A Galaxy of Sea Stars and Other Magical Names for Groups of Animals

What does a charm, a murder, a cauldron, and a shiver all have in common? No, it’s not something out of one of your kiddo’s fairytale stories or that Halloween movie you watched last year. They all happen to be names given to groups of animals.  

There is no official organization that decides what names get assigned to certain groups of animals. It’s why there are often several names for a single species. It’s also why there aren’t labels for some groups of species at all. There are just too many to name! See below for our favorite names we’ve come across and then a game for you to do with your kiddos to come up with your own label for your favorite groups of animals.


Names of Groups of Animals


Make sure to grab a copy of The Big Book of Beasts to learn more about our mammal friends.

  • A cauldron of bats (although they’re more commonly referred to as a colony)
  • A sleuth of bears here is the perfect teddy bear
  • A fluffle of bunnies – rabbit lovers will adore this stuffie
  • A skulk of foxes (females are called vixens too!)

A group of stuffed giraffes from Olli Ella with the title "a tower of giraffes"

  • A shadow of jaguars
  • A mob of kangaroosthis coloring book is perfect for animal lovers
  • A conspiracy of lemurs
  • A blessing of narwhals

a group of stuffed hippos from Olli Ella with the title "a THUNDER of hippos"

  • An embarrassment of pandas
  • A prickle of porcupines
  • A gaze of raccoons – enjoy all the woodland animals with this gift

A group of stuffed rhinos from Olli Ella with the title "a CRASH of rhinos"

  • A bed of sloths
  • A stench of skunks
  • An ambush of tigers

a group of stuffed zebras with the title "a DAZZLE of zebras"


Don’t forget to snag a copy of The Big Book of Birds to dive deep into learning about these winged creatures.

  • A murder of crows
  • A charm of finches
  • A flamboyance of flamingos
  • A gaggle (on the ground) or a skein (in flight) of geese
  • A kettle (in flight) or cast (perched) of hawks
  • A siege of herons
  • An ascension or exaltation of larks
  • A tiding of magpies
  • A watch of nightingales
  • A parliament of owls – make your own owl with this wooden puzzle
  • A pandemonium of parrots
  • An unkindness of ravens
  • A committee or wake (when feeding on a carcass) of vultures
  • A descent of woodpeckers


  • A kaleidoscope of butterflies – see some butterflies in real life if you plant this butterfly garden
  • A smack or bloom of jellyfish
  • A loveliness of ladybugs – learn all about our tiny friends in The Big Book of Bugs
  • A risk of lobsters – a fun tattoo for ones who love lobsters
  • An eclipse of moths
  • A galaxy of sea stars

a group of stuffed sharks with the title "a SHIVER of sharks"

  • A fever of stingrays
  • A knot of toads

Come up with your own name with this formula

Now that you’ve seen some of our favorite names for groups of animals, let’s come up with some of your own. First pick your favorite animal and then think of a personality trait related to that animal. Look up synonyms for that personality trait and pick your favorite word. That’s it!

A “personality trait” + “animal” = its group name

Our in-house writer’s favorite animal is the moose. She thinks they look awkward but also defy gravity with how skinny their legs are holding up such a huge body. Here are several names we could give a group of moose (Meese? Mooses? Who knows?).

A mayhem of moose
A defiance of moose
A clumsiness of moose


Get it? Do this for every member of your family and have fun!

Written by Sarah Lamagna

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