21 Animals that Start with Y

By Kevin Myers | 2023 Update

Ever played a letter game and gotten stuck at the letter Y? When you think of animals starting from the letter Y, not many come to mind. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered with this informational list. It includes over 20 different animals that start with Y.

1. Yak

A yak is a domesticated ox bred for its meat, fur and milk. These animals can be identified by their long fur covering their eyes. They also have long horns and a hump on their back. Yaks are pretty friendly towards humans and can be found in places like Mongolia or Tibet.

Fun Fact: Yak fur is as soft as cashmere, and it’s used to make clothing.

2. Yeti Crab

Yeti Crab, also known as Kiwa Hirsuta, was discovered in the South Pacific Ocean. It gets its name from the small blonde hair that cover its body. These tiny crustaceans live in hydrothermal vents, which provide hot water. Another cool thing about this crab is that it has no eyes.

Fun Fact: This crab is closely related to the hermit crab.

3. Yellowhammer

This little bird gets its name from its bright and vibrant yellow feathers. It is related to the pine bunting, and their songs sound similar too. During mating season, these birds moult, and their feathers can turn dull. After the season ends, they reveal brighter feathers.

Fun Fact: The yellow hammers song is often described as “a little bit of meat and no cheese”

4. Yabby

Yabby is another crustacean commonly found in Australian fresh waters. It is an invasive species that is often used for food. They can be identified by the blueish tinge on their shells. Yabbies look a lot like a darker version of crayfish. 

Fun Fact: The shell of a yabby depends on water conditions. It can change colors according to water temperature.

5. Yungas Pygmy Owl

The Yungas Pygmy owl has fluffy brownish feathers and a false eye design on their nape. You can find these owls in South American countries like Bolivia and Peru. They are carnivores and live on a diet of smaller animals. This owl is also known for eating other smaller birds.

Fun Fact: The yungas Pygmy owl makes its nests in abandoned woodpecker holes.

6. Yellow-Backed Duiker

Yellow-backed Duikar resides in central Africa, mainly in Senegal and western Uganda. They can weigh up to 62 kg and belong to the antelope family. These animals are herbivores, living on nuts, fruits and seeds. Female duikers go into seclusion when they are pregnant.

Fun Fact: These animals are beneficial to the environment. Their diet helps them disperse seeds.

7. Yellowjacket

You may know the yellowjacket insect by its other name, “wasp”. Not to be mistaken with bees, these flying insects can be pretty dangerous. Not only is their sting painful, but it can also trigger an allergic reaction in some people. Yellowjackets love sweet things, so leaving around crumbs and sugar may attract these stinging insects.

Fun Fact: Yellowjacket queens make their nests out of saliva and plant fibers.

8. Yuma Myotis

This adorable species of bat belongs to the vesper bat family. It feeds on a variety of small insects like beetles and moths. This bat has numerous predators, such as cats, fish and other carnivores. They hibernate in lava tubes and stay in hibernation for up to 5 months.

Fun Facts: Male Yuma bats don’t go near their nests.

While yuma myotis are tiny bat species, check out this video to learn more about the largest bats in the world.

9. Yellow-Eyed Penguin

This penguin gets its name from the yellow markings around its eyes. The yellow-eyed penguin is an endangered species, with less than 5000 left in this world. They carefully select their nest sites depending on weather conditions. These little penguins also have plenty of predators, some of them being ferrets and cats.

Fun Fact: The Maori name for this penguin species is Hoiho

10. Yellow Ground Squirrel

The little ground rodents are native to Asian countries like China and Russia. They burrow underground and go out to look for food during the day. The male ground squirrels are larger than the females and have yellow coats. Baby yellow ground squirrels are known as pups.

Fun Facts: A group of yellow ground squirrels is called a scurry.

11. Yellowfin Tuna

The yellowfin tuna gets its name from the yellow bumps down its spine. It also has a forked tail and grey scales. This fish is related to the bigeye tuna, which is why it is sometimes marketed as ahi. The yellowfin tuna is known for migrating for several months each year.

Fun Fact: Yellowfin tuna fry is really small in size. You’d only be able to see them with a microscope!

