animals that start with g

31 Animals That Start With G: Species, Description, and Fun Facts

Have you ever wondered what animals start with G? Beyond the familiar faces of the gorilla or giraffe, there are many peculiar animals with names beginning with the letter G. From garden eels to ghost crabs, this list of G animals will provide you with fun facts and pictures.

31 Animals Beginning With Letter G

1. Gar (Lepisosteidae)

gar
Photo by Clif on Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: Did you know these freshwater fish are some of today's oldest fishes? They have been swimming in our world's rivers for over 100 million years!

Gars primarily live in freshwater habitats across North and Central America. Gars have a unique appearance, with long, slender bodies covered in hard, armor-like scales called ganoid scales. These scales offer excellent protection against predators and are a defining characteristic of gars.

Gars have elongated jaws filled with sharp teeth and are known for their distinctive method of catching prey. Instead of actively chasing their prey, these predatory fish ambush their victims by floating motionless in the water.

2. Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla)

gorilla
Photo by Jeremy Stone on Unsplash

Fun Fact: Did you know that gorillas are the largest primate on Earth? They can grow up to 6 feet and weigh as much as 400 pounds.

Gorillas are not only big but equally strong4, too. Their large muscles enable them to navigate through thick vegetation, climb trees, and defend their families with remarkable force. With over a thirty-year lifespan, gorillas have robust bodies, flat noses, and hands that resemble those of humans.

Read more: Gorilla facts.

3. Giraffe (Giraffa)

giraffe
Photo by Juan Gaspar de Alba on Unsplash

Fun Fact: Did you know that giraffes are the tallest land animals? Their impressive height is mainly due to their long necks (up to six feet long).

Adult males can reach up to 18 feet (5.5 meters) in height, while females can get around 16 feet (4.8 meters). Their extremely long necks, which can reach up to 6 feet (1.8 meters), help them eat the leaves of tall trees.

Read more: Giraffe Facts.

4. Goldfish (Carassius auratus)

goldfish
Photo by Hans on Pixabay

Fun Fact: Did you know that goldfish have a remarkable ability to remember things? Contrary to popular belief, goldfish have a memory span of up to three months!

Goldfish, scientifically known as Carassius auratus, are freshwater fish renowned for their extended lifespan, exceptional memory, and friendly nature. In addition to their impressive lifespan and memory, goldfish are known for their hardiness and adaptability. They can survive in various water conditions, making them popular for beginner fish owners.

Read more: Goldfish Facts.

5. German Shepherd (Canis lupus familiaris)

german shepherd
Photo by Ruben Ascensao on Pexels

Fun Fact: Did you know that German shepherds are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and incredible sense of smell? They are often used as search and rescue dogs because of their exceptional olfactory abilities.

German Shepherds, scientifically called Canis lupus familiaris, are intelligent, loyal, and versatile dogs recognized for their herding instinct and training ability. These dogs are ideal for working and make excellent family pets due to their devotion to their owners. Furthermore, their sharp senses make them excellent watchdogs.

6. Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis)

grizzly bear
Photo by Jean Beaufort on Public Domain Pictures

Fun Fact: Did you know grizzly bears are excellent swimmers? Despite their large size and stocky build, these mighty creatures are surprisingly agile in the water.

Grizzly bears are well-known for their ability to hibernate during the winter. They enter a state of dormancy to conserve energy when food becomes scarce. Their heart rate, breathing, and body temperature decrease significantly during hibernation.

Read more: Bear Facts, Types of Bear.

7. Garden Eel (Heterocongrinae)

gerbil
Photo by Gerbil on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: Did you know that garden eels are excellent architects? They build burrows in sandy seabeds, often forming "gardens" with rows of eels sticking out from their burrows, resembling a vibrant underwater flower bed.

Garden eels have long and slender bodies ranging from a few inches to several feet, depending on the species. Their streamlined shape enables them to move and sway gracefully in water currents. Garden eels are opportunistic feeders that wait for food to come to them. They create and maintain burrows in sandy or muddy seabeds, where they spend most of their time.

Read more: Eel Facts, Types of Eels.

8. Guinea Pig (Cavia porcellus)

guinea pig
Public Domain Pictures

Fun Fact: Did you know that guinea pigs didn't come from Guinea and are unrelated to pigs? These rodents were originally from South America.

Guinea pigs, scientifically known as Cavia porcellus, are talkative animals that communicate using various vocalizations. They make different sounds to express their emotions, such as squealing when excited or purring when content. Each guinea pig has its unique whistle, which they use to identify themselves and communicate with other guinea pigs in their group.

9. Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

great blue heron
Photo by Kevin Faccenda on Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: Did you know that the Great Blue Heron is the largest in North America? They can grow up to 4.5 ft in height.

