25 Animals That Start With I: An Intriguing List!

The animal kingdom is full of intriguing creatures with names that start with I. If you are looking for a breakdown of some of the most interesting animals that start with I, you are in the right place. The list below just might help you uncover your new favorite critter.

Key facts:

  • The largest animal starting with I is the Indian Elephant.
  • Some other interesting animals that start with I include the iguana, impala, and ibis.

Animals That Start With I: An Overview

Are you looking for a quick list of animals that start with I? I’ve compiled a list for your below. Check out many of the intriguing animals starting with I below.

  • Iguana
  • Impala
  • Indian Elephant
  • Indian Cobra
  • Indian Palm Squirrel
  • Indian Rhinoceros
  • Indochinese Tiger
  • Indri
  • Ivory-billed Woodpecker
  • Immortal Jellyfish
  • Icefish
  • Ibis
  • Iberian Frog
  • Ibex
  • Inchworm
  • Indian python
  • Irish Elk
  • Indigo Snake
  • Io Moth
  • Indus River Dolphin
  • Indian Tigerfish
  • Indian Sliverbill
  • Imperial Moth
  • Island Canary
  • Isopod

Animals That Start With I: A Closer Look

Not satisfied with a list of animals that start with I? Me neither! You’ll find more information about each of the animals that start with I below.


Iguanas, within the scientific family of Iguanidae, are fascinating reptiles have distinctive appearance. These creatures are characterized by their elongated bodies, sharp claws, and a crest of spines running along their backs. Their scales come in various shades of green, which expertly camouflages them within their lush habitats.

Found predominantly in tropical regions of Central and South America, as well as some Caribbean islands, iguanas thrive in warm climates. For example, they are a successful invasive species in sunny South Florida (my hometown!).


The impala (Aepyceros melampus) is an agile antelope species that roam the grasslands and savannas of eastern and southern Africa. With their slender, reddish-brown bodies adorned with distinct vertical black stripes along the flanks, impalas showcase a remarkable beauty that effortlessly blends with their natural surroundings.

Impalas are highly social animals, often forming large herds that can include hundreds of individuals. They prefer open spaces with a mix of grass for grazing and nearby water sources. Throughout the day, they engage in active foraging and remain vigilant against potential predators such as lions, cheetahs, and leopards, which are among their primary natural threats.

Indian Elephant

The Indian Elephant (Elephas maximus indicus) is a majestic species that holds deep cultural significance in India. These gentle giants are the largest land animals in Asia, boasting a massive frame, with males weighing up to 5,500 kilograms and standing around 10 feet tall at the shoulder. They have their long trunks, which serve as multi-functional tools for drinking, feeding, and communication, as well as their large, fan-like ears that aid in cooling their bodies in the sweltering heat.

They live in tight family units led by a matriarch, who is often the oldest and most experienced female in the group. These intelligent animals display remarkable empathy and emotional connections, often supporting and comforting one another in times of distress.

Indian Cobra

The Indian cobra (Naja naja) is a venomous snake species renowned for its potent venom. These serpents display a distinct hood when threatened, with a pattern of black and white scales that accentuates their menacing presence. Their average length ranges between 4 to 6 feet, with some individuals reaching up to 7 feet long. The iconic spectacle mark on their hood, resembling eyeglasses, adds to their allure and helps in identification.

However, these snakes are generally non-aggressive towards humans and will typically only strike in self-defense when threatened.

Indian Palm Squirrel

The Indian palm squirrel (Funambulus palmarum) is a delightful mammal that adds charm to the landscapes of India. These squirrels have a vibrant coat, characterized by a mix of brown and cream-colored fur, with a distinctive black stripe running along their sides. They are relatively petite, measuring around 5 to 7 inches in length, excluding their bushy tails, which can be as long as their bodies.

Indian Rhinoceros

The Indian Rhinoceros, scientifically known as Rhinoceros unicornis, is an imposing herbivore native to India. This magnificent creature is recognized by its robust build, thick gray skin, and one or more large horn(s) on its snout. The horn of the Indian Rhinoceros is made of keratin, the same substance found in human hair and nails, and is used for various purposes, including defense and territorial displays.

Indian Rhinoceroses primarily inhabit the dense grasslands and swamps of northern India and Nepal. They are highly adapted to a semi-aquatic lifestyle and are often found near rivers, lakes, and marshes, where they cool off and wallow in mud to regulate their body temperature and protect their skin from parasites. These solitary giants are known for their territorial behavior and are usually non-aggressive unless provoked.

Indochinese Tiger

The Indochinese Tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti) is a subspecies of tiger that roams the lush forests and grasslands of Southeast Asia. These awe-inspiring big cats possess a distinct appearance, characterized by their striking orange to reddish-gold fur adorned with dark stripes. Indochinese Tigers are larger than many other tiger subspecies, with males weighing up to 330 kilograms and measuring around 9 feet in length, including their tails.

