When it comes to Linnaean taxonomy, few of us outside of the related fields know how many species it covers (for the record, taxonomists estimate there have been hundreds of millions of species of life forms on this planet up to now). The number of species we are familiar with makes up less than 1% of even the known species.

Thus fiction will end up showing a few stock species, due to that familiarity. Some groups of plants and animals can have thousands of known species, and fiction will only mention about two. Often this results in MisplacedWildlife, as the particular species shown wouldn't live in a certain place, but we wouldn't know of the other species that do (unless the writers are [[ShownTheirWork Showing Their Work]]).

There is also a bit of a sliding scale. On the low end, entire phyla (aka divisions) can have just one or two species represented. On the high end, a single family can have about half a dozen species commonly shown. This is regardless of the actual number of species per group.

Filming on location can produce a fair sampling of the local flora, including the species no one much has heard of, but the plants named will still come from a small pool.

Often this trope is because a particular species is featured in a work that puts that species in the popular consciousness, but there are other causes.

Can be {{justified|Trope}}. Many kinds of creatures are rarely seen in fiction because they are just as rarely seen in real life. (When was the last time you met a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caecilian caecilian]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantis_shrimp mantis shrimp]], or a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuatara tuatara]]?)

A SubTrope of SmallReferencePools

A SuperTrope to StockDinosaurs.

Contrast ImprobableTaxonomySkills, SeldomSeenSpecies.
!!Examples, split along taxonomic groupings:

!Single Cell Organisms Without Nuclei or Membrane-Bound Organelles (domains Bacteria and Archaea):
* Bacteria are more often known by the diseases they cause than the actual organisms. Some are often confused with viruses. There are more beneficial, non-pathogenic bacteria than pathogenic bacteria, outside and even inside the human body, but this fact is often overlooked.
** ''E. coli'' is particularly prone to this: the dangerous pathogenic strain [=O157:H7=] is the only strain anyone has heard of, but in reality the vast majority of strains are non-pathogenic and the vast majority of pathogenic strains relatively innocuous. The relatively innocuous kind is living inside you ''right now.''
* ''Impressively'' averted in {{Moyashimon}}, which name-checks a number of bacteria and viruses, as well as a number of yeasts and other one-celled organisms.
* Archaea do not exist in fiction. The fact that you need some knowledge of biochemistry to even understand what they are[[note]]prokaryotes with DNA wrapped around histones, a membrane using ether-bonded terpenes instead of ester-bonded fatty acids, and eukaryote-like RNA polymerase, among other things[[/note]] may have something to do with it, as does the fact that they weren't [[ScienceMarchesOn proposed as a seperate Kingdom until 1977]] and weren't officially called Archaea until the 90's. Even then they were believed to be SeldomSeenSpecies only found in hot springs and hydrothermal vents until being found to make up a large portion of the worlds poorly-studied plankton in the late 90's.
* Even when prokaryotes are correctly named in visual media, they're usually ''played'' by some kind of protist, as these tend to be more photogenic. Wriggling cilia simply look better on-screen than anonymous dots and bacilli.

!Organisms With Nuclei or Membrane-Bound Organelles (domain Eukarya) (plants, animals, fungi listed in separate sections):
* Algae probably don't even have a specific species mentioned, just the group as a whole.
* Most protozoa featured tend to be either some species of ''Paramecium'' or ''Amoeba''. Their vast diversity is usually ignored.
* Good luck finding any creature being called a protist.
* Seaweed is actually not a plant.
** The fact that seaweed is photosynthetic and looks like a plant doesn't help. The same tends to go for other algae, depending on how much there is in one spot. The distinction gets blurred even further when you find out that plants evolved from algae...
** Seaweed are a polyphyletic group; some are plants, some are [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromalveolata chromalveolates]] (such as kelp), and some fall under a phylum without a kingdom, such as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodophyta the rhodophytes (red algae)]].
* Any time microorganisms (of any sort) are shown in visual media, they're guaranteed to be one of the more photogenic members of this group, usually ''Paramecium'', ''Stentor'', or ''Vorticella''. That's assuming it's not a ''Volvox'' (plant) or rotifer (animal) that they're ''passing off'' as a protist.
* In general, unless they are anthropomorphic characters, expect most plants, algae and fungi to be treated as objects or scenery. They may get a {{Macguffin}} or CompanionCube treatment if they are non-anthropomorphic.

