Welcome to the Active Wild Online Zoo, a ‘virtual zoo’ for kids (and adults!). Discover amazing animals from all over the world … without leaving your home!
- View incredible animal pictures and videos;
- Discover amazing animals from all over the world;
- Talk about each species with other animal fans in the comments section on every page;
- Share the incredible species you’ve discovered with your friends on social media: you’ll find share buttons on every page!
- New animals added regularly – be sure to visit often to see the new arrivals!
- Download FREE printable worksheets for use with the Online Zoo here: Free Printable Worksheets.
Online Zoo Quick Search
Click on the pictures below to see all of the animals in that group, or scroll down to browse all of the animals in the zoo.
Click on the photos to learn more about the animals!
Online Zoo: A Virtual Zoo For Animal Fans All Around The World
Click on the pictures to discover more about any of the animals in the virtual zoo; you’ll find facts, pictures, information and videos!
Amphibians are animals that begin life in water, then move onto land when they mature. In order for amphibians to make this lifestyle change, their bodies undergo a transformation known as ‘metamorphosis’.
During metamorphosis, amphibians switch from breathing with gills to breathing with lungs. There are exceptions: some amphibians never lose their gills and live their whole lives in the water.
Online Zoo Amphibian Links
- Download a free printable birds worksheet here.
Scientists now believe that birds are the living descendants of dinosaurs. Birds have wings and feathers, and hatch from eggs.
Birds are found on every continent on Earth. The smallest bird is the bee hummingbird, the largest is the ostrich.
Most birds can fly, but some, such as ostriches and penguins, have lost this ability.
Online Zoo Bird Links
Fish are aquatic animals with organs called gills that allow them to breathe underwater. Fish are streamlined, and have fins to propel them through the water. There are two main types of fish: cartilaginous and bony fish.
The skeletons of cartilaginous fish are made of a substance called cartilage, which is more flexible than bone. Sharks, rays and skates are all cartilaginous fish.
Bony fish such as cod have skeletons that are made of bone. There are more species of bony fish than any other type of vertebrate. (A vertebrate is an animal with a backbone).
Online Zoo Fish Links
Invertebrates are animals that don’t have a backbone. Animals such as insects, crustaceans (e.g. crabs and lobsters), arachnids (e.g. spiders and mites), snails and worms are all invertebrates.
In fact, over 95% of all animals are invertebrates!
Online Zoo Invertebrate Links
Mammals evolved from reptiles around 195 million years ago. Characteristics shared by all mammals include: being warm-blooded; feeding their young with milk produced by the mother; and having hair.
Most mammals (but not all, as we’ll discover with the monotremes) give birth to live young.
There are many different types of mammal. In this online zoo they have been separated into a number of groups. We start with the Carnivora …
- Download a free printable Carnivora worksheet here.
Members of the Carnivora order* are mammals that all stem from a common, meat-eating ancestor. They all have a certain type of tooth, which evolved to cut through meat.
* An order is a big group of related animals that can contain many different animal families and species.
Members of the Carnivora order are called Carnivorans. They are also known as ‘carnivores’, but this word can also apply to any meat-eating animal.
Remember, not all carnivores (meat-eaters) are carnivorans (members of the carnivore order)!
Carnivora is split into two smaller groups, or suborders, called feliforms and caniforms.
Feilforms are ‘cat-like’ carnivorans. As well as cats, this group includes animals such as hyenas and mongooses.
Caniforms are ‘dog-like’ carnivorans. This group includes dogs, and animals such as bears and seals.
Bears are large, powerful animals that are found in many habitats around the world. Most are omnivores, eating anything from nuts and berries to meat. The polar bear is the only bear that is almost entirely carnivorous. By contrast, the giant panda is almost entirely herbivorous.
Online Zoo Bear Links
Cats are expert predators. They are fast and agile, and have excellent senses of sight and hearing. All cats are almost entirely carnivorous, and most of the ‘big cats’ sit at the very top of the food chain.
Online Zoo Cat Links
Members of the dog family Canidae, which includes wolves, foxes and jackals, are found on every continent except Antarctica.
