There Are More Animals That Start With ‘X’ Than You’d Expect

Scientists have developed several methods for grouping different members of the animal kingdom by species or unique characteristics. However, there is arguably no better way to learn fun facts than by listing animal names in alphabetical order. These are just a few animals starting with X.

1. African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis)

These African frogs are endemic to ponds and shallow waterways in Sub-Saharan Africa. Although toothless, the African Clawed Frog is a carnivore, relying on its long toes to snag and eat its prey. This small species is also known to be cannibalistic, regularly subsisting on tadpoles and eggs.

2. Horse crab (Xiphosura)

Horseshoe crabs appear to be strange spiders, scaly creatures from ancient times, and that description would be quite spot-on. The few species still living today can trace their ancestry back to a common ancestor that swam in similar coastal rivers 135 million years ago during the early Cretaceous period.

Despite the name, horseshoe crabs are not like crustaceans with their large protective shells. Instead, these living fossils belong to a subgroup of anthropoids that are more closely related to arachnids. They are often found hunting on the sea floor but can also tolerate brackish water.

3. Mexican Hairless Dog (Xoloitzcuintle)

The Xoloitzcuintle, more commonly known as Xolo, is an ancient domesticated canine breed that has been endemic to Central America for thousands of years. Fossil records from the West coast of Mexico show that this pet played an important role in ancient Maya society.

Similar to ancient Egyptian relationships with cats, these dogs were often sacrificed and buried with their owners to guide their souls into the afterlife.

The Xolo breed was one of the first to be documented by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1887. However, in 1959, the AKC dropped publications because it believed it to be an extinct breed, although the race on to live. today.

4. Night Lizard (Xantusiidae)

Only three species of Xantusiidae are living today. They are found in specific regions: Baja California, Cuba and Central America. Scientists initially speculated that nocturnal lizards were only nocturnal but eventually discovered that many individuals engage in diurnal (daytime) activities to thrive in natural niche habitats.

5. Sabine’s Gull (Xema sabini)

This arctic gull, more commonly known as Xema, is a small species of seagull that was discovered by naturalist Joseph Sabine in 1819. These striking black-and-white birds usually prefer any natural habitat around the Pacific Ocean. North, although some sightings are common south of Baja California.

6. South African ground squirrel (Xerus inauris)

South African ground squirrels are also known as Cape ground squirrels; but their habitat extends into Botswana and Namibia. The ground squirrel’s features are similar to prairie dogs, except they have round, bushy tails like their tree-dwelling cousins.

South African ground squirrels also live in close-knit social groups that seek shelter in deep burrows.

7. Striped Xenops (Xenops rutilans)

This member of the oven bird family, Furnariidae, is found in the tropical forests of South America. Unlike many migratory bird species, the climate in these regions is suitable for year-round living.

8. Sunflower snake (Xenopeltis)

There are three different species of burying snakes that come under the scientific name Xenopeltis, and they are extremely shy and rarely seen. If you can catch a glimpse of this reclusive snake, you will quickly understand how it got its name, “Sunbeam.” Its iridescent scales reflect light in dazzling rainbow colors.

9. Xantus leaf gecko (Phyllodactylus xanti)

Another skittish animal is this small reptile from Mexico that begins with the letter X. Many animals avoid human contact at all costs, but this little lizard goes more into the melodramatic. A Xantus gecko will often snap at a leaf and lose its fragile tail when handled, so it’s best to leave them alone.

10. Xanthogramma Sandperch (Parapercis ramsayi)

This bony leopard-spotted fish is found on rocky floors and coral reefs off the coasts of Fiji, Tonga and Western Samoa. It is not the fastest fish, but its sophisticated camouflage allows it to ambush its prey, which includes small fish and invertebrates.

11. Xenarthrans

Xenarthra (which roughly translates to “strange joint”) includes several species of placental mammals that are endemic to the Americas. This group includes tree sloths, armadillos and anteaters – all animals that live on small insects found underground, in tree bark and fallen tree trunks on the forest floor.

These members of the sloth family differ from other species of placental animals with unique spines, teeth, vision and metabolism. Xenarthra animals actually have some of the slowest metabolisms in the animal kingdom.

12. Xenoceratops (Xenoceratops foremostensis)

This horned dinosaur roamed the desert in the far north of present-day Alberta, Canada, sometime during the late Cretaceous period. Like the more commonly known triceratops, this lumbering giant probably protected itself from potential predators with many horns protruding from its skull like a shield.

13. Xinjiang Ground Jay (Podoces biddulphi)

The Xinjiang, also known as the Biddulph’s ground jay, is a long-legged, hooked member of the Corvidae family, which includes crows, magpies and ravens. ​​​​​​Researchers of this bird found that, like its dark-feathered cousins, this corvid prefers urban environments near people.

14. Xingu River Ray (Potamotrygon leopoldi)

The Xingu river stingray, also known as the white-blotched river stingray, is a member of the Potamotrygonidae family, which is endemic to clean fresh waterways in Brazil. The freshwater stingray has a venomous dentine spine that it uses to stun its victims.

15. X-ray fish (Pristella maxillaris)

The X-ray fish, or X-ray tetra, is a small freshwater fish found in acidic and alkaline waters near the Amazon Basin. Their resilience and attractive translucent bodies make X-ray tetras a popular aquarium fish that can liven up any home tank.

16. Xucaneb’s Frog (Craugastor xucanebi)

The Xucaneb robber frog is a montane forest amphibian endemic to the central highlands of Guatemala. The scientific name of this little frog comes from its favorite habitat, the Sierra de Xucaneb. However, due to human expansion and deforestation in this region, it is fast becoming a threatened species.

History of Xantus in Central and South America

When researching animals that begin with “X,” you’ll likely find a number of animal names including Xantus in South and Central America. Many species are closely related only because they were discovered by the same person, a Hungarian zoologist named John Xantus de Vessey.

John Xantus was an exiled Hungarian diplomat who joined the United States Army as an assistant surgeon under the 19th century Surgeon General and founder of the Army Medical Museum William Alexander Hammond.

Xantus exaggerated his experience as a medical professional to achieve this position and was often ridiculed by his colleagues for being ordinary.

However, under Hammond’s tutelage, Xantus developed a love of natural history. When he was transferred to California and Mexico, Xantus left his diplomatic station and failed medical practice to focus on his naturalist research. As a result of this several species bore his name and serve as his legacy today.

Now That’s Interesting

Scientists have long associated dinosaurs with birds, but only in the last few decades have they come to the conclusion that many ancient species were probably feathered instead of boasting the smooth reptilian skin portrayed in Hollywood. A critical example of this exposure is the Xiaotingia, endemic to China in the late Jurassic period. This small carnivorous dinosaur was about the size of a modern chicken, and had long feathers on its hind limbs that allowed it to make short-range flights – an important tool for catching and occasionally escaping large prehistoric insects. T. rex.

Background: There Are More Animals That Start With ‘X’ Than You’d Expect

Copyright © 2024 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a System1 Company

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *