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33 Animals that are Carnivores (A to Z List & Pictures)

examples of animals that are carnivores

Carnivores are animals that exclusively eat meat. They are often hunters, although some only eat carrion meat. Such animals are called opportunistic carnivores.

Some animals that are carnivores are also apex predators, so they are not to be messed with!

Animals that eat meat and vegetables are considered omnivores rather than carnivores, although some animals that eat mostly meat with occasional vegetables will often be called carnivores in layman conversation.

Examples of Animals that are Carnivores

1. African Palm Civets

Scientific NameNandinia binotata
ClassificationMammal
Size25 inches
HabitatForests, rainforests

Native to Subsaharan Africa, the civet is a nocturnal animal that feeds on smaller animals in its habitat.

2. Alligators

alligator
Scientific NameAlligator
ClassificationReptile
Rangethe United States from North Carolina to the Rio Grande in Texas
HabitatLakes and Rivers

Alligators feed on fish, turtles, and even ungulates like deer who come to lakes for water. The alligator will lie in the water with only its eyes above the surface so potential prey cannot see it. It will then strike rapidly and get the prey caught in a death roll to kill it.

3. Arctic Wolves

arctic wolf
Scientific NameCanis lupus arctos
ClassificationMammal
SizeUp to 5 ft long
HabitatArctic

The diet of the arctic wolf consists of muskoxen and arctic hares, and some other animals found in the Arctic. It doesn’t have the freedom of choice as the grey wolf does, but it’s that more resourceful and ferocious. The arctic wolf is known to be very aggressive even towards humans.

4. Asian Golden Cats

Scientific NameCatopuma temminckii
ClassificationMammal
SizeUp to 41 inches
HabitatRainforests

The Asian golden cat is a threatened species because of the deforestation that is happening in Asia. It is largely nocturnal, and it will hunt other smaller animals in its habitat. The primary types of food include birds, hares, rodents, reptiles, and smaller ungulates.

5. Binturongs

Binturong
Scientific NameArctictis binturong
ClassificationMammal
SizeUp to 3ft
HabitatForested plains and forests

The binturong is a creature that exists mainly in forested countries of Asia. Most of the time, this animal lives in tall forests where it will hunt smaller animals. Sometimes, this animal is also called a bearcat due to its resemblance to both a cat and a bear.

6. Canada Lynxes

lynx
Scientific NameLynx canadensis
ClassificationMammal
SizeUp to 42 inches
HabitatForests

The typical characteristics of the Canada lynx include long and thick fur, triangular ears, snowshoe-like pawns, and carnivorous nature. The lynx heavily depends on the snowshoe hare, which is its main type of prey.

7. Cheetahs

cheetah
Scientific NameAcinonyx jubatus
ClassificationMammal
Size4ft 11 in
HabitatSavanna, grasslands

The cheetah is one of the fastest animals in the world. Thanks to its speed and its sharp teeth and claws, you can easily see why this creature is one of the best hunters in the world, too. It focuses on ungulates and other smaller creatures in its habitat.

8. Cougars

cougar
Scientific NamePuma concolor
ClassificationMammal
SizeUp to 7ft 10 in
HabitatSavannas, rainforests, mountains, forests, grasslands

The cougar is an agile hunter that is capable of hunting down larger quantities of prey. It is especially typical to see this animal in the Western hemisphere, and in the United States, it is often referred to as a mountain lion.

9. Coyotes

coyote
Scientific NameCanis latrans
ClassificationMammal
SizeUp to 4ft 5 inches
HabitatForests, various

Last but not least, we have the coyote, another species that belongs to the group of animals called canids. Many people believe that the coyote is a mixture of dogs and wolves, but it’s actually more similar to wolves.

10. Dingos

dingo
Scientific NameCanis familiaris
ClassificationMammal
SizeUp to 50 inches
HabitatFrom desert to rainforest

The dingo is an ancient type of species only found in Australia. The origin of this species is still disputed; some believe it’s a dog and wolf hybrid while others say it’s a wolf species. In any case, the dingo is a carnivore that focuses primarily on meat-based sources of food.

11. Domestic Cats

Persian Cat
Scientific NameFelis catus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietRodents

Domestic cats are members of the family Felidae who are nearly all obligate carnivores. In other words, they can’t really digest vegetables much. This is why most of the food we give our pet cats is ground meat, often the leftovers from meat that we humans have raised and slaughtered for ourselves.