!Kingdom Fungi (often thought to be plants, but a different group):
* Mold -- Although anyone who's seen food go rotten knows there are several kinds of mold (depending on the color of the rot), no species is known by name. Even ''Penicillium chrysogenum'' is just known by the antibiotic based from it, "Penicillin".
** Slime molds and water molds are polyphyletic and consist of several supergroups, none of which fit in the fungi kingdom.
* Yeast -- Also, no species is known by name. It's just commonly known as one of two things:
** A fermentation agent, although there are still several different kinds of species for that.
** Whatever species causes yeast infection, which are the species of the genus ''Candida''.
* Truffle -- Again, just the group known, not any species. And they are only mentioned when someone is making some kind of fancy meal, or getting ingredients for one.
** Cooking shows will differentiate between black and white truffles. The fact that there is more than one type of black truffle (black Périgord truffle being the good one), or even just more than two types of truffles never gets mentioned. White truffles are rarer than the Périgords and tend to carry a sort of elitist appeal to them... even more than the elitism that plain old Périgords have. Most people can't tell the difference and restaurants have been known to dose the milder white truffles with Périgord oil so the diners taste the distinctive truffle flavor. Scams abound with lesser quality black truffles also being dosed in the same manner and sold for obscene prices.
* Mushrooms
** Edible ones might be mentioned by name, such as morels or shiitake. Poisonous ones are invariably called "toadstools" or just "poisonous mushroom" even though there are an awful lot of mycotoxin-containing species. (If one is mentioned, it will probably be the destroying angel simply because it has the most BadAss name ever. Not coincidentally it's one of the most toxic and most easily misidentified mushrooms in the wild.)
*** In ''Literature/DresdenFiles'' book "Grave Peril" Jim Butcher [[ShownTheirWork gets it exactly right]] with his description of how eating a destroying angel will kill you. He even gets the antidote spot-on.
** Kind of justified. Some are ''ridiculously'' hard to identify without specialized equipment and even mycologists are known to argue about which are which.
** This is also very culturally dependent. East European and Asian cuisine uses a lot more mushrooms than Western or American, so people from the former areas are likely to be able to identify a much longer list of edible species and (if they're the type to go mushroom hunting themselves) to be able to recognize poisonous ones. However this can backfire horribly if they move if they move to western countries as several very poisonous varieties native to western countries strongly resemble edible fungi from their original locales.
* Shelf fungi occasionally rate a mention as scenery.

!Plants (kingdom Plantae):
* Pteridophyta (ferns) are never referred to by species...ever. There are some 12000 current species and countless others that didn't survive much past the Cretaceous. You can bet that if a work references ferns at all, they will either have mystical properties, or the story in question will take place during the Cretaceous period or earlier (these two options are not mutually exclusive). Bonus (negative) points if anyone makes reference to flowers or seeds of a fern. Bonus (positive) points if someone makes reference to fern spores, or mentions a specific species.
* The conifers are an entire phylum of plant species, yet all fiction seems to mention are "Pines" and "Firs" (both of which are genera themselves.) "Redwoods" (a casual name, not a formal taxonomic designation) and "Blue Spruce" (a single species) run a distant third and fourth, and there's very rarely a distinction made between Coastal Redwood and Giant Sequoia.
** Holiday specials sometimes refer to "Christmas trees" as if they're a distinct ''species'' of tree, not a purpose for which a number of small, densely-branched conifers (mostly pines or firs) are cultivated.
** The existence of junipers is sometimes acknowledged, if only because their ''odor'' helps set the ambiance for desert scenes.
** Translations of Scandinavian works invariably refer to conifers as "Spruce" -- the botanical equivalent of the original ''gran''. This makes the trees more highly "marked" (in the linguistic sense) than if they had been casually rendered as "pine".
* Cycads are seldom seen outside shows and documentaries set in the Mesozoic.
* Temperate angiosperm trees are fairly well represented, if only because there aren't that many to choose from. Tropical trees, less so.
* Flowers are mostly those with well known associations - roses for romance, carnations for buttonholes, poppies for remembrance. Characters will very seldom talk about their geraniums and fuchsias. Except for little old ladies who dabble at gardening: geraniums are the flower of choice then. Rhododendrons are occasionally mentioned, if only to put a name to the ornamental bush which a voyeur or eavesdropper hides behind.
* There are three types of grass: lawn, cereal, and bamboo. Adventurers in a swamp ''may'' encounter sawgrass.
* With 22,000-25,000 species in the family ''Orchidaceae'', the one on-screen is invariably one of the most common decorative ''Phalaenopsis''. Extra fail points if it's also MisplacedVegetation and/or being described as an "exotic new species." Extra bonus fail points if it's called a "species" at all since almost any Phal. you will find in cultivation will be a complex hybrid.
* Carnivorous plants are never represented as anything but [[ManEatingPlant pure fantasy with giant man-eating snapping jaws and writhing vines]]. There are probably close to 1000 different species of insectivorous plants around the world with New World and Asian pitcher plants, sundew, bladderworts, butterworts and others, many of which are perfectly "weird" and photogenic without any fabrication at all. The Venus Flytrap gets extra props for Charles Darwin calling it "the most wonderful plant in the world."
* Eucalypts are rarely ever distinguished beyond generic 'gum trees' despite covering a truly staggering number of different species. Even in their native Australia you might get the occasional references to blue gums or the stark white ghost gums but that's about it.
* The only cactus to regularly be named in fiction are saguaro and prickly pear. The latter is actually a genus containing ~200 species, but saying which ''kind'' of prickly pear would spoil the AlliterativeName, so never mind.

!Animals (kingdom Animalia):
* The animal kingdom actually includes dozens of phyla, with only one of them covering animals with backbones (or pseudo backbones). We'll try to group them appropriately.
* Much like plants, algae and fungi above, if an animal is sessile (fixed to one place) or moves very slowly, expect it to be treated as objects, scenery, {{Macguffin}}s or {{Companion Cube}}s rather then as actual characters unless they are anthropomorphic.

!!Sponges (phylum Porifera):
* No one species is commonly shown. It's probably because of ''SpongebobSquarepants'' that many are even aware sponges are living creatures. We hope.

