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Analysis / Animal Stereotypes

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General list of animal stereotypes

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  • Aardvarks and Anteaters: Logical and intelligent straight men with a witty and dry sense of humor except Anteaters which are probably dumber and bigger than Aardvarks. While the 2 are more lovable creatures, they are highly vicious predators when it comes to ants and termites.
  • African Wild Dogs (aka Painted Wolves or Cape Dogs): When they’re heroes, they’re best known being loyal, suave and intelligent. But they’re villains, they are savage carnivores with bad tempers.
  • Antelopes: Gentle, graceful, and very swift. Usually female; if male, very likely to be a Bishōnen. May sometimes be confused with deer, which are actually from a different family of even-toed ungulates.
  • Armadillos: Usually represent a character Made of Iron or are shown as extremely cowardly because of their natural defense mechanism of curling up into a ball. If not for defense mechanism, they may curl into a ball for Rolling Attacks. Armadillos are also commonly used to represent Western Characters and will often show up in The Wild West (regardless of how close the story actually takes place to the Southwestern United States).
  • Badgers: Cranky, curmudgeony, down-to-Earth loners. "My home is my castle." In a pinch, they're stubborn and tough. Usually not evil, but sometimes their cynicism and irritability leads them to mistrust or look down on the hero. On the other hand, they may show up in the hero's True Companions as a Knight In Sour Armor.
  • Bats: Nocturnal, often bloodthirsty and most likely evil. They are often depicted as bloodsucking or outright vampiric, even though the only bats that suck blood are three species in Latin America and they'll mostly go for animals that won't slap them off their bodies, like cattle. Another portrayal has them quirky, eccentric or downright insane, possibly due to their severe disorientation in daylight and/or habit of sleeping upside down. They might also be depicted as having poor eyesight, which will cause them to fly in people's hair, against all of nature's logic (so expect them to wear glasses or at least contacts). They tend to have high-pitched voices, most likely a reference to some species' use of echolocation. Remarkably, they can be portrayed as either cute or sexy depending on the theme. May at times be Creepy Awesome. Usually male.
  • Bears: Intimidating and powerfully ferocious when provoked; females with cubs are especially vicious and short-tempered. Sometimes portrayed as Boisterous Bruisers. They may also be depicted as calm, wise, and slow-moving when not angered. Sometimes lazy; so don't bother them when they're sleeping or hibernating.
  • Beavers: Industrious, often with an air of a practical and unpretentious tradesman, but sometimes to workaholic levels. Usually male. Like to chew through trees and build dams.
  • Camels: Cranky, stubborn, and bad-tempered, but not actually aggressive. Not very energetic, but slow and steady once they get going; they can endure any hardship (they can survive long in harsh deserts). Likes to spit. Often portrayed as storing water in its hump in fiction (even though in real-life, their hump actually stores fat). Expect camels to be found in any story involving a long, hard trek through the Arabian or Saharan deserts.
  • Capybaras: Giant, content rodents. More recently they are seen as one of the most lovable animals, due to smaller animals tending to ride on them.
  • Cats: (domestic, that is): They're often clever, curious, and playful; but also rather arrogant and vain, with a lazy and hedonistic streak. Usually aloof and independent, often something of a Tsundere toward potential friends and allies. Being very carnivorous predators after all, they're usually obsessed with hunting birds, mice, fish, and other smaller animals.
    • Sometimes cats are vicious, manipulative, and smug jerks (especially if paired against dogs or mice); but they're otherwise just as likely to be cute, friendly, and heroic instead.
    • Cats are (slightly) more likely to be female; tomcats (especially strays) are sometimes portrayed as tough, streetwise, bumbling, belligerent, and/or oversexed rather than elegant and dignified.
    • Some breeds (especially the long-haired, white-furred, or slender, Oriental types) can represent wealth, aristocracy and prestige. Certain breeds have their own characteristic stereotypes.
  • Cattle:
  • Cheetahs: Known for their speed. Indeed they are the fastest land animal (though they get tired quicker than dogs). Mostly female. Males are often Jerk Jocks and stay in duos.
  • Chimpanzees: Either portrayed the way monkeys are portrayed despite being apes, or as erudite and snarky. Will be shown making grimaces that humans interpret as smiles.
  • Coyotes: Cunning and tricky Insufferable Geniuses, although their antics can backfire and make them look like the foolish ones. Lacking in courage when it comes to direct confrontation; may be The Starscream. They are also likely to appear as heroic tricksters as long as Roadrunners don't get involved and they aren't being manipulated by genocidal sorceresses to hunt down families of foxes.
  • Deer: They're often shown as being beautiful, delicate, and (mostly) harmless creatures. Their grace hints at wary senses and swift flight, and being so hard to find. Bucks/stags (male deer), with their impressive antlers, symbolize nobility without being predatory, though their tendency to simply look majestic and fight over does (females) means they may be depicted as vain braggarts.
  • Dingos: Impulsive, boorish and vicious predators that are portrayed to kidnap babies and can be very stupid.
  • Dogs: They're often loyal, friendly, and sometimes heroic animals (unless they are wild/feral dogs, an Angry Guard Dog, or a Hellhound). Usually not too bright, but can smell things very well.
  • Dolphins: They're usually cheery, playful, clever, and extraordinarily graceful in the water, much like otters; despite the fact that real dolphins can be violently aggressive animals. But they're almost always shown as being friendly and sociable creatures, at least among themselves. Or alternately, they're instead malicious bastards as an intentional subversion.
    • Orcas (aka Killer Whales): Originally ravenous, merciless, mammalian predators. Now respected master hunters of the sea whom even the great white sharks fear. Furthermore, they can be friendly fellows like giant dolphins when well fed and in a good mood. Think the fierceness of sharks, with the color and build of pandas.
  • Donkeys and mules: Smaller, humbler, more hardworking versions of horses. Proverbially stubborn, which may be either a good thing (the donkey as a Determinator, or the Only Sane Man willing to speak truth to power); or a bad thing (the donkey who doesn't Know When to Fold 'Em, to the point of sheer stupidity). Often rather irritable, and usually male. The term "ass" (synonym for "donkey") and any variations of the word, have become very common slang insults for rude and/or stupid people note .
  • Echidnas: While they can be a force to be reckoned with, they are not always the brightest bulbs in a bunch like Knuckles.
  • Elephants: Powerful, majestic, and wise, with great memories; sometimes even both brainy and brawny. Usually Gentle Giants, but you don't want to insult their dignity or otherwise piss them off. Very protective of their young. Inexplicably afraid of mice.note  Alternatively, they may be aggressive brutes due to their large size, immense strength, and intimidating looking tusks. African elephants are often female, while Asian elephants are mostly male and always Indian (accent optional).
  • Ferrets: Clever and extremely playful, often hyperactive. Usually more like a land-based version of otters than like their weasel cousins, although evil, scheming, malevolent ferrets sometimes appear.
  • Foxes: Clever, tricky, pragmatic, and confident, similar to their coyote and jackal cousins. On the other hand, European and East Asian mythology both portray the red fox as a trickster, but also associates vixens with beautiful, seductive women, although not true for every vixen. Foxes are often depicted as (usually female) magical shapeshifters in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese folklore. In recent years, foxes are often used as protagonists or supporting characters in video games.
  • Giraffes: Almost always friendly, Gentle Giants. May be portrayed as comical creatures (especially because of their ridiculously long and tall bodies), but also tend to be caring parental figures. Usually very pacifistic.
  • Goats: In older European works, goats symbolize paganism, evil, and lust. Today they're mostly just portrayed as surefooted, constantly hungry, and a bit weird, due to their habit of eating things like tin cans. They're also humble and quite stubborn, a little like donkeys, and can be surprisingly aggressive for smallish herbivores.
  • Gophers: While they're not hostile, the fact that they are constantly creating holes make them insufferable.
