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33 Examples of Animals that Yawn (A to Z List & Pictures)

yawning dog

Examples of animals that yawn include bears, camels, cats, dogs, and horses.

The animal kingdom is full of fascinating creatures with a wide range of behaviors that we can’t always explain.

One such behavior is yawning, and it’s something that has been observed in many species including humans.

Some animals yawn more than others: dogs and cats do it most often, while fish seem to be immune to the urge.

Examples of Animals that Yawn

Animals yawn because it is a natural reflex to cool down the brain and maintain normal blood circulation. Yawning also stimulates the production of saliva, which washes away bacteria in the mouth.

1. Alpaca

Alpaca
Scientific NameVicugna pacos
Type of AnimalMammal
RangePeru
DietHerbivore

Alpaca live in the Andes Mountains of South America. Today, most alpacas are found high in the mountains between Venezuela and Peru.

Alpacas have been domesticated for thousands of years, where they were used to provide meat, wool, work animals on farms, transportation across mountain ranges, and as pack animals during war times.

2. Anteater

anteater
Scientific NameVermilingua
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeCentral and South America
DietOmnivore

Anteaters live in Central and South America. They can also be found in Mexico, the Caribbean islands, southern parts of Texas, and Florida.

Anteaters do not like to travel so they stay within their habitat range for most of their life. If you go on a hike through tropical areas it is possible that you see an anteater.

3. Bats

bat
Scientific NameChiroptera
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Bats can be found all over the world, but they do not live in Antarctica.

Bats are mammals and therefore give birth to living young who survive on their own after weaning. A new baby bat is called a pup or pinkie at its youngest stage of development.

4. Bears

Brown Bear Snoozing
Scientific NameUrsidae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America, South America, Europe, and Asia
DietOmnivore

Bears live in a variety of biomes. A biome is an area with specific climates and ecosystems that are adapted to the plants and animals living there. Bears can be found all over North America, Europe, Asia, Africa—and even Antarctica.

5. Bison

bison eating grass
Scientific NameBison
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangewestern United States and Canada
DietHerbivore

Bison live in the grasslands and prairies of North America, Europe, and Asia. They are social animals that form herds for protection from predators such as wolves or bears. Bison often lie down to rest during the day and use their heads to pull themselves up when they want to stand again.

This behavior is known as “pinning” and can be seen when they are grazing or just waking up.

Have you ever wondered why bison yawn? Like humans, bison will often stretch their jaws and neck before settling down to sleep in order to prepare for a long night of rest or an afternoon nap.

6. Buffalos

Wild Water Buffalo
Scientific NameBubalus bubalis
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica, North America, Europe
DietHerbivore

Buffalos are native to the Americas. They live in grasslands, savannas, and prairies of North America, South America, and Mexico; they also graze on hillsides that were once farmed or logged before these areas revert back into grassland.

Related Article: Are Buffalos Warm-Blooded?

7. Camels

Dromedary Camel
Scientific NameCamelus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeGobi Desert in China
DietHerbivore

Camels live in dry regions of central Asia, Africa, and North America. – They are mostly found in desert habitats.

Camels’ mouths cannot close all the way because their upper lips are permanently split. – This is why they often seem to be ‘yawning’.

8. Cats

cat
Scientific NameFelis catus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

Cats yawn just like humans and other animals do. Yawning is actually a reflex that helps to resupply the body with oxygen, as well as calm down or relax them when they are overstressed or nervous about something.

A cat’s brain gets rid of any excess carbon dioxide by breathing it out through its mouth in order to make room for more oxygen. Yawning is a way to aid this process and can be seen from the very young kitten all the way up until they are elderly.

9. Cheetah

cheetah
Scientific NameAcinonyx jubatus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica
DietCarnivore

Like the cat, a cheetah is also an animal that yawns. Cheetahs are the fastest cats on earth. They can run up to 80 mph.

However, this is only when they are running after prey or away from danger. When not actively hunting for food or avoiding being eaten, cheetahs sleep around 12 hours a day.

