Animals that start with i

24 Animals That Start With I With Pictures and Facts

Many different and fascinating animals start with the letter I. From mammals to reptiles, fish, birds, and many more. 

These animals beginning with I, have unique features and traits that help them adapt to their environment. Some of these animals that start with I have a long lifespan, while others are now threatened species. 

In this article, we have curated a list of the most interesting animals beginning with I, from all over the world. Read on to discover interesting facts about some animals that start with I. 

Overview of animals beginning with I      

1. Ibex

Photo by Thomas Jarrand on Unsplash

Type of animal: Mammal
Location: Africa, Asia, and Europe 

Ibex is a wild goat you will commonly find in the mountains and tall cliffs in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern and Northern Africa. These species belong to the Capra genus, the family of the markhor and the domestic goat commonly found in farms around the world. 

The Ibex is an excellent climber with long horns that are curved and ridged all the way over its back. However, the males have longer horns. Most Ibex species come in grey or brown coats. 

What's unique about the Ibex is that they socialize in herds that are gender specific5. This means that you will find these wild goats in male herds and female herds. These animals that start with I are herbivores and feed only on vegetation, including flowers, leaves, shrubs, twigs, and so on. 

2. Ibis

Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

Type of animal: Bird
Location: Every continent except for Antarctica 

Ibis is a peculiar wading bird that you can find in wetlands, grasslands, open meadows, and forested areas on all continents except Antarctica. It comes in different species, some of which are extinct, and others are considered endangered. 

These birds average 22 to 30 inches in length and weigh around 10 pounds.  The females tend to be smaller than the male species. They have a down-curved bill, long legs, and bodies shaped like a football.

One Interesting fact about these animals that start with I is that the coloring of their bodies varies depending on their diet and habitat4. So, the Scarlet Ibis is bright pink because these animals feed on large volumes of shrimp. 

Ibis are social birds and live together in large flocks. You will typically find them active during the day, feeding and resting. While most Ibis species are quiet, they squeak and make noises during the breeding season to make their presence known. The females also alert their young ones using a peculiar sound. 

These animals are pretty opportunistic when it comes to feeding. The Ibis will feed on almost anything it comes across, from insects to fish, crustaceans, and even plants. 

3. Ibizan Hound

Ibizan Hound
Photo Credit: sean mason (CC BY 2.0)

Type of animal: Mammal
Location: Europe 

The Ibizan Hound is a hound dog you commonly find in Europe. These Dogs originated from the Balearic Islands and were originally used for hunting rabbits. They may come wirehaired or smooth-haired, although the wirehaired Ibizan hound dogs are less common. 

Their coats are red with white with a light tan on their ears, nose, and around their eyes. They have narrow heads, long necks, and upright ears. They weigh around 50 pounds(males) and 45 pounds (females). They are also between 23.5 to 27.5 inches (males) and 22.5 to 26 inches (females) in length.

The Ibizan Hound dog breed can make a great family pet. These I animals are also very active, friendly, and easy to groom.

4. Icefish

Photo: Marrabbio2

Type of animal: Fish 
Location: Antarctica 

The Icefish, also called crocodile icefish or white-blooded fish, are interesting animals that you can find in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. These animals that start with I are peculiar, as they are the only known vertebrates that lack hemoglobin in their blood1

Their blood carries less oxygen than red-blooded fish. They also have larger hearts and gill blood vessels to help circulate larger volumes of blood and oxygen.

The Icefish is an ambush predator and may even consume fish that’s up to 50% of its entire body length. They also feed on krill. They live in water temperatures ranging from -1.8 - 2 degrees celsius.   

5. Iguana

Photo by John Cobb on Unsplash

Type of animal: Reptile (Lizard)
Location: North America, Central, and South America 

The Iguana is a large lizard native to the jungles of Central and South America. The most popular species of Iguana is the Green Iguana. Green Iguana are often kept as pets in some parts of America. In the United States, specifically in Florida, they are seen as a nuisance and have become invasive species. 

These animals that start with I come in varying sizes. The male green iguana can reach a length of over 6.6 feet. They also have varying scales to cover various parts of their bodies. Some Iguanas have large scales scattered around their neck and smaller overlapping scales.

They also have varying colors, with some species having grey or sporting blue skin. The dominant males have a darker coloration but become bright orange or golden during courtship3.