The Indochinese Tiger is listed as “Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Their populations have suffered drastic declines due to habitat loss, poaching for their bones and body parts for traditional medicine, and human-wildlife conflicts. Unfortunately, these amazing cats are on a path toward extinction unless something dramatic changes.


The Indri (Indri indri) is a charismatic lemur species native to the lush rainforests of Madagascar. Renowned for its unique appearance and enchanting vocalizations, the Indri boasts striking black and white fur, large round eyes, and a distinctive lack of a tail. They are the largest living lemurs, with some individuals measuring up to 2.5 feet in length.

Indris are arboreal creatures, spending most of their lives high up in the trees. The lemurs have extraordinary calls, often likened to haunting and melodic songs. These vocalizations serve as territorial markers and are an essential means of communication between individuals within the family groups. Their haunting songs can be heard echoing through the forest, and their calls are an integral part of the Madagascan rainforest soundscape.

Ivory-billed Woodpecker

(Note: The image above is of a pileated woodpecker, which is very similar looking to the larger ivory-billed woodpecker)

The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principals) is a legendary bird species. With its striking appearance, these woodpeckers showcase glossy black plumage with prominent white markings on their wings and a distinct ivory-colored bill, from which they derive their name. They are among the largest woodpeckers in the world, with some individuals reaching up to 20 inches in length.

For decades, they were believed to be extinct. (And they *might* be). But occasional unconfirmed sightings have sparked hope for their existence in remote and hard-to-reach forested regions. As a result, these elusive woodpeckers have gained almost mythical status among birdwatchers and conservationists.

Immortal Jellyfish

The immortal jellyfish (Turritopsis dohrnii) is a mesmerizing creature with a unique claim to fame. These jellyfish are relatively small, with bell-shaped translucent bodies measuring around 4-5 millimeters in diameter. What sets them apart from other jellyfish species is their unique ability to revert from their adult stage back to their juvenile polyp stage, effectively reversing their life cycle, and making them seemingly “immortal.”


The icefish, in the scientific family Channichthyidae, is a fascinating group of fish species uniquely adapted to survive in the frigid waters of the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic regions. These remarkable creatures have evolved with a captivating feature – they lack hemoglobin, the protein responsible for carrying oxygen in the blood. As a result, their blood appears transparent, giving them their distinct name “icefish.”

These extraordinary fish live in the cold waters of the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica. They prefer habitats with temperatures near or below freezing, and some species reside at depths of over 2,000 meters beneath the ice.


Ibis, scientifically known as Threskiornithidae, are elegant wading birds found across diverse regions around the world. These striking avian creatures have long, curved bills, which they use to forage for food in shallow waters. They typically have long necks and legs, with plumage ranging from white and black to shades of brown, depending on the species.

Interestingly, these ibis have an association with ancient civilizations and religious symbolism. In various cultures, ibis were considered sacred birds and revered for their association with wisdom, knowledge, and protection. In Ancient Egypt, the African Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) was linked to the god Thoth, the deity of writing, wisdom, and the moon.

Iberian Frog

The Iberian frog (Rana iberica) is an amphibian species native to the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. These frogs exhibit a compact and robust body. They have smooth, moist skin that varies in color from brown and green to shades of gray. They have distinctive dark markings, including a dark stripe running through their eye and a light line along their upper lip.

During hot and dry periods, they can burrow into the soil and enter a state of dormancy, called estivation. They can wait until favorable conditions return. This adaptation allows them to survive in regions with fluctuating water availability.


The Ibex, in the scientific family Capra, is a sure-footed mountain-dwelling ungulate found in various regions across the world. These agile creatures are characterized by their distinctive long, curved horns that sweep backward and then curl upwards. The size and shape of their horns vary among different ibex species and even between males and females.

Ibex prefer rugged and rocky mountainous habitats, thriving in steep terrains at high elevations. They are excellent climbers, utilizing their sharp hooves to navigate cliffs and rocky ledges with ease. Their ability to leap across gaps and cliffs makes them well-adapted to their alpine homes.


Inchwormes are actually caterpillars of various moth species. These larval insects are characterized by their unique way of moving – looping their bodies forward, then arching backward to anchor their prolegs and propel themselves forward, mimicking the motion of measuring an inch.

Inchworms vary in color and appearance, depending on their species. But most display a cylindrical body with distinct body segments and a small head capsule. They are herbivorous and feed on a variety of plants and leaves. In many cases, they camouflage themselves by taking on the colors and patterns of the vegetation they inhabit.