  • Gorilla: Intelligent like Monkeys, but much calmer and more serious, and immensely strong. They are also seen as possessing a melancholy dignity, as if the authors assume they know their species is dying out. Alternately, monstrous savage creatures which respond to everything with violence, though, like King Kong, sometimes capable of reason and as much victim as villain. Always Male if only one gorilla appears in a work of fiction — females only show up if there's a whole troop.
  • Groundhogs: The mild-mannered and reserved harbingers of summer and winter, depending on their shadows.
  • Hares and Rabbits: Often depicted as comical, sweet, innocent, and cuddly, but can also be cunning tricksters for the purposes of self-defense. Independent and a little mysterious, even magical, particularly in older folklore. They're very agile runners, and can reproduce very quickly. Due to Bugs Bunny, they're often seen eating carrots. Rarely though, they can be a terror to be reckoned with.
  • Hedgehogs: Fearful cowards or Crazy-Prepared survivalists. May symbolize a person who is "prickly" and difficult to get close to. Also rather prone to executing a Rolling Attack in a similar fashion to armadillos, especially when the hedgehog in question is very, very fast.
  • Hippopotamuses: Contented and gluttonous giants of the river. Obese, lazy, and often rather stupid. Surprisingly graceful in water. Rarely as incredibly aggressive and dangerous in fiction as they are in Real Life. Will often be depicted as female in comic strips and cartoons, though not necessarily Always Female.
  • Honey Badgers: Have a very similar portrayal to wolverines and mongooses in fiction. Despite the belief that honey badgers are among the meanest animals in Real Life, they are often seen in a more heroic or comedic light thanks to Memetic Mutation and other recent media, though not to the extent of European or North American badgers.
  • Horses: Elegant, noble, passionate, and spirited. Sometimes a bit too proud and vain. More often male in fiction; authors usually portray the stallion as not only dominating but leading the herd (rather than the boss mare, as in real life).
    • Pony breeds are usually depicted as female, and often appeal to little girls (My Little Pony is a big example of this).
    • Draft horses are always Gentle Giants slow in both movement and wit, sometimes depicted as calm enough to sleep through an outright apocalypse. This is Truth in Television; draft horses are specifically bred for huge strength and calm temperament. Destriers used to be just as big but bred for battle, which made them so dangerous that they virtually disappeared as a breed as soon as they were not needed to carry an armored knight in combat.
  • Humans: If we're counted as animals, and other animals in the story can talk and walk like we do, you can expect a Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My! setting. Humans fit into Black and White Morality, and either Humans Are the Real Monsters/Humans Are Cthulhu or Humans Are Special (but more so the former). Expect humans to be generally ignorant and careless towards wildlife, if the work is pushing an environmentalist message.
  • Hyenas: Basically The Hyena. Either portrayed as a harmless jokester or the animal version of a horrific Monster Clown. Laughs like a maniac for no reason. They will often be portrayed as evil, disgusting, cowardly or all the above, until the twenty-first century where hyenas have seen more positive portrayals thanks to science and facts, despite a few negative roles now and then. Often mistaken as the animal version of the Terrible Trio because of a few portrayals. The rare heroic hyena happens to be friends with a lion, despite that the two species are natural enemies in real life. Sometimes found playing the role of undertaker/mortician as (in fiction at least) they tend to be scavengers more than direct huntersnote . If the writer is aware that spotted hyenas are one of nature's few thoroughly matriarchal species, female spotted hyenas may be bigger and stronger and dominate males, but don't count on it. Oddly, despite the aforementioned matriarchy they are more likely to be male.
  • Jackals: Portrayed very similar to coyotes, but they tend to have more of a cruel streak or negative portrayal. Will often be thieves or Sycophantic Servants. They may at times be Creepy Awesome or at times Butt Monkeys and Dirty Cowards. Often associated with Ancient Egypt, due to their death god Anubis having the head of a jackal. (Although subverted on the latter, as recent genetic testing reclassified the 'Egyptian jackal' as the African golden wolf.)
  • Kangaroos: Extroverted, good-natured characters, athletic yet laid-back. Usually female (although joeys are more likely to be male), they're devoted mothers. Alternatively, male kangaroos may be portrayed as thugs looking to pick a fight. More often than not, they have pouches, even if they're male. They will also invariably be associated with Australia.
    • Wallabies: Like kangaroos, only smaller and often harmless.
  • Koalas: Cute and friendly but rather lazy, or else irritable, gruff and not too bright (a little closer to the truth). Much like the kangaroos mentioned above, koalas are often counted as a typical example of Australian wildlife.
  • Lemmings: Like the sheep (below), but with a greater emphasis on following obviously self-destructive "popular" practices; i.e., to the classic question "If everyone were jumping off a bridge, would you?", a lemming will enthusiastically reply "Yes!". Note that real-life lemmings committing suicide by jumping off cliffs is almost entirely an Urban Legend.
  • Lions: Brave, proud, noble, majestic and powerful. Top of the food chain, "King of the Beasts/Jungle". Equally likely to be on the side of good or evil. Can be lazy and vain; lionesses are a bit less likely to be portrayed this way, as most people are aware these days that it's the lionesses who do the hunting. Males appear more often in fiction, however. They're also known as a national symbol of the United Kingdom, especially its monarchy (despite not even being remotely native to that country).
  • Llamas and Alpacas: Like camels, but a bit weirder and a little more even-tempered, if equally prone to spitting. Often seen as being kinda cute in an odd and goofy way.
  • Manatees and Dugongs (aka Sea Cows): Gentle, harmless, and a sort of Big Fun.
  • Mice: Usually cuter and far more sympathetic than rats. Mice are more likely to be prey, whereas rats are almost always tough survivors. Often meek, humble, gentle and inoffensive. They are sometimes portrayed as huge cowards with a tendency to jump at little things, but heroic and courageous mice are common as a subversion. Likes eating cheese. Expect some puns to be made about a computer mouse.
  • Mink: Portrayed as sex symbols. Also hunted or farmed for their luxuriant fur. More often female.
  • Moles: Bright, technically minded, and a bit nerdy, often with a special talent for digging or engineering in general. Usually short-sighted, though often in possession of Nerd Glasses that let them see after a fashion. What happened to the star nose? Sometimes they are in miner attire. Usually male. May sometimes be treacherous to their group.
  • Mongooses: Vaguely resembles a weasel, but is a cute and fearlessly heroic defender of the innocent (Rikki-tikki-tavvi is probably the Trope Maker). Although they look harmless, they take on terrifying enemies and win through a combination of agility, wit and boldness; their fighting style resembles the swashbuckler rather than a burly brawler. If paired with a specific enemy, it will always be a snake, usually a cobra. Usually male.
  • Monkeys: Hyperactive, skilful, curious and mischievous. They'll sometimes be referred to as closer to humanity (mostly in the worst ways) than the other animals. Known for throwing their own feces at people. Chimps are inevitably also thrown in the same group. Though they can also be dangerous Maniac Monkeys.
    • Baboons: Like other monkeys, but fiercer and more aggressive, even females. More likely to be portrayed as Maniac Monkeys.
  • Opossums: Often portrayed as "rednecks" or "hicks". Or just as having Southern accents. Or, alternately, as being somewhat raccoon-like in personality. Whatever the case, they're always known for Playing Possum.
  • Orangutans: The middle road between Gorillas and Monkeys: they possess the strength and determination of the first and the agility, goofiness and trickster nature of the second. More dangerous than they look.
  • Otters: Fun Personified. Joyous, playful, expert swimmers and acrobats, very similar to dolphins. Laid-back and optimistic, they "go with the flow" rather than worrying how things will work out. Think Surfer Dude, except that otters are usually portrayed as rather clever, rarely The Ditz. Almost always likeable and heroic, never as aggressive in fiction as real otters can be. Usually male.
