Black animals are rare, so seeing one can be a surprise. They live in different habitats and climates but they all have one thing in common: they are all beautiful.
Sometimes, we also call these all-black animals melanistic. A melanistic animal is all-black without any other colors. So some of the following animals are truly melanistic while others are primarily black with some other colors, such as a red beak.
List of Animals that are Black
1. American Black Bear
|Scientific Name||Ursus americanus|
|Size||Up to 75 inches|
Strong and mighty, the American black bear is the king of American forests. It’s a medium-sized bear species that is endemic to North America. Most commonly, you’ll find this bear in the forests of Oregon and other northern states, as well as in most states of Canada. Attacks on humans have happened in the past, but they can be avoided with a bit of care.
2. American Crow
|Scientific Name||Corvus brachyrhynchos|
|Size||Up to 20 inches|
Most crows are black, and the American crow is no exception. While the crow might not have the best reputation, it is a very cunning and smart bird. It is also often connected to graveyards, death, and other similar themes because of its black color and its connection with the dead bodies of people.
3. Ancona Chicken
|Scientific Name||Gallus gallus domesticus|
|Size||Up to 6lbs|
Like the Ayam cemani, the Ancona chicken is also a part of the gallus gallus domesticus group of animals, meaning that it’s a chicken. It’s an interesting chicken breed that stems from Ancona, Italy, but has been spread all around the world. This chicken is known for its proficient egg-laying abilities.
4. Angus Cattle
|Scientific Name||Bos taurus|
Angus cattle are a black breed of cow that originates from Scotland. These are a breed that were specifically bred for meat and are today produce one of the most popular cuts of beef in restaurants (Angus and Wagyu are the two most popular). Cows are a fully domestic species, and in fact the species was bred in captivity. Their wild ancestor is the aurock. Read more about black and white cow breeds here.
5. Ayam Cemani
|Scientific Name||Gallus gallus domesticus|
|Size||Up to 5 inches|
The Ayam Cemani is an interesting chicken species that is only found in Indonesia. Originally, the words “Ayam” and “cemani” come from the Indonesian language; “Ayam” means chicken, while “cemani” means thoroughly black. Up until the late 20th century, these chickens were only kept in Asia but in the last 40 years, they have been introduced to various countries around the world.
6. Black Panther
|Scientific Name||Panthera pardus|
|Size||Up to 31 inches|
Up until the late 1800s, not much was known about the black panther. It was believed in the West that this mysterious creature was only to be found in Asia and thus it was believed to be a true rarity. Some biologists have proposed that this species is to be considered a different species from the leopard and the jaguar, but ultimately, the animal is only a black variant of the two species.
7. Black Saddlebags
|Scientific Name||Tramea lacerata|
|Size||Up to 2 inches|
|Habitat||Forests, watery areas|
The black saddlebag is a type of dragonfly that is all black. This animal is known for the black botches on the edges of its wings. You’ll likely find this insect in many states of North America. They’ll spend most of their time around stagnant water bodies where they will hunt for their prey.
8. Black Squirrel
The black squirrel is the melanistic version of other squirrels. It is not considered to be its own species, but rather a unique variation that happens mostly to the eastern gray squirrel and the fox squirrel. These black squirrels are quite a rarity; they happen when an abnormal pigment gene is introduced in the general squirrel population, which doesn’t happen often.
9. Black Swan
|Scientific Name||Cygnus atratus|
The black swan is a species of swan found in southwestern and southeastern Australia. It has been exported around the world, particularly in Japan, to act as a waterbird in opulent gardens. It’s a nomadic bird but does return to nesting sites yearly to birth its young. Like other swans, the black swan is monogamous with scientists believing they have a separation (divorce) rate of just 6%.
10. Black Widow Spider
|Scientific Name||Latrodectus hesperus|
The black widow is one of the most venomous spiders in the world. It is found in North America, although there is a cousin in Australia called the redback spider, often colloquially referred to as the Australian black widow. It is identifiable by its red markings on its abdomen. While it is extremely venomous, there are very few recorded deaths from the black widow in modern history.