!!Cnidarians (phylum Cnidaria):
* You're unlikely to get a view of the diversity of the jellyfish (or jellies, if you prefer). When they show up, it's likely they'll be either the common, impressive-looking, and easy-to-handle sea nettles or else something entirely fantastical and possibly [[ElectricJellyfish electric]]. You're also likely to hear of the infamously-deadly ''Chironex fleckeri'', and it will probably be referred to as the "sea wasp" or "box jellyfish," despite box jellyfish being a whole class of animals.
* Imagine you had 5000 conjoined twins, but some have only legs, others only mouths/stomachs, others only gonads, and some forming grotesque air bladders. Welcome to the world of siphonophores. If you asked the common man what a Portuguese Man o' War was, 99 out of 100 times he'll say "jellyfish". While Men o' War ''are'' jellyfish in the sense that they are in the subphylum Medusozoa, that's where the taxonomic similarities end. Men o' War are part of the order Siphonophora in the class Hydrozoa, while the common man's jellyfish is almost always invoking the cup-shaped jellies of the class Schyphozoa.
* Corals and sea anemones may be seen, but exactly what type they are isn't often specified. However, if brain coral is shown, it will probably referred to as such.
* You didn't even know hydras are real animals, did you? They kinda look like pinkish-white gummi worms with numerous regenerating tentacles. They're also a freshwater cnidarian: something that only appears in fiction if the writer is hand-waving the issue of fresh vs. salt water, altogether.

!!Echinoderms (phylum Echinodermata):
* Sea urchins are fairly uncommon. You might see some of the flashy black-or-purple spiky-ball variety sea urchin, but no attention will be paid to them.
* Despite there being a large number of sea cucumbers available to choose from, they remain incredibly unpopular, appearing only to produce the occasional gag (being eaten as food on ''SpongebobSquarepants'' or [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything spewing sticky white goo on a girl]]).
* Sea stars (or starfish) are one of the most underrepresented animals out there. The only type of sea star that ever appears is the generic five-armed pink-or-tan "Patrick Star" kind. In reality, there are thousands of types of sea stars of various colors, sizes, and arm counts. Some have as many as eleven arms, and can be found in practically any color (though grey and tan are pretty common).
** Starmie from Pokemon has at least ten arms, leaving aside that there's a large faceted gemstone where its anus should be and nothing where its mouth belongs, not to mention the PsychicPowers.
* The crinoids, or sea lilies, are totally unheard of, except for ''{{Pokemon}}''[='=]s Cradily.

!!Arthropods (phylum Arthropoda):
* Includes insects, arachnids, crustaceans and myriapods. Except for the crustaceans (usually) most arthropods in media tend to be erroneously called insects or bugs.

!!!Insects (class Insecta):
* Whenever there are butterflies featured in any series, they are almost always the orange and black monarch butterfly. If they aren't monarchs, they're the white cabbage moth.
* Beetles, there are beetles for practically every environment and are everywhere. The most recognized beetles out there are Dung Beetles, Rhinoceros Beetles, Stag Beetles, and Ladybugs/Lordbugs/Coccellids.
* Cockroaches are common, but we're never told which of the thousands of species. If they're just used for a gross out or scare in a horror movie, they'll always be Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, which are vastly different from cockroaches you'd actually find wherever the setting is, but are [[TerrifyingPetStoreRat available at pet stores.]]
* Flies in fiction come in one of three varieties: fruit flies, houseflies, and occasionally huge honkin' biting flies, usually referred to as horseflies.
* Mosquitos aren't considered flies in fiction.
* Wasps and hornets are usually called "yellow jackets", build nests like paper wasps, and act like hornets.
* Bees are honeybees or bumblebees, and have hives resembling those of hornets or paper wasps.
* Cicadas and locusts destroy everything and are treated like the same creature.
* A SlayingMantis will always be ''Mantis religiosa'', the "common" praying mantis, and not any of the hundreds of other mantid species.
* Even though everyone calls arthropods "bugs", the Hemiptera "true bugs" are largely ignored, unless you see a cicada that's ''not'' being treated as a locust. You'll never see a stink bug or an assassin bug, even though some of the latter (like Wheel Bugs) make decent rivals to mantids in terms of cool and frightening appearance.

!!!Arachnids (class Arachnida):
* Arachnids ''are not'' insects, such a common mistake that a character pointing out "You know that spiders are arachnids, and not insects, right?" is almost its own trope.
* Spiders are usually tarantulas or black widows. The former is most common because they're really large for spiders (which makes them more intimidating to look at), but are also relatively docile for spiders, making them easier to work with (some species do have a painful bite though, and some fling hairs that can cause severe irritation to the skin). Black Widows have a nasty bite and a very distinctive appearance. Any spider that isn't one of the two "dangerous" varieties is "generic harmless" and is probably either a garden spider or a harvestman (aka daddy longlegs), the latter of which isn't really a spider.
* It should be noted that while the harvestman is not a spider, the cellar spider which is also called the daddy longlegs is a true spider. Confusion over the name leads to people claiming the cellar spider is not a true spider (especially in regions where they exist but harvestmen do not.) Their scientific names are Pholcidae and Opilliones.
* The emperor scorpion is the only scorpion you'll see in fiction, with very few exceptions. That particular species hits the perfect sweet spot of being huge and impressive looking, mildly poisonous, and very docile.
* You probably won't find pseudoscorpions, whipscorpions, mites, tickspiders, sunspiders, or anything other than spiders, scorpions and ''maybe'' [[TheTick ticks]] featured in fiction. You probably won't even get an acknowledgement that "arachnid" is anything other than a fancy synonym for "eight-legged thing".

