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Animals That Start With D – The List

In the vast diversity of the animal kingdom, every creature, big or small, plays a pivotal role in the intricate balance of nature. This article focuses on an array of fascinating animals, all of which share a common initial: the letter “D”.

From the dainty dragonfly hovering above serene ponds to the majestic deer roaming dense forests, the diversity and uniqueness of these beings show nature’s creativity and adaptability. Join us as we dive deep into the world of these diverse denizens, exploring their habitats, behaviors, and intriguing trivia.

Whether they’re flying, swimming, roaming, or hopping, each animal in this listicle offers a glimpse into the wonders of the natural world. So let’s embark on this alphabetical adventure and discover the delightful details of these animals that start with D!

Animals That Start With D – With Pictures & Facts

Here, we are listing 20 one-word animal names starting with D, with pictures and interesting facts. 


Damselfish - Hero
  • Scientific name: Pomacentridae (family)
  • Type of animal: Fish
  • Where found: Tropical coral reefs around the world, especially in the Indo-Pacific region

Damselfishes are small to medium-sized marine fish known for their bright colors and active behavior. They are often found darting around coral reefs, marking their territories, and feeding on tiny planktonic creatures.

Many species have territorial behavior and can be aggressive defenders of their patches of reef, especially when they’re protecting their eggs. Their vibrant colors, variety, and abundance make them popular among divers and aquarium enthusiasts alike.

Did you know? Some damselfish species are farmers! They cultivate algae patches in their territories and fiercely protect them from intruders. These “farms” serve as a primary food source for the fish.

→ Learn more about Damselfish


Danio - Hero
  • Scientific name: Danio spp.
  • Type of animal: Fish
  • Where found: Freshwater streams and ponds in South and Southeast Asia

Danios are small, lively freshwater fish popular in the aquarium trade. They belong to the minnow family and are best known for their striking horizontal stripes and playful behavior.

Among them, the zebrafish (Danio rerio) has become an essential model organism in scientific research, especially in genetics and developmental biology. Due to their rapid reproductive cycle and transparent embryos, they offer unique insights into developmental processes.

Did you know? The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is so important in biological research that its genome has been entirely sequenced to aid scientists in their studies.

→ Learn more about Danios


Deer - Hero
  • Scientific name: Cervidae (family)
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found: Nearly all continents, from the Arctic tundra to rainforests and grasslands

Deer are elegant herbivores known for their graceful movements and, in many species, their impressive antlers. These antlers, found mainly on males, are used in mating season battles to win over females.

Depending on the species, deer can inhabit a wide range of habitats, from dense forests to open meadows. While they may be diverse in size and appearance, all deer have a keen sense of hearing and a delicate stature, which aids them in detecting and escaping from predators.

Did you know? Antlers are one of the fastest-growing tissues in the animal kingdom. Some species of deer can grow as much as half an inch of antler per day during the peak growth phase!

→ Learn more about Deer


Dhole - Hero
  • Scientific name: Cuon alpinus
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found: Central, South, East Asia, and Southeast Asia

Dholes, also known as Asiatic wild dogs, are highly social predators. With their reddish coat and bushy tail, they roam the forests and grasslands in packs. They communicate with a variety of vocalizations, including an unusual whistle, which they use to regroup while hunting. Dholes are agile runners and excellent jumpers, and they are known to take on prey much larger than themselves, like deer.

Did you know? Unlike most large predators, dholes are known to form packs of up to 40 individuals, which gives them an advantage when hunting large prey.

→ Learn more about Dholes


Dik-Dik Hero
  • Scientific name: Madoqua spp.
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found: Eastern and Southern Africa

Dik-diks are tiny antelopes named for the distinctive ‘dik-dik’ sound they make when alarmed. These little creatures stand only about 12–16 inches at the shoulder.

They have large, dark eyes surrounded by a white ring, and their long, tubular snouts help with thermoregulation. Dik-diks are monogamous, and pairs establish territories that they mark with secretions from glands near their eyes.

Did you know? Dik-diks have specialized hooves and large adrenal glands, adaptations that allow them to sprint away from predators at impressive speeds despite their small size.

→ Learn more about Dik-diks


  • Scientific name: Canis lupus dingo
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found: Mainly in Australia

Dingoes are wild dogs native to Australia, believed to have arrived on the continent over 4,000 years ago. They are versatile predators and scavengers with a diet that includes rabbits, kangaroos, and sometimes livestock, which has put them in conflict with farmers.

Their sandy to reddish-brown fur and bushy tail give them a distinct look, but their vocalizations, including howls, are what make them unique among dogs.