Highly intelligent, with acute senses of smell and hearing, dogs are excellent predators. Some, such as wolves, live in packs, and hunt cooperatively.
African Hunting Dog (African Wild Dog)
Online Zoo Dog Links
Pinnipeds are mammals that have special adaptations for an aquatic lifestyle. They have flippers and streamlined bodies for swimming, and are slow and clumsy on land.
Online Zoo Pinniped Links
Cetacea: Whales, Dolphins & Porpoises
Cetaceans are members of a group of mammals that have evolved to live in the water. Although fish-like in appearance, cetaceans are warm-blooded, give birth to live young, and breathe air.
Cetaceans evolved from even-toed ungulates: the group of hooved mammals that includes pigs and hippopotamuses.
Online Zoo Cetacean Links
Ungulates (Hoofed Animals)
Ungulates are mammals that have hoofs, and are therefore also known as ‘hoofed animals’. There are two main types of ungulate:
Even-toed ungulates bear their weight on their third and fourth toes. This group contains animals such as pigs, hippopotamuses and deer.
Odd-toed ungulates bear their weight on their third toes, or have an odd number of toes. Animals in this group include horses, tapirs and rhinoceroses.
Other types of ungulate include the Tubulidentata (aardvarks), and Sirenia (dugongs and manatees).
Online Zoo Ungulate Links
Elephants are large, powerful mammals with trunks, tusks, and thick grey skin. The African bush elephant is the largest land animal in the world.
We used to think that there were two species of elephant: the African elephant and the Asian elephant. Scientists now think that the African elephant can be divided into two species (African bush elephant and African forest elephant), taking the total number of elephant species to three.
Online Zoo Elephant Links
- Download a free printable Marsupials & Monotremes worksheet here.
Marsupials are also known as ‘pouched mammals’. When born, their young are undeveloped, and continue to grow in a special pouch in their mother’s body. Most of the world’s marsupials live in Australia, although some are found in the Americas.
Online Zoo Marsupial Links
- Download a free printable Marsupials & Monotremes worksheet here.
Monotremes are probably the strangest mammals in the online zoo! What makes them different to other mammals is that they lay eggs, rather than giving birth.
There are only five species of monotreme alive today: four of these are echidnas and the other is the platypus.
Online Zoo Monotreme Links
Primates are mammals whose ancestors lived in trees. Primates have forward-facing eyes to judge distances, flexible limbs for climbing, and hands (and sometimes feet) that can hold onto objects.
If you look in a mirror, you’ll see a primate! Humans are members of a group of primates called the great apes. Other types of primate include monkeys, gibbons, and lemurs.
Online Zoo Primate Links
There are around 2,000 species of rodent, and together they make up around 40% of all mammals. Most rodents are small animals with long tails. All have long incisor teeth, which never stop growing. This allows the rodent to gnaw on tough plants with no danger of their teeth wearing down.
Online Zoo Rodent Links
Most reptiles are four-legged, cold-blooded, egg-laying animals, although there are many variations. Snakes, for example don’t have any limbs, but evolved from animals with four legs.
Some reptiles – most vipers, for example – give birth to live young.
- Download a free printable Reptiles worksheet here.
Crocodilia is a group of carnivorous reptiles that includes the crocodiles, alligators, caimans and gharials.
Crocodilians are more closely related to birds than they are to other reptiles such as lizards.
Online Zoo Crocodilian Links
Sea turtles are reptiles that are adapted to a marine lifestyle. After hatching from eggs laid on the beach, they make their way to the sea. The males will never set foot (or flipper) on dry land again.
Online Zoo Sea Turtle Links
Snakes are reptiles with scales, and long slender bodies. Snakes don’t have limbs, and move by bending and flexing their bodies in a number of ways.
There are over 3,000 species of snake, the longest being the reticulated python, and the heaviest being the green anaconda.
Online Zoo Snake Links
Active Wild Online Zoo
We hope that you’ve enjoyed your visit to the online zoo. Be sure to tell your friends, and share on social media using the share buttons at the top of the page!
If you want to see more animals, check out these pages: