Baby Animal Names: A Complete List of Common Terms

, Staff Writer
Updated May 17, 2022
baby animal names
    baby animal names
    Camel: RuslanDashinsky, Wolf: Enn Li Photography, Tiger: Andrew Porter, Koala: eeqmcc, Turtle: Sirachai Arunrugstichai, Gorilla: AndamanSE
    Used under Getty Images license

It’s hard to find anything cuter than a baby animal and sometimes it's hard to find the correct term for a baby animal too. On the one hand, many young animals share the same name - there are lots of cubs and pups out there. On the other, there are some very specific terms for infant animals, like puggle. Discover common baby animal names (and some not so common) so you’ll know exactly what word to use for young creatures.

Common Baby Animal Names

Some baby animal names are the same for multiple types of animals.


The term calf is probably most commonly known as the name for a baby cow, but it is actually used for several types of baby animals.

hippopotamus calf
    hippopotamus calf
    Raats / iStock / Getty Images Plus
    Used under Getty Images license
  • aardvark
  • antelope
  • bison
  • buffalo
  • camel
  • cow
  • dolphin (also called pup)
  • elephant
  • giraffe
  • gnu
  • hippopotamus
  • moose
  • ox
  • porpoise
  • reindeer
  • rhinoceros
  • whale
  • yak


The word pup is used for many baby animals, including (but not limited to) dogs, several rodents and sharks.

harp seal pup
    harp seal pup
    Kevin Schafer / The Image Bank / Getty
    Used under Getty Images license
  • armadillo
  • bat
  • beaver (also called kitten)
  • coyote (also called whelp)
  • dog (commonly called puppy)
  • fox (also called cub or kit)
  • gerbil
  • guinea pig
  • hamster
  • hedgehog (also called piglet)
  • mink
  • mole
  • mouse (also called kitten or pinkie)
  • otter (also called whelp)
  • prairie dog
  • rat (also called kitten or pinkie)
  • seal
  • shark
  • squirrel (can also be referred to as kits or kittens)
  • wolf (also called whelp)


Cub is the name for most baby big cats as well as some other animals.

cheetah cub
    cheetah cub
    Adam Jones / Stone / Getty
    Used under Getty license
  • badger
  • bear
  • cheetah
  • hyena
  • leopard
  • lion
  • panda
  • raccoon
  • tiger (also called whelp)
  • walrus (can also be called pup)


Baby marsupial animals are referred to as joeys.

wombat joey
    wombat joey
    Xavier Hoenner Photography / Moment / Getty
    Used under Getty Images license
  • kangaroo
  • koala
  • opossum
  • wallaby
  • wombat


Several types of baby animals are referred to as hatchlings. These animals all hatch from eggs.

alligator hatchling
    alligator hatchling
    Troy Harrison / Moment / Getty
    Used under Getty Images license
  • alligator
  • emu
  • snake
  • squid
  • turtle

Did you know? The term hatchling can also be used for some baby birds, but only for the first few days they are alive.

Other Baby Animal Names

Not all names for baby animals are used for multiple kinds of critters. Many animal names are specific to a particular type.

horse foal
    horse foal
    Marccophoto / E+ / Getty
    Used under Getty Images license
  • antling - Baby ants are referred to as antlings.
  • bunny - Baby rabbits are commonly called bunnies. They can also be called kittens or kits.
  • chick - The word chick is a general word for most young birds, including nesting birds, chickens, birds of prey and others.
  • cockrell - The term cockrell is used to describe baby male chickens, also known as a young rooster or chick.
  • colt - The word colt is used for a male foal.
  • cria - Baby llamas and alpacas are referred to as cria.
  • cygnet - Young swans are most commonly called cygnets, though they can also be described as flappers.
  • fawn - Baby deer and pronghorns are referred to as fawn.
  • filly - The word filly describes a female foal.
  • fledgling - The term fledgling applies once a chick is able to leave the nest but isn’t yet self-sufficient.
  • foal - Baby horses, mules and zebras are called foals.
  • froglet - A froglet is a baby frog. They start out as tadpoles.
  • fry - Newborn fish are called fry.
  • infant - Like human babies, monkeys and gorillas are called infants.
  • kids - Baby goats are referred to as kids.
  • kit - Baby ferrets, skunks and weasels are called kits.
  • kitten - Baby cats (pets, not big cats) are called kittens, as are baby servals.
  • lamb - The term for a baby sheep is lamb.
  • larva - Many insects and bugs start out as larva. Examples include bees, yellow jackets and butterflies.
  • nestling - A chick can be called a nestling once it gets past the hatchling stage, but cannot yet leave the nest.
  • owlet - The term for a young owl is owlet.
  • piglet - The word piglet is used for baby pigs, hogs and boars. These young animals can also be called farrow or shoat.
  • poult - The name used for a young turkey is poult.
  • puggle - The name for a young platypus is puggle.
  • pullet - The term pullet describes a baby female chicken (also known as a young hen or a chick).
  • salamanderling - Not surprisingly, salamanderling is the word for a baby salamander.
  • spiderling - Baby spiders are called spiderlings.
  • squab - A baby pigeon is called a squab. These baby birds are also sometimes known as squeakers.
  • wormlet - The name for a baby worm is wormlet.

Learn More About Animal Life

There are so many terms for newly born animals! Now that you know what to call many baby animals, it’s time to boost your knowledge of science with regards to living things. Start by reviewing a list of names for groups of animals. From there, broaden your knowledge base by learning about how animals and plants are classified through the taxonomy of living things.