These creatures have a keen vision that helps them navigate through terrains for food. They are arboreal and live at the top end of forest trees. Green iguanas also adapt to open areas. Iguanas are omnivores and can eat insects and plants. 

Read more: Iguana Facts.

6. Immortal Jellyfish

Type of animal: Hydrozoan (Fish)
Location: All continents in temperate and tropical waters

The immortal jellyfish, Scientific name Turritopsis dohrnii, or Benjamin button jellyfish, are one of the few known species with an indefinite lifespan. Yes. These animals that start with I can live forever. After reproduction, starvation, or death, the immortal jellyfish can reset to a sexually immature stage2

This is the only known immortal species found among over 2000 species and types of jellyfish

The Immortal Jellyfish has a bell-shaped body and appears almost invisible. They have a height of around 0.18 inches and large stomachs that are bright red in color.

The Immortal Jellyfish feeds on fish eggs, plankton, sharks, sea turtles, penguins, etc. These creatures were originally found in the Mediterranean Sea. However, you can now find them in coastal areas all over the world. 

7. Impala 

Photo Credit: Kandukuru Nagarjun (CC BY 2.0)

Type of animal: Mammal
Location: Africa

Impalas are mammals that live in savannas and woodlands of southern and eastern Africa. They have red-brown fur with white bellies and white chins, lips, eyebrows, inner ears, and tails. The males have curved horns, while the females (ewes) have no horns. 

These medium-sized antelopes have long slender limbs with scent glands on their ankles. Impalas move together as a herd in the dry season in search of food. During the rainy season, they separate into male and female herds. 

Impalas are herbivores and feed on grass, shrubs, fruits, etc. They are picky about the kind of water they consume. These animals that start with I prefer the lakes and rivers to murkier puddles and ponds. 

8. Imperial Moth

Imperial Moth
Photo Credit: Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren (CC BY 2.0)

Type of animal: Insect
Location: Central America, North and South America 

The Imperial moth is a beautiful silkworm moth with a coloration similar to an autumn leaf. This helps it hide from predators. They appear like dead leaves with various splotches of yellow and bands of pink or purplish brown. They have six legs, like most insects, and a wingspan of around 3 1/8 - 6 7/8 inches.

What’s peculiar about the imperial moth is that it doesn't eat. Their primary responsibility is to reproduce. They die shortly after laying eggs. So, the lifespan of the imperial moth is only about a week. 

Related: Different types of moths.

9. Indian Bullfrog

Photo: iStock

Type of animal: Amphibian
Location: South and Southeast Asia 

The Indian Bullfrog is one of the largest species of frog found in South and Southeast Asia, in both natural and artificial freshwater wetlands. You can also find them in coastal and forested regions. It has an average length of  167.6 mm and weighs between 0.27 to 0.77 kg. They have a dull color of brownish-green or olive, which varies among individual species. In mating season, the male Indian Bullfrog will turn bright yellow to attract the females. 

The Indian Bullfrog is carnivorous and a voracious predator. It feeds on different animals, including reptiles, invertebrates, small birds, and other smaller animals. 

10. Indian Cobra

Indian Cobra
Photo by Nivedh P on Unsplash

Type of animal: Reptile (Snake)
Location: Asia 

The Indian Cobra, or spectacled cobra, is one of the most dangerous snakes in the world. You can find this venomous snake in forests and plains throughout India, Nepal, Afghanistan, and other parts of Asia. Based on their physical characteristics and habitat, the Indian Cobra has other subspecies.

They have smooth skin in different colors, including yellow, black, dark brown, and white. The large hoods on their neck are important defensive adaptations for the Indian Cobra. Their venom can attack the nervous system, making it one of the most dangerous snakes. Victims could experience difficulty breathing, paralyzed muscles, impaired vision, cardiac arrest, and death without quick medical attention. It is believed to be responsible for many venomous snake bites in Asia.

Related: 25 Surprising Snake Facts

11. Indian Crested Porcupine

Indian Crested Porcupine
Photo Credit: Vahe Martirosyan (CC BY 2.0)

Type of animal: Mammal
Location: Central and Southern Asia

Indian Crested Porcupines are rodents found throughout Central and Southern Asia and even in parts of the Middle East. These species live in forests, shrublands, and grasslands with temperate and tropical climates. 