Cheetahs live in Africa and southwest Asia. The cheetah is a large cat, but not the largest. Adult male cheetahs weigh around 160 pounds and females average about 100 pounds.

10. Cows

cow
Scientific NameBos taurus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietHerbivore

Cows yawn. This is a natural behavior that provides relaxation for them, just like it does for humans! At night time when the cattle are resting, they will get more of their sleep cycles in and so tend to do this type of behavior more often before sleeping.

11. Crows

crow
Scientific NameCorvus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Crows have often been observed yawning when they wake up or before taking off into flight. Some scientists think that this behavior is linked to tiredness, but it has also been documented in captive birds who were well rested and not stressed.

12. Dogs

dog
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Dogs do in fact “yawn” but it can be difficult for humans to recognize the difference between a dog yawn and other behaviors that may look like a yawn.

There are many theories about why dogs ‘yawn’ which include:

– tiredness (this may be related to low levels of oxygen in the blood)

– stress or anxiety at being in a new environment

– an attempt to increase the flow of oxygenated air into the lungs which can be particularly important for dogs who suffer from brachycephalic syndrome (e.g., bulldogs and pugs) whose shortened noses make breathing more difficult.

13. Donkeys

Donkey
Scientific NameEquus asinus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietHerbivore

Donkeys do, in fact, yawn as well. Yawning is a means of getting oxygen into the body when it becomes low. It also helps to lower carbon dioxide levels in the blood and regulate cooling at night by exposing moist tissues of the mouth cavity to cooler air temperatures.

14. Ducks

duck
Scientific NameAnas platyrhynchos
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Scientists think that this behavior has to do with their metabolism. Ducks need a lot of energy for a flight so they yawn in order to get more oxygen into their lungs.

Just like us, ducks also experience sleep deprivation when the air is cold or dry, and they will yawn as a way to compensate.

15. Eagles

White-Tailed Eagle
Scientific NameHaliaeetus leucocephalus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

It looks like an eagle is doing a silent burp, but it’s actually opening its mouth wide to take in more air and cool itself off during a soaring flight.

16. Elephants

Two Elephants standing in mud
Scientific NameLoxodonta
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica and Asia
DietHerbivore

Elephants are known to yawn, but it is unclear if this means they are bored or tired. They might also be stressed out.

Yawning may help them regulate their temperature by helping pull cooler air into the lungs and pushing warmer air out of the trunk.

Sometimes after a good stretch, an elephant will sway back and forth for up to a half-hour.

This is likely some sort of elephant yoga to further stimulate the muscles and ligaments after being in one position for so long while standing on all fours.

17. Fox

red fox
Scientific NameVulpes vulpes
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Yup! Foxes do actually yawn. But they also make a few other awesome facial expressions that can tell us some information about what’s going on for them.

18. Giraffe

Angolan Giraffe
Scientific NameGiraffa
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeEast Africa
DietHerbivore

Giraffes have very long necks, are known to yawn. There are many theories about why they do this but none of them has been proven definitively.

One possibility is that yawning helps the giraffe get more oxygen into their bodies when their hearts and lungs work faster while fighting off illness or parasites in hot weather conditions.

19. Gorilla

Silver Back Gorilla
Scientific NameGorilla
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica
DietOmnivore

Gorillas are the biggest of all primates, so it’s not surprising that their yawns are big too. That kind of size means a lot more air gets into gorilla lungs, which is really important for them being able to do things like run and climb trees quickly.

20. Hare

Arctic Hare
Scientific NameLepus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Hare yawn because they feel sleepy, but it is also a sign of submission.

21. Hedgehog

hedgehog
Scientific NameErinaceinae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeEurope, Asia, and Africa, and in New Zealand
DietOmnivore

Hedgehogs yawn as a way to regulate their body temperature, much like humans and other mammals. They do not typically wake up in the middle of the night for this purpose but will instead only yawn during colder times of day (for example, early morning or evening).