12. European Wildcats

Scientific NameFelis silvestris
ClassificationMammal
SizeUp to 26 inches
HabitatForests, urban areas

The European wildcat is the closest thing to domestic cats. In terms of appearance, it might share several similarities to the cat you have at home. But the wildcat is more aggressive and also more ferocious against other animals. It’s also primarily a carnivore.

13. Fishing Cats

fishing cat
Scientific NamePrionailurus viverrinus
ClassificationMammal
SizeUp to 31 inches
HabitatWetlands, streams, rivers

The fishing cat is native to the proximity of water bodies in India. This animal is primarily nocturnal where it will hunt for fish. It can swim deep and it can cover great distances by swimming, too.

14. Fossas

Fossa
Scientific NameCryptoprocta ferox
ClassificationMammal
Size30 inches
HabitatMadagascar

Endemic to Madagascar, the fossa has become vulnerable to extinction in recent decades. It is a carnivore that shares many features with cat species. The fossa likes to jump from tree to tree while also climbing tough surfaces thanks to its semi-retractable claws and agile body.

15. Frogs

Red Eyed Tree Frog
Scientific NameAnura
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeWorldwide
DietInsects

Frogs do not eat any grass or plants at all. Their diet consists entirely of insects that they catch with their long tongues. They’re particularly fond of dragonflies and mosquitoes, both of whom tend to share the same wet habitats that frogs like to hang out in. Unlike many other carnivores on this list, frogs are not apex predators, and need to watch their back or else they’ll be eaten by other carnivores such as snakes.

16. Great White Sharks

great white shark
Scientific NameCarcharodon carcharias
ClassificationChondrichthyes
Size20ft
HabitatOcean

The great white shark is one of the largest carnivores in the world. It preys upon fish, dolphins, and other creatures in the water. The truth is that each shark has its own preferences when it comes to diet, but all of the sharks from this group of animals are carnivores by nature.

17. Grey Wolves

wolf
Scientific NameCanis lupus
ClassificationMammal
SizeUp to 63 inches
HabitatForests

Native to the forests of Asia, Europe, and North America, the grey wolf is one of the most ferocious hunters in the wild. They’re especially formidable when they hunt in packs – that’s when the power of the pack makes the wolf an unstoppable force of nature.

18. Griffon Vultures

vulture
Scientific NameGyps fulvus
ClassificationBird
SizeUp to 9ft
HabitatOpen areas

The griffon vulture is commonly found even in Europe and parts of Asia, but also in Africa. The animal prefers warm climates where it will feed on the dead bodies of other animals, so it prefers primarily a carnivorous diet.

19. Indian Grey Mongooses

Mongoose
Scientific NameUrva edwardsii
ClassificationMammal
Size17 inches
HabitatForests

The Indian grey mongoose is a crafty animal. It knows exactly when to attack and when not to, allowing it to stay safe. It mostly preys on rodents, birds, lizards, and all sorts of smaller animals it can find in its habitat. It’s also an avid breeder, allowing it to spread quickly if given the chance.

20. Lions

Lion licking its lips
Scientific NamePanthera leo
ClassificationMammal
SizeUp to 82 inches
HabitatGrasslands, savannas

Known as an apex predator, the lion is historically one of the most significant animals in human history. Not only has it commonly been a feared animal even by the ancient people, but it’s also a symbol of royalty, dominance, and grace.

21. Northern Elephant Seals

elephant seal
Scientific NameMirounga angustirostris
ClassificationMammal
SizeUp to 12 ft
HabitatPacific Ocean

Seals primarily hunt fish, and they are good swimmers. They have several adaptations in their bodies that allow them to stay underwater for prolonged periods. 

22. Ocelots

Scientific NameLeopardus pardalis
ClassificationMammal
SizeUp to 40 inches
HabitatForests, swamps, savannas, mountains

This smaller type of cat prefers to live in densely vegetated areas where it can hide and ambush its prey. It’s small and agile, which allows it to hunt down smaller animals.

23. Owls

owl eating a bird
Scientific NameStrigiformes
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide
DietRodents

While we don’t tend to think of owls as particularly vicious creatures, they are in fact excellent hunters due to their amazing eyesight. Owls can see in the dark and do most of their hunting at night. They will prey on unsuspecting rodents and snakes that cross their paths. One reason they’re such good hunters is that they have the advantage of being able to attack their ground-dwelling prey from above.

