Environment

20 Animal Group Names You Probably Never Heard Of

A glaring of cats? A gazing of raccoons? Have you ever heard of either of these? We hadn’t, so we’re sharing these unusual names for groups of animals with you!

posted on 06/21/2011
Michele Collet
Scribol Staff

collective nounsPhoto: JJ Harrison

We’ve all heard the names for certain groups of animals – like a pack of mules or a litter of kittens – but how many of the following unusual collective nouns do you know? We’ve gathered 20 of the most unique and bizarre, while adding a bit of light speculation on what each might mean!

collective nounsPhoto: Luca Galuzzi

A corps of giraffes. The military term sounds right; a corps of giraffes racing across the savannah certainly makes for an imposing sight.

A bloat of hippopotamuses. Considering their size, this is quite apt too! Did you know that hippos sweat a red substance that works as a sunblock?

A business of flies. We wish they would do their business somewhere else.

A crash of rhinoceroses. The sound two make when fighting, a habit of theirs during mating season.

collective nounsPhoto: Darkone

A gaze of raccoons. That gaze of entreaty from hungry raccoons near your house is hard to resist if you are an animal lover, but they are often considered pests.

A glaring of cats. When they want their morning food, kitties sure will glare right at you.

A parliament of owls. If only our parliaments had the wisdom of owls.

A plum of seals. We’re not sure about the word ‘plum’, but a seal’s Latin name, ‘pinna’, actually means ‘fin-footed’.

A shrewdness of apes. Apes definitely are shrewd and they also use tools – for example, sticks to get at termites and ants in anthills.

collective nounsPhoto: Dave Menke

A scold of jays. Jays not only sound like they are scolding one another but they taunt and tease cats as well.

An obstinacy of buffalo. Trying to make a large number of buffalo do something against their will, you sure would come up against some obstinacy!

A prickle of hedgehogs. Stepping on a hedgehog certainly is a prickly situation!

A labour of moles. They certainly work hard enough making hills in farmers’ fields.

A smack of jellyfish. When you swim smack into them you can get some nasty stings!

collective nounsPhoto: Stan Shebs

A gam of whales. Well they may not have gams – slang for beautiful women’s legs in America – but they are beautiful.

A husk of hares. Hares might be said to get worn to a husk when reproducing!

A grist of bees. Pollen is grist for the bee’s mill as it pollinates flowers around the world.

A den of snakes. Nothing pleasant about finding a den of snakes at the bottom of your outhouse!

A clutter of spiders. If you have a lot of clutter you may well find a spider’s web on it!

collective nounsPhoto: Paul Henjum

A knot of toads. The ‘warts’ on a toad are actually glands, knot warts (get it?).

A sowse of lions. We haven’t seen many soused lions, but if you were to see some, it could have some interesting results!

A rag of colts. Colts are rambunctious and rag each other.

An ugly of walruses. How overwhelmingly apt! Walruses are not the prettiest of creatures – but they are the only species in their family (Odobenidae) left on earth.

A leap of leopards. Leopards are great hunters and leap at their prey!

Did you know them all – or only a few? We at EG didn’t do so well ourselves!

Michele Collet
Scribol Staff