  • Pandas: Usually depicted as having all the positive stereotypes of other bear species without any of the negative ones; so they're often gentle, peaceful, comical, adorable creatures (especially when they're cubs). They're also often seen as being fat and lazy, even by typical bear standards. More likely to be male. If a panda's ethnicity is ever brought up, they're always Chinese (accent optional). Due to how notoriously difficult they are to breed in captivity, recent portrayals may show them disliking sex.
  • Platypuses: Comically lovable, bold and quick-witted anti-heroes with defensive abilities and the fact that they lay eggs makes them a little more stranger. They may look friendly, but they can oftentimes be very obnoxious wiseacres.
  • Pigs: They're often comically obese, lazy, greedy, gluttonous, filthy, and sometimes even perverted. Though despite these negative associations (see more below), pigs can be portrayed as being good-natured and fairly intelligent creatures instead. They're equally likely to be male or female.
  • Porcupines: Pragmatic and fearless, being well aware of how respected their defensive abilities are. May be either gentle and innocent, or prickly and irritable. Sometimes depicted as being able to actually shoot their quills, which they cannot do in Real Life.
  • Raccoons: Sneaky, clever, bold, and rather cute. Often thieves (due to their facial markings, which resemble a bandit's mask), but usually heroic or at least likeable ones.
  • Rats: Traditionally nasty, cowardly, indecent, aggressive, greedy, licentious, and cunning. Often associated with filth and disease (think the Black Death). Often shown to be an Extreme Omnivore after their tendency to bite on many things (of course, they're just being rodents). Knows a lot about the criminal underworld, often being a thief. Always a tough survivor type, whether good or evil, and virtually Always Male. Recently, more realistic representations have been presented in media, showing rats as being very clean (relative to their surroundingsnote , but both are significantly cleaner than their mouse counterparts), even-tempered, and much friendlier than just about every other pet out there after dogs.
  • Red Pandas: They tend to be rather feisty and energetic. Despite their similar names, red pandas are not related to panda bears.
  • Rhinoceroses: Powerful but somewhat dim. Incredibly dangerous when threatened, but prone to charging headlong without considering the consequences. Often have poor eyesight, which is Truth in Television. Somewhat similar to bulls, above. Often portrayed in an antagonistic light in fiction, but not as much as they used to now that they've become an endangered species.
  • Ring-Tailed Lemurs: Flamboyant party animals who often have feminine interests like performing arts and fashion. This image largely comes from the animated film Madagascar.
  • Seals and Sea Lions: Cute and playful. Adorably clumsy on the land, but breathtakingly graceful in the water. Associated with magic and the sea. Always hungry for fish. Alternatively, the larger species can be terrifying brutes.
  • Sheep: Passive and gentle, but rather dimwitted. Prone to suffering from "herd mentality" and blind, unquestioning obedience towards authority; referring to people as "sheep" is often a way of criticizing cultural conformism and mainstream social norms. They tend to be easily frightened, and incapable of defending themselves; however, rams (especially ones with horns) may be tougher and willing to fight by headbutting their enemies.
  • Skunks: Gentle, innocent, and totally fearless, owing to their well-known natural defenses. Often depicted as producing a foul scent all the time, which they themselves are unaware of — or, somewhat more accurately, the stink may be portrayed as a form of Fartillery. May be somewhat crude and socially awkward, as the infamous stench associates them with the stereotype of the Gasshole.
  • Sloths: Slow, sleepy and harmless. Tends to hang upside-down from tree branches. Not so much with prehistoric ground sloths.
  • Squirrels and Chipmunks: Agile and graceful, but hyperactive and perhaps a bit crazy. Short attention span. Brave considering their size, and often somewhat hot-tempered, but more likely to retaliate with verbal scolding than a physical attack.
  • Tanuki (or Raccoon Dogs): Sneaky, clever, bold, and rather cute. Often thieves (due to their facial markings, which resemble a bandit's mask), but usually heroic or at least likeable ones. Usually male. Also portrayed as highly sexual and having large testicles.
    • Note that although they look similar to raccoons, and tanuki in Japanese works are often turned into raccoons in Western adaptations, tanuki are not very closely related to racoons — they're actually in the dog family.
  • Tasmanian Devils: They are often as destructive, gluttonous and voracious Extreme Omnivores and very Big Eaters. Savage and psychopathic killers with superior strength, eternal hunger and dangerously bad tempers.
  • Tigers, Panthers, Jaguars, Leopards, female Lions, and other big cats: Charismatic, exotic predators with an air of grace and power about their every move. Awe-inspiring even as they crush you. Black panthers in particular tend to emphasize the big cats' skill at stealth. For tigers especially, they may see the dragon as their one true rival. Equally likely to be on the side of good or evil. Their dignity and grace may be subverted by putting a big cat in a comic relief role.
  • Walruses: Cute and contently fat, but comically dignified. Always Male, because of their Badass Mustache, usually benevolent but may sometimes be pricks. May or may not wear a monocle and/or top hat.
  • Warthogs: Portrayed the same way as Pumbaa from The Lion King, they are generally clumsy, sweet-natured and quite dimwitted but can be tough, fierce and protective when necessary.
  • Weasels, Stoats, Martens and Polecats: Scheming, treacherous, cunning and malevolent villains, usually henchmen, or else just plain out of their minds.
  • Whales: Gentle, mysterious giants of the deep, slow-moving and very wise. In older works like Moby-Dick, a furious force of nature able to destroy anything they choose, as powerful and inscrutable as the ocean itself. Today, in the post-whaling era, the latter role tends to be given to sharks and giant squid instead.
  • Wildebeest: Despite being beast-like, they're very cowardly runners.
  • Wolves: Evil, murderous, and voraciously hungry or powerful, majestic, and beautiful, depending on when and where the story was written. May be portrayed (especially in older works) as stoic, badass loners, or more realistically as being unshakably loyal to their pack. Likes howling at the moon. Sometimes harsh toward those they love, but god forbid any of them be threatened by an outside force or entity.
    • The "lone wolf" in media is too cool or too tough for help, a badass who won't take nothin' from nobody. In reality, wolves are highly social and have difficulty functioning without a pack. Individuals found alone are usually young adults looking for a mate to start a new pack, and won't last long if they don't find one.
    • In works where wolves are portrayed as social, the pack functions as a strict hierarchy, with an alpha male at the top and a bullied omega at the bottom; low-ranking wolves increase their status by defeating their superiors in one-on-one combat. Up until recently, this was thought to be true of real wolves, but in fact it's not — it was based on studies of strange wolves thrown together in captivity, which tend to become neurotic and start acting out Prison Tropes. In the wild, a wolf pack is essentially a nuclear family; the alpha male and female are simply the parents of the lower-ranking wolves, who never rise up and challenge their parents for leadership — they just leave and start their own packs once they're a few years old.
    • The African golden wolf is often portrayed as a jackal, due to it used to be called a jackal during ancient times until scientists discovered that the animal was closer related to wolves than jackals. Often associated with Ancient Egypt, due to the following deities being based on the animal: Anubis, Wepwawet and Duamutef.
    • Finally, the Red Wolf (better known as the Coyote) is covered above.
  • Wolverines: Territorial loners, utterly fearless even toward the largest and most intimidating foes, and able to back it up with sheer savage aggression.note  Scary not because of their size or strength (though they tend to be pretty damn strong), but their utter ferocity.
  • Wombats: Mild-mannered and pathetic Butt-Monkey everymen
  • Yaks: Pretty dumb and stoner-like with their shaggy hairs.
  • Zebras: When in presence of horses, they are often Soul Brothas or some kind of Black Best Friend. Otherwise, they are tougher versions of the antelopes, brave and fiercely independent, although not always very strong fighters. Almost Always Male. If there is more than one zebra, you can expect You ALL Look Familiar and all the zebras will have similar personalities, owing to their habit of walking around in groups to confuse predators. And since they are preyed upon, you can expect Designated Victim. If sports are involved, they will always be seen as referees. Almost always voiced by African-American actors in animation. Sometimes shown to have supernatural powers similarly to hyenas.

