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Animals - 'data file'



Although the scientific classification of the ‘animal kingdom’ (Animalia) includes many taxonomic ranks and subdivisions, my personal interest is focused on the species that I’m likely to see and photograph. This includes Birds (Aves) and Mammals (Mammalia) plus a few selected Reptiles (Reptillia) and, to a lesser degree, Amphibians (Amphibia) and Insects (Insecta).


My taxonomic listings started with birds as I was photographing so many different species that I wanted to accurately identify and record. The latest IOC ‘World Bird List’ confirms there are over 10,700 extant species split into 245 families and 40 orders. I have a separate dedicated page for Birds (see above link) where I’ve listed all the orders and non-passerine families, plus a selected personal list of passerine (song bird) families.


Amphibia is primarily made up of frogs and toads of which there are close on 6,000 species. Given that I photograph these species so infrequently I’ll worry about identification and cataloguing at the time. Similarly with insects where the class Insecta includes around 30 orders containing over a million species in a thousand or so families! Whilst I’d like to do more macro photography I’ll stick with identifying any butterfly, dragonfly, beetle or tropical bug once I have a photo of it rather than trying to understand the taxonomy.


However, the situation with birds and the more common animals (essentially mammals and a few reptiles) that I’m likely to encounter during our travels are a different matter as I’ve now photographed well in excess of a thousand species. Not only do I want to ensure that I’m correctly naming those species, but I also need a robust cataloguing system. I achieve this using Lightroom keywords arranged in taxonomic order. It’s not that I want to be clever in understanding the taxonomy, it’s just that I want to properly tag my photos. But, at the same time, I do find the subject of taxonomic classification interesting. If I didn’t, this page wouldn’t exist!


So the purpose of this ‘data file’ is to list the taxonomic ORDER and Family and, if appropriate, Subfamily and Tribe, of all the animal species that I’ve encountered or are likely to encounter, or that need to be included to complete an entry - for example, I couldn’t split down primates without reference to the wet-nosed species, relatives of the baboons or great apes.


The list is in loose simplified taxonomic order for personal reference.


Important :

Please note that this particular page is best viewed on a desktop monitor or laptop screen. Whilst the following lists have been optimised as much as possible for mobile use, the columns cannot be compressed within the width of a mobile screen. Consequently, the 'species' column has been omitted simply to enable the 'taxonomic' information to be shown. It's far from ideal, but is the best compromise for the available space. 

Class: Mammalia

Mammals are characterised by having fur or hair, and raising their young on milk. There are currently reckoned to be around 5900 mammal species separated into 156 families, which are placed in 28 orders. The following list covers just 12 orders and only 25% or so of the total number of families, so it's obviously a personal and very much selected list.




> Family (... idae)

> Subfamily (... inae)

> Tribe (...ini)



> Elephantidae


> Procaviidae



> Chlamyphoridae


> Cyclopedidae

> Myrmecophagidae

> Megalonychidae

> Bradypodidae


STREPSIRRHINI (wet-nosed primates)

HAPLORHINI (dry-nosed primates) :

PLATYRRHINI (New World Monkeys) :

> Cebidae > Cebinae

> Cebidae > Saimirinae

> Atelidae > Atelinae

> Atelidae > Alouattinae

CATARRHINI (Old World Monkeys)

> Cercopithecidae

> Cercopithecinae

> Colobinae

> Hominidae (Apes)

RODENTIA (rodents)

(the largest order with 30+ families)

> Sciuridae

> Muridae

> Myocastoridae

> Caviidae

> Dasyproctidae


> Leporidae


CARNIVORA (carnivores) [6]

Feliforms (cat-like) :-

> Felidae

> Pantherinae (large cats)

> Felinae (small to medium cats)

> Hyaenidae

> Viverridae

> Herpestidae

Caniforms (dog-like) :-

> Canidae

> Canini (wolf-like)

> Vulpini (fox-like)

> Ursidae (bears) [6]

> Procyonidae

> Mustelidae (mustelids)

> Mustelinae

> Mellivorinae

> Lutrinae

Pinnipeds (seals) :

> Phocidae

> Otariidae

> Obobenidae

PERISSODACTYLA (odd-toed ungulates) [7]

> Equidae (Horses)

> Tapiridae

> Rhinocerotidae

ARTIODACTYLA (even-toed ungulates) [§] [7]

> Camelidae


> Suidae

> Tayassuidae

> Hippopotamidae

> Giraffidae

> Cervidae

> Bovidae (Bovids)

> Bovinae

> Bovini

> Tragelaphini

> Antilopinae

> Antilopini

> Neotragini

> Cephalophinae [Cephalophini]

> Reduncinae [Reduncini]

> Aepycerotinae [Aepycerotini]

> Caprinae [Caprini]

> Hippotraginae [Hippotragini]

> Alcelaphinae [Alcelaphini]

CETACEA (cetaceans - aquatic mammals) [§]

MYSTICETI (baleen whales)

> Balaenidae 

> Balaenopteridae (rorquals)

> Eschrichtiidae

ODONTOCETI (toothed whales)

> Delphinidae

> Physeteridae





Species :




Elephants (African Savanna or Bush [1], Forest and Asian)

Hyraxes (Rock, Bush or Yellow-spotted, and Tree)



Silky Anteater

Anteaters [2]

