Everyone knows what a herd of cattle is, or a flock of birds, or a school of fish. But many animals have unique, less familiar names that are used to describe them in groups. Read on to learn 12 of them. How many did you know?
Scientific name: Felis catus
A group of them is called: a clowder
Fun fact: It’s a clowder of cats, but a group of kittens has its own name: a kindle.
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Scientific name: Corvus (genus)
A group of them is called: a murder
Fun fact: Crows are extremely intelligent and adaptable. They communicate with each other with remarkable complexity, so much so that they even caw with distinct regional dialects.
Scientific name: Mustela putorius furo
A group of them is called: a business
Fun fact: Ferrets are social creatures, but this trait is unique to pet ferrets. The wild polecats from which they were domesticated are solitary animals.
Scientific name: Phoenicopterus (genus)
A group of them is called: a flamboyance
Fun fact: Flamingos are very social birds. Their colonies are enormous, sometimes numbering in the thousands.
Scientific name: Iguana (genus)
A group of them is called: a mess
Fun fact: Iguanas are surprisingly social for reptiles. They live and forage as groups in treetops. Male iguanas are very territorial, particularly during mating season.
Scientific name: Lemuroidea (superfamily)
A group of them is called: a conspiracy
Fun fact: Lemurs form strong social bonds, living in groups of up to 25 individuals. Females stay in their groups for life, while males seek out other groups when they reach sexual maturity.
Scientific name: Psittaciformes (order)
A group of them is called: a pandemonium
Fun fact: Parrot parents name their children, and those names are learned and used by other birds among parrot communities.
Scientific name: Rhinocerotidae (family)
A group of them is called: a crash
Fun fact: White rhinos have the most complex social structure of any rhino species. They are known to form groups of up to 14 individuals.
Scientific name: Selachimorpha (superorder)
A group of them is called: a shiver
Fun fact: Lemon sharks make and maintain social networks. “They basically have friends,” said Tristan Guttridge, a behavioral ecologist at Bimini Biological Field Station in the Bimini Islands. “They have individuals that they prefer to follow and have social interactions with.”
Scientific name: Sturnidae (family)
A group of them is called: a murmuration
Fun fact: Starling murmurations can grow very large,often numbering thousands of birds. In fact, a single murmuration will often contain several different species of starlings, or species from other families.
Scientific name: Connochaetes (genus)
A group of them is called: an implausibility
Fun fact: Any fan of “The Lion King” knows how large wildebeest herds can get. During the great wildebeest migration that happens every late spring, they move in one gargantuan herd of 1.5 million wildebeests. It sounds implausible, but it’s true.
Next: 12 More Unusual Animal Group Names!
Scientific name: Blattodea (order)
A group of them is called: an intrusion
Fun fact: In 2013, Sean Murphy set a Guinness World Record for the most live cockroaches held in the mouth, with 21 cockroaches. That definitely sounds to us like an intrusion.