  • Albatross: Often compared with the seagulls, they tend to be stronger and fiercer, as well as crafty fish-hunters. Otherwise tends to be the marine equivalent of the swan, graceful and pure.
  • Birds of Prey: Fierce, dignified, and serious, though they may kidnap young children (even though they wouldn't be able to lift them in real life).
  • Chickens: Often cowardly and prone to self-destructive panic.
    • Cocks/Roosters: Proud and loud. Often singers, but not very good ones. Pompous and arrogant. Very prone to getting into literal cockfights, and highly possessive of the hens. Often the chief of the farm, or at least the barnyard fowl. Unlike the hens, cocks won't go down without a fight, and can be quite fierce as well. Will often be shown crowing at dawn, even though roosters make noise all the time.
    • Hens: Incurable gossips and not very bright, something like a more high-strung version of cows. Highly protective of their chicks but prone to self-destructive mass panic in a crisis. Unable to defend themselves unaided.
  • Cranes: Majesty, grace, and strength without aggression. Often knows martial arts, owing to the Chinese. Like many great migrating birds, a symbol of finding one's way. Also known for their spectacular mating dance.
  • Crows And Ravens:
    • Creepy Crows: Cunning and often ominous; an archetypal symbol of death. Slightly more often evil than good.
    • Clever Crows: Due to their intelligence, corvids tend to be more knowledgeable, often as a counterpoint to owls, the owl will be book-smart, the crow will be street-smart.
    • Heroic corvids will be clever and somewhat mischievous Guile Heroes, but they sometimes have a slightly morbid sense of humor.
    • Crows are occasionally portrayed as being African American. More often male.
    • Ravens can be among the creepy awesome as they are unnerving and dark in appearances. In Edgar Allen Poe's poem The Raven one coldly plays with the emotions of a mourning man taunting and aggravating him, while only replying "Nevermore" to spook the Gent.
    • Magpies: Cunning thieves with a penchant for shiny objects. Sometimes gossipy chatterboxes. May be good or evil.
  • Cuckoos: A harbinger of spring. Also, a symbol for women who secretly make their husband raise another man's children (real cuckoos lay their eggs in other birds' nests). Sometimes portrayed as punctuate and Clock Kings (cuckoo clocks, anyone?). Insanity is another motif associated with cuckoos (see Cloudcuckoolander).
  • Dodos: Generally associated with stupidity and, unsurprisingly, death and extinction (e.g "gone the way of the dodo"). Sometimes, the stupidity and death go hand in hand. Could likely be given the Back from the Dead or They Killed Kenny Again treatment. More rarely, there end up being hints that they never went extinct at all. They are either The Fools, Cloudcuckoolanders, Butt Monkeys and/or The Chew Toys
  • Doves: Close cousin to the pigeons, and are equally easily scared of anything, but they tend to be portrayed as more down-to-earth, peaceful and pacifistic, if a bit homely.
  • Ducks: Clumsy and a little dim, but also possessing a strong will and perhaps a hidden grace. A little weird. Anthropomorphic cartoon ducks are traditionally highly temperamental and selfish, at best being attention whores and at worst outright sociopaths (though rarely as serious villains).
  • Eagles: Noble, respected, strong Giant Flyers who command impressive heights. Not above eating human flesh if they're starved for meat. They are also very well-known as a national symbol of the United States, enough that they've given the on-site nickname of Eagleland for the country.
  • Emus: Awesome Aussie versions of ostriches. They have a reputation for confounding the Australian Army, which failed to exterminate them in an infamous 1930s pest control campaign that became known as the "Emu War".
  • Falcons: Swift and agile fliers but often cruel, vicious, and evil. Subverted with Animal Motifs however, especially if it's a certain famous video game character that is best known for "falcon punching".
  • Flamingos: Often bright, energetic creatures who love to party, almost always living in pretty blue lagoons (instead of the boiling, sulfurous crater lakes they inhabit in real life). Also graceful, and at times vain.
  • Frigatebirds and Skuas: Bigger, meaner and nastier versions of gulls, oftentimes with more pirate-like qualities, like thievery and brutality.
  • Geese: Like ducks; more arrogant and irritable, but also more graceful in flight. Also can be portrayed as silly ditzes that are easily distracted. A symbol of good luck, abundance, endurance, and the ability to find one's way home.
  • Guineafowl and Turkeys: Dignified but snobbish, unpleasant and uptight. Usually bigger and a bit tougher than chickens, although not as aggressive as roosters. Not very bright, but not as amazingly stupid as real-world domestic turkeys can be either. Turkeys are also often associated with Thanksgiving. Usually male.
  • Gulls: Greedy and undignified but also brave in defying adversity and a symbol of freedom and travel. Gregarious, almost always seen in groups.
  • Hawks: Vicious and conniving Deadpan Snarker predators with unique quirks.
  • Herons: Graceful and calm. Patient, with split second reflexes. Tends to be a loner. Sometimes associated with martial arts, much like the mantis, due to the reflexes.
  • Ibis and Spoonbills: Not the prettiest birds but they make up for it with their intelligence and nobility. They're very gentle souls. The exception seems to be Australian white ibises, which tend to be portrayed as disgusting trash-eaters.
  • Kiwi Birds: Eccentric, funny and lovable birds with such complex personalities. They are very gentle, sweet-natured, snarky at times and mild-mannered and they can also be pretty timid, hapless and awkward klutzes.
  • Kookaburras: Extremely annoying birds that are iconic for their Annoying Laugh.
  • Ostriches: Panicky and frightened and will always stick their heads in the sand, even though none of them do this in real life. Rather fast runners, and prone to be Extreme Omnivores.
  • Owls: Wise and mysterious. Smaller species of owl may be portrayed as Absent Minded Professors or even Ditzy Geniuses, perhaps reflecting owls' disorientation in daylight. Alternatively, scary harbingers of doom.
    • Note that Real Life owls have terrible memories in relation to human training.
    • In Italian, "civetta" has the literal meaning "screech-owl" and the figurative meaning "coquette."
    • At times may be Creepy Awesome.
  • Oxpeckers: While these birds are oftentimes helpful to certain large animals by eating parasites and alert when danger appears, they do have a dark side that involves pecking at the larger animals' wounds for blood.
  • Parrots: Will be portrayed as talkative to the point of being annoying. Can overhear important things and remember them to the disadvantage of those who want to keep it a secret. Will also be able to communicate in full sentences and fluent dialogues with humans, in sharp contrast with the low brain capacity and very monsyllabic nature of real parrots. Will be seen in Parrot Pet Position on somebody's shoulder, usually as Pirate Parrot.
  • Peacocks: Vain, elegant, pompous. Often associated with nobility and if you have a couple of these wandering around your yard, chances are you have Impossibly Cool Wealth.
  • Pelicans: Often portayed as a klutzy, comical, lovable goof. Usually male. Their throat pouches will be used as a Bag of Holding for about everything, even stuff that would definitely be unable to carry.
  • Penguins: Inherently comical. Dignified, but clumsy except in the water. Rather cheery and optimistic, even in harsh climes. Usually male.
    • Rockhopper penguins: Usually Northern rockhopper penguins. Goofy comedic relief characters due to their exaggerated crests (which are most commonly depicted as eyebrows). Often depicted as cranky. Always male.
  • Pheasants and Hornbills: Similar to peacocks, these birds have a sense of nobility and pomposity, but they're more Butt Monkeys who get no respect from other animals like Zazu. But pheasants are also Nervous Wrecks who are more likely to get shot.
  • Pigeons: They always fly in flocks, and are easily scared of anything, and are infamous for pooping a lot. Will almost always live in urban areas even though most species (aside from the famous city pigeons) live in places like forests.
  • Quails: Sky and skittish game birds who's biggest purpose in life is to avoid predators and human hunters. Often females which are often Hysterical Women.
  • Roadrunners: Cheerfully optimistic speedster which are most likely to be athletes.
  • Songbirds: A symbol of vitality, freedom and joy. Idioms such as "bird with broken wings" or "caged bird" are used to describe the figurative "death of the soul".
  • Sparrows: Humble, cute and happy, agile and surprisingly brave.
  • Storks: Frequently cast as a Delivery Stork, specialized in bringing newborn babies to their parents.
  • Swans: Beautiful, graceful, and pure. Also a symbol of love, as swans mate for life. Sometimes vain, but rarely as large and aggressive as real swans are. Also known for having chicks that are not as pretty.
  • Toucans: Eccentric, lovable and hilarious blabbermouths, these birds are known for being colorful, fruity and loopy and as well as having very big mouths.
  • Vultures, Buzzards and Condors: Birds of bad omen, especially the evil-looking turkey buzzard. Fond of Gallows Humor. In a more humorous portrayal can see vultures as Sport Commentators watching the players bruise and batter each other as they joke about the chaos. May sometimes be Creepy Awesome. Their evil role in fiction is very ironic because vultures are actually nice animals in reality (with few ferocious ones like the bearded vulture) and are very helpful when it comes to scavenging carcasses. And condors are not portrayed the same ways as vultures, but they are more like good-natured, Too Dumb to Live and gentle birds.
  • Woodpeckers: Mischievous, zany and vindictive tricksters which are often causing destruction and pecking holes. Like Woody Woodpecker, they can be hyperactive, greedy and a bit deranged like Daffy Duck and also intelligent, quick-witted and sarcastic like Bugs Bunny.

