Which Mammals Live In North America?


There is a wide variety of mammals in North America from the smallest to the largest. I wanted to make a complete list of which mammals live in North America.

There are nine orders of mammals in North America split into 40 families. There are currently about 420 species of mammal in North America.

In this article I list every mammal which you can find in North America.

Page Contents

Carnivores

Order Carnivora

The order of Carnivora is a diverse order that consists of terrestrial mammals as well as marine and freshwater mammals.

There are fifty two species of Carnivora in families that can be found in North America.

Canines – Family Canidae

There are thirty four species of Canidae in the word with nine species in North America.

  • Coyote
  • Gray wolf
  • Red wolf
  • Arctic fox
  • Kit fox
  • Swift fox
  • Red fox
  • Common gray fox
  • Island gray fox

Bears – Family Ursidae

There are three bear species in the family of Ursidae

Bear cub
  • American black bear
  • Brown bear
  • Polar bear

Weasel Family,Badger etc – Family Mustelidae

The family of Mustelidae consists of eleven species in North America. They are the most diverse family of carnivores with some hunting in freshwater while others hunt on land.

  • American marten
  • Fisher
  • Ermine
  • Long-tailed weasel
  • Black-footed ferret
  • Least weasel
  • American mink
  • Wolverine
  • American badger
  • Northern river otter
  • Sea otter

Skunks – Family Mephitidae

The family of Mephitidae consists of six species of skunk in North America.

  • Western spotted skunk
  • Eastern spotted skunk
  • Hooded skunk
  • Striped skunk
  • Eastern hog-nosed skunk
  • Western hog-nosed skunk

Walrus – Family Odobenidae

There is only one species in the family Odobenidae.

  • Walrus

Eared Seals – Family Otariidae

The famiy of Otariidae consists of eared seals. There are four species of eared seal in North America.

Sea lion
  • Northern fur seal
  • Guadalupe fur seal
  • Steller sea lion
  • California sea lion

Earless Seals – Family Phocidae

The family of Phocidae consists of earless seals. There are nine species of earless seal in North America.

  • Ribbon seal
  • Harp seal
  • Ringed seal
  • Spotted seal
  • Harbor seal
  • Gray Seal
  • Bearded seal
  • Hooded Seal
  • Northern Elephant Seal

Raccoons – Family Procyonidae

Members of the family Procyonidae are arboreal and omnivores. They usually live in small families or in large groups.

There are three species in the family Procyonidae in North America.

raccoon
  • Ringtail
  • Northern Raccoon
  • White-nosed coati

Cats – Family Felidae

The family of Felidae is made up of cats. There are thirty six species of Felidae worldwide with six in North America.

  • Cougar
  • Ocelot
  • Jaguarundi
  • Canada lynx
  • Bobcat
  • Jaguar

Bats

Order Chiroptera

The order of Chiroptera is the second largest order of mammals and is made up of one-fifth of all mammals worldwide. There are two suborders of Chiroptera; Megachiroptera (old-world fruit bats) and Microchiroptera (microbats.)

There are eighteen families of Chiroptera in the world but only four in North America.

New World Bats – Family Mormoopidae

The family of Mormoopidae consists of about thirteen species worldwide, but in North America there is only one species. The family of Mormoopidae consists of ghost-faced bats, mustached bats and naked-backed bats.

  • Ghost-Faced bat

Leaf-nosed Bats – Family Phyllostomidae

Phyllostomidae is a family of leaf-nosed bats. Worldwide there are about 192 species in this family, but there are only five species of Phyllostomidae in North America.

  • California leaf-nosed bat
  • Mexican long-tongued bat
  • Southern long-nosed bat
  • Mexican long-nosed bat
  • Hairy-legged vampire bat

Common Bats – Family Vespertilionidae

Species of bat in the family Vespertilionidae are the most widespread in North America. There are currently thirty species of Vespertilionidae in North America.

