Animal Guide - Dublin Zoo is Ireland's most popular visitor attraction, and welcomed almost one million visitors last year.

Animal Guide

  • Mammals

    The distinguishing characteristic of mammals is that the mother nourishes newborn young with milk produced by special glands. Mammals also have several other distinguishing features. Hair is common among mammals and can take many forms, including whiskers, spines and fur. All mammals breathe air so even those living in water e.g. whales must surface to take a breath.

     Like birds, all mammals are warm-blooded. That means they generate their own body heat through metabolism, and can thus stay warmer than their surroundings, day or night, sun or shade. Mammals can be carnivores, herbivores, insectivores, fruitivores or omnivores. There are approximately 5,400 species of mammals, this also includes humans.

  • Birds

    Birds are warm-blooded vertebrates that are well adapted for flight, though not all birds can fly.  All birds are covered with feathers, contain a strong skeleton, and have efficient digestive and respiratory systems.  There are about 10,000 species ranging from very small to very large.

  • Reptiles

    Instead of hair or feathers, reptiles are covered with scales that keep them from drying out. They are cold-blooded, so they must move between sun and shade to regulate their body temperature.  Unlike mammalian young, who are dependent upon their mothers for some time after birth, most reptiles are independent from day one. There are more than 6,500 reptile species

  • Amphibians

    Amphibians are cold-blooded vertebrates that are able to breathe through their skin.  There are about 6,000 species of amphibians.   Amphibians can live both in fresh water and on land, although all amphibian species depend upon water for reproduction and to keep their skin moist. They range in size from frogs less than a half-inch long, to a giant salamanders that reach 1.5 metres in length.

  • Invertebrates

    Invertebrates are the most abundant creatures on the planet — comprising more than 97% of all known animal species. By definition, an invertebrate is an animal without a backbone. That includes jellyfish, insects, worms, snails, lobsters, and spiders.

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