‘Dazzle’ of Zebras: 50 Odd Words for Animal Groups

Sure, you could just slap an “s” on the end of “bear” and people will know what you mean. But most animals actually have a unique name for their collective group. Though uncommon, these are all unique terms for animal groups.

Ambush

Tigers: Notoriously solitary, tigers don’t often travel in groups. So you may not ever have the chance to identify an “ambush” of tigers. And maybe that’s for the best.

Photo credit: Lotse

Bask, Float

Crocodiles: Basically, what a croc does is what it’s called. So a bunch of crocodiles on land is a “bask” while a bunch in the water is a “float.”

 

Photo credit: Tomas Castelazo

Bloat, Thunder

Hippopotamus: Because everyone will look at you funny if you say “hippopotami,” you could call a group of hippos a “thunder.” Or if you’re mean, call them a “bloat.”

 

Photo credit: Nilsrinaldi

Boil, Kettle

Hawks: While in flight, call them a “kettle.” But when they’re circling for prey, a group of hawks is a full-on “boil.”

 

Photo credit: Scott Jennings

Bouquet

Pheasant: Before it’s riddled with five shot, a pheasant in a group is part of a “bouquet.”

 

Photo credit: Gary Noon

Business

Ferrets: If you see more than one ferret, you’re looking at a “business.” And if you live near a city, it’s also a “problem.”

 

Photo credit: Craig M. Groshek

Cackle

Hyenas: Call it like you hear it. A group of hyenas is actually a “cackle.”

 

Photo credit: Ikiwaner

Cauldron

Bats: When the sky goes dark with a load of bats, you’ve got a “cauldron.” You may also want to head indoors.

 

Photo credit: Aidan Jones

Chain

Bobolinks: Believe it or not, a group of bobolinks is a “chain.” And to answer your next question, a bobolink is a small blackbird found in North and South America. It’s also the sole member of the genus Dolichonyx – but you probably already knew that.

 

Photo credit: D. Gordon E. Robertson

Charm

Goldfinch: If you see a bunch of goldfinches, it could be your lucky day; that’s a “charm.”

 

Photo credit: Ken Thomas

Clowder

Cats: Here kitty, kitty … Oh, there’s a bunch of you! Here clowder, clowder…

 

Photo credit: Eddy Van 3000

Congregation

Alligators: When you see a group of alligators it’s a “congregation.” And if you happen to be swimming, it’s “sheer horror.”

 

Photo credit: CarmenQueasy

Congress, Maelstrom

Salamanders: With a salamanders, as with people, “congress” and “maelstrom” mean the same thing.

 

Photo credit: Cristo Vlahos

Conspiracy

Lemurs: How many lemurs do you see? A bunch? I don’t know, seems like a “conspiracy” to me.

 

Photo credit: Mark Kent

Convocation

Eagles: The most regal animal in America earns one of the most respectable group titles: “convocation.”

 

Photo credit: Vtornet

Cowardice

Dogs: Puppies are a litter, wild dogs are a pack, and a roving group of feral dogs is a “cowardice.”

 

Photo credit: Sardaka

Crash, Stubbornness

Rhinos: Of course you could say a “stubbornness” of rhinos and be correct. But a “crash” of rhinoceroses sounds so much cooler.

 

Photo credit: Krish Dulal

Deceit

Lapwings: If you hear a shrill, wailing cry, then note a crest and irregular wingbeat, you’ve got yourself a lapwing. And if you see bunch more, that’s a “deceit.”

 

Photo credit: Joe Pell

Drift

Pigs: Typically, a “drift” refers to a group of young wild pigs.

Exaltation

Larks: Poems and songs have been written about the lark. So it’s not surprise that a group is called an “exaltation.”

 

Photo credit: Michele Lamberti

Fever

Stingrays: During migration, hundreds of rays fly though the water, almost like a flock of birds. That’s a “fever.”

 

Photo credit: Elias Levy

Gaze

Raccoons: When you flick on your porch light to see what the sound was near your garbage cans, all those beady raccoon eyes are part of a “gaze.”

 

Photo credit: Darkone

Implausibility

Gnus/Wildebeest: A mass of these African bovines is an “implausibility.”

 

Photo credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Kaleidoscope, Flutter

Butterflies: It’s tough to decide whether it’s more fun to say a “kaleidoscope” of butterflies or a “flutter” of butterflies. But both are correct.

 

Photo credit: fesoj

Knot

Toads/Frogs: If you ever step into the grass and see a bunch of green-brown hoppers fleeing, that’s a “knot.”