    Reptiles and Amphibians 
  • Basilisks: Known as Jesus Christ Lizards, these odd reptiles have the ability to run on the surface of water. This ability could give them an extreme case of A God Am I.
  • Chameleons: Changeable and able to blend in with their surroundings, both literal and social. May be self-serving collaborators with no true values of their own. Often stealthy tricksters. Rather weird. Will be spies or ninjas when in a heroic role, due to their ability to camouflage.
  • Crocodiles and Alligators: Lazy but strong. Usually vicious bullies or unknowable forces of nature. Often more savage than other animals, but are sometimes gentle giants (though this is usually an intentional subversion). Alligators are slightly more likely to be portrayed in a positive light than crocodiles are, though they too are usually depicted as aggressive killers.note . Crocodiles are sometimes depicted as pirates, likely due to Peter Pan.
  • Frilled Lizards: An anomalously cute and hyperactive little reptile. May sometimes be vain and boastful.
  • Frogs and Toads: Clumsy, Ugly Cute creatures, though they may reveal hidden beauty if you're being kind to them. Alternatively, they're poisonous and associated with witchcraft. Otherwise, they're jolly musicians or luck-bringers, usually cheerful and friendly if kind of weird. Associated with rain and water in general. Usually male, and always use their tongues to catch insects in the air. In schools, they will be a subject of dissection, but will luckily be saved in the end. Traditionally toads are portrayed more negatively than frogs.
  • Geckos: Cute and likeable, but a little on the odd side. Always shown climbing walls and ceilings and licking their own eyelids, even if they happen to be Leopard Geckos or other Eublepharids, which have eyelids, unlike other geckos, and have claws on their toes, meaning they can't climb surfaces. Along with chameleons, probably the most popular choice for heroic lizards.
  • Gila Monsters: Frightful and repulsive, these lizards are The Dreaded.
  • Horned Toads and Thorny Devils: Despite their prickly and intimidating exteriors, they're very timid, friendly and gentle.
  • Iguanas: Generally nonthreatening by reptile standards—they'll often be Big Eaters and Lazy Bums who just like to eat and sleep all the time. But every now and then shown as Notzilla, if involved with smaller characters (despite the fact iguanas are herbivores).
  • Monitor Lizards: Ferocious and hungry predators, especially if it's the Komodo dragon. Tend to flick their forked tongues in and out like snakes (because they use their tongues to detect odors, like snakes), but usually do not talk with "S"-es. On the rare occasion that they're protagonists, they're usually Axe-Crazy Sociopathic Heroes.
  • Snakes: Fear-inducing and repugnant, and talk with a lot of "S"-es. Almost always cunning, deceptive and manipulative. More often than not, snakes play the villainous role, and the odd heroic snake is usually a Sociopathic Hero or Creepy Good. More rarely, they are used to represent wisdom, rebirth, and/or immortality. Can also be charming, seductive and/or sexy. Often depicted with hypnotic powers, usually from their eyes. As predators, they are known for swallowing their prey whole due to their expandable jaws. Another portrayal is they are excellent dancers (considering how flexible snakes are), and in more positive light are loyal to those who are more respectful to them example: Nagini from Harry Potter, Viper from Kung Fu Panda, Kaa from The Jungle Book. May at times be Creepy Awesome. Snakes are especially portrayed as villainous if they have venom, which is somewhat justified as the most dangerous snakes in real life are venomous.
    • Cobras: Snakes of evil, due to their menacing-looking hoods and venom-housing fangs. Almost consistently aggressive, bloodthirsty and vindicative. The main enemy of mongooses and, occasionally, honey badgers. Can be charmed by music, despite the fact snakes are unable to hear the melody and can only feel the vibrations instead.
    • Garter Snakes, Corn Snakes, and Kingsnakes: The token harmless snakes, cute and friendly at least by snake standards. Kingsnakes, namely the scarlet kingsnake, are best known for being mimics of the venomous coral snake.
    • Pythons and Boas: Powerful, beautiful, and calm, yet frightening predators which are a force to be reckoned with, due to their Deadly Hug, especially if they're anacondas (part of the boa family) and larger pythons. Often ravenous enough to eat large prey including humans. However, when in a good mood and not hunting they can be noble like big cats or wolves or eagles. Their raw strength and lack of venom makes them popular choices for heroic snakes.
    • Rattlesnakes: Menacing and often antagonistic, though more likely to be portrayed positively than cobras. Usually shown shaking their rattles, whether as a warning or not. Always associated with The Wild West since the most well-known species, the diamondback rattlesnake, is often found in North American deserts (though it actually lives in a wide variety of habitats).
    • Vipers: Slanderous, snide and vindictive. Almost Always Female. The usual Token Evil Teammate if they're part of a group. Even when not evil, they're still sharp-tongued and unpleasant and firm practicioners of Brutal Honesty. Can be sexy but in a Femme Fatale kind of way, due to their venomous, sometimes deadly, bite. Probably the most positively portrayed of venomous snakes, since they don't have particularly intimidating features like with cobras and rattlesnakes.
  • Turtles and Tortoises: Slow but wise, except if they are snapping turtles, in which case they're bad-tempered. Often very long-lived. Also, shy and prone to hiding away in their shells whenever danger looms. Hermits of the animal kingdom.

