10 Unusual Names of Animal Groups

English has some unusual names when it comes to animal groups, terms we use to describe a collection of multiples of specific kinds of critters.

A few weeks back, I gave you a list of 10 unusual words that describe animal sounds. This week, I have to unusual words to describe groups of certain kinds of animals.

You’ve probably heard a group of geese is known as a “gaggle.”

How many of these have you heard of?

1. Apes

When you gather a group of apes together, you have a shrewdness.

2. Bats

This collective name might be my favorite on the list. We associate bats with witches, and who hasn’t heard of a witch’s cauldron. A cauldron can refer to the large black pot in which witches cook up their deadly potions. But it’s also the name given to a group of bats.

3. Bears

A group of bears is known as a sleuth. Some sources also describe a group of bears as a sloth.

4. Camels

When NBC premiered its first nightly news, anchored by John Cameron Swayze, it was sponsored by Camel Cigarettes and the program was titled the Camel News Caravan. It was a fitting name, considering a group of camels is, in fact, known as a caravan.

5. Cats

I had never heard of this one, but a collection of cats is known as a chowder. Some sources also say a group of cats is known as a pounce.

6. Dogs

The next time you visit a neighborhood dog park and witness a group of canines running and playing, you’re seeing a cowardice of dogs. Specifically, the word, which is not common nowadays, used to refer more to unpedigreed dogs, which were considered the “lowest class” of dogs. The more common name, of course, for a group of dogs is simply a pack.

7. Lions

Since the lion is known as the king of the jungle, you’d expect the collective noun for a gathering of such animal royalty to be fitting of such a nickname. The word pride, meaning a group of lions, surely fits that bill.

9. Tigers

Tigers are certainly known as effective hunters, and the collective name for a gathering of tigers certainly makes them sound all the more menacing: you’d call that gathering an ambush.

10. Wombats

Wombats are four-legged marsupials with short, stubby tails and can weigh up to 77 pounds. Their collective name is a wisdom, though groups of the burrowing animals may also be known as a mob or colony.

Which of these is the biggest surprise to you?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.