocelots, they’re twice as big as domestic cats and hunt during the daytime. They are very efficient climbers and usually feed on prey on the ground. They can live for up to 15 years in captivity. Jaguarundis can be seen lounging around in all sorts of habitats, including dense forests and deserts.

Fun fact: They’re considered a pest, so they get hunted quite rigorously. Their numbers are dwindling, and there is some concern regarding the survival of the species.

List of All Animals that start with J:

  • Jabiru
  • Jacana
  • Jack Crevalle
  • Jack Russells
  • Jack-Chi
  • Jackabee
  • Jackal
  • Jackdaw
  • Jackrabbit
  • Jackson’s Chameleon
  • Jagdterrier
  • Jaguar
  • Jaguarundi Cat
  • Jamaican Boa
  • Jamaican Iguana
  • Japanese Bantam Chicken
  • Japanese Beetle
  • Japanese Chin
  • Japanese Macaque
  • Japanese rat snake
  • Japanese Spitz
  • Japanese Squirrel
  • Japanese Terrier
  • Javan Leopard
  • Javan Rhinoceros
  • Javanese
  • Jellyfish
  • Jerboa
  • Jewel Beetle 
  • John Dory
  • Jonah Crab
  • Joro Spider
  • Josephoartigasia monesi
  • Jumping Spider
  • Jungle Carpet Python
  • Junglefowl

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