Animals - 'data file'


Although the animal kingdom (Animalia) is made up of many taxonomic ranks and sub-divisions I'm only interested, as a wildlife photographer, in the classification of Birds (Aves) and Mammals (Mammalia), together with a few selected Reptiles (Reptillia) plus, to a lesser degree, Amphibians (Amphibia) and Insects (Insecta).

With regard to Aves, the latest IOC 'World Bird List' confirms that there are over 10,700 extant species, split into 250 families and 40 orders. I have a separate dedicated page for Birds where I've listed all the orders together with all 109 non-passerine families and a selected 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 those 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. I'd like to do more macro photography, but for now I will try to identify any butterfly, dragonfly, beetle or miscellaneous tropical bug once I have a photo of it rather than trying to fully understand the taxonomy.  

The situation with birds, and the more common animals (essentially mammal species and a few reptiles), that I'm likely to see during our travels in Europe, Africa and the New World are a different matter as I've now photographed well in excess of a thousand species and, apart from wanting to ensure that I'm correctly naming those species, I need a robust cataloguing system. For me the most sensible way of organising my Lightroom keywords is to have them in taxonomic order. It's not that I want to be clever 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 page is to list the taxonomic ORDER and Family, and if appropriate Subfamily and Tribe, of those animal species that I've encountered or am likely to encounter, or that need to be included to complete an entry (ie. I couldn't really split down Primates for example, without reference to the wet-nose group, or relatives of the baboons, even though I know that I'm unlikely to ever see those species). The list is in a loose simplified taxonomic order for personal reference.



Important :

Please note that this 'data file' 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

> Atelidae > Atelinae

CATARRHINI (Old World Monkeys)

> Cercopithecidae

> Cercopithecinae

> Colobinae

> Hominidae (Apes)

RODENTIA (rodents)

(the largest order with 30+ families)

> Sciuridae

> Muridae

> Caviidae

> Dasyproctidae

> Myocastoridae


> Leporidae


CARNIVORA (carnivores) [6]

Feliforms (cat-like) :-

> Felidae

> Pantherinae (large cats)

> Felinae (small to medium cats)

> Viverridae

> Herpestidae

> Hyaenidae

Caniforms (dog-like) :-

> Canidae

> Canini (wolf-like)

> Vulpini (fox-like)

> Ursidae (bears) [6]

> Mustelidae (mustelids)

> Mustelinae

> Mellivorinae

> Lutrinae

> Procyonidae

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

Capuchin and Squirrel Monkeys

Woolly, Spider and Howler Monkeys

Macaques, Guenons, Mangabeys, Baboons [3]

Colobus Monkeys

Orangutans, Gorillas, Chimpanzees


Old World rats and mice

Cavies, Capybara


Nutria (Coypu) [4]

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

Badgers, Martens, Weasels, Stoat, 

Honey Badger


Raccoons, Coatis

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 (includes Oribi [Kingdon : Ourebini])

Dik-diks [Kingdon : Madoquini]


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

[§] Modern taxonomic classification deals with the traditional order ARTIODACTYLA in a couple of different ways. The first is to combine it with CETACEA into a new order CETARTIODACTYLA. The second is to replace it with RUMINANTIA to separate the ruminants, moving Camelidae to the suborder TYLOPODA, Suidae and Tayassuidae to suborder SUIFORMES (or SUINA as it is also known), and placing Hippopotamidae together with CETACEA in to a clade called Whippomorpha. Under that system, RUMINANTIA has just six families (Giraffidae, Cervidae and Bovidae as above, plus three others that I have no need to list). Bovidae is then separated into just two subfamilies (Bovinae and Antilopinae), with the remaining subfamilies (Cephalophinae, Reduncinae etc) re-ranked as tribes [Cephalophini, Reduncini etc]. Although I have used some of these alternative taxons as keyword synonyms in Lightroom, I have generally stuck with the traditional classification system for cataloguing species.

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

> 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]

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

Copyright © Tony Enticknap - all rights reserved

No copy permitted without prior agreement

(associated notes, disclosures and disclaimer)