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19 Animals that Growl (A to Z List & Pictures)

Animals that Growl

Examples of animals that growl include alligators, badgers, black Bears, cats, and dogs.

Below is a list of animals that have been observed or reported to be able to produce the sound “growl” in some form.

One of the most common sounds we hear is a growl. It can be scary, but it can also be reassuring and make us feel safe. Dogs and cats both growl as a warning to others, and sometimes they even do it for our own safety.

A growl is a low-pitched sound that warns others that an animal is irritated or threatened.

Examples of Animals that Growl

A growl can be heard from an animal when it feels threatened or wants to show dominance.

There are many animals that growl, such as dogs and cats. The dog’s growling sounds different than a cat’s because they have different vocal cords.

Here are some more animals that growl

1. Alligators

Scientific NameAlligator
Type of AnimalReptile
Rangethe United States from North Carolina to the Rio Grande in Texas

The alligator is well-known for its loud growl. It sounds like a very deep roar and you can sometimes hear it through the water if they are close by.

They will growl to scare other alligators away from their territory or sometimes when they are in danger.

2. Badgers

Scientific NameMeles meles
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeGreat Plains region of North America

Badgers are known for their growls. They can be used as a warning to other badgers if they feel threatened or insecure. Sometimes these noises are loud enough that you can hear them if you are close by.

Badgers use growls to scare off predators such as foxes and coyotes who do not want to come face-to-face with these animals either.

A low growl from a badger is a warning for other animals to not come any closer.

3. Black Bears

Scientific NameUrsus americanus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America

When a black bear feels threatened, it will usually growl as a way to show its dominance or scare off the threat. Bears are capable of growling with different intensities and degrees, ranging from low rumbles to high-pitched screams that can signal an imminent attack.

Black bears are typically shy creatures and will usually only attack if they feel threatened or if their cubs are in danger.

4. Cats

Scientific NameFelis catus
Type of AnimalMammal

Cats use growling as a way to communicate with other cats. Cats use a variety of growls to communicate with each other and this communication is a very important part of cat society.

They will also growl when they are extremely aggravated, as a way to warn off predators or people who have invaded their personal space.

A cat’s growls can sound different depending on the situation, but they always have the goal of communicating a message.

5. Dogs

Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Type of AnimalMammal

Dogs use growling as a way to communicate with other dogs, and this communication is especially important when they are playing together

Dogs use growling to communicate with other dogs in a variety of ways. Bulldogs, for example, use louder growls when they are playing happily while Shih Tzus use very quiet growls when they are being aggressive.

6. Ghost Crabs

Scientific NameOcypodinae
Type of AnimalMalacostracans
RangeTropical and subtropical areas

The ghost crab is a small, shoreline crab that is found in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. These crabs can be identified by their bright white shells and grow to about 3 inches wide.

Ghost crabs are known for their loud growls, and they produce this growling sound by using their teeth in their stomachs to make this sound which they use to communicate with each other and scare away predators.

Read Also: Can Ghost Crabs be Yellow?

7. Grizzly Bears

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

When a grizzly bear feels threatened, it will let out a deep growl as a warning to the other animal to back off.

They usually growl while eating, and will turn to let the other animal know that they mean business.

The growl is extremely intimidating and often scares away their opponent. Very rarely do grizzly bears actually get into fights and hurt each other.

8. Gurnards

Scientific NameChelidonichthys cuculus
Type of AnimalFish
RangeEastern Atlantic from British Isles to Mauritania

Gurnards are fish that live in the ocean. They have a very strange appearance, with a large, flattened head and a long, spiny tail.

They get their name from the growling noise they make when they are disturbed or angry.

Gurnards have the ability to growl or grunt due to muscles connected with the swim bladder.

9. Hippopotamus

Scientific NameHippopotamus amphibius
Type of AnimalMammal

The Hippopotamus is a large, semi-aquatic mammal that lives in Africa. It mainly eats grasses and small plants found along the riverbeds.

Despite its physical appearance, it is actually related to whales and dolphins. The animal can weigh up to 5 tonnes and male hippos are highly aggressive in order to gain dominance over a herd.

They are also capable of producing a deep, guttural growl that can be heard up to 2km away.