  • Southwestern myotis
  • Southeastern myotis
  • California myotis
  • Western small-footed myotis
  • Long-Eared myotis
  • Gray myotis
  • Keen’s myotis
  • Eastern small-footed myotis
  • Little brown bat
  • Northern long-eared myotis
  • Indiana bat
  • Fringed myotis
  • Cave myotis
  • Long-legged myotis
  • Yuma myotis
  • Red bat
  • Hoary bat
  • Southern yellow bat
  • Northern yellow bat
  • Seminole bat
  • Silver-haired bat
  • Western pipistrelle
  • Eastern pipistrelle
  • Big brown bat
  • Evening bat
  • Spotted bat
  • Rafinesque’s big-eared bat
  • Townsend’s big-eared bat
  • Allen’s big-eared bat
  • Pallid bat

Migratory Bats – Family Molossidae

The family of Molossidae consists of six species of bat in North America. All six species migrate south in the winter to continue feeding. Species such as the Brazilian (Mexican) free-tailed bat roost in colonies of up to twenty million which can be seen exiting caves in and around Texas.

  • Brazilian free-tailed bat
  • Pocketed free-tailed bat
  • Big free-tailed bat
  • Wagner’s mastiff bat
  • Western mastiff bat
  • Underwood’s mastiff bat

Marine Mammals

Order Cetacea

Mammals in the order of Cetacea are classed as marine mammals and have adapted to life in the worlds ocean’s.

There are two suborders of Cetacea. Odontoceti are classed as toothed whales and have six families with about seventy species.

Mysticeti are classed as baleen whales and have four families with fifteen species worldwide. There are ten species of Mysticeti in North America.

Baleen Whales – Family Balaenidae

The family of Balaenidae is a member of the baleen whale suborder Mysticeti. They are one of the smallest families of whale.

Bowhead whale
  • Northern right whale
  • Bowhead whale

Rorquals – Family Balaeonopteridae

The family of Balaeonopteridae is a group of baleen whales. There are six species in this family in North America.

Blue whale
  • Minke whale
  • Sei whale
  • Bryde’s whale
  • Blue whale
  • Fin whale
  • Humpback whale

Gray Whale – Family Eschrichtiidae

There is only species in this family. They are extinct in the Atlantic Ocean but can be seen off the shores of North America in the Pacific Ocean

  • Gray whale

Pygmy Right Whale – Family Cetotheriidae

All species in the family Cetotheriidae were thought to be extinct until the Pygmy Right Whale was classed as a member. However, this classification may change again in the future.

  • Pygmy Right Whale

Oceanic Dolphins – Family Delphinidae

The family of Delphinidae consists of oceanic dolphins consisting of thirty species. There are twenty species in the oceans surrounding North America.

This family is the most diverse and largest family.

  • Rough-toothed dolphin
  • Bottlenose dolphin
  • Pantropical spotted dolphin
  • Clymene dolphin
  • Striped dolphin
  • Atlantic spotted dolphin
  • Spinner dolphin
  • Long-beaked common dolphin
  • Short-beaked common dolphin
  • Fraser’s dolphin
  • Atlantic white-sided dolphin
  • White-beaked dolphin
  • Pacific white-sided dolphin
  • Risso’s dolphin
  • Pygmy killer whale
  • False killer whale
  • Short-finned pilot whale
  • Long-finned pilot whale
  • Killer whale
  • Northern right whale dolphin

Arctic Whales – Family Monodontidae

There are two species of Monodontidae worldwide and both can be found in North America.

narwhal
  • Beluga
  • Narwhal

Porpoise – Family Phocoenidae

In North America, the family of Phocoenidae consists of two species of porpoise.

  • Harbor porpoise
  • Dall’s porpoise

Sperm Whales – Family Phydereridae

The family Phydereridae consists of three species of sperm whale.

Sperm whale
  • Sperm whale
  • Pygmy sperm whale
  • Dwarf sperm whale

Beaked Whales – Family Ziphiidae

This family consists of beaked whales. They prefer offshore, deep waters and little is known about them. There are eleven species of beaked whale in North America.