These animals that start with I have multiple layers of spine on their body. The quills come in brown and black colors with bands of white. Their tails also have shorter white spines that rattle when alarmed or irritated. These creatures will attack backward when threatened, piercing their spines into the enemy. 

These creatures burrow themselves in caves and between rocks during the day and are active at night. Indian Crested Porcupines feed on vegetation and may occasionally chew on bones. 

12. Indian Elephant

Indian Elephant
Photo: iStock

Type of animal: Mammal
Location: Asia 

The Indian Elephant, scientific name Elephas maximus indices,  is a subspecies of the Asian Elephant and lives in grassland and shrublands in Southern Asia. It belongs to the Elephantidae family. This huge animal weighs around 5 tons and can grow to 6.4 m.  They have large heads, small necks, long tails, and coarse hair at the ends. 

What's fascinating about the Indian Elephant is its trunk. It has a large trunk that doesn't contain any bones. This trunk contains thousands of powerful and necessary muscles for survival. These animals that start with I are social and live in groups. They are intelligent and communicate with one another using a variety of sounds. 

Today, Indian Elephants are an endangered species. The Indian Elephant is herbivorous and feeds on grasses, stems, roots, leaves, etc. Many continue to hunt down the Asian Elephant for its tusk and skin. 

Related: 24 Amazing Elephant Facts 

13. Indian Flying Fox

Indian Flying Fox
Photo: Vzzz (CCO)

Type of animal: Mammal
Location: India 

The Indian Flying Fox is a large bat in forests and swamps in tropical areas of South and Central Asia. They have large eyes and come in dark brown, gray, or black with contrasting yellow colors. Their body mass ranges from 600 to 1600 grams, with a 1.2 to 1.5 m wingspan.

The Indian Flying Fox is a social animal and lives in groups with several individuals living in the same tree. During the day, these animals that start with I sleep while hanging themselves upside down with their feet on trees. 

They leave the tree at night to search for food, feed themselves, and rest. When threatened, these animals make a squawking sound. They also rely more heavily on their vision than sound for movement and navigation. 

Indian Flying Foxes are Old World fruit bats and feed on different species of fruits6, including mango, fig, and guava. 

14. Indian Giant Squirrel

Indian Giant Squirrel
Photo Credit: Mike Prince (CC BY 2.0)

Type of animal: Mammal 
Location: India 

The Indian Giant Squirrel is a type of tree squirrel noted for its distinctive multi-colored hues. These animals that start with I have two to three color shades: white or cream, brown, black, red, and maroon. They have strong claws and use their tails to balance on tree branches. 

When the Indian Giant Squirrel is threatened, they camouflage with tree barks, appearing flat. These squirrels are called giants because of their big size. The Indian Giant Squirrel weighs around one and a half to two kilograms, with its body length measuring around 10-17.99 inches.

These animals that start with I are primarily solitary but may stay together with their mates for long periods. These omnivores can feed on leaves, fruits, eggs, and insects. 

Related: 19 Interesting Squirrel Facts 

15. Indian Grey Mongoose

Indian Grey Mongoose
Photo Credit: Kandukuru Nagarjun (CC BY 2.0)

Type of animal: Mammal
Location: Asia 

These animals that start with I are small mammals found in forests and shrublands in parts of the middle east and South Asia. They have pointy faces, short legs, and bushy tails with a coarse fur texture. 

The Indian Gray Mongoose weighs between 0.5 to 4 kg and is 36 to 46 cm long.

They are solitary animals and go hunting during the day and night. 

What's most fascinating about the Indian Gray Mongoose is its ability to fight snakes. Scorpions are no match for these creatures. They can lift and crack them open before they get a chance to sting. The Indian Gray Mongoose is an opportunistic feeder that can feed on mice, lizards, snakes, etc. 

16. Indian Hare

Indian Hare
Photo Credit: Aardwolf6886 (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Type of animal: Mammal
Location: Asia 

The Indian Hare is native to Southern India. You can find them in farmlands and bushes in tropical regions. 

The Indian Hare has black furs that run along the nape of their neck. They have brown faces with black hair scattered across them. The top of their tails is also black. The Indian Hare is around 40 to 70 cm and weighs between 1.35 to 7kg. These creatures sleep most of their day but occasionally come out to sun themselves. 

