37 Animals with Claws (A to Z List with Pictures)

Animals with Claws

Animals with claws include Bears, Lizards, Birds, Aardvark, and Crocodiles.

Claws are a vital part of the anatomy of many animals. They help them catch prey, defend themselves, and climb trees. Some animals have very impressive claws, while others have more subtle claws that are still just as important.

Tigers, lions, and bears are some of the most popular animals with claws. They are all very powerful predators that can take down prey much larger than themselves.

In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of claws that animals have and what they are used for.

Examples of Animals with Claws

1. Aardvark

Scientific NameOrycteropus afer
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesub-Saharan Africa
DietCarnivore

The aardvark has claws that are used to dig. They use their powerful claws to make burrows in the ground and they tend to live alone in these burrows.

2. Alligators

Scientific NameAlligator
Type of AnimalReptile
Rangethe United States and China
DietCarnivore

Alligators have four short, blunt fingers on their front feet and five long, sharp claws on their back feet. These claws are used for defense, prey capture, and digging.

3. American Black Bear

Scientific NameUrsus americanus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America, including parts of Mexico
DietOmnivore

The black bear has strong paws with sharp claws that it uses to climb trees and dig for food, and for self-defense.

4. Bald Eagle

Scientific NameHaliaeetus leucocephalus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth American
DietCarnivore

The bald eagle has a sharp, hooked beak that is used for tearing meat. They also have strong talons on their feet that are used for gripping prey and tearing flesh.

Related Article: Do Bald Eagle Hunt?

5. Barn Owl

Scientific NameTyto alba
Type of AnimalBird
RangeSouth and Central America
DietCarnivore

The barn owl has a long, sharp talon that it uses for catching prey. This talon is also used for defense against predators. The barn owl lives in North America, Europe, and Asia.

6. Bats

Scientific NameChiroptera
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Bats have sharp claws on their wings that they use for gripping onto prey. They also use these claws for climbing and perching. Bats live in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

7. Cassowary

Scientific NameCasuarius
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorthern Australia, New Guinea, and surrounding islands
DietOmnivore

This animal lives in the rainforest of New Guinea and Australia. It has two large claws on each foot which it uses for defense, as well as for attacking and killing prey.

8. Cheetah

Scientific NameAcinonyx jubatus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica
DietCarnivore

The cheetah has the most powerful claws of all the big cats. They are used to grip prey and pull it down. The cheetah’s claws also help them climb trees. These claws are retractable, which means they can be hidden inside the paw when not in use.

9. Cougar

Scientific NamePuma concolor
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangenorthwestern Canada to Patagonia, South America
DietCarnivore

The cougar has claws that are retractable. They have a semi-retractable claw, which is longer than other cats’ claws and can be seen even when retracted.

It’s also more curved, helping it hold its prey in place while the rest of its body attacks from behind. The cougars’ paws are covered with fur, which helps them grip prey and keep from slipping.

10. Crocodiles

Scientific NameCrocodylidae
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeAfrica, Asia, the Americas, and Australia
DietCarnivore

Crocodiles have two types of claws: the sharp, pointed ones on their front feet and the blunt, flat claws on their back feet. The blunt claws are used for digging in the mud to find food or shelter and for gripping slippery surfaces.

11. Dogs

Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Dogs have four claws on their front paws and five claws on their back paws. Their nails are used for scratching, digging, and gripping prey. Dogs use their paw pads to help them walk in the snow and ice. Dogs that live in colder climates often have fur over the pads of their feet to keep them warm.

12. Domestic Cat

Scientific NameFelis catus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

The domestic cat has five claws on each front paw and four claws on each back paw. Cats use their claws for scratching, which helps them mark their territory and keep their nails sharp. Domestic cats also use their claws to help them climb trees and grip prey.

13. Giant Anteater

Scientific NameMyrmecophaga tridactyla
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeCentral and South America except for Guatemala, Uruguay, and El Salvador
DietCarnivore

The giant anteater has very long, sharp claws that are used for tearing through the tough armor of an anthill. They also use their claws to dig for food and make burrows in which to live. The anteater’s front feet are much larger than its back feet, allowing it to easily grip and tear apart its prey.

