A definitive ranking of the 50 best names for a group of animals

So, I recently discovered that a group of ferrets is called a business. I found this fact utterly delightful, and it inspired me to find out what other delightful denominations I’ve been missing out on.

Today, I give you my definitive ranking of the coolest names for a group of animals. Obviously, no boring herds or packs need apply. (I’m looking at you, antelope, caribou, bison, wolves, and the like.) No troops, pods or flocks either. (Sorry, monkeys, whales and seagulls.) I showed a gaggle of geese and a murder of crows the door too. No mercy. 

I should note that I have no idea if these are all accurate, and I couldn’t find names for some animal groups (like koalas). I’m trusting the wisdom of the Internet, so take that as you will. (It’s probably about as trustworthy as Tavish, who assures me that the proper name for a group of Tavishes is a tumble. while the name for a group of Bellas is a bumble. Ah, sibling rivalry…)

Anyway… here you go:

  1. A congregation of alligators – I guess they’ve got religion?
  2. A hover of trout – I had no idea that they were flying fish.
  3. A knot of toads – I’m always looking for a good tangle of amphibians.
  4. An exaltation of larks – This one seems predictable, yet wholly appropriate.
  5. A whoop of gorillas – Sometimes, you’ve just got to call ’em like you see ’em.
  6. A rookery of penguins (or albatrosses) – Sounds kind of kooky, but I like it.
  7. A descent of woodpeckers – I think it makes them sound cool.
  8. A wisdom of wombats – Who knew that wombats were the brainy kids in the high school of nature?
  9. A tower of giraffes – Because they’re tall. Get it?
  10. A cloud of grasshoppers – I can picture it now.
  11. A parcel of hogs – Please sign on the dotted line.
  12. A convocation of eagles – Geez, eagles are kind of pretentious.
  13. A skulk of foxes – I don’t know why I like this one, but I do.
  14. A congress of salamanders – Slimy little things, right?
  15. An unkindness of ravens – So ravens are just crows who weren’t mean enough?

    via giphy.com

  16. A battery of barracudas – I guess they were just going for alliteration here.
  17. A bellowing of bullfinches – Another alliterative addition. Are bullfinches loud?
  18. A pomp of Pekingese – I think it fits. They’re regal little pups.
  19. A rhumba of rattlesnakes – This one is just fun to say.
  20. A quiver of cobras – I’d quiver if I saw a bunch of cobras, so I can get on board with this one. Scary.
  21. A gang of turkeys – They’ll gobble your gobble. (Whatever that means.)
  22. A prickle of porcupines – Adorable and appropriate.
  23. A coalition of cheetahs – They’re like the UN of animals.
  24. A crash of rhinoceroses – Seems fitting to me.
  25. A bale of turtles – I don’t get it, but I’m picturing a hay bale made of turtles.
  26. A cackle of hyenas – You just know that Banzai, Ed, and Shenzi would approve.

    via giphy.com

  27. A smack of jellyfish – This one rates this high on the list solely because I was charmed by its randomness.
  28. A destruction of cats (wild) – Meow you’re talking.
  29. An ambush of tigers – Surprise!
  30. A sloth of bears (or a sleuth) – If a group of bears is a sloth, is a group of sloths a bear? My brain hurts. A sleuth of bears, however, makes me envision a detective who exclusively handles cases involving bears. I’d watch that show. (Also, I propose that we call a group of bloodhounds a sleuth. All in favor?)
  31. A kaleidoscope of butterflies – It evokes a nice visual image, for sure.
  32. A bloat of hippopotamuses – Way harsh, Tai.
  33. A flamboyance of flamingoes – You just know that those egotistical flamingoes came up with this one.
  34. An ostentation of peacocks – You’ve been beaten at your own game, flamingoes.
  35. An escargatoire of snails – Sounds fancy.

    via giphy.com

  36. A scurry of squirrels – Alliteration and accuracy. Well played.
  37. A mess of iguanas – The pigpens of the animal kingdom. Who knew?
  38. An array of hedgehogs – Array of Hedgehogs would make a great band name.
  39. A mob of kangaroos (or emus) – Be careful who you mess with.
  40. A wake of buzzards – Clever, clever…
  41. A parliament of owls – If any birds were going to govern us, it probably would be those wise old owls, after all.
  42. A shrewdness of apes – Did Charlton Heston make this one up?
  43. A troubling of goldfish – I just love this one. I picture someone throwing up her hands and exclaiming (in true ’80s sitcom style), “Those darn goldfish!”

    via giphy.com

  44. A cast of crabs – Speaking of sitcoms, stay tuned for our all-new all-crab Tuesday night lineup!
  45. A raft of sea otters – Can’t you just seem them linking together? (Form of… raft!)
  46. A business of ferrets – I just picture a crowd of adorable ferrets wearing glasses and three-piece suits.
  47. A company of moles – Ditto. Moles strike me as the corporate type.
  48. A grumble of pugs – It’s grumpily adorable.
  49. An implausibility of gnus – I have no idea if this is real, but if so… I love it.
  50. A chain of bobolinks – I’m sorry. They won me over with the clever wordplay.

Honorable mentions: A charm of finches, a leap of leopards, a zeal of zebras, a kindle of kittens, an army of caterpillars (or frogs), a shiver of sharks, and a pandemonium of parrots. (That last one didn’t make the list because I totally think it should be the name for a group of pandas instead.)

There you have it… that’s my list. Now, it’s your turn. Do you agree? What would you add or change? Bring it on!

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17 thoughts on “A definitive ranking of the 50 best names for a group of animals

  1. Ok. Here’s one: a Wrangle of Wieners. Wait, here’s another one: a Caterwaul of Cats. A Plurality of Parrots. Oops, that’s one more. Someone stop me! There goes my day.

    ( Great post. Why don’t you have a like button? I always want to to like your stuff, but….alas, I can’t find the like button! )
    Ann Sowards recently posted..WIENER REPARTEE AND A WHELPING STORY

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