!!!Crustaceans (subphylum Crustacea):
* There are lobsters and crabs. Crabs are almost always one of hermit crabs, blue crabs, or Alaskan king crabs. Lobsters only come in one variety in fiction, and to make matters worse, especially in animation, they're bright red. (Live lobsters are brownish-green; they only turn red when they're cooked.) Shrimps are also often colored either pink or orange in advertising, even if they're supposedly alive.
* Better off than the mantis shrimp, who despite being the living spineless incarnation of BadAss, almost never appears in books or other works of fiction. When it does, it is always in aquarium books demanding that one [[BurnTheWitch kill it on sight,]] with the notable exception of ''Fragment'', where several of Henders Isle's nightmarish inhabitants are distant relatives of mantis shrimp (in fact, at one point the characters theorize that this is looking at it backwards: that mantis shrimp originated on Henders Isle.)
* In TheDeepSouth or during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, you may encounter crawfish. They will be boiled, bright red and an excellent reason to have a beer (they're ''very'' spicy when prepared Cajun-style).
* Armadillidiids, more commonly known as pill bugs, are fairly common, but you can bet that nobody will actually refer to them as crustaceans.
* Barnacles are crustaceans as well, but they're usually only shown as "that stuff that covers rocks, ships and whales"
* Good luck ever finding an [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostracod ostracod]].

!!!Myriapods (subphylum Myriapoda):
* The most common members of this subphylum are centipedes and millipedes. These are often referenced in media, but are often [[AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever much larger]] than they should be. They are never painted in a positive light, and are often referred to (mistakenly) as insects, or just dismissed as "bugs." As if centipedes and millipedes didn't get it bad enough, other classes (Pauropoda, Symphyla) within myriapoda will NEVER be mentioned.

!!Phylum Mollusca
* Gastropods: one snail, one slug.
* Cephalopods: A generic octopus, or giant squid. The ammonite often appears as a generic fossil, but the nautilus is almost never shown.
* Bivalvia: Alive, they're unseen; dead, they're lumped together as seashells unless they're oysters, mussels or scallops, in which case they are "food".

!!Phylum Chordata:
The phylum Chordata contains all vertebrates as well as some more things. It is split into many classes and orders.

!!!Fish (formerly class Pisces, now considered paraphyletic and split into several different classes):
* Sharks are almost always either great whites or hammerheads. Maybe you'll get a tiger shark or mako shark, but that's about it. {{Megalodon}} may appear occasionally if the work is set in the Mesozoic (despite having only appeared 28 million years ago).
* Rays very, very rarely appear. Don't expect more diversity than a manta, stingray or electric ray, and even that's pushing it.
* Eels come in two flavors: [[PsychoElectricEel electric]] (which are actually more related to goldfish and catfish, and are not true eels), and 'other'. Expect 'other' eels to be called "moray eels" even if they are something else (often a rock eel or wolf eel, for ease of handling).
* A rundown of the current extant fish classes (the rest are extinct):
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chondrichthyes Chondrichthyes, the cartilaginous fishes]]: best known examples being rays (superorder Batoidea) and sharks (superorder Selachimorpha).
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actinopterygii Actinopterygii, the ray-finned fishes]]: what most people think of when they hear the word "fish"; think of salmons (family Salmonidae) or goldfish (''Carassius auratus'').
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcopterygii Sarcopterygii, the lobe-finned fishes]]: the best known example being the West Indian Ocean coelacanth (''Latimeria chalumnae'').
* Lampreys and hagfishes, occasionally mentioned for their "ick" value, are always lumped under the generic designation of "fish", even though they're less closely related to the three extant fish classes than ''you'' are (although lampreys, unlike hagfish, are at least true vertebrates).
* The other extinct classes don't appear in fiction at all.

!!!Amphibians (class Amphibia):
* Frogs and toads are usually shown as green or brown and bullfrog-like, and sound like chorus frogs (the generic "ribbit"). For a more exotic setting, red-eyed tree frogs are popular.
* Salamanders and newts are less common than frogs, but when they do appear, they're given any color and pattern.
* Good luck finding a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caecilian caecilian]].
* Labyrinthodonts get an occasional nod in LostWorld adventure-fiction, but that's about it.