Did you know? Dingoes play a vital role in Australia’s ecosystem by controlling the populations of pests like rabbits and rats. Some studies suggest that they can even help increase biodiversity by suppressing invasive species.

→ Learn more about Dingoes


  • Scientific name: Cinclus spp.
  • Type of animal: Bird
  • Where found: Northern Hemisphere, particularly in mountainous and upland regions

Dippers are fascinating birds uniquely adapted to their aquatic habitats. These stout, short-tailed birds have the ability to walk underwater along riverbeds, searching for insects, larvae, and small crustaceans.

They possess an extra eyelid, known as a nictitating membrane, which allows them to see underwater, and their nasal flaps prevent water from entering their nostrils.

Did you know? Despite being songbirds, dippers are excellent divers. They have a high hemoglobin count in their blood, allowing them to store more oxygen and stay submerged longer.

→ Learn more about Dippers


  • Scientific name: Symphysodon spp.
  • Type of animal: Fish
  • Where found: Amazon River basin in South America

The discus fish, named for its distinctive disc-shaped body, is a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts due to its bright and varied colors. These cichlids are peaceful and prefer to swim in schools.

In the wild, they are found in warm, slow-moving waters, and their unique body shape helps them navigate through dense aquatic plants and roots.

Did you know? Parent discus fish are known to secrete mucus from their skin, which their fry feed on for the first few days of life. This behavior ensures the fry receives essential nutrients during their early developmental stages.

→ Learn more about Discus


  • Scientific name: Canis lupus familiaris
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found: Worldwide

Dogs, domesticated descendants of wolves, have been human companions for thousands of years. Through selective breeding, there are now hundreds of different breeds, varying in size, appearance, and temperament.

These loyal animals have served humans in various capacities, from hunting and herding to companionship and therapy. Their keen senses, particularly their sense of smell, also make them invaluable in search and rescue missions and police work.

Did you know? Dogs have a “third eyelid,” called a nictitating membrane, which can help protect their eyes and keep them moist. In some breeds, it’s more visible than in others.

→ Learn more about Dogs


  • Scientific name: Delphinidae (family)
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found: Oceans worldwide

Dolphins are highly intelligent marine mammals known for their playful nature and complex social interactions. These creatures have sleek, hydrodynamic bodies and communicate using a series of clicks, whistles, and body movements.

Dolphins are carnivores, with fish and squid making up the majority of their diet. They often hunt cooperatively, using tactics that involve herding and corralling their prey.

Did you know? Dolphins have been known to display altruistic behavior, often helping injured or sick members of their pod, and there have been accounts of dolphins saving humans from danger in the ocean.

→ Learn more about Dolphins


  • Scientific name: Equus africanus asinus
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found: Worldwide, originally from Northeast Africa

Donkeys, also known as asses, have been utilized by humans for millennia as pack animals, for transportation, and for agricultural work. Characterized by their large ears, sturdy build, and often gentle disposition, they are well-suited for carrying heavy loads across long distances.

Although slower than horses, they are particularly adept at navigating rough terrain and are known for their endurance and resilience.

Did you know? Contrary to popular belief, donkeys aren’t stubborn; they are actually very cautious animals. They often refuse to move if they sense danger or if they’re unsure about a situation, which can be mistaken for stubbornness.

→ Learn more about Donkeys


  • Scientific name: Columbinae (subfamily)
  • Type of animal: Bird
  • Where found: Worldwide

Doves are symbols of peace and love in many cultures. They are small to medium-sized birds with stout bodies and short legs. Doves are found in almost every part of the world, and they thrive in a variety of habitats, from dense forests to urban settings.

Their gentle cooing calls are a familiar sound in many landscapes, and their diet primarily consists of seeds, fruits, and sometimes insects.

Did you know? The release of white doves is a common practice at various ceremonies, like weddings, symbolizing love, peace, or the souls of the departed.

→ Learn more about Doves


  • Scientific name: Stomiidae (family)
  • Type of animal: Fish
  • Where found: Deep-sea regions worldwide

Dragonfish are a group of deep-sea fish known for their bioluminescent organs, which they use to lure prey in the utter darkness of the deep ocean.

They have large, fearsome teeth and long, slender bodies. Some species have a long barbel attached to their chin, which contains a light-producing organ at the tip, acting as a bait to attract prey.

Did you know? The bioluminescence of the dragonfish is so advanced that some species produce a red glow, a color of light rarely seen in the deep ocean, giving them a unique advantage in hunting prey that can’t see that color.