  • Baird’s beaked whale
  • Cuvier’s beaked whale
  • Northern bottlenose whale
  • Sowerby’s beaked whale
  • Hubb’s beaked whale
  • Blainville’s beaked whale
  • Gervais’s beaked whale
  • Gingko-toothed beaked whale
  • Hector’s beaked whale
  • True’s beaked whale
  • Stejneger’s beaked whale

Order Sirenia

The order of Sirenia consists of dugongs and manatees. There are two families although only one of these can be found in North America.

Sea Cows – Family Tricechidae

There are three species of manatee in the Trichechidae family but only one can be found in North America.

Manatee
  • West Indian manatee

Even-toed Ungulates

Order Artiodactyla

The order Artiofactyla consists of animals that put their weight on two toes, the third and fourth. The other toes may be present, missing or vestigial. Most species in the order are ruminants with a complex stomach that can acquire nutrients by processing their food.

Peccary – Family Tayassuidae

There are three species of peccary worldwide but only one species in North America.

  • Collared peccary

Deer – Family Cervidae

Worldwide there are forty three species of Cervidae but only five species live in North America.

Elk
  • Elk
  • Mule deer
  • White-tailed deer
  • Moose
  • Caribou

Antelope – Family Antilocapridae

The family of Antilocapridae comprises of only one species surviving today from the Pleistocene era.

  • Pronghorn

Cloven Hoof – Family Bovidae

Bovidae is the largest group in the order of Artiodactyls with one hundred and forty three species worldwide. There are five species currently living in North America

Plains Bison
  • American bison
  • Mountain goat
  • Muskox
  • Bighorn sheep
  • Dall’s sheep

Order Didelphimorphia

Didelphimorphia is an order in the marsupial class. There are seven orders in the marsupial class, but only one order of marsupial in North America. The order of Didelphimorphia includes opossums.

Opossum – Family Didelphidae

In North America, there is only one family in the marsupial order of Didephimorphia. The family of Didelphidae in North America includes one species of opossum.

Opossum in winter
  • Virginia opossum

Superorder Xenarthra

Xenarthra is an order of placental mammals. There are two orders of Xenarthra but only one in North America. Xenarthra covers species of armadillos, sloths and anteaters.

Order

There are two orders of Xenarthra; Cingulata (armadillos) and Pilosa (anteaters and sloths) but only one in North America. Cingulata is the only order in North America.

Armadillo – Family Dasypodidae

In North America, there is only one family in the order of Xenarthra. There is only species in the family Dasypodidae in North America.

  • Nine-banded armadillo 

Order Eulipotyphla

The order of Eulipotyphla consists of four families. These include Erinaceinae (hedgehogs), Hylomyinae (gymnures), Soricidae (shrews), and Talpidae (Moles). Only two of these live in North America

Shrews – Family Soricidae

There are many species of shrew in North America. Shrews are thought to be one of the oldest living mammals on the planet, with fossils from the Eocene era 56 to 33.9 million years ago.

  • Arctic shrew 
  • Arizona shrew 
  • Baird’s shrew 
  • Marsh shrew 
  • Cinereus shrew
  • Long-tailed shrew
  • Smoky shrew 
  • Gaspe shrew 
  • Prairie shrew 
  • Pygmy shrew 
  • Pribilof Island shrew 
  • St. Lawrence Island shrew 
  • Southeastern shrew 
  • Mt. Lyell shrew 
  • Merriam’s shrew 
  • Montane shrew
  • Dwarf shrew 
  • Ornate shrew
  • Pacific shrew 
  • Water shrew 
  • Preble’s shrew
  • Fog shrew 
  • Inyo shrew 
  • Trowbridge’s shrew
  • Tundra shrew
  • Barren ground shrew
  • Vagrant shrew
  • Northern short-tailed shrew
  • Southern short-tailed shrew
  • Elliot’s short-tailed shrew
  • Least shrew
  • Desert shrew

Moles – Family Talpidae

There are forty two species of mole worldwide with seven species living in North America. Along with shrews, they are one of the oldest living mammals on Earth.

  • American shrew mole
  • Broad-Footed mole
  • Coast mole
  • Townsend’s mole
  • Hairy-Tailed mole
  • Eastern mole
  • Star-Nosed mole

Order Rodentia

Rodentia is the largest order of mammals with approximately forty percent of all mammals on earth belong to the order. They are a diverse group, with many terrestrial, aquatic, arboreal and fossorial species.

