Name for Groups of Animals | Almanac.com

Names for Groups of Animals

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Animal group names from the strange to the silly!

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Sure, you probably know a group of birds is called a “flock,” but what group of animals is named an “embarrassment”? Let’s find out more about the fun, descriptive, and often strange names of animal groups.

Where did Animal Group Names Come From?

When animals get together, we have a specific name for their group.

Many of the names come from hunting in ancient times. In The Book of Saint Albans, published in the 14th century, the author Juliana Berners gave names to different animal groups.

Most are imaginative names based on close observation of wildlife behavior. Some names are clever, and some are humorous. 

  • For example, a gathering of hyenas is a cackle, which is fitting since this animal is associated with a giggling sound.
  • Then, a group of rhinos is called a crash. What a great name for a large, boisterous animal.
  • It’s also not surprising that a few tall giraffes are called a tower.
  • And how about a stand of flamingos? No surprise there, as shown by the photo below. 

We’re unsure whether the author intended these names to last the ages, but many of these group names stuck around!

Names for Groups of Animals

Do you think the names below make sense? Do you think some are weird or funny? There is no right answer! 

AnimalGroup Name
AntelopeA herd of antelope
AntA colony or an army of ants
ApeA shrewdness of apes
BaboonsA troop of baboons
BacteriaA culture of bacteria
BadgerA cete of badgers
BassA shoal of bass
BearA sleuth or sloth of bears
BeaverA colony of beavers
BeeA swarm, grist or hive of bees
BirdA flock, flight, congregation, or volery of birds
BoarA sounder of boars
BuffaloA herd of buffalo
BuckA brace or clash of bucks
CaterpillarAn army of caterpillars
CatA clowder or clutter of cats
CattleA herd or drove of cattle
ChickenA brood or peep of chickens
ChicksA clutch or chattering of chicks
ClamA bed of clams
CobraA quiver of cobras
ColtA rag of colts
CowA kine of cows (twelve cows are a flink)
CoyoteA band of coyotes
CraneA sedge or siege of cranes
CrocodileA float of crocodiles
CrowA murder of crows
CubA litter of cubs
DeerA herd of deer
DogA pack of dogs
DonkeyA herd or pace of asses
DoveA dule of doves
DuckA brace, paddling, or team of ducks
EagleA convocation of eagles
ElephantA herd of elephants
ElkA gang of elks
EmusA mob of emus
FerretA business or fesnyng of ferrets
FinchesA charm of finches
FishA school, shoal, run, haul, or catch of fish
FlyA swarm, hatch, or business of flies
FoxA skulk or leash of foxes
FrogAn army or colony of frogs
GeeseA flock, gaggle, or skein (in flight) of geese
GnatA cloud or horde of gnats
GoatA herd, tribe, or trip goats
GoldfinchA charm of goldfinches
GoldfishA troubling of goldfish
GorillaA band of gorillas
GrasshopperA cloud of grasshoppers
GreyhoundA leash of greyhounds
HareA down or husk of hares
HawkA cast or kettle of hawks
HenA brood of hens
HippoA bloat of hippopotamuses
HogA drift, or parcel of hogs
HorseA team, pair, or harras of horses
HoundA pack, mute, or cry of hounds
JellyfishA smuck or brood of jellyfish
KangarooA troop or mob of kangaroos
KittenA kindle or litter of kittens
LarkAn ascension or exaltation of larks
LeopardA leap (leep) of leopards
LiceA flock of lice
LionA pride of lions
LocustA plague or cloud of locusts
MagpieA tiding or tittering of magpies
MallardA sord of mallards
MareA stud of mares
MartenA richness of martens
MinnowA steam of minnows
MoleA labor or movement of moles
MonkeyA troop or cartload of monkeys
MuleA barren or span of mules
NightingaleA watch of nightingales
OwlsA parliament of owls
OxenA yoke, drove, team, or herd of oxen
OysterA bed of oysters
ParrotA company of parrots
PandaAn embarrassment
PartridgeA covey of partridges
PeacockA muster or ostentation of peacocks
PeepA litter of peeps
PenguinA colony of penguins
PheasantA nest, nide (nye), or bouquet of pheasants
PigeonA flock or flight of pigeons
PigA litter of pigs
PloverA wing or congregation of plovers
PonyA string of ponies
PorpoiseA pod of porpoises
QuailA covey or bevy of quail
RabbitA nest of rabbits
RaccoonA gaze of raccoons
RatA pack or swarm of rats
RattlesnakeA rhumba of rattlesnakes
RavenAn unkindness of ravens
RhinoA crash or herd of rhinos
RoebuckA bevy of roebucks
RookA building or clamor of rooks
SardineA family of sardines
SharkA shiver of sharks
SealA herd or pod of seals
SheepA drove or flock of sheep
SnakeA nest or knot of snakes
SnipeA walk or wisp of snipe
SparrowA host of sparrows
SquirrelA dray of squirrels
StarlingA murmuration of starlings
StorkA mustering of storks
SwallowA flight of swallows
SwanA bevy, herd, lamentation, or wedge of swans
SwiftA flock of swifts
SwineA sounder or drift of swine
TealA spring of teals
TigerA streak of tigers
ToadA knot or knab of toads
TroutA hover of trout
TurkeyA rafter of turkeys
Turtle doveA pitying or dule of turtle doves
TurtleA bale of turtles
ViperA nest of vipers
WalrusA pod of walrus
WaspA pledge of wasps
WeaselA pack of weasels
WhaleA school, gam, or pod of whales
WolfA pack or route of wolves
WoodcockA fall of woodcocks
WoodpeckerA descent of woodpeckers

Did we miss any animal group names? If so, let us know in the comments below. It could be fun to create one of those matching games to challenge your knowledge of animal group names!

About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann

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