10. Leopards

Scientific NamePanthera pardus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesub-Saharan Africa

Leopards are known for their powerful roars, but did you know that they can also growl? A leopard’s growl is usually used as a warning to other animals, or as a way to show dominance. Leopards usually growl when they are angry, scared, or threatened.

11. Lions

Scientific NamePanthera leo
Type of AnimalMammal

Lions will growl at other lions when they want them to move away from an object or location, like food or a preferred resting spot.

Growling is also used to express aggression, and it escalates to a full-fledged roar when the lions are fighting.

Growling is a deep, guttural sound that is often accompanied by the repeated opening and closing of the mouth.

Lions use both vocalizations and physical interactions to communicate information.

12. Llamas

Scientific NameLama glama
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeSouth America, primarily Peru and Bolivia

Llamas Growl and spit when they sense danger to scare off predators and other threats. This behavior helps the llama keep itself and its young safe from dangerous situations.

13. Longsnout Seahorse

Scientific NameHippocampus reidi
Type of AnimalFish
Rangethe Caribbean Sea and the western North Atlantic Ocean

The Longsnout Seahorse Growlfish (Hippocampus reidi) is known to growl, particularly when they are spawning.

It has also been observed that the loud calls made by the seahorse during this period attract both males and females of its species.

Usually, breeding pairs of these seahorses will form and remain together until the eggs are hatched.

In response to stress, these little fish make a growling sound, particularly the stress of being captured and handled.

14. Opossums

Scientific NameDidelphidae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeUnited States, Mexico, Central America, South America, and Canada

Opossums are small animals that are found in North America. They have a white face and a black body.

They are marsupials, which means they carry their young in a pouch. Opossums growl when they are threatened or scared and also use their growl to scare away predators or enemies.

15. Platypus

Scientific NameOrnithorhynchus anatinus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangeeastern Australia

The platypus eats a variety of insect larvae, shrimp, and other crustaceans, as well as freshwater fish like Galaxias (a small fish commonly eaten by the Aboriginals).

However, its most distinguishing feature is that when threatened, the platypus will growl. This is due to an air pouch located in its throat that is triggered by vibrations in the water with its bill.

Once this occurs, the animal will produce a low-frequency warning sound that can be heard by humans and is similar to a grunt or snort.

16. Polar Bear

Scientific NameUrsus maritimus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethe Arctic

When a polar bear feels threatened, it will emit a deep growl as a warning to the other animal. This growl is very distinct and can be heard from a long-distance away.

The purpose of this growl is to scare off the potential threat and avoid any type of physical confrontation.

17. Raccoons

Scientific NameProcyon lotor
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America

One of the animals that are known to growl is the raccoon. Raccoons are nocturnal creatures and live in both rural and urban areas.

They are notorious for being pests, as they often raid trash cans or break into homes in search of food.

Raccoons typically growl when they feel threatened. They may stand up on their hind legs and put their paws out in front of them, or they might hiss.

This is meant as a warning to whatever is threatening them to back off.

18. Tigers

Scientific NamePanthera tigris
Type of AnimalMammal

Tigers can roar, but they can also growl to communicate with others in their species. They also use it as a warning that they will attack if they are provoked or feel threatened.

Bengal Tigers usually make a low rumbling “chuff” sound to startle their prey before attacking; this sound has been likened to cough by some.

They also emit roars and growls as warnings to other tigers, or in response to perceived threats from humans or other animals.

19. Wolves

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

When wolves growl, it is usually a warning to back off. They may be warning an intruder not to come any closer, or they may be warning another wolf that they are going to attack.

Wolves also use growling as a way to show dominance over other wolves.

Why Do Animals Growl?

Growling is a form of communication that animals use to express various emotions, including aggression, fear, and dominance.

It can also be used as a warning to other animals or to humans. Growling is often accompanied by other behaviors, such as biting and clawing, which serve to intimidate the opponent.

Some do it when playing or feeling threatened, others make a sound called a ‘fear growl’ that is used as an expression of fear or anxiety.

Some animals such as cats and dogs use this action for threatening purposes, but sometimes they do it when they are feeling scared or threatened.

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