→ Learn more about Dragonfish


  • Scientific name: Anisoptera (suborder)
  • Type of animal: Insect
  • Where found: Worldwide, especially near freshwater habitats

Dragonflies are agile fliers known for their iridescent colors and delicate, net-like wings. These insects have a life cycle that involves an aquatic larval stage called a nymph, which can last for up to five years before the nymph emerges from the water to metamorphose into an airborne adult.

Dragonflies are predators, both as nymphs and as adults, feeding on other insects, small fish, or even tadpoles.

Did you know? Despite their fragile appearance, dragonflies are one of the most efficient hunters in the insect world, with a success rate of over 95% in catching their prey in flight.

→ Learn more about Dragonflies


  • Scientific name: Mandrillus leucophaeus
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found: Rainforests of West Africa

The drill is a primate closely related to the mandrill but is less colorful and somewhat smaller. Drills are characterized by their black face, rump patches, and pinkish lower lip. Males are larger and more vibrant than females.

They live in large social groups and have a complex social structure, with one dominant male leading a group of females and their offspring.

Did you know? Drills are among Africa’s most endangered mammals due to habitat destruction and hunting. Efforts are ongoing to conserve their populations and habitats.

→ Learn more about Drills


  • Scientific name: Camelus dromedarius
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found: Native to the Arabian Peninsula, but now found in many parts of North Africa, the Middle East, and Australia

The dromedary, or Arabian camel, is equipped with a single hump that stores fat, which can be converted into water and energy when sustenance is scarce.

Their long legs, tough hooves, and broad, padded feet are well-suited to desert terrain. Dromedaries have been vital to nomadic communities for thousands of years, providing transportation, milk, meat, wool, and even leather.

Did you know? The dromedary’s hump doesn’t store water, as commonly believed. Instead, they can drink up to 40 gallons of water in one go and have specialized blood cells that can expand up to 240% of their original size to prevent dehydration.

→ Learn more about Dromedary Camels


  • Scientific name: Dicruridae (family)
  • Type of animal: Bird
  • Where found: Asia, Africa, and Australia

Drongos are sleek, black birds known for their agile flight and distinctive forked tails. They are excellent insect catchers and often follow larger animals to catch insects disturbed by their movement.

Some species have also developed the ability to mimic the calls of other birds and animals, which they use strategically to divert attention and steal food.

Did you know? The African fork-tailed drongo is known to mimic alarm calls of other species to scare them away and steal their food, showcasing their cunning intelligence.

→ Learn more about Drongos


  • Scientific name: Anas spp. (for many common species)
  • Type of animal: Bird
  • Where found: Worldwide

Ducks are waterfowl with broad bills, webbed feet, and a relatively short neck. They are versatile birds, found in a range of habitats from freshwater lakes to coastal marshes.

Ducks are omnivorous and have a varied diet including aquatic plants, insects, and small fish. Many species are migratory, traveling long distances between breeding and wintering grounds.

Did you know? Ducks have specialized waterproof feathers. An oil gland near the base of their tail produces oil that they spread across their feathers to keep them waterproof.

→ Learn more about Ducks


  • Scientific name: Dugong dugon
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found: Coastal areas of the Indo-Pacific

The dugong, a marine mammal, is closely related to manatees and is the only strictly marine herbivorous mammal. With a large body, fluked tail, and a downturned snout, dugongs graze on underwater grasses in coastal areas.

They have a slow reproductive rate, making them vulnerable to threats like habitat loss and accidental net entanglement.

Did you know? Legends of mermaids may have been inspired by sightings of dugongs and manatees. Sailors and explorers once believed they were observing mythical half-human, half-fish creatures.

→ Learn more about Dugongs


  • Scientific name: Calidris alpina
  • Type of animal: Bird
  • Where found: Arctic and subarctic regions (breeding); coastlines and estuaries (wintering)

Dunlins are small wading birds with a distinctive long, drooping bill. They breed in the Arctic and migrate to coastlines and estuaries in lower latitudes during winter.

These birds are often seen in large flocks, performing synchronized aerial displays over wetlands, especially during migration.

Did you know? Dunlins have a dramatic change in appearance between their breeding and non-breeding plumages. During the breeding season, they sport a reddish-brown back and a black belly patch, but in the winter, they turn gray and white.