22. Hippopotamus

Hippopotamus
Scientific NameHippopotamus amphibius
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica
DietOmnivore

Like humans, they do this when they’re tired and want to refresh themselves with oxygen in the brain or if there’s something stressful going on around them that makes them feel nervous. This behavior often comes after their deep sleep.

23. Horses

horse
Scientific NameEquus caballus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietHerbivore

When a horse yawns, it generally does so with just its mouth and not the entire head as seen in humans and some other mammals such as dogs.

However, there are times when we will see horses stretch their mouths outwardly — possibly this is similar to humans yawning or perhaps they open their mouths because of stiffness from holding it closed.

24. Hyena

hyena
Scientific NameHyaenidae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica and eastwards through Arabia to India
DietCarnivore

Hyenas are among the most interesting and misunderstood animals. They come in two types: spotted hyena, and striped hyena.

Striped Hyenas have a very distinct call that sounds like laughter (hence they’re called laughing “hyenas”), while Spotted Hyenas can often be mistaken for wild dogs.

25. Lions

Lion licking its lips
Scientific NamePanthera leo
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica
DietCarnivore

Lions will only yawn if they are in a natural state, and when they become bored or tired and start to get sleepy.

In captivity, it has been observed that some animals show similar behavior whether a cat does the same thing as a way of communicating with each other before going to sleep for example.

A lion may also open his mouth if they feel threatened. It is an evolutionary behavior that has become a warning sign for other members of the species to stay away, especially during the night when it’s more likely to conserve energy and avoid being noticed by possible predators.

26. Monkeys

Capuchin Monkey
Scientific NameSimiiformes catarrhini
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Monkeys yawn just like humans do. That is why it makes them very similar to us even though they are not human beings. Yawning happens because of tiredness or boredom and can be a sign that someone lacks oxygen to the brain.

27. Parrots

African Grey Parrot
Scientific NamePsittaciformes
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Parrots yawn like other animals and humans do. Parrots, however, also make a mouth movement that is referred to as “yawn-like” or “stretching”. This behavior which mimics human yawning has been observed in many species of parrot including macaws

28. Peacock

Peacock
Scientific NamePavo cristatus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeIndia, Africa and Sri Lanka
DietOmnivore

Peacocks are known for their vibrant feathers and colorful tail plumes, but they also have a rather strange way of communicating.

When peacocks feel threatened or want to show off to a potential mate, they will let out an odd call that is somewhere between a chirp and deep groan – yep! They “yawn!”

Related Article: How Much Does a Peacock Cost?

29. Pigeon

Pigeon
Scientific NameColumbidae
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide
DietHerbivore

When pigeons are tired, they will show signs of sleepiness by yawning because it helps them to breathe better and relax the muscles in their beaks.

Pigeon’s breathing slows down when they feel sleepy. It has been observed that this sign spreads among other pigeons as well. They will imitate the yawn of a fellow pigeon and become tired as well.

30. Pigs

A pig looking at the viewer
Scientific NameSus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Pigs aren’t the ones that are most often thought of when someone says “yawn”, but it does happen. Pigs tend to yawn when they’re tired, bored, or annoyed with their surroundings.

Sometimes a pig will yawn as part of its way of expressing annoyance towards another animal behaving in an aggressive manner.

31. Sparrows

sparrow
Scientific NamePasseridae
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Sparrows do not yawn in the way humans and most animals do. Instead, they open their beaks very wide and then close them again quickly to move air over a large area of tissue on the palate.

In birds, gaping is performed by movement of both the hyoid apparatus and tongue, whereas in mammalians the hyoid apparatus remains stable while the glottis opens and closes

32. Squirrels

Squirrel
Scientific NameSciuridae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietHerbivore

Squirrels do in fact also yawn just like any other mammal out there. They don’t only yawn if they are tired or bored though; sometimes they will also stretch or yawn when they are excited or even scared.

33. Tigers

tiger
Scientific NamePanthera tigris
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

However, this behavior is not seen regularly in the wild. When it comes to captive animals such as zoo felines, there may be more of an inclination towards yawning due to confinement and stress levels.

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