!!!Reptiles (class Sauropsida):
* The most common lizards you'll see on TV/Movies are iguanas, chameleons, geckos, the occasional frilled lizard (if it's set in Australia), and the Komodo dragon. Gila monsters show up occasionally. Note that if an iguana does show up, it will almost always be a pallete-swapped chameleon or gila monster, sporting a prehensile tongue, color changing abilities and a taste for bugs and small animals. Herbivorous real world iguanas display none of these traits.
* Snakes in fiction come in five main styles: cobras, rattlesnakes, constrictors (boas, pythons, and anacondas being the most popular), and "generic deadly" (almost always in fact a false corn snake, which look appropriately poisonous) are the first four. The fifth type of snake is "generic harmless", usually a green garden snake.
** Somewhat averted in Australian fiction, if only due to the sheer number of venomous snakes available.
** The cobra species you'll most commonly see is ''Naja naja'', the Indian cobra. That's because it's the "snake-charmer" cobra. The king cobra (''Ophiophagus hannah'') is larger, but because of its size its hood looks disproportionately smaller, thus making it less "evil" in appearance.
* If it's a turtle, prepare to see either a cute pond turtle, a sea turtle, or a tortoise. Snappers may show up on occasion.
** They're also likely to be called [[YouFailBiologyForever amphibians]].
* When people think of crocodilians, they're most likely going to picture your standard American alligator, estuarine crocodile (also known as the saltwater crocodile), or Nile crocodile. Rarely will you see a gharial or a caiman in non-documentary media.
** The group containing crocodilians and their prehistoric relatives, Crocodylomorpha, [[http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/2012/09/02/the-crocopocalypse-is-upon-us/ was historically very diverse]], with its members ranging from marine taxa with limbs and tails turned into fins, to freshwater forms, to terrestrial and possibly ''warm-blooded'' crocs such as sphenosuchians and notosuchians of various size and diet (the latter ranged from carnivores to omnivores and possibly even herbivores). Yet in fiction prehistoric crocodylomorphs are always just oversized versions of living crocodilians, and pretty much the only specific prehistoric crocodylomorph you can expect to see is ''Deinosuchus''. It's possible to find a ''Sarcosuchus'' or some other large species in a documentary or two.
* Tuataras are pretty much only mentioned in documentaries.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphisbaenia Amphisbaenians]] are rarely mentioned even in documentaries.
* [[StockDinosaurs Dinosaurs]] have likely the widest variety in fiction. Before ''Film/JurassicPark'', however, works were unlikely to show anything beyond sauropods, ''Stegosaurus'', ''{{Tyrannosaurus rex}}'', and ceratopsians.
** And then that movie added ''[[strike:Velociraptor]]'' oversized generic dromaeosaurid with the name ''Velociraptor'' slapped on it to the stock roster. They ''never'' get properly depicted with feathers.
*** The third movie made ''Spinosaurus'' a household name as "dinosaur more {{badass}} than TyrannosaurusRex". Please quietly ignore the fact it was mainly a fish eater and had fairly wimpy jaws, as well as [[ArtisticLicensePaleontology the palaeontologist quietly sobbing in the corner]]...
** If you get more specific, the taxonomy pools become smaller:
*** Large theropods are usually ''T. rex'', ''Allosaurus'', or ''Spinosaurus'' (rarely ''Dilophosaurus'', ''Ceratosaurus'', or ''Carnotaurus'' will appear).
*** Birdlike theropods are mostly represented by raptors (''Deinonychus'', ''Velociraptor'', or ''Utahraptor''), ''Archaeopteryx'', and ''Ornithomimus''. ''Oviraptor'' if you're lucky.
*** Non-birdlike small theropods are pretty much unheard of. ''Coelophysis'' & ''Compsognathus'', if you're lucky (you might see ''Ornitholestes'' in an older work, but don't hold your breath).
*** Sauropods are represented by ''Apatosaurus'', ''Diplodocus'', and ''Brachiosaurus''.
*** "Prosauropods" will always be ''Plateosaurus'', and even that's pushing it.
*** The only stegosaur is ''Stegosaurus''.
*** The only ankylosaur is ''Ankylosaurus'', although older works will sometimes use ''Euoplocephalus'' instead (the anatomy of ''Ankylosaurus'' itself was poorly known until 2004).
*** There are two ceratopsids: ''Triceratops'' and ''Styracosaurus'', while more basal ceratopsians are rarely heard of.
*** Pachycephalosaurs aren't quite as commonly seen as their ceratopsid cousins; they will basically always be ''Pachycephalosaurus'' and use their head to smash everyone they see.
*** Hadrosaurs are usually represented by ''Parasaurolophus'' or ''Edmontosaurus'' (whatever name it's referred to as), and neither is likely to be named. Ornithopods other than hadrosaurs are pretty much only represented by ''Iguanodon'' (or, if you're ''really'' lucky, ''Hypsilophodon'').
** Birds are the only living dinosaurs. As such, if there is anything close to a representative of this is will be ''Archaeopteryx'', and even that's doubtful (educational works might throw in ''Hesperornis'', ''Ichthyornis'' and/or ''Confuciusornis'', but don't hold your breath). Few extinct birds are ever used - not even the rather awesome elephant bird, the formidable pseudotoothed birds or the incredibly diverse opposite birds. The exception to this is the dodo which is practically a symbol for 'extinction', and has a reputation for being too dumb to live. Occasionally also the terror birds.
*** You will never see a hoatzin in fiction. Nor will you see a sunbittern, chachalaca or other such birds (most people probably don't even know there are such things as a go-away-bird or a puffbird).
*** If an owl appears, expect it to come in either snowy, great horned, or barn owl flavors. More spectacular owls like the burrowing owl or the eagle owl are either ignored or [[Franchise/HarryPotter just marketed as up-scaled regular owls.]]
*** Non-owl birds of prey in fiction tend to be red-tailed hawks, peregrine falcons, bald eagles, or very occasionally, ospreys. You will never see a secretarybird, which is a giant eagle on stilts.
*** Penguins (even though [[EverythingsBetterWithPenguins everything's better with them]]) will either be emperor penguins or adelie penguins (better known as big ones that live in Antarctica or little ones that also live in Antarctica). They will always be shown desiring a frigid cold environment, despite living up to tropical areas and their defining environment being beaches. They might also be noted for their love of fish.
*** Parrots will always be brightly-coloured, mostly red or commonly green, and will be able to talk fluently. Cockatoos, large white parrots with moveable head crests, are rare; black cockatoos, including the highly intimidating but gentle Palm Cockatoo, aren't seen. There will be no concept of a parrot shorter than your arm unless it's a budgie/budgerigar (UK) or parakeet (US), which will always be yellow and green. And there will never be a mention of the heavy and rare kakapo, nor of the fearless and destructive kea and kaka - all three being New Zealand birds and dark greenish brown. The kakapo is becoming a bit more popular in internet works, but its almost always because [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9T1vfsHYiKY it's shagging you]].
**** Specifically, the most commonly shown big parrots are Amazons and Macaws, and even then, it's usually Yellow-Headed Amazons, Blue & Gold Macaws, or Scarlet Macaws. The small Hahns and Noble Macaws don't appear at all. When Cockatoos do show up, they're usually the huge white Umbrella or distinctive Sulfur Crested - forget the smaller Goffins, Bare-eyed, Rose, and Major Mitchells varieties. African Grays hold some popularity since [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_(parrot) Alex]] and are primarily Congos. Any sufficiently tropical location may have Lorikeets, either Green-Napped or Rainbow. 'Parakeet' actually refers to any bird with long tail feathers, which includes Macaws and a huge variety of other parrot species that even don't blip the radar. Such as Sun Conures and Cockatiels, despite their huge popularity in the pet trade. That's not even mentioning the many hundreds of types of short-tailed parrots. Anyone ever seen a Caique, Hawk Headed Parrot, or a Pionus?
*** A few other birds used fairly often include the ostrich, robin, sparrow, swallow, vulture ([[CirclingVultures usually flying in a circle over something that's either dead or about to die]]), peafowl (always referred to as peacocks, which are the males), pelican, seagull, toucan, and occasionally the kiwi. Chickens and turkeys are either being eaten or trying to avoid it. If someone needs an animal sacrifice, it'll probably be either a chicken or some sort of bovine. Emus will appear if the setting is Australian.
*** Ducks will usually be mallards (wild or domestic) and geese will usually either be Canada geese or grey geese (usually domestic). Flamingos will usually be plastic, and even if they aren't, will be uniformly bright pink. And of course there's swans, which are always Mute Swans, and always pretty and gentle, even though Mute Swans are very territorial and will chase after and attack a human without hesitation. Black Swans may appear, but just for the sake of the metaphor. Also, when Canada geese show up, they will almost always be called [[EpicFail Canadian geese.]]
*** Corvids will usually be crows, ravens, and occasionally magpies. Other corvids like treepies rarely ever show up. Jays will usually be represented by blue jays, but even those are uncommon in media (with the exception of [[RegularShow one notable example]]).
*** The kookaburra is known for precisely two things: that one children's rhyme, and its cry, which is, [[TheyJustDidntCare without exception]], [[MisplacedWildlife attributed to a monkey]].
* Pterosaurs will always be either ''Pteranodon'', ''Rhamphorhynchus'', or a completely fictional blend of the 2. Always. If not, it will be an [[PteroSoarer eagle-like]] ''Quetzalcoatlus''. And they are often erroneously called "flying dinosaurs".
* Plesiosaurs will always be ''Elasmosaurus'' (if they're even named) or some generic over-sized pliosaur labeled ''Liopleurodon'' or ''Kronosaurus''. Similar to pterosaurs, they will usually be called "aquatic dinosaurs".
* Ichthyosaurs and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosasaur mosasaurs]] hardly ever appear.
* There were several other extinct groups of reptiles, but most of them were probably never depicted in fiction. Good luck finding a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhynchosaur rhynchosaur]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choristodera choristoderan]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drepanosaur drepanosaur]], or a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procolophonid procolophonid]], among many others.
* Pre-Mesozoic reptiles do not exist. At all.