A magnificent creature in North and Central America is the great blue heron, scientifically called Ardea herodias. With its stunning blue-gray feathers, long legs, and sizable beak, it stands out as a large wading bird.

It's an adept hunter, waiting patiently in shallow water for fish and other prey. This bird nests in large colonies and can live for many years.

10. Geoffroy's Tamarin (Saguinus geoffroyi)

geoffroy's tamarin
Photo by Brian Gratwicke on Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: Did you know this small monkey was named after the French naturalist Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire?

Geoffroy's tamarin is a small monkey native to South America. They only reach about two feet in height and have small faces with black, brown, and white fur. They weigh anywhere from 300 to 500 grams (0.7 to 1.1 pounds). Their distinctive appearance consists of a black and brown body, white hands and feet, and long white hairs that stand up on their heads.

11. Golden Retriever (Canis lupus familiaris)

golden retriever
Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Fun Fact: Did you know that Golden retrievers are so popular and loved that they have their national celebration day? February 3 is National Golden Retriever Day.

Golden retrievers are friendly and intelligent dogs with beautiful golden coats. They can swim and retrieve objects, making them useful in various roles, such as therapy and rescue dogs. They are gentle dogs and form strong bonds with their owners, making them loyal and affectionate companions.

12. Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)

garter snake
Photo by Simon Tonge on CalPhotos licensed under CC BY 3.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: Did you know that garter snakes are one of North America's most common snake species? These slithery creatures are known for their vibrant colors and distinct patterns, which can vary depending on their geographic location.

Garter snakes live in North and Central America. They have three stripes on their bodies and are mildly venomous but not harmful to humans. They are active during the day, are good swimmers, and give birth to live young.

These snakes also eat small animals like frogs, fish, and insects. During winter, they hibernate in groups for warmth2. Garter snakes are generally harmless and play a crucial role in controlling pests in their habitats.

Read more: Snake Facts.

13. Greenland Shark (Somniosus microcephalus)

greenland shark
Photo by NOAA Photo Library on Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: Did you know that the Greenland Shark is among the longest-living vertebrates on Earth? These creatures can survive for up to 400 years!

The Greenland Shark has a unique adaptation that allows it to survive in the cold waters of the Arctic and North Atlantic Ocean - its blood contains an antifreeze agent that prevents it from freezing.

They mainly eat fish, squid, and marine mammals and have a unique feeding behavior, consuming fecal plumes from other animals. Additionally, these sharks are known for their slow swimming speed due to their large size and low metabolism.

Read more: Types of Sharks.

14. Ghost Crab (Ocypodidae)

ghost crab
Photo by Northeast Coastal & Barrier Network on Flickr licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: Did you know that Ghost Crab's name originated from their pale looks and nocturnal habits?

Ghost crabs, belonging to the family Ocypodidae, are coastal invertebrates famous for their sand-blending abilities and swift movements. They have eye stalks that allow them exceptional vision above and below water. They burrow under their intricate sand homes, which protects them from predators and the elements. And they are also pretty territorial.

Active primarily at night, these omnivores feed on detritus, plants, and small animals, fulfilling their ecological role while serving as a crucial food source for shorebirds and other predators. Found globally along sandy shores, ghost crabs contribute to beach health by aerating the sand.

Read more: Crab Facts.

15. Great Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna mokarran)

great hammerhead shark
Photo by Jake Mohan on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: Did you know the Hammerhead Shark has a hammer-shaped head, hence the name? This head is not just for show; it allows them to spot prey and scare off predators and rivals.

Great Hammerhead Sharks are large predators found in temperate and tropical waters worldwide. Unfortunately, they are endangered due to human activities like overfishing and habitat destruction.

They undertake long migrations and can be solitary or form schools. As apex predators, they play a vital role in marine ecosystems.

16. Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)

gray fox
Photo by VJAnderson on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: Did you know that, unlike most other fox species, the Gray Fox is an excellent climber? These foxes can climb trees to escape predators or to reach fruits, birds' nests, or other food sources high up in the branches.

The Gray Fox is a small to medium-sized mammal in North and Central America. Its name comes from the grayish color of its fur, mixed with black and white, giving it a silvery appearance. They are most active during the night. Furthermore, these curious and intelligent creatures can also swim and run fast.

Read more: Fox Facts.

17. Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua)

gentoo penguin
Photo by Liam Quinn on Flickr licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: Did you know that Gentoo Penguins are some of the fastest swimmers among penguin species, reaching speeds of up to 22 miles per hour (35 kilometers per hour)?