Indian python

The Indian python (Python molurus) is a snake species native to India. These non-venomous constrictors are among the largest snakes in the world, with some individuals reaching lengths of up to 20 feet or more. They have robust bodies covered in smooth scales, featuring striking patterns of dark brown or black markings on a lighter background, providing excellent camouflage in their natural habitats.

As constrictors, they subdue their prey by coiling their powerful bodies around it and applying immense pressure, causing asphyxiation. They primarily feed on small to medium-sized mammals, birds, and occasionally, reptiles.

Irish Elk

The Irish Elk, scientifically known as Megaloceros giganteus, was a majestic prehistoric deer species that roamed Eurasia during the Pleistocene epoch. Despite its name, the Irish Elk was not an elk but a massive type of deer, often recognized for its immense antlers. These antlers, which could span up to 12 feet in width, are the largest ever recorded for any deer species. The Irish Elk stood at an impressive height of around 7 feet at the shoulder, making it one of the largest deer species to have ever existed.

Indigo Snake

The Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais) is a stunning and non-venomous reptile renowned for its striking appearance and remarkable hunting abilities. These magnificent serpents boast a glossy, iridescent indigo-blue coloration, which serves as a natural camouflage in their native habitats. With lengths ranging between 6 to 9 feet, some individuals can even grow up to 10 feet long, making them the longest snake species in North America.

Io Moth

The Io Moth (Automeris io) is a colorful moth species native to North America. These medium-sized moths exhibit a distinct appearance, featuring intricate patterns on their wings characterized by eye-catching hues of orange, yellow, and purple. The wingspan of the Io Moth ranges from 2.5 to 3.5 inches, with males typically displaying brighter colors than females.

The moth’s vibrant colors serve as aposematic warning signals to potential predators, signaling their toxicity. The caterpillars of Io Moths possess poisonous spines, which can cause painful stings if touched, serving as an effective deterrent against predators.

Indus River Dolphin

The Indus River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica minor) is a rare freshwater dolphin species found in the rivers of South Asia. These dolphins have adapted to their riverine habitat, displaying a sleek and elongated body shape with a distinctive long and slender snout. Their skin is a pale gray color, and they lack a dorsal fin, making them well-suited to maneuver through the shallow and turbulent waters of the Indus River system.

The dolphins have an incredible ability to navigate in murky waters using echolocation. These dolphins emit clicking sounds, which bounce off objects and return as echoes, enabling them to locate prey and navigate through their environment.

Indian Tigerfish

The Indian Tigerfish (Datnioides polota) is a striking freshwater fish species native to the river systems of Southeast Asia. These predatory fish exhibit a striking appearance, featuring a deep, elongated body adorned with vibrant, alternating black and silver stripes. The distinct stripes give them their name, as they resemble the pattern of a tiger.

Indian Silverbill

The Indian Silverbill (Euodice malabarica) is a charming small bird species native to the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. These birds have sleek silver-gray plumage covering their body and wings, along with a striking crimson patch on their rump. Indian Silverbills have conical bills, well-suited for their seed-based diet.

Indian Silverbills are primarily found in open grasslands, scrublands, agricultural fields, and urban areas with ample grass and shrub cover. They are highly social birds, often seen in small flocks, and are known for their delightful tinkling calls, which add to the ambiance of their surroundings.

Imperial Moth

The Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialism) is a large moth species native to North America. These splendid insects showcase a remarkable blend of colors, featuring wings adorned with rich shades of orange, purple, and brown, often embellished with eye-catching patterns. With a wingspan ranging from 3.5 to 6 inches, the Imperial Moth is one of the most imposing and visually striking moths in the region.

Imperial Moths often live in deciduous forests, woodlands, and suburban areas, where they prefer a diverse range of host plants. As caterpillars, they feed on various tree leaves, including oak, hickory, and pine, undergoing several molting stages before pupating into their magnificent adult form.

Island Canary

The Island Canary (Serinus canaria) is a melodious bird that rounds out this list of animals that start with I. These small passerines exhibit a vibrant and varied plumage, with colors ranging from bright yellow to greenish-yellow, often adorned with distinct streaks and patterns. Male Island Canaries have striking songs, which vary in tone and complexity, making them popular as songbirds in aviculture.

Island Canaries primarily live in various island habitats across the Macaronesia region. This includes the Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Azores. They inhabit diverse landscapes, from coastal areas and lowland regions to mountainous terrain.


The Isopod, in the scientific family Isopoda, is a diverse group of crustaceans. You can find them in various aquatic and terrestrial environments around the world. These small, segmented creatures have a flattened, oval-shaped body with numerous legs on each side. Isopods belong to the same group as woodlice, pill bugs, and sowbugs, and they come in various sizes and colors, adapting to their specific habitats.

Final Take on Animals That Start With I

I hope you enjoyed this list of animals that start with I. Are there any species you wish were on this list? Let me know!