!!!Mammals (class Mammalia):
[[AC:Monotremes (subclass Prototheria)]]
* The platypus is the only monotreme showing up in fiction. The hedgehog-like echidnas are rarely (if ever) heard of, ''even'' in documentaries. An exception is made for fiction in which Australia is the main location. Or in the [[SonicTheHedgeHog Sonic]] fandom.

[[AC:Marsupials (infraclass Metatheria)]]
* Marsupials arguably have more diversity in their hundreds of species than any other variety of mammal, yet the amount of species used in fiction could be counted on a few fingers. Kangaroos and koalas are obviously the most popular, and instantly come to mind at the word "marsupial". Opossums (which will probably be referred to as possums, actually a name for a different animal altogether; although possums are still tree-dwelling omnivorous marsupials) are familiar due to being so common in the United States.
* You will ''never'' see a quoll in fiction, even a story set in Australia.
* There is only one [[Franchise/CrashBandicoot Bandicoot]].
* The only American marsupial ever portrayed in fiction is the Virginia opossum - there are apparently close to 100 opossum species ranging from the semi-aquatic yapok to primate-like woolly opossums to mouse opossums with no pouches. Aside from the true opossums there are two other orders of marsupials in the Americas: the shrew opossums and the Monito del Monte, the latter bizarrely grouped with the Australian marsupials despite its locale...
* Rarely you might see a thylacine. Although this is rare and it is usually referred to as a Tasmanian tiger or wolf. Can't forget the Tasmanian devil - although, [[AluminumChristmasTrees thanks to Bugs Bunny cartoons]], [[EskimosArentReal most non-Australians apparently believe it isn't real]]. Of course, those cartoons ''do'' inaccurately portray it as bipedal, able to spin in a circle really fast, and capable of muttering semi-intelligible gibberish.

