57 Names For Groups Of Animals, From An Ambush To A Zeal

Is Your Kid Curious About The Names For Groups Of Animals? Here’s Your Guide

David Lazar/Getty Images

Have you ever heard that a group of ravens is called a murder? Probably! You also probably know that a group of lions is called a pride, thanks to The Lion King. But it turns out there are all sorts of fun and amusing names for groups of animals, and it goes without saying that your kid is going to ask you about these at some point. (Many, many times, in all likelihood.) Bonus: You’ll get some info that could come in handy if you finally make it out to trivia night.

Some of these names make sense, like a group of crocodilians in the water being called “a float.” Others can seem a little bizarre, like calling a group of fish “a school.” You may have known that one since you were a kid — but that doesn’t mean it makes any sense, though. Or does it? It turns out that “school” or “shoal” is actually from that Dutch word, schole, which translates to “a crowd.” Oh. Well, yes. That makes a lot more sense! Still, how about the fact that you call a group of dogs a “cowardice”? After all, there are constantly stories about dogs who risk their lives to save their owners. And let’s not forget the heroics of both Lassie and Underdog. Those two were hardly cowards.

However, the names for groups of animals have been around for ages, and it’s all just another chunk of useless information we allow to live rent-free in our minds. Now they can live in yours, too.

Who comes up with names for groups of animals?

You might think that the names for groups of animals are made by individual researchers or scientists when they’re studying certain animals. We certainly did. However, it turns out that one woman from the 1400s came up with a good chunk of these names. Another interesting fact? There’s a name for the names of groups of animals! They’re more formally called “terms of venery.” While you can find these terms across many works during that time, the most cited reference is The Book of Hawking, Hunting, and Blasing of Arms by Juliana Berners.

Berners was brought up within the royal court, but even after becoming a nun, she still loved hunting and fishing. As such, Berners wrote The Book of Hawking as a guide not just to hunting but to all things, well, “manly.” The book was published in 1436 and proved quite popular. Within it, Berners discussed the various terms of venery, and it just took off from there.

What is the weirdest name for a group of animals?

Some writers, researchers, and scientists will suggest that all the names for groups of animals are weird. Many argue that “no one” even uses those names. While we certainly don’t use all these names, there’s no arguing that we use some (pride and school spring to mind). However, with that philosophy in mind, it’s easy to look at any or all of these names and think they seem pretty darn weird.

If we had to pick, though? The award for the weirdest name for a group of animals goes to an “army” of caterpillars. Can you imagine being attacked by an army of caterpillars in full military regalia? We can’t either. And, fun fact, a group of frogs is also called an army. Maybe it’s because they’re (often) green?

So, what are some other names for groups of animals?

1. What is a group of pandas called?

An embarrassment, a bamboo, or a cupboard

2. What is a group of crocodiles called?

A float (in water) or a bask (on land)

3. What is a group of elephants called?

A parade

4. What is a group of cats called?

A clowder, clutter, pounce, dout, nuisance, glorying, or glare

5. What is a group of crows called?

A murder

6. What is a group of baboons called?


7. What is a group of snakes called?

A pit, nest, or den

8. What is a group of owls called?

A parliament

9. What is a group of monkeys called?

A troop or barrel

10. What is a group of giraffes called?

A tower

11. What is a group of penguins called?

A raft (in water) or a waddle (on land)

12. What is a group of lions called?

A pride

13. What is a group of dogs called?

A cowardice

14. What is a group of hippos called?

A bloat or thunder

15. What is a group of turkeys called?

A gang, posse, or rafter

16. What is a group of fish called?

A school or shoal

What are other interesting and weird names for groups of animals?

  1. Alligators — a congregation
  2. Apes — a shrewdness
  3. Badgers — a cete
  4. Bats — a camp, cloud, or colony (or, possibly, a cauldron)
  5. Bears — a sloth or sleuth
  6. Bees — a swarm
  7. Buffalo — a gang or an obstinacy
  8. Camels — a caravan
  9. Cheetahs — a coalition
  10. Chickens — a brood or flock
  11. Coyotes — a band
  12. Dolphins — a pod
  13. Donkeys — a drove
  14. Eagles — a convocation
  15. Falcons — a cast
  16. Ferrets — a business
  17. Flamingos — a flamboyance
  18. Foxes — a skulk
  19. Goats — a herd, tribe, or trip
  20. Horses — a team, a harras, a rag (for colts), a stud (for breeding), or a string
  21. Hyenas — a cackle
  22. Jaguars — a shadow
  23. Jellyfish — a smack
  24. Kangaroos — a troop or mob
  25. Lemurs — a conspiracy
  26. Leopards — a leap
  27. Moles — a labor
  28. Otters — a raft, family, or romp
  29. Parrots — a pandemonium
  30. Platypuses — a paddle
  31. Porcupines — a prickle
  32. Rabbits — a colony or warren
  33. Ravens — an unkindness
  34. Rhinoceroses — a crash
  35. Sharks — a shiver
  36. Skunks — a stench
  37. Sloths — a snuggle
  38. Squirrels — a dray or scurry
  39. Tigers — an ambush or streak
  40. Wombats — a wisdom
  41. Zebras — a zeal