→ Learn more about Dunlins

Animals that Start With D: The Full List

Mammals Starting With D

→ Learn more about Mammals

Birds Starting With D

  • Dalmatian Pelican
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Dartford Warbler
  • Darwin’s Finches
  • Demoiselle Crane
  • Desert Sparrow
  • Dickcissel
  • Dideric Cuckoo
  • Dollarbird
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Double-toothed Kite
  • Dovekie (or Little Auk)
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Dusky Lark
  • Dusky Pigeon
  • Dusky Warbler
  • Dunnock
  • Dusky Flycatcher
  • Dusky Grouse
  • Dusky-headed Parakeet
  • Dusky Moorhen
  • Dusky Thrush
  • Dusky-capped Flycatcher
  • Dusky-legged Guan
  • Dusky-tailed Canastero
  • Dusky-winged Parrot
  • Dwarf Bittern
  • Dwarf Jay
  • Dwarf Turaco

→ Learn more about Birds

Fish Starting With D

  • Dace
  • Dagger-tooth Pike Conger
  • Darter
  • Deep Sea Hatchetfish
  • Deep Sea Smelt
  • Denticle Herring
  • Desert Pupfish
  • Devil Ray
  • Diamond Stingray
  • Diamond Turbot
  • Dogfish
  • Dogtooth Tuna
  • Dolphinfish
  • Dottyback
  • Dragonet
  • Dragon Goby
  • Driftfish
  • Drum
  • Duckbill Eel
  • Dusky Grouper
  • Dusky Shark

→ Learn more about Fish

Reptiles Starting With D

  • D’Albert’s Python
  • Dabb Lizard
  • Day Gecko
  • Death Adder
  • Debrazza’s Anole
  • Desert Collared Lizard
  • Desert Horned Lizard
  • Desert Iguana
  • Desert Kingsnake
  • Desert Monitor
  • Diamond Python
  • Diamond Terrapin
  • Diamondback Terrapin
  • Diego Garcia Day Gecko
  • Diego Garcia Island Tree Gecko
  • Disc Anole
  • Dragon Snake
  • Dream Snake
  • Dryland Bluetongue Skink
  • Dumeril’s Boa
  • Dumeril’s Monitor
  • Dunn’s Tree Snake
  • Dwarf Anole
  • Dwarf Bearded Dragon
  • Dwarf Sand Gecko

→ Learn more about Reptiles

Amphibians Starting With D

  • Dainty Green Tree Frog
  • Dainty Narrow-mouthed Frog
  • Dappled Mountain Brown Frog
  • Dark-sided Chorus Frog
  • Davis Mountains Salamander
  • Day’s Tree Frog
  • Deccan Ground Gecko
  • Delicate-skinned Salamander
  • Desert Rain Frog
  • Desert Slender Salamander
  • Desert Spadefoot Toad
  • Desert Tree Frog
  • Diadem Rainfrog
  • Dixie Valley Toad
  • Dobson’s Salamander
  • Dominican Robber Frog
  • Doria’s Tree Frog
  • Dorsal-spined Toad
  • Dotted Newt
  • Drayton’s Palmate Newt
  • Dumeril’s Wrinkled Ground Frog

→ Learn more about Amphibians

Mollusks Starting With D

  • Dalmatian Wall Snail
  • Dancer Snail
  • Dark Topshell
  • Darter Cone
  • Daudebardia Rufa
  • Dawn Hornsnail
  • Deepwater Cantharus
  • Delicate Cowrie
  • Devil’s Tongue
  • Diamondback Squid
  • Dieffenbach’s Flax Snail
  • Disk Dosinia
  • Dog Whelk
  • Donkey Dung Sea Cucumber
  • Donkey’s Ear Abalone
  • Doughnut Nassa
  • Dove Snail
  • Dragon Sea Slug
  • Draparnaud’s Glass Snail
  • Drawbridge Murex
  • Driftwood Chiton
  • Duck Mussel
  • Dusky Arion
  • Dwarf Olive Snail
  • Dwarf Turban
  • Dye Murex

→ Learn more about Mollusks

Insects Starting With D

  • Damsel Bug
  • Darkling Beetle
  • Death’s-head Hawkmoth
  • Deathwatch Beetle
  • Deer Bot Fly
  • Deer Fly
  • Dermestid Beetle
  • Desert Locust
  • Devil’s Coach Horse Beetle
  • Devil’s Flower Mantis
  • Diamondback Moth
  • Digger Bee
  • Digger Wasp
  • Dobsonfly
  • Dog Tick
  • Dogbane Beetle
  • Doodlebug
  • Dotted Fruit Chafer
  • Drywood Termite
  • Dusky-winged Fruit Fly

→ Learn more about Insects

Arthropods Starting With D

  • Daddylonglegs
  • Daphnia
  • Dark Fishing Spider
  • Deathstalker Scorpion
  • Decorator Crab
  • Deep Sea Isopod
  • Desert Centipede
  • Desert Hairy Scorpion
  • Devil Crayfish
  • Diving Bell Spider
  • Dolomedes
  • Dromedary Jumping Spider
  • Dwarf Wood Scorpion

→ Learn more about Arachnids, Crustaceans and Myriapods

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