The Indian Hare is solitary and a bit aggressive during the breeding season. They are herbivores and feed mainly on vegetation. 

17. Indian Palm Squirrel

Indian Palm Squirrel
Photo: Pavan Prasad (CCO)

Type of animal: Mammal
Location: Southern India and Sri Lanka 

The Indian Palm Squirrel, also called the three-striped palm squirrel, is considered sacred in India. However, in countries like Australia, this creature is considered invasive. 

The Indian Palm Squirrel is around 225–400 mm in total length (including 110–120 mm long-tail). It has grey-brown fur that is soft and silky with three stripes. The middle of the three stripes goes from the head to the tail, while the other stripes start at the front legs and end at the hind legs. 

The Indian Palm Squirrel has triangular-shaped ears with large eyes that give it a 360-degree vision. It also has growing teeth, which it uses to gnaw its food. It also builds its nest at the top of trees found in Southern India. 

The Indian Palm Squirrel is omnivorous and can feed on crops and eggs, mice, and small reptiles. 

18. Indian Rhinoceros

Indian Rhinoceros
Photo by Gerhard Trupp on Unsplash

Type of animal: Mammal
Location: India and Nepal

The Indian Rhinoceros, or Greater one-horned Rhinoceros, is the largest species of rhinos. They weigh around 2.2 tons with a length of 12.5 feet.  These animals that start with I are native to parts of Nepal and India. 

The Indian Rhinoceros has thick flexible skin that gives it a unique appearance. They also have bumps that cover their legs, shoulders, and hinds. Indian Rhinoceros are herbivores and feed on vegetation8. They look for leaves, flowers, and fruits using their horns. 

These creatures were once critically endangered. However, the Indian Rhinoceros is now rebounding and has a “Vulnerable” conservation status.

Read more: Rhinoceros Facts.

19. Indigo Snake

Indigo Snake
Photo Credit: US Forest Service (public domain)

Type of animal: Reptile
Location: Southern America

The Indigo Snake, or Eastern Indigo Snake, is a long black snake native to the Southern and Central United States. You will mostly find these non-venomous snakes in humid environments. They prefer areas like tropical hardwood forests, longleaf pine forests, and freshwater marshes. 

Indigo snakes can grow up to 8.5 meters long and are the longest snake native to the United States.

These animals that start with I come with cream or reddish-colored spots on their head, throat, and chin. These snakes are not venomous and carry no poisonous abilities. They may be aggressive but will rarely attack humans. Their bites may be painful but do not carry any poison. 

However, these snakes fall under threatened species caused mainly by the illegal exotic pet trade. 

20. Indian Star Tortoise

Indian Star Tortoise
Photo Credit: Mark Yang (Public Domain)

Type of animal: Reptile
Location: India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka 

The Indian Star Tortoise is one of the most beautiful tortoises found in shrublands and grasslands in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. These animals that start with I can adapt to both wet and dry habitats.

The Indian Star Tortoise can grow to 7 to 12 inches. Their bodies and limbs come in yellow to tan colors with dark spots and blotches. Their shell is perhaps the most striking feature of the Indian Star Tortoise. It has a convex shape with almost vertical sides. 

The dorsal shields form what is similar to humps. Each dorsal shield on the Indian Star Tortoise has a yellowish center with tan lines to create a distinctive star pattern. 

These slow-moving creatures are solitary and are active during the day. The Indian Star Tortoise feeds mainly on flowers, grasses, fallen fruits, and succulent plants.

Read more: Tortoise Facts.

21. Irish Doodle

Irish Doodle 

Type of animal: Mammal
Location: Europe and North America 

Irish Doodles inherit their genes from two dog breeds, the Irish Setter and the Poodle. The Irish Doodle is a hybrid dog breed in parts of Europe and North America. These dogs are fun-loving and very friendly toward people they care about. 

Irish Doodles are hypoallergenic and rarely shed. These animals that start with I can vary in size depending on the genetic traits they get from their parents. They are very loving dogs and are great playmates for children. 

22. Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound
Photo Credit: madaise (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Type of animal: Mammal
Location: Europe 

The Italian Greyhound is a small dog that was very popular among the rich and noble in the Italian Renaissance. This miniature dog has very long legs, around 13-15 inches. This dog has a fur combination of grey, black, and blue with white markings.