Pygoscelis papua, commonly known as Gentoo Penguins, are a penguin species that inhabit Antarctica. They have white faces, black caps, and bright orange-red beaks. They are fast swimmers, construct nests with pebbles, and lay two eggs during the breeding season. These penguins are social and stay in large colonies. They communicate through loud trumpeting sounds.

Read more: Penguin Facts.

18. Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)

giant panda
Photo by Chi King on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: Did you know that Giant Pandas can munch up to 40 pounds (18 kilograms) of bamboo daily?

The Giant Panda mainly feeds on bamboo3, which makes up approximately 99% of its diet. However, they occasionally eat other foods like small mammals, birds, and insects. Their fluffy fur and adorable appearance make them one of the most loved animals in the world.

19. German Pinscher (Canis lupus familiarise)

Fun Fact: Did you know that German Pinschers are excellent pest exterminators? They have a strong prey drive that allows them to catch rats and other pets. They are valuable companions for farmers and households.

The German Pinscher, called Dobermann in Germany, is a medium-sized dog known for being intelligent and lively. They have a sleek coat and come in different colors (black and tan). They are confident and make excellent watchdogs. Because of their temperament, these dogs need regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy.

20. Goat (Capra aegagrus hircus)

goat
Photo by Ray Aucott on Unsplash

Fun Fact: Did you know that goats are excellent climbers? Their ability helps them move around steep slopes and cliffs, which is dangerous to most animals.

The goat is one of the oldest domesticated animals from wild goats in Asia and Europe. Humans began domesticating goats thousands of years ago for various purposes. They are versatile farm animals kept for their milk, meat, and fiber.

Goat milk is valued for its nutritional content and is used to make dairy products like cheese and yogurt1. In some cultures, goat meat is also a popular source of protein.

Read more: Goat Facts.

21. Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum)

gila monster
Photo by jessiegirl413 on Pixabay

Fun Fact: Did you know that the Gila Monster is one of the few venomous lizards in the world? This giant lizard lives in the southwestern United States and parts of Mexico.

The Gila Monster has a distinctive black-and-pink or orange-yellow coloration. Furthermore, they are slow-moving and primarily active at night. They have a venomous bite, which is quite helpful during their hunt.

They can go for months without eating due to their unique metabolism. Despite their fearsome reputation, Gila Monsters are generally shy and not aggressive towards humans (if not provoked).

22. Goose (Anser)

goose
Photo by Shirish Suwal on Unsplash

Fun Fact: Did you know geese are highly social animals and stay with one mate forever?

One of the most notable features of a goose is its distinctive "V" formation flight pattern during migration. Geese often fly in a V-shaped formation, with one bird leading the way at the front while the others follow in a precise line behind. This aerodynamically efficient formation allows the geese to conserve energy during long-distance flights.

Read more: Goose Facts.

23. Giant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis)

giant otter
Photo by Charles J. Sharp on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: Did you know that Giant Otters are impressive hunters with a varied diet consisting of fish, crabs, amphibians, and even small anacondas? These creatures are agile and powerful hunters in their freshwater environments.

The most notable features of Giant Otters are their large size, social behavior, and excellent swimming abilities. They live in family groups and communicate through various sounds.

Giant Otters are skilled hunters, primarily feeding on fish and living in South America's freshwater habitats. Unfortunately, they are endangered due to habitat loss and hunting, making conservation efforts vital for survival.

Read more: Otter Facts.

25. Green Sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris)

Fun Fact: Did you know that the biggest Green Sturgeon recorded is about seven feet long and weighs 350 pounds? They also live very long, some as old as 70 years!

Unlike most sturgeons that move between freshwater and saltwater, Green Sturgeons spend their entire lives in the ocean, particularly in the Pacific Ocean. It is known for its unique appearance and is part of a family of ancient fish species. Green sturgeons are known for their migratory behavior. However, they are also considered a threatened species due to habitat loss and overfishing.

25. Giant Clam (Tridacninae)

giant clam
Photo by Bernard DUPONT on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: Did you know that Giant Clams have stunningly vibrant mantle tissues in various colors?

Giant clams are marine bivalve mollusks that inhabit coral reef ecosystems in warm tropical waters. Although they are not mobile creatures and remain anchored to the coral reefs or rocky substrates, they attach themselves to.

Their impressive size sets them apart from other clams. Depending on the species, some can grow to over four feet in length. However, they grow slowly and can live for a very long time.

Unfortunately, human activities significantly threaten these majestic creatures, and conservation efforts are needed to protect them.

26. Galapagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus)

galapagos penguin
Photo by peterstuartmill on Pixabay

Fun Fact: Did you know that the Galapagos Penguin is the only penguin species living north of the equator?