 

Photo credit: Dave McLear

Labor

Moles: You may not ever see enough at one time to use the term, but a bunch of moles are a “labor.” That’s fitting considering their lives mostly consist of blindly chewing tunnels through the Earth.

 

Photo credit: Kenneth Catania

Leap

Leopards: A solitary beast by nature, it’s rare to witness a “leap.” And because a leopard can vault 20 feet horizontally and has a 10-foot vertical, it’s a fair title.

 

Photo credit: Srikaanth Sekar

Murder

Crows: To our knowledge, Alfred Hitchcock had nothing to do with this one. When you see hundreds of crows swarming in the sky or cawing from a tree, that’s a “murder.”

 

Photo credit: Son of Groucho

Mutation

Thrushes: It may seem an odd term, but the “mutation” of thrushes may derive from an apocryphal belief that thrushes shed their old legs at maturity and grew new ones. No, they do not.

 

Photo credit: Milo Bostock

Obstinacy

Bison/Buffalo: Honk, holler, wave – if you’ve ever encountered a group of bison blocking a road, you know that “obstinacy” is an appropriate name.

Ostentation

Peacocks: “Ostentation” suffices for a group of peacocks because “OMG, look at us, we’re FABULOUS!” doesn’t quite roll off the tongue.

 

Photo credit: Jatin Sindhu

Pandemonium

Parrots: If you’re surrounded by parrots, it’s literally “pandemonium.”

 

Photo credit: Senthil Kumar

Parade, Memory

Elephants: A “memory” of elephants is an older and less common term for a group of the pachyderms. But “parade” is still fairly common.

 

Photo credit: Bernard DUPONT

Parliament

Owls: Yes, a group of owls is a “parliament.” As for the funk, that belongs to everyone.

 

Photo credit: Jessie Eastlan

Pitying

Turtledoves: On the second day of Christmas, your true love gave you a “pitying” of turtledoves.

 

Photo credit: Yuvalr

Posse, Gang

Turkeys: The Sharks and the Jets aren’t the only posses or gangs. That also works for a bunch of gobblers.

Prickle

Porcupines: Whether or not you see a “prickle” of porcupines, just say it a few times. It’ll make you smile.

 

Photo credit: Eric Kilby

Quiver

Cobras: If you look around spot a bunch of cobras, you could say, “I see a quiver.” Or, you could just say, “AAAAAHHHHH!”

 

Photo credit: ASIM CHAUDHURI

Rhumba

Rattlesnakes: It’s definitely not common, but “rhumba” is a known term for a group of rattlers. And no, they will do nothing to clean your floor.

 

Photo credit: Renee

Romp, Raft

Otters: They hold hands, they eat like people, and in a group these amphibious mammals constitute a “romp” or a “raft.”

 

Photo credit: Michael Baird

Shiver

Sharks: When they sense blood in the water, sharks go into a frenzy. And together they’re called a “shiver.”

 

Photo credit: Elias Levy

Shrewdness

Apes: Don’t call them monkeys. Do call them a “shrewdness.”

 

Photo credit: Pierre Fidenci

Sleuth

Bears: If you see a bunch of bears passing by, make a note that it’s a “sleuth” as you swiftly pack up your campsite.

Smack

Jellyfish: Who comes up with this stuff? A bunch of blobby jellies is, in fact, a “smack.”

 

Photo credit: Dan 90266

Stand, Flamboyance

Flamingoes: “Stand” is far more common than “flamboyance” when referring to flamingoes. But who doesn’t want to say, “Look at that flamboyance of flamingoes!”

 

Photo credit: How I see Life

Tower

Giraffes: Now you know a group of giraffes is a “tower.” But do you know whether their tongues are red or black?

 

Photo credit: Luca Galuzzi

Troubling

Goldfish: Whether they’re pets or delicious cheddary snacks, if you’ve got too many goldfish it’s literally “troubling.”

 

Photo credit: Randen Pederson

Venue, Volt

Vultures: In flight, vultures are referred to as a “venue” or “volt.” But when they’re feeding on a carcass, that’s a “wake.” Creepy.

 

Photo credit: Dibyendu Ash

Wisdom

Wombats: Yes, a “wisdom” refers to a group of wombats. Now repeat after me: “I wuv a wisdom of wombats.”

 

Photo credit: JJ Harrison

Zeal, Dazzle

Zebras: There are myriad theories as to the purpose of a zebra’s stripes. Camouflage, insect repellent, and temperature control have all been postulated. But one thing is for certain, in a group, they’re a “zeal” or a “dazzle.”

 

Photo credit: Paul Maritz

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