‘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.

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Ambush
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
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
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
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
Bouquet

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

 

Photo credit: Gary Noon

Business
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
Cackle

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

 

Photo credit: Ikiwaner

Cauldron
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
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
Charm

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

 

Photo credit: Ken Thomas

Clowder
Clowder

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

 

Photo credit: Eddy Van 3000

Congregation
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
Congress, Maelstrom

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

 

Photo credit: Cristo Vlahos

Conspiracy
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
Convocation

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

 

Photo credit: Vtornet

Cowardice
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
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
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
Drift

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

Exaltation
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
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
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
Implausibility

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

 

Photo credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Kaleidoscope, Flutter
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Pandemonium

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

 

Photo credit: Senthil Kumar

Parade, Memory
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
Parliament

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

 

Photo credit: Jessie Eastlan

Pitying
Pitying

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

 

Photo credit: Yuvalr

Posse, Gang
Posse, Gang

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

Prickle
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
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
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
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
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
Shrewdness

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

 

Photo credit: Pierre Fidenci

Sleuth
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
Smack

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

 

Photo credit: Dan 90266

Stand, Flamboyance
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
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
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
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
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
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

  • 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