The Italian Greyhound has a calm personality and is friendly toward family and friends. However, they may be distant and dismissive towards strangers. Interestingly, greyhounds are the only dog breed mentioned in the bible. The Italian Greyhound requires a medium maintenance level and should be fed high-quality dog food.  

23. Italian Wolf

Italian Wolf
Photo: iStock

Type of animal: Mammal
Location: Italy, France, and Switzerland 

Italian Wolf or Apennine Wolf are subspecies of the Grey Wolf. You can find these creatures in the Apennine Mountains in Italy. However, due to their increase in population, you can also find the Italian wolf in Switzerland and Southern France.

You will typically find a smaller pack of wolves with a nuclear family that consists of an adult pair and young adults who stay in the pack until they are mature enough to start their own family. However, you may also find packs of around 6-7 individuals. Italian wolves are nocturnal hunters and feed mainly on Red Deer, Roe Deer, and Wild Boar. They also eat other animals like rabbits and hares. Occasionally, the Italian Wolf will also consume herbs and berries.

Related: Wolf Quotes, Wolf Facts.

24. Ivory Billed Woodpecker

Ivory Billed Woodpecker
Photo: Birds of America (1827), Credit: Rawpixel (CC BY 2.0)

Type of animal: Bird
Location: United States and Cuba 

The Ivory-billed woodpecker is one bird that was once found in Southern America and Cuba. You will find this bird in extensive forests with dying trees swept away by natural disasters like hurricanes, fires, and floods. 

These animals that start with I have a peculiar way of creating their nests. They use their sharp beaks to excavate tree cavities to build their nests. 

They have large ivory-colored bills, curved black claws, and a prominent crest behind their head. With 18-20 inches in length, this bird is the largest woodpecker in the United States.

The ivory-billed woodpecker is omnivorous and eats seeds, insects, dying trees, larvae, etc. Now rarely seen and possibly extinct, the ivory-billed woodpecker has a conservation status of critically endangered species7.

Read more: Woodpecker Facts.

Final thoughts on animals that start with I 

Many more animals start with I from different parts of the world. Each of them comes with unique physical traits and abilities. 

Some of these animals that start with I are common, while others are rarely seen. This list highlights some fascinating animals that start with I, from the Immortal Jellyfish, which never dies to the Indian Cobra (one of the most venomous snakes), the Indian Gray Mongoose, which kills snakes and scorpions, and many more.

More A-Z Animals:

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Pin Image Portrait 24 Animals That Start With I With Pictures and Facts

Sidell, B. D., & O'Brien, K. M. (2006). When bad things happen to good fish: the loss of hemoglobin and myoglobin expression in Antarctic icefishesJournal of Experimental Biology209(10), 1791-1802.


Matsumoto, Y., Piraino, S., & Miglietta, M. P. (2019). Transcriptome characterization of reverse development in Turritopsis dohrnii (Hydrozoa, Cnidaria)G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics9(12), 4127-4138.


Pratt, N. C., Phillips, J. A., Alberts, A. C., & Bolda, K. S. (1994). Functional versus physiological puberty: an analysis of sexual bimaturism in the green iguana, Iguana iguana. Animal behaviour47(5), 1101-1114.


Uchida, Y. (1970). On the color change in Japanese Crested Ibis A new type of cosmetic coloration in birdsJournal of the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology6(1-2), 54-72.


Habibi, K. (1997), Group dynamics of the Nubian ibex (Capra ibex nubiana) in the Tuwayiq Canyons, Saudi Arabia. Journal of Zoology, 241: 791-801. 


Vendan, S. E., & Kaleeswaran, B. (2011). Plant dispersal by Indian flying fox Pteropus giganteus in Madurai region, India. Elixier Bio Diversity30, 1810-1813.


Solow, A., Smith, W., Burgman, M., Rout, T., Wintle, B., & Roberts, D. (2012). Uncertain sightings and the extinction of the ivory‐billed woodpeckerConservation Biology26(1), 180-184.


Laurie, W. A. (1978). The ecology and behaviour of the greater one-horned rhinoceros (Doctoral dissertation, University of Cambridge).

Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.

Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.

Photo by Oleksandra Bardash on Unsplash
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