ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Do You Call Groups Of Various Animals?

Updated on October 29, 2017
Bob Bamberg profile image

Bob has been in the pet supply business and writing about pets, livestock and wildlife in a career that spans three decades.

Source

Individually Or In Groups, You Wonder Where The Name Came From

We humans are a pretty boring lot. The males of our species are scientifically identified as males, the females are females, and we have a few names for our young; baby, infant, toddler, boy, girl, adolescent, youth, teen, rug rat and crumb grabber. Where do “dude” and “babe” fit in?

We get a little more creative when identifying more than one of us. We can be a clan if we’re related, a family if we’re closely related, and a tribe or community if we live close together. Otherwise we can be such things as a gang, mob, group or crowd.

We get more creative with animals, though. So much so that many of us wonder, “How did they ever come up with that?

For example, females of the species felis domesticus (housecat) are queens, males are toms, and their young are kittens. But in groups, it’s a different story.

A bunch of unrelated kittens is called a kindle (and you thought a kindle was some kind of electronic book or something), but a bunch of kittens born to one queen is called a litter. Groups of cats are also known as a clutter, or a clowder.

How did they ever come up with those?

Wild versions of the family felidae (cats) are different still. Example: a male lion is a lion, a female is a lioness, a baby is a cub, and a group is a pride.

But cheetahs are identified as male, female, cub, and a group is a coalition. How did they ever come up with that?

Tigers are even more mysteriously named. They are: tiger, tigress, cub or whelp, and a group is either an ambush or a streak.

How did they ever come up with that? And here's the fly in that ointment, by the way...with the exception of the lion, the big cats are solitary, so how often do you see them in a group, anyway?

Is It A Litter Or A Kennel?
Is It A Litter Or A Kennel? | Source

Domestic dogs (family canidae) get a few names that make some of us scratch our heads.

A male is a dog, a female is a bitch and the young are pups. If there’s more than one and they come from the same mother, it’s a litter.

Otherwise it’s a kennel. If they’re wild, it’s a pack. Unless, of course, it’s a group of hyenas, in which case it’s a clan or a cackle. Whew.

Oh yeah, one more thing about dogs…just to simplify matters. If it’s a hound, then a group of them is known as a pack, a cry or a mute. How did they ever…you know the drill.

If you have a hamster and he’s a he, he’s a buck. If he’s a she, she’s a doe.

The babies are pups, and if you have more than one, it’s a horde. If you have a gerbil, please see hamster. Everything’s the same.

If you have a male guinea pig, he’s a boar (like the guy you met at the club the other night, right girls?).

If it’s a girl, she’s a sow, the babies are pups and more than one is a group. How boring. Or is it boaring?

Your pet rabbit is a buck if it’s a boy, a doe if it’s a girl, and the babies are either kittens, bunnies or kits.

It gets more confusing the more rabbits you add.

More than one is known as a colony, drove, leash, nest, trace, or warren.

This Looks Like A Piteousness To Me
This Looks Like A Piteousness To Me | Source

Here are some real head scratchers: a bunch of ducks is a badelynge, brace, bunch, flock, paddling, raft, or team.

A bunch of other birds is a fleet, flight, flock, parcel, pod, volery, or dissimulation (small birds only). What about large birds, you say?

A bunch of cranes is a herd, sedge, or siege…a bunch of emus is a mob. And doves have their own nomenclature. A bunch of doves is a dole, flight, or piteousness.

And it goes even further; a bunch of falcons is a cast…a bunch of hawks is an aerie, cast, or kettle…and a bunch of peacocks is a muster or ostentation.

Mammals, especially primates, have got to be easier to remember, right? A bunch of apes is a shrewdness. Oh, well.

Here's a special suggestion just for HubPages readers: print this article and take it with you on vacation.

When the kids start whining, “Are we there yet?” bring it out and quiz them. You should get 30 minutes or 30 miles out of it.

© 2012 Bob Bamberg

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)