  • Fish in general: Friendly and mild-mannered individuals who are obviously good swimmers, since their life is (literally) water. Although unique, carefree and creative, they tend to be neurotic when it comes to predators (like sharks!). Fishes that form schools are often depicted as very sociable creatures who may be harmless individually but can be an ominous presence together.
  • Barracudas and Pikes: Badass but cruel, ruthless and often evil. Voraciously hungry, expert killers.
  • Carps: Tend to not look like much but have strong determination and hidden power/talent, owing to the legend of carps that swim up waterfalls to become dragons.
  • Eels: Tend to be sly, slimy and eccentric, quite like snakes; toned down if they're good guys. If they're the electric ones, expect them to be psychos.
  • Mantas and Stingrays: The (usually) harmless weirdo, usually depicted as friendly and smiling but may have hidden deadly side when provoked enough (owing to their venomous stings).
  • Piranhas: Tend to be social creatures, but irritable. Highly voracious, a danger in big numbers as they devour everything on their way in alarming speedsnote .
  • Sharks: Hunger and menace personified (except in the rare case of whale sharks, the most commonly used example of a shark that's no threat to humans). Cold and emotionless to the point of being sociopathic. Tend to go psycho once they get a whiff of blood. Will usually be portrayed as great white sharks, because other species are less impressive, although hammerhead sharks may show up simply because they're so weird-looking. Think of wolves... in the seas.
  • Swordfishes: Graceful, suave predators of the sea, commonly portrayed as skillful swordsmen.