14. Giant Armadillo

Scientific NamePriodontes maximus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangenorthern Venezuela to Paraguay and northern Argentina
DietOmnivore

The giant armadillo has a unique way of using its claws. It doesn’t use them for gripping prey or digging as most other animals do.

Its claws are sharp and curved, which helps it hold onto tree branches as it climbs. The giant armadillo also uses its claws to help it burrow underground.

15. Golden Eagle

Scientific NameAquila chrysaetos
Type of AnimalBird
RangeMexico
DietCarnivore

The golden eagle has powerful talons that it uses to grip prey. These talons are so large and sharp that they can easily kill an animal as big as a deer. Eagles also use their talons to help them fly.

16. Great Horned Owl

Scientific NameBubo virginianus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe continental United States
DietCarnivore

The great horned owl has sharp, curved claws that are perfect for tearing into prey. These claws can also be used to help the owl grip tree branches as it hunts.

Owls have soft pads on their feet that help them walk quietly and softly when they’re hunting. This helps them sneak up on their prey without being detected.

Related Article: Do Great Horned Owl Eat Bats?

17. Grizzly Bear

Scientific NameUrsus arctos horribilis
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAlaska, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and possibly southern Colorado
DietOmnivore

The grizzly bear has large, curved claws that help it grip prey and dig holes in the ground. These claws are also used to climb trees. Some bears have longer nails than others, but they all use their claws for similar purposes.

18. Harpy Eagle

Scientific NameHarpia harpyja
Type of AnimalBird
Rangesouthern Mexico through Central and South America
DietCarnivore

The harpy eagle has some of the largest and most powerful claws of all the raptors. These claws are used to grip prey and carry it off into the trees to eat. The harpy eagle’s talons can be up to four inches long! They are so big and powerful that they can easily kill an animal as large as a deer.

19. Honey Badger

Scientific NameMellivora capensis
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesub-Saharan Africa, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and western Asia
DietOmnivore

The honey badger has very sharp claws that are perfect for digging. These claws can also be used to help the honey badger climb trees.

The honey badger uses its claws to dig for food, and it also uses them to defend itself from predators. Its claws are so sharp that they can easily rip through animal skin and fur.

20. Jaguar

Scientific NamePanthera onca
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeBrazil
DietCarnivore

The jaguar is the only big cat in North America with semi-retractable claws. This means that its claws are not completely hidden inside the paw, but they are still shorter than other cats’ claws. The jaguar’s claws are sharp and curve backward, which helps it grip prey as it hunts

21. Kangaroo

Scientific NameMacropodidae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAustralia
DietHerbivore

The kangaroo is a marsupial and has paws instead of hooves. These paws have claws on the ends that help them grip the ground as it jumps around. The kangaroo’s tail is also used for balance while hopping and jumping.

22. Koala

Scientific NamePhascolarctos cinereus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeEastern Australia
DietHerbivore

Koalas have sharp claws that they use for climbing trees. Their claws are also helpful when the koala is fighting off predators. Koalas have very strong nails, which help them grip tree branches tightly. This helps them stay in their tree while they’re sleeping or eating.

23. Lion

Scientific NamePanthera leo
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica
DietCarnivore

The lion has sharp, curved claws that are perfect for gripping prey. These claws can also be used to help the lion climb trees.

24. Lizards

Scientific NameLacertilia
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

Lizards have sharp claws on their feet that are used for gripping prey, digging, and climbing. Some lizards also have a “clawed toe,” which is a clawed toe that sticks out from the side of their foot. This claw is used for grasping branches as the lizard climbs.

25. Meerkat

Scientific NameSuricata suricatta
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica
DietCarnivore

The meerkat has sharp, curved claws that are perfect for gripping prey. These claws can also be used to help the meerkat climb trees. Meerkats use their claws to dig burrows and tunnels in the ground.

They also use them to defend themselves from predators. When a meerkat feels threatened, it will stand up on its hind legs and slash at the predator with its claws.