The Galapagos Penguin is a small penguin that exclusively lives in the Galapagos Islands. They survive their warm climate by staying in the water during hot periods. They mainly eat small fish and crustaceans. Sadly, it is endangered due to habitat loss and El Niño events.

27. Gaboon Viper (Bitis gabonica)

gaboon viper
Photo by Thomas_Dörner on Pixabay

Fun Fact: Did you know that the Gaboon Viper has the world's longest fangs among all venomous snakes? These fangs can reach an impressive length of up to 2 inches (5 centimeters).

The Gaboon Viper is a large and venomous snake that inhabits Africa. Aside from their venom, they have excellent camouflage. These snakes have distinctive triangular heads and prefer to avoid confrontation.

The viper plays an essential role in its ecosystem by controlling prey populations. It is not currently endangered but faces habitat destruction and human persecution threats.

28. Giant Schnauzer (Canis lupus familiaris)

giant schnauzer
Photo by Voyagers We Are on Unsplash

Fun Fact: Did you know that Giant Schnauzers were bred in Germany as versatile farm dogs? They performed herding, guarding, and pulling carts and wagons as draft animals.

The Giant Schnauzer is an impressive dog breed with many unique features. Not only do they have a dual coat, but they also sport a beard and hairy eyebrows, which gives them a distinctive appearance.

They are intelligent and lively, which makes them great family dogs. Initially, they were bred for herding and protection. However, they can become well-behaved and obedient pets with proper training and socialization.

29. Golden Masked Owl (Tyto aurantia)

Fun Fact: Did you know the Golden Masked Owl is one of the largest owl species in its range? It has an average length of around 40-50 centimeters (16-20 inches).

The Golden Masked Owl is a fascinating bird species inhabiting the tropical forests of New Britain and Papua New Guinea.

This owl gets its name from the striking golden or tawny facial disc that encircles its eyes and contrasts with its dark plumage. The nocturnal owl feeds on various prey, such as small mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects.

Read more: Types of Owls, Owl Facts.

30. Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas)

green sea turtle
Photo by Kanenori on Pixabay

Fun Fact: Did you know that Green Sea Turtles got their name from their greenish fat? These turtles live in coral reefs.

The Green Sea Turtle is known for its greenish body fat and large, heart-shaped shell. They are the only sea turtle species that exclusively feed on plants. Females migrate long distances to lay eggs on the beaches where they were born. They are endangered due to various threats and play an essential role in marine ecosystems. Efforts are underway to protect them and their nesting sites.

Read more: Sea Turtle facts.

31. Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus)

grey seal
Photo by A_Different_Perspective on Pixabay

Fun Fact: Did you know that Grey Seals can dive up to 600 feet (180 meters) and hold their breath for 20 minutes? Their powerful flippers and specialized abilities make them ideally suited for aquatic life.

The most notable features of the grey seal are its thick blubber layer for warmth and buoyancy, V-shaped nostrils, diverse coloration, large size, and excellent swimming abilities. They are social animals found in coastal waters and have specific breeding colonies. Grey Seals are protected in many regions, most notably in European islands.

Read more: Seal Facts.

Conclusion

The animal kingdom is astonishingly diverse, a fact that’s brilliantly illustrated by the range of species with names that start with 'G'. These species showcase nature's compelling array of adaptations and behaviors, underscoring the sheer breadth of life on our planet.

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Pin Image Portrait 31 Animals That Start With G: Species, Description, and Fun Facts
1

Araar, A., Ithurbide, M., Larsen, T., Schmidely, P., & Friggens, N. (2023). Milk metabolites can characterize individual differences in animal resilience to a nutritional challenge in lactating dairy goats: animal, 17(4), 100727.

2

Joy, J. E., & Crews, D. (1987). Hibernation in garter snakes (Thamnophis Sirtalis parietalis): seasonal cycles of cold tolerance. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Physiology, 87(4), 1097–1101.

3

Zhang, Z., Sheppard, J. K., Swaisgood, R. R., Wang, G., Nie, Y., Wei, W., Zhao, N., & Wei, F. (2014b). Ecological scale and seasonal heterogeneity in the spatial behaviors of giant pandas. Integrative Zoology, 9(1), 46–60.

4

Harcourt, A. H., & Stewart, K. J. (2007). Gorilla society: What we know and don't know. Evolutionary Anthropology, 16(4), 147–158.

Chinny Verana is a degree-qualified marine biologist and researcher passionate about nature and conservation. Her expertise allows her to deeply understand the intricate relationships between marine life and their habitats.

Her unwavering love for the environment fuels her mission to create valuable content for TRVST, ensuring that readers are enlightened about the importance of biodiversity, sustainability, and conservation efforts.

Fact Checked By:
Mike Gomez, BA.

Photo by antonytrivet on Pixabay
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