  • Ants: Hard-working to the point of losing all individuality. Ant society is usually portrayed as a harsh, conformist Police State or World of Silence based around a Hive Caste System; it may be rather militaristic, evoking army ants. Tend to be stronger than their size implies, especially when working together to lift things much bigger than their bodies. They are matriarchal, but it's usually less emphasized than with bees, and as with bees, fictional works may or may not realize the workers are Always Female.
  • Bees: Hard-working, dutiful and territorial (due to the common gag of a bee's nest being disturbed). They live in a Matriarchy; queens are almost always a stern and serious version of The High Queen. The "hard-working to the point of losing all individuality" aspect isn't usually as emphasized with bees as it is with ants. Fictional works may or may not be aware that workers are Always Female.
  • Butterflies: Shy, meek and inoffensive as caterpillars, but bold and beautiful as adults - this contrast often symbolizes transformation or death and reincarnation. Usually female and fragile. More rarely, vain and superficial (just like peacocks).
    • Moths: The Darker and Edgier version of butterflies, due to their association with the night. Harbingers of death and sorrow but also madness and suicide, being irresistibly drawn to light and fire. Think "like moths to a flame".
  • Centipedes and Millipedes: Their long bodies make them quite similar but their personalities are very different from each other. Centipedes appear in fiction more commonly than millipedes— they're usually portrayed as vicious, predatory, and venomous. Even protagonist centipedes often have an aggressive streak. Millipedes, which are harmless herbivores, show up less often, and when they do they're often confused with centipedes.
  • Cockroaches: At best; dirty, will live in any shithole they can find and crawl over everything in sight. At worst; will swarm en masse and devour everything in sight. Mentions of cockroaches supposedly being able to survive nuclear warfare is common.
  • Crabs and Lobsters: Crabby, unhelpful and easily angered. Often Ineffectual Loners. On the bright side, tough fighters and not afraid to engage much stronger foes. Crabs are also often portrayed as greedy misers who will do anything for more wealth.
  • Dragonflies and Damselflies: Graceful Flying aces with a tendency to be full of themselves. In older works they're often associated with witchcraft and sometimes even seen as associates of the devil. Their aquatic juvenile forms (nymphs) and their Damselfly cousins rarely show up in media (and when the later do they tend to be refereed to as Dragonflies anyway).
  • Fireflies: Eerie glowing wonders of the night. May be associated with Spark Fairies, and may be reclusive people who are only fine among their kin.
  • Fleas: Often portrayed as likable, sympathetic hobos who associate with their hosts on a friendly basis. Also portrayed as associating only with dogs and cats despite being external parasites to many species of mammal in Real Life.
  • Flies: Often considered of ill-omen, sometimes associated with the Devil, due to their habit of buzzing around people as well as feeding and breeding on rotten meat and feces. They're also depicted as bringer of plagues. May be gluttonous, owing to it being the symbol of gluttony in Seven Deadly Sins. Often symbols of disorder, peskiness and insignificance.
    • Maggots: Disgusting, filthy, repulsive, and mindless larvae of flies. Symbols of rot, decay and corruption.
    • Mosquitoes: Pesky, annoying, sometimes even dangerous bloodsucking flies. Like the more typical flies, they're also depicted as bringer of plagues. Often portrayed as bloodsucking even if they're male.
  • Hercules and Stag Beetles: Commonly seen more in the East, they're Japanese Beetle Brothers. They're either friends, rivals or bitter enemies to each other. Individually, they tend to be strong, both physically and mentally, and fierce fighters. Very often depicted as heroic characters in Japanese works.
  • Jellyfish and other Cnidaria: Often shown capable of giving electric shocks for some reason. Rarely portrayed as sentient, but when they are they are sometimes portrayed as friendly yet sad that everyone fears them. Other Cnidaria like Corrals and Sea Anemones are in a similar boat as being mostly just portrayed as simply there, and lucky if shown as anything other than equivalent of plants.
  • Ladybugs: Always Female, due to their common name. More often than not, they're kindly or heroic characters due to their beautiful red elytra, and the fact that they eat aphids, which are seen as nasty pests.
  • Leeches: Like maggots and worms with the addition of bloodsucking, associated with putrid waters and the basest of natural instincts. In some cultures, associated with medicine as they can be used to suck off tainted blood.
  • Mantises: Badass. Regardless of if they're good or evil, getting in close quarters with one is a major death wish. Interesting example since people tend to love them despite the fact we frequently use them as villains. Graceful killers in melee. Often associated with Martial Arts, thanks to the Chinese and Kung Fu Panda. When female, almost always a Femme Fatale and/or The Vamp (due to how female mantises devour the male's head after they mate). Likely to be Creepy Awesome.
  • Octopi and Squids: Weird and otherworldly, probably the closest thing on Earth to alien life. May be either charmingly weird and likeable Cloudcuckoolanders or malevolent and terrifyingly alien, but octopi tend to lean toward the former more. May sometimes be a pervert, whether portrayed in a funny or dramatic way. Often seen multitasking, with each of their tentacles used for something different or, occassionally, all used for one very complex activity. Octopi tend to be portrayed in a slightly more positive light than squid.
    • Giant Squid: A raging force of nature that pulls ships and sailors to their doom. Natural enemies with the sperm whale, whom it violently battles with in the deep seas.
  • Scorpions: Vicious, venomous assassins who hide and stalk in darkness, and often sting for the sake of stinging. See The Farmer and the Viper (AKA Scorpion Dilemma). Sometimes portrayed as tanky, durable fighters due to their thick carapace. More likely to be portrayed as evil than good. On the rare heroic role, they tend to be Blood Knights or Proud Warrior Race Guys. Or both. A realistic portrayal would show them to have glasses or contacts (as Scorpions have bad eyesight), and can be very sociable, calm and even docile (considering most Scorpions tend not to attack straight away). May at times be Creepy Awesome. Often portrayed as enemies with spiders.
  • Shrimps: These little crustaceans are known for being shy, timid, adorable and lovable.
  • Snails and Slugs: Very slow and fearful but contented and usually good-nature. Slugs tend to be portrayed in a little less positive light than snails are.
  • Spiders: Patient tricksters or venomous antagonists (similar to many other arachnids and insects). Just about Always Female. Often sexy and seductive in very dangerous ways, reflecting the fact that females of several species devour the males after mating (the term "Black Widow" comes from a spider of the same name). Some can be portrayed wearing glasses for a few species have worse eyesight than others.
    • Sometimes portrayed as eccentric artists, locked away in their own room/web creating things. Or, in modern times, locked away in their room surfing the Web, being internet-social (but more withdrawn in real life); being a troll optional.
    • More positive portrayals can see them as, Amazing Stylists and Models, Accurate Weavers, and perhaps effective Doctors (like how most Spiders tend to eat their prey from the inside). May at times be Creepy Awesome.
    • There're also exceptions in which spiders are actually nice not just in fiction. Actually there's a spider species that can actually can be a pet, an exotic one in this case.
  • Termites: Destructive little critters with a powerful taste for wood. They behave kinda like ants but they are often an insect version of Tasmanian Devils.
  • Wasps and Yellowjackets: Aggressive, nervous, bitchy, and highly prone to mass fury. Often female. At constant war with bees.
  • Worms: Disgusting, filthy, repulsive and mindless. Symbols of rot, decay and corruption.
    • Earthworms: Usually portrayed in a more positive light than other worms but just as unattractive.