26. Moles

Scientific NameTalpidae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

Moles have very sharp claws that are perfect for digging. Their claws are also long and curved, which helps them grip the soil as they dig. Moles use their strong front claws to break through the soil and their back claws to scoop up the dirt and move it away from the hole they’re digging.

Related Article: What Eats Moles?

27. Osprey

Scientific NamePandion haliaetus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeevery continent except Antarctica
DietCarnivore

The osprey has long, sharp claws that are perfect for catching fish. These claws can be used to grip the fish in its talons and carry it back to its nest. Ospreys also have a rough surface on their feet that helps them hold onto slippery fish.

28. Pangolin

Scientific NamePholidota
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeIndia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan, Taiwan
DietCarnivore

The Pangolin has large claws on its front legs and smaller ones on its back legs. The pangolin uses these claws to dig burrows underground and for climbing trees. It also uses them when it’s attacking prey.

Its paws are covered with tough skin, which helps protect them from getting hurt while digging or climbing.

29. Peregrine Falcon

Scientific NameFalco peregrinus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangesouthwestern Australia
DietCarnivore

The Peregrine Falcon has long, sharp claws that are perfect for gripping its prey. These claws can also be used to help the falcon cling to tree branches as it hunts.

Falcons have soft pads on their feet that help them walk quietly and softly when they’re hunting. This helps them sneak up on their prey without being detected.

30. Polar Bear

Scientific NameUrsus maritimus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAlaska, Canada, Russia, Greenland, and some northern islands owned by Norway
DietCarnivore

The polar bear has long, sharp claws that are perfect for hunting. These claws can be up to four inches long. They help the polar bear grip the ice and snow as it walks, which is important since most of its food lives in cold environments. The polar bear’s paws also have fur on them, which keeps them warm in the cold weather.

31. Red-Tailed Hawk

Scientific NameButeo jamaicensis
Type of AnimalBird
RangeCentral America
DietCarnivore

The red-tailed hawk uses its sharp claws to grip prey as it hunts. These claws can also be used to help the hawk perch on tree branches or other objects. Hawks have tough feet that are covered with scales. This helps them hold onto their prey when they’re tearing it apart.

32. Siberian Tiger

Scientific NamePanthera tigris altaica
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethe Russian Far East
DietCarnivore

The Siberian tiger has the longest and sharpest claws of all the big cats. These claws are used to grip prey and pull it down. The tiger’s claws also help them climb trees. These claws are retractable, which means they can be hidden inside the paw when not in use.

33. Sloth Bear

Scientific NameMelursus ursinus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeIndia
DietOmnivore

The sloth bear has long, sharp claws that are perfect for digging. These claws help the sloth bear find food underground and build its den. The sloth bear’s claws also help it defend itself from predators. When threatened, the sloth bear will stand on its hind legs and use its claws to attack its enemy.

34. Sloths

Scientific NameFolivora
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeCentral and South America
DietHerbivore

Sloths have very sharp claws, but they don’t use them for hunting or digging. Instead, they use their claws to help them climb trees. Their claws are curved and sharp, which helps them grip the tree branches as they climb.

35. Squirrels

Scientific NameSciuridae
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangeevery continent except in Australia and Antarctica
DietOmnivore

Squirrels don’t have claws, but they do have sharp teeth. These teeth help them grip food and climb trees. Their front paws are good for grabbing things like nuts or other small prey with their hands (front) and feet (back).

36. Wolverine

Scientific NameGulo gulo
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeCanada and Alaska
DietCarnivore

The wolverine has long, sharp claws that are perfect for gripping prey. Wolverines use their claws to help them climb trees and dig through the snow in search of food. They also use their claws as weapons when they’re fighting with other animals.

37. Wolves

Scientific NameCanis lupus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa
DietCarnivore

Wolves have four sharp claws on their front paws and five on their back. Their nails are used for gripping prey, digging, and scratching. Wolves use their paw pads to help them walk in the snow and ice.

Like dogs, wolves that live in colder climates often have fur over the pads of their feet to keep them warm.

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