[[AC:Placentals (infraclass Eutheria; regular mammals)]]
* Primates have a wide variety, even counting humans ([[MostWritersAreHuman since we show up by default]]). We have gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees, baboons, and a few monkey species. No bonobos, though - except in one Humon comic.
** If someone has a pet monkey, it will almost always be a capuchin. This particularly stands out in fiction set in Africa or the Middle East, since capuchins (like all monkeys with prehensile tails) are New World monkeys - that is, only native to the Americas.
** Most primates except for humans and lemurs will be referred to as monkeys. Expect ape, monkey, and chimp to be used interchangeably even within the same sentence.
* [[PantheraAwesome Cats]]. Since the domestic cat is a species (''Felis catus''), all breeds count. Then we have tigers, lions, pumas, panthers, leopards (or jaguars, [[YouFailBiologyForever which will often be mistaken for the other and vice versa]]), and cheetahs. The medium-sized cats like the ocelot, lynx and serval are virtually never used. You will never, EVER see a kod-kod or fishing cat. If it's set in prehistory, the only felines are saber-toothed cats, specifically ''Smilodon fatalis'', which is only one of many saber-toothed cats.
** Among domestic cats, black and white cats and tabbies seem to be favored in film or in animation. Black cats are specifically seen in anything related to Halloween. "Torties" and solid gray/blue cats are more rare. Siamese or white Persians appear when the cat is intended to be glamorous and/or [[RightHandCat a villain's]]. Also see CatStereotype.
* Dogs have a few shown. There are the domestic dog breeds (all one subspecies of wolf: ''Canis lupus familiaris''), the wolf, the fox, and the coyote. Dingoes may be used if the work is set in Australia. Once in a while jackals or hyenas will show up. (No, hyenas aren't canids - they're more closely related to the cats.)
** Of all foxes, red foxes are by far the most common in fiction.
** And even among domestic dogs, only a few breeds show up unless the writers are trying to cram as many breeds in as possible. Most of them are Labs, German Shepherds, Dobermans, English Bulldogs, Dachshunds, Poodles (often miniature or toy), Golden Retrievers, Chihuahuas, Great Danes, that sort of thing. When did you ever see a Pharaoh Hound, a Portuguese Water Dog (other than the Obamas' two), or a Boston Terrier (though those are slightly more popular in ads) in literature or television?
*** If the work is about dog sledding, the dogs tend to be Siberian Huskies regardless of the original work or the preferences of the mushers of the time.
*** The only basenji in all of fiction was the one from ''Goodbye My Lady''.[[note]]Although SpikeMilligan's artillery unit briefly adopted one, which they called Havelock, as a battery mascot.[[/note]]
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borophaginae Borophagine]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesperocyoninae hesperocyonine]] dogs are quietly swept under the table.
* When we think of bears, we think of the grizzly, the black bear, the polar bear, and the giant panda (which, by the way, was found to genetically actually be a bear[[note]]In case you are wondering, it was long believed giant pandas were actually a kind of raccoon, due to their relation to the red panda. It turns out bears and raccoons had a common ancestor, just that pandas are closer to them.[[/note]]). Spectacled bears, despite being the only surviving cousins of the BadAss short-faced bear, never appear.
* [[Film/TheWizardOfOz Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!]] If they need a large, land-based predator, 90% of the time it will be one of those.
* Regarding smaller carnivorans, among the most familiar seem to be raccoons and skunks. Members of the Mustelidae family aren't seen so often in fiction, but there are a few commonly-used stock species. Smaller varieties will be ferrets when something cute and playful is called for, or weasels if a sinister creature is in order. Next in line are ever-popular otters, followed by less-often-seen badgers, and the occasional wolverine ([[WolverinePublicity far less common]] than the [[Franchise/{{X-Men}} X-Man]] bearing their name). Expect those ferrets to be chatter like raccoons as well.
** [[YouFailBiologyForever Ferrets are lumped with rodents]], sometimes. Which is OlderThanFeudalism, apparently. The Latin name for such creatures, ''Mustelidae'', roughly translates to "mice as long as spears."
** Mongooses are essentially known in fiction solely for their cobra-killing reputation, [[YouFailBiologyForever and are sometimes even called weasels]]. Good luck finding any civet or genet in fiction.
** Thanks to ''Disney/TheLionKing'' and Animal Planet, meerkats have surpassed other mongoose species in popularity. Now, you seldom see ''regular'' mongooses, either.
** Chances are the only time you'll see a mink or a stoat in fiction is [[PrettyinMink as a coat]].
* Of the order of cetaceans, we have the bottlenose dolphin for dolphins (thanks to ''{{Flipper}}'') and for whales we have the orca/killer whale (even though it's actually a dolphin), humpback, sperm (used to be the most common depicted whale likely because its oil made it the most valuable to whalers. so this is an association that dropped due to ValuesDissonance), and blue, pretty much in that order.
** A character pointing out that killer whales aren't whales is a trope in itself. Nevermind that toothed cetaceans (sperm whales, killer whales, bottlenose dolphins) are all more closely related to each other than baleen cetaceans (humpback whales, blue whales), making the "whale/dolphin/porpoise" distinction rather meaningless.
** Beaked whales are NEVER shown. Not ''ever'', though considering how elusive and poorly-known they are, that's not surprising.
** Unless you're watching a documentary, don't expect to see [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_cetaceans the whales' land-based ancestors]].
** Don't expect to see too many freshwater dolphins either, like the pink dolphins of the Amazon River and its tributaries.
* [[BatOutOfHell Bats]] usually come in three standard forms in fiction. You've got your standard insect-eating bat, your cute flying fox bat (AKA a fruit bat), and your creepy vampire bat. Don't expect to see a frog-eating bat anytime soon...unless you're watching a nature documentary.
* Rodents are usually known for mice, rats, squirrels and chipmunks. Less used, but still relatively familiar are beavers and porcupines as wild animals, and hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs as pets. The low ranking is especially odd as the order of rodents is the largest mammal order, with 40% of mammal species in it.