12. Yellow Mongoose

When it comes to cute animals, the yellow mongoose takes the cake. It is also known as a red meerkat, and it can be found in African grasslands. This animal is active during the daytime and rests in burrows during the night. They have strong claws that help them dig and climb trees.

Fun Fact: Yellow mongooses are very territorial and mark their homes with their scent glands.

13. Yacare Caiman

Yacare Caimans are members of the Caimaninae genus and closely related to alligators. These reptiles mainly reside in Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. Many years ago, this species was nearing extinction due to hunting. Eventually, they were placed under protection, which helped them repopulate. They are also known as piranha caiman due to their sharp lower teeth.

Fun Fact: Yacare caimans eat snails! They crush their shells with their teeth.

14. Yellow-Footed Antechinus

Yellow-footed antechinus, also known as the Mardo, is commonly found in Australia. They are marsupials and have an adorable jerky way of moving around. Antechinus is both polyandrous and semelparous. After mating, all the male yellow-footed antechinus dies, and most females die after weaning their offsprings. They live in woodland areas in places like logs and tree bark.

Fun Fact: These adorable animals mate themselves to death, making it a top reason for their endangerment.

15. Yellow Tang

If you’ve ever gazed into an aquarium, chances are you’ve seen this tropical fish. The yellow tang gets its name from its gorgeous vibrant yellow coloring. This fish is very popular among aquarium owners due to its unique appearance. The yellow tang loves to eat algae and often lives in reefs.

Fun Fact: The yellow tang fish only spawns around the time of a full moon.

16. Yorkiepoo

The yorkiepoo is a mix of a Yorkshire terrier and a poodle. These adorable dogs have fluffy curly fur and ears similar to a Yorkshire terrier. They’re friendly, tame, and energetic dogs. People love this adorable breed as pets as these affectionate dogs love staying by their owner’s side.

Fun Fact: Yorkipoos can be found in various sizes and colors depending on their parents.

17. Yellow Mud Turtle

Yellow mud turtles are shelled amphibians that can be found in the United States and Mexico. They are kept as pets and are known for their adorable yet grumpy behavior. In the wild, these turtles consume a diet of snails, tadpoles and even plant matter.

Fun Fact: Female turtles urinate on their nests during dry days.

18. Yellow-Throated Marten

This little creature looks like a mix between a ferret and a mongoose. Yellow-throated martens have black fur on their faces and legs, while the rest of their bodies are covered in yellow fur. This species of marten is omnivorous, living off a diet of flowers, small bugs, monkeys, and deer. They are fearless hunters and can climb trees when hunting.

Fun Fact: Male yellow-throated martens fight each other for female martens during mating season.

Learn more about martens in this interesting video!

19. Yoranian

Yoranian is another adorable dog crossbreed, this time between a Pomeranian and a Yorkshire terrier. It has fluffy fur, just like a Pomeranian but the pointy ears of a terrier. They are also called porkie poms to signify their crossbreed parents. This mixed breed doesn’t grow too big and is the perfect lap dog.

Fun Fact: Yoranians are very intelligent dogs, making them easy to train.

20. Yakutian Laika

Yakutian Laika is another unique dog breed that a lot of people don’t know about. This one is a beautiful mountain dog and a working breed that is often used to pull sledges or herd reindeer. The Yakutia Laika originates from Russia and usually has icy blue eyes with thick triple coat fur. This is a very rare breed that’s hard to find outside Russia.

Fun Fact: This breed has a tendency to gain weight easily. Regular exercise is required for them to stay fit.

21. Yokohama Chicken

The Yokohama chicken is a fancy breed that originates from Germany. It has an unusual appearance with a long tail and unique colors. This unique chicken derives from ornamental birds from Japan, hence the name. These are calm chickens that are usually kept on farms for their eggs. One chicken can lay up to 52 eggs in a year, depending on its size.

Fun Fact: Yokohama chickens are often used in shows.


Wow! Did you think there would be this many animals with the letter Y? We hope this list helped you learn about many new animals and their habitats.

If you like this article, read some more from the same series.

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