Two-toed Sloths

Three-toed Sloths

Aye-aye, Indri, Sifakas, Lemurs, Bushbabies



Squirrel Monkeys

Woolly and Spider Monkeys

Howler Monkeys


Macaques, Guenons, Mangabeys, Baboons [3]

Colobus Monkeys

Orangutans, Gorillas, Chimpanzees


Old World rats and mice

Nutria (Coypu) [4]

Cavies, Capybara



Rabbits and Hares


Lion, Tiger, Jaquar, Leopard

Cheetah, Serval, Caracal etc


Civets and Genets


Grey Wolf, African Wild Dog, Jackals etc

Maned Wolf, Crab-eating Fox, Culpeo (Andean Fox)

Red Fox, Arctic Fox, Bat-eared Fox etc

Polar, Brown, Black, Sun, Sloth, Spectacled and Giant Panda

Raccoons, Coatis, Kinkajou

Badgers, Martens, Weasels, Stoat, 

Honey Badger


Earless or true seals (Harbour, Grey etc)

Eared Seals (Fur Seals and Sea Lions) [5]


Zebras, Horses, Donkeys




Pigs, Hogs, Warthogs



Giraffes, Okapi


Buffalo, Bison, Cattle

Eland, Kudus, Nyala, Imbabla (Bushbuck), Sitatunga

Gazelles and 'true' antelope species

Dwarf antelopes


Reedbucks, Waterbucks, Kobs


Sheep, Goats, Chamois, Ibexes

Sable Antelope, Oryxes

Wildebeest (Gnu), Hartebeest (Kongoni), Topi (Tsessebe)

Right and Bowhead Whales

Blue, Fin, Minke, Humpback Whales

Grey Whales

Killer Whale (Orca), Oceanic Dolphins and Porpoises

Sperm Whales


[§] The taxonomic classification of ARTIODACTYLA is currently in a state of flux as recent research indicates that the order should also include whales and dolphins. Whilst that may be so from a scientific perspective it would require the two orders, ARTIODACTYLA and CETACEA, to be merged together into a single new order, where CETARTIODACTYLA has been suggested. Alternatively, and probably more likely, the two traditional orders could be retained but placed alongside each other in a higher-ranking superorder of the same name. Another proposal involves restructuring ARTIODACTYLA by making RUMINANTIA a formal ranked suborder, moving Camelidae (camels) to suborder TYLOPODA, Suidae (pigs) and Tayassuidae (peccaries) to SUINA (or SUIFORMES, as it’s also called), and Hippopotamidae (hippopotamuses) into a new clade called Whippomorpha together with the CETACEA families.


I shall update my personal records and Lightroom keywording hierarchy if, or when, any of these changes are implemented, but at the present time I’m happy to continue using the traditional taxonomy for these species. However, there are some recent proposals regarding ungulate taxonomy that are more interesting, because under the Groves & Grubb (2011) reclassification a number of former subspecies are now regarded as named species in their own right. I have updated my records and keywording lists in accordance with the new taxonomy as it is now being utilised in publications such as ‘Bovids of the World’ (2016). In this respect it’s also worth noting that bovids have traditionally been separated into eight subfamilies as listed above, whereas the current system only recognises two - Bovinae incorporating two tribes, and Antilopinae with nine tribes (as listed) plus Oreotragini for klipspringers. My associated ‘East African Safari Animals - Ungulates’ article confirms all relevant updates.

Associated articles : [1] African Elephant, [2] Anteaters, [3] Baboons, [4] Coypu, [5] Galapagos Sea Lion

Also see East African Safari Animals [6] Carnivores and [7] Ungulates

Class: Reptilia

Whereas Mammals are characterised by having fur or hair, and raising their young on milk, Reptiles have waterproof scaly skin and, in the main, lay eggs. There are three taxonomic orders of interest as detailed below. I've started with the largest species, rather than putting the orders in taxonomic sequence. Lizards and snakes, of which there are around 10,000 species, account for well over 90% of reptiles and, as such, their classification is involved with many intermediate taxons. My list is very much simplified. 



> Family (... idae)

> Subfamily (... inae)

> Tribe (...ini)

CROCODILIA (Crocodilians)

> Alligatoridae

> Crocodylidae

TESTUDINES (Turtles and Tortoises)


> Cheloniidae

> Dermochelyidae

> Emydidae

> Testudinidae


> Chelidae

> Chelinae

> Podocnemididae

SQUAMATA (Lizards and Snakes)



> Iguanidae

> Corytophanidae

> Phrynosomatidae

> Tropiduridae

> Agamidae

> Chamaeleonidae


> Gekkonidae


> Scincidae

> Lacertidae


> Anguidae


> Varanidae


> Boidae

> Elapidae

> Pythonidae

> Viperidae

> Colubridae





Species :



Alligators (2 species) and Caimans (6 species)

Crocodiles (15 species)

Sea Turtles (6 species, including Green and Hawksbill) [8]

Leatherback Sea Turtle

Pond or Water Turtles (12 species)

Tortoises (12 species, including Giant Tortoises)

South American side-necked Turtles (21 species)

South American River Turtles (6 species)

Iguanas [9]

Basilisk Lizards

Earless, Spiny, Tree, Side-blotched and Horned Lizards

Neotropical Ground Lizards

Agama Lizards




Wall or True Lizards


Monitor Lizards


Venomous snakes - Mambas, Cobras etc



Typical Snakes

Associated articles : [8] Hawksbill Turtle, [9] Marine Iguana

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