Beaver – Family Apolodontidae

The family Apolodontidae consists of only one species worldwide.

  • Mountain beaver

Squirrel Family -Family Sciuridae

The family Sciuridae is a diverse group and consists of ground squirrels, tree squirrels, chipmunks, marmots and prairie dogs.

Utah prairie dog
  • Alpine chipmunk
  • Yellow-pine chipmunk
  • Gray-footed chipmunk
  • Gray-collared chipmunk
  • Cliff chipmunk
  • Merriam’s chipmunk
  • Least chipmunk
  • California chipmunk
  • Yellow-cheeked chipmunk
  • Palmer’s chipmunk
  • Panamint chipmunk
  • Long-eared chipmunk
  • Colorado chipmunk
  • Red-tailed chipmunk
  • Hopi chipmunk
  • Allen’s chipmunk
  • Siskiyou chipmunk
  • Sonoma chipmunk
  • Lodgepole chipmunk
  • Eastern chipmunk
  • Townsend’s chipmunk
  • Uinta chipmunk
  • Alsaka marmot
  • Hoary marmot
  • Yellow-bellied marmot
  • Woodchuck
  • Olympic marmot
  • Vancouver marmot
  • Harris’s antelope squirrel
  • Texas Antelope squirrrel
  • White-tailed antelope squirrel
  • Nelson’s antelope squirrel
  • Uinta ground squirrel
  • California ground squirrel
  • Belding’s ground squirrel
  • Idaho ground squirrel
  • Merriam’s ground squirrel
  • Columbian ground squirrel
  • Wyoming ground squirrel
  • Franklin’s ground squirrel
  • Golden-mantled ground squirrel
  • Mexican ground squirrel
  • Mohave ground squirrel
  • Piute ground squirrel
  • Arctic ground squirrel
  • Richardson’s ground squirrel
  • Cascade golden-mantled ground squirrel
  • Spotted ground squirrel
  • Round-tailed ground squirre
  • Townsend’s ground squirrel
  • Thirteen-lined ground squirrel
  • Rock squirrel
  • Washington ground squirrel
  • Gunnison’s prairie dog
  • White-tailed prairie dog
  • Black-tailed prairie dog
  • Utah prairie dog
  • Abert’s squirrel
  • Arizona gray squirrel
  • Eastern gray squirrel
  • Western gray squirrel
  • Mexican fox squirrel
  • Eastern fox squirrel
  • Douglas’s squirrel
  • Red squirrel
  • Northern flying squirrel
  • Southern flying squirrel

Gophers – Family Geomyidae

There are approximately thirty five species of gopher living in North and Central America. There are seventeen species living in North America.

Northern Pocket Gopher
  • Botta’s pocket gopher
  • Camas pocket gopher
  • Idaho pocket gopher
  • Western pocket gopher
  • Mountain pocket gopher
  • Northern pocket gopher
  • Townsend’s pocket gopher
  • Southern pocket gopher
  • Desert Pocket gopher
  • Attwater’s pocket gopher
  • Baird’s pocket gopher
  • Plains pocket gopher
  • Jones’s pocket gopher
  • Texas pocket gopher
  • Southeastern pocket gopher
  • Llano pocket gopher
  • Yellow-faced pocket gopher

Pocket Mice and Kangaroo Rats – Family Heteromyidae

Most species of the family Heteromyidae can be found in North America. The family consists of species of pocket mice and kangaroo rats.

Great Basin Pocket Mouse
  • Arizona pocket mouse
  • Bailey’s pocket mouse
  • California pocket mouse
  • Desert pocket mouse
  • Great Basin pocket mouse
  • Hispid pocket mouse
  • Little pocket mouse
  • Long-tailed pocket mouse
  • Merriam’s pocket mouse
  • Mexican spiny pocket mouse
  • Nelson’s pocket mouse
  • Olive-backed pocket mouse
  • Plains pocket mouse
  • Rock pocket mouse
  • San Diego pocket mouse
  • San Joaquin pocket