24. Pit Vipers

horn viper
Scientific NameCrotalinae
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeDeserts to rainforests
DietMice and other Rodents

All snakes are carnivores and in fact they can’t eat vegetables. Their stomachs aren’t designed for anything but meat. Most snakes, like the pit viper, will eat small rodents and amphibians such as mice, rats, and frogs. Vipers kill their prey by using their poisonous venom, then tend to swallow it hole.

25. Polar Bears

polar bear
Scientific NameUrsus maritimus
ClassificationMammal
SizeUp to 7ft
HabitatArctic

The polar bear is the only bear that is a true carnivore. The rest tend to eat vegetables as well as meat (or, in the case of the Great Panda, only vegetables!). The polar bear needs to be resourceful doesn’t have an abundance of foods to choose from. Its main food item is seals which it ambushes when they jump out of the water. It’s also a feared animal by humans because it often targets humans to eat if one comes close to the bear.

26. Scalloped Hammerheads

hammerhead shark
Scientific NameSphyrna lewini
ClassificationMammal
Size14ft
HabitatOcean

Like the great white shark, the scalloped hammerhead is also a carnivore. It is particularly known for its hammer-shaped head. This species also has very sharp teeth, allowing it to hunt down larger and smaller fish in its habitat.

27. Servals

Serval
Scientific NameLeptailurus serval
ClassificationMammal
SizeUp to 24 inches
HabitatDeserts, savannas, grasslands

Sleek and slender, the serval is a wild cat native to Africa – Sub-Saharan Africa in particular. It also has long legs and it is very agile, allowing it to hunt smaller types of prey that it will catch with its speed. It can also leap very far and it can kill its prey by biting it into the neck.

28. Spotted Hyenas

hyena
Scientific NameCrocuta crocuta
ClassificationMammal
SizeUp to 65 inches
HabitatSavanna, grassland

Known for its cunning and its agility, the spotted hyena is a skilled hunter. While the hyena might have a negative reputation in both the Western and African cultures, you can’t deny the power of this animal. It’s also known for its laughing, which many people connect to its cunning character.

29. Spotted Linsangs

Scientific NamePrionodon pardicolor
ClassificationMammal
SizeUp to 15 inches
HabitatForests

The spotted linsang lives in the evergreen forests of Southern Asia where it will feed on smaller animals, such as frogs, rodents, and snakes. Occasionally, this animal also feeds on corpses of other animals.

30. Tarantulas

blue tarantula
Scientific NameTheraphosidae
ClassificationArachnid
VenomMedium
SizeUp to 4.5 inches
HabitatDomesticated

The tarantula is known as one of the most preferred types of spider pets, but it’s also heavily reliant on meat-based foods, just like the vast majority of other spider species. It likes to eat insects and other smaller creatures it can hunt, and it’s also an ambushing predator. Luckily, it won’t attack humans, if that’s what you’re worried about!

31. Tigers

siberian tiger
Scientific NamePanthera tigris
ClassificationMammal
SizeUp to 12.8 ft in length
HabitatSavannas, grasslands, deserts, rainforests

The tiger is one of the most diverse groups of carnivores in the world. They are adapted to living in different conditions, including savannas, grasslands, deserts, and even rainforests. This is afforded to them by their agile nature and their elegant bodies that allow them to fit almost anywhere in the world.

32. Walruses

Walrus
Scientific NameOdobenus rosmarus
ClassificationMammal
Size4ft 7in
HabitatEdge of the sea

Known for its tusks and whiskers, walrus is considered to be a keystone species in the Arctic. This animal has been hunted ever since ancient times as it was known for its fur and its meat, but it’s also an avid hunter itself.

33. Wolf Spiders

wolf spider
Scientific NameLycosidae
ClassificationArachnid
VenomMedium
SizeUp to 1.38 in
HabitatVarious

They say that the wolf spider is the best hunter among all spiders, and that estimation is not far from the truth. Thanks to its excellent eyesight and agile nature, the wolf spider can hunt down all sorts of insects. It is an ambushing predator in the first place, giving its prey little to no chance to defend.

Conclusion

Animals that are carnivores are some of the best hunters in the world. While you might find some surprising inclusions on this list, most of the animals that are carnivores are also apex predators in their habitats.

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