    Prehistoric Creatures 
  • Allosaurus: Basically the Jurassic version of Tyrannosaurus rex. Will be more of a Lightning Bruiser. The main enemy of Stegosaurus as T. rex is to Triceratops.
  • Archaeopteryx: The "first bird". Often acts very much like a modern bird, despite how primitive it's supposed to be.
  • Dromaeosaurids: Fast, intelligent and ferocious hunters. Usually hunt in packs like wolves, even though this is controversial. Almost always depicted resembling Deinonychus, but labeled as Velociraptor (which in real life is small and has a longer snout).
  • Hadrosaurs: Large yet inoffensive herbivores that flee when threatened. Formerly duck-like to the point of being associated with water, now the dinosaurian equivalent of antelopes. Usually represented by Parasaurolophus and Edmontosaurus. Almost Always Female, perhaps due to Maiasaura (the "Good mother reptile") belonging to this group.
  • Ichthyosaurs: The Mesozoic equivalent of dolphins, to the point of being shown playfully leap out of the water.
  • Iguanodon: Similar to hadrosaurs, though more aggressive and more likely to fight back when threatened (due to their thumb spikes).
  • Mammoths and Mastodons: Prehistoric elephants. Often act just like their modern-day relatives, though will also be more aggressive. Mammoths (and mastodons) are always portrayed resembling the woolly mammoth, an icon of the ice age.
  • Mosasaurs and Pliosaurs: The sea's ultimate superpredators, like flippered crocodiles.
  • Neanderthals: The archetypical Caveman. Often stupider, taller and stronger than modern humans; tough survivors in fur skins always holding spears; carnivorous. Cavewomen are usually depicted as mannish and intimidating but can be of any shade between the Nubile Savage and the Brawn Hilda.
  • Ornithomimids: The Mesozoic equivalent of ostriches.
  • Oviraptor: Initially an egg-eating predator. Nowadays it is considered to be a protective parent due to the fact the type specimen was actually brooding its own eggs rather than trying to eat someone else's.
  • Pachycephalosaurs: Fiercely territorial and going around headbutting anything they see, including each other.
  • Plesiosaurs: Traditionally, ferocious sea serpent-like beasts. Nowadays, more of a gentle giant. Almost always depicted resembling Elasmosaurus due to its large size.
  • Pterosaurs: More commonly known by the colloquial name "Pterodactyl". Often depicted as large, dragonlike predators that swoop down and carry away animals and people to be eaten. If not, they'll be majestic flyers often giving animals and people rides on their backs. Almost always depicted as resembling the famous Pteranodon with some Rhamphorhynchus mixed in.
  • Saber-toothed cats: Just like the big cats of today, only with bigger and longer fangs. Almost always represented by Smilodon and will usually be called "saber-toothed tigers" (despite being from a different subfamily of felines).
  • Sauropods and Stegosaurs/Ankylosaurs: Large and strong, yet slow and dim-witted. Gentle giants unless they are threatened. Often have appetites as big as themselves.
  • Spinosaurus: Giant and powerful predators, even more so than Tyrannosaurus rex. Basically a fin-backed land crocodile that walks on two legs. Rarely portrayed as a semi-aquatic piscivore/generalist hunter like it might have been in Real Life.
  • Triceratops: Basically a dinosaurian bull or rhinoceros, bad-tempered and prone to charging, but is often portrayed in a heroic role. Tyrannosaurus rex's greatest rival or archenemy; the two would usually fight to the death whenever they meet.
  • Troodontids: Like a non-threatening version of dromaeosaurids. The smartest of all dinosaurs. Will often be portrayed as a nest-raider like the traditional portrayal of Oviraptor, with its victim being the hadrosaur Maiasaura.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: Powerful, unstoppable, vicious hunters. The "King of the Dinosaurs". Very much like a land-based combination of shark and crocodile. Often seen fighting with Triceratops and Ankylosaurus. Shown to be quite badass and top of the food-chain. See Stock Dinosaurs.

Animal stereotypes by culture

Different cultures can have different stereotypes for any one species or type of animal. For example, cats are often seen as mean in Western culture, but are usually seen as cute in Japanese culture.

Western and European animal stereotypes




  • The busy or workaholic beaver


  • The cool or clever cat
  • The lazy cat
  • The evil or villainous cat
  • The cute kitten
  • The warrior wildcat
  • LOLCats

  • The thieving magpie

    Reptiles and Amphibians 
Crocodiles and Alligators
  • The weeping and hypocritical crocodile
  • The villainous alligator or crocodile

  • The gluttonous piranhas

  • The diligent ant
  • The militant ant
  • The thieving or bothersome ant

East Asian animal stereotypes

  • The cute bear
  • The cruel bear


  • The cute kitten
  • The lucky cat
  • The acquisitive cat


  • The loyal dog
  • The savage dog


  • The brave panda
  • The proud panda


  • The proud tiger
  • The cruel tiger



  • The grateful magpie
  • The loyal magpie


  • The joyful songbird

    Reptiles and Amphibians 
  • The friendly snake

  • The friendly fish

  • The comical octopus
  • The lecherous octopus

Native American animal stereotypes

Crows and Ravens
  • The clever trickster raven.


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