** Almost all rodents seem to be confused or mixed together to form some sort of new creature. Mice and rats are commonly confused, especially wild ones and pests (which are ALWAYS diseased and filthy in fictionland. Even some pet ones are depicted this way). Usually you see a character screeching and screaming or going "YUCK" and calling what is usually a mouse a rat. You also have the people who [[YouFailBiologyForever call every rodent a rat]] --unless casting requires the opposite, as when the unambiguous rat in ''Because of Winn-Dixie'' is repeatedly described as a "mouse". Unfortunately this is TruthInTelevision for many.
** Similarly, guinea pigs are constantly confused with hamsters, even though they hardly look alike (Google either and you will eventually see hamsters in the guinea pig search, and guinea pigs in the hamster search). They are usually depicted with running wheels and salt licks and seeds, when all three of these are extremely unhealthy and even dangerous for guinea pigs. They are also often drawn the size and shape of hamsters, and only called guinea pigs for plot reasons (such as they are being experimented on, or the creators thought "guinea pig" sounded cooler/more mature/wanted to avoid being connected to Anime/{{Hamtaro}}).
** Don't expect to see [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capybara Capybaras]] in fiction, even though they are the largest rodents alive and are very closely related to Guinea Pigs.
** The chinchilla rates an occasional mention, either as somebody's coat or somebody's faddish pet.
** It's also not uncommon for chinchillas to be dismissed as a type of rabbit or a type of giant mouse, if they are shown at all, but actually they aren't closely related to either.
* Rabbits sometimes get lumped in with rodents, too. Actually, they're lagomorphs, and if you see a lagomorph, it's probably going to either be a cottontail if it's a rabbit or a jackrabbit if it's a hare. And no one ever talks about pikas, unless it is joined to a [[{{Pokemon}} -chu]].
* The mammals pertaining to the now obsolete order Insectivora tend to be represented by the mole, the shrew and the hedgehog. Moles tend to look always like the european mole (except for the {{Redwall}} animated series where they were star-nosed moles, [[MisplacedWildlife which are not native to England and therefore aren't native to Mossflower either]]).
** And the other members of the Insectivora who got booted out? They're never appear either. Sorry, tenrecs and elephant shrews.
** Speaking of the hedgehog, google baby porcupine and see what comes up. That's right, hedgehogs, despite the fact they are completely different species. Apparently if it's rodent-like and has spines it's a porcupine. If it's small it's just a baby porcupine.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colugo Colugos]] (order Dermatoptera) or [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scandentia tree shrews]] (Order Scandentia) are never shown. Never mind that they're our closest non-primate relatives.
* In fiction, artiodactyls will be livestock (usually cattle) on farms, deer in temperate climates, antelope (usually gazelle or wildebeest) in the tropics, camels in the desert, or caribou in the arctic. Period pieces might add bison (called buffalo, natch) to the American West. For works set in the North Woods of North America you may see moose. No further description or species distinctions are given or expected, because [[ViewersAreMorons herbivores are harmless]] and therefore boring.
* Horses in fiction come in four types: draft horse (usually a Clydesdale), race horse (almost always a Thoroughbred despite many other breeds being used for racing as well), wild horse (mustang), and Generic Critter-You-Sit-On (all others). Mules appear much more often than donkeys, despite needing the latter to create the former. Zebras are treated as one species, often wrongly depicted as the size of modern domestic horses. Rhinos, often also treated as one species, appear mostly in documentaries or (rarely) as musclebound thugs in cartoons. Tapir? What's that?
* Elephants are nearly always African in cartoons, because big ears are funny. They're nearly always Asian in movies or on TV, because they're the only ones you can actually have on set. Outside the Discovery Channel, all extinct proboscideans are mammoths or mastodons and all mammoths are woolly.
* Good luck finding the rest of Afrotheria in pop culture. ''Maybe'' an aardvark or sirenian if you're lucky. Hyraxes, golden moles, tenrecs, and elephant shrews are nowhere to be seen. Never mind all the extinct afrothere groups...
* Of the two extant species of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giraffid giraffids]], the giraffe is all but guaranteed to appear when an African savanna is involved. Meanwhile, you can probably count on one hand the number of fictional works in which you've seen an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okapi okapi]]. Prehistoric documentaries never contain their many extinct relatives, which are actually much more similar to the okapi than the giraffe.
* Xenarthrans may occasionally be shown in the form of generic armadillos, three-toed sloths, or giant anteaters. Ground sloths and glyptodonts are popular if the subject matter involves prehistoric mammals. Tamanduas (lesser anteaters), silky anteaters, and two-toed sloths are very rarely shown.

[[AC: Other (extinct)]]
* Any extinct mammal that's not a woolly mammoth or sabre-toothed "tiger" that show up are simply generic shrew-like creatures that get eaten or crushed by dinosaurs, and that's only if they're lucky. They may also be shown as survivors of the K-Pg extinction.

!!!Other (extinct)
* Outside documentaries, you will never ever see someone refer to a non-mammalian [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therapsida Therapsid]] or any other non-mammalian member of the Synapsida class (other than ''Dimetrodon'', though it is frequently shown [[ArtisticLicensePaleontology coexisting with dinosaurs and even labeled as dinosaur itself]]). Regardless as to how [[RuleofCool cool]] they might be. An exception is starting to be made for gorgonopsians, though {{Primeval}} is the primary work using them.

* [[MixAndMatchCritters Hybrid animals]] tend to be represented exclusively by fictional and usually biologically impossible creations, with the exception of mules and occasionally ligers (the latter of which will usually be treated as a fictional creation anyway). Hybrid plants, despite being far more common than hybrid animals, are ''never'' acknowledged as even existing.