11. Black Witch Moth
|Scientific Name||Ascalapha odorata|
|Range||Brazil to Canada|
The black witch moth is found anywhere from Canada down to Brazil although it’s primarily found in southern USA and Mexico. It is known to migrate up and down the Americas throughout the year. It is believed by traditional Mexican culture to be a harbringer of death, perhaps because of the symbolic association between the color black and death.
12. Black Wolf
|Scientific Name||Canis lupus|
|Size||Up to 60 inches|
The black wolf is a melanistic variant of the Canis lupus species. Black specimens were also sometimes seen with the Canis rufus species (red wolves) in the past, but today, it is considered extinct but can be seen in some zoos. Due to a mutation in genes when breeding with dogs, the wolves started to develop this typical black color which we now often see.
13. Celebes Crested Macaque
|Scientific Name||Macaca nigra|
|Size||Up to 24 inches|
Sometimes simply called the black ape, the Celebes crested macaque is one of the oldest mammal species in the world. This photogenic ape species (also known for the famous monkey selfie that you might have seen) is also considered a pest, so it is sometimes actively hunted, which makes it critically endangered.
14. Chilean Dolphin
|Scientific Name||Cephalorynchus Eutropia|
|Size||Up to 5.6 ft|
Found off the coast of Chile, the Chilean dolphin is a beautiful dolphin species that can grow up to the size of a human being. It’s a small and thick dolphin that is often seen in groups, although it’s harmless to humans. In Chile, this dolphin is also sometimes referred to as “tonina”.
|Scientific Name||Pan troglodytes|
|Habitat||Central African Forests|
The chimpanzee is a large primate with black hair covering its entire body. While many primated have black hair, the chimpanzee has perhaps the most shiny black coat of all primates. Chimpanzees are unfortunately considered endangered by the official IUCN red list. They can still be found in the wild in central Africa where they share a habitat with the black Mountain Gorilla.
16. Common Blackbird
|Scientific Name||Turdus merula|
|Size||Up to 11 inches|
The common blackbird, or simply the blackbird, is a very widely known bird all around the world. It’s known for its all-black body and an orange beak, so it can sometimes be mistaken for other bird species. Besides its pleasant appearance, this bird can also sing melodious songs.
17. Melanistic Penguins
|Scientific Name||Aptenodytes forsteri|
Yes, even the penguins can be all-black. These melanistic animals can sometimes be seen due to mutations in genes. Instead of having the white color of its pelt at the front of its body, a melanistic penguin would be all-black. But even if that happens, this type of penguin is still the same as other penguins.
18. Rhinoceros Beetle
|Size||Up to 8 inches|
Beetles come in all shapes and sizes, as well as colors. However, the vast majority of beetle species are black, or at least have some variety of black coloration on their bodies. This is particularly true for the rhinoceros beetle. Even though it’s quite a broad animal group, these beetles are mostly black.
19. Scottish Terrier
|Scientific Name||Canis lupus|
|Size||Up to 10 inches|
The Scottish terrier is a breed of dog originating from Scotland. They’re a small dog measuring up to only about 10 inches high with a distinctive beard and perky ears. They’re mostly known for their black coats, but you can also find them with white and brindle coats. The Scottish terrier is a very popular breed of pet, with famous people like George W. Bush owning Scottish terrier dogs.
20. Western Rat Snake
|Scientific Name||Pantherophis obsoletus|
|Size||Up to 6ft|
The Western rat snake, also often called a black snake, is a fairly common snake species in North America. It’s known for the beautiful black color of its body and the white color of the lower area of the body. It’s a relatively harmless snake as it doesn’t carry venom, but is still capable of hunting down its prey very well.
21. Wild Water Buffalo
|Scientific Name||Bubalus arnee|
|Size||Up to 6.2 feet tall|
Black and majestic, the wild water buffalo is one of the most historically revered animals. It is native to the Indian subcontinent, but its population has been declining rapidly over the past few decades. The wild water buffalo can be found in different colorations, including ash-gray to black.
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Black animals are majestic, but there is a sense of mystery connected to black animals, too. The prime example of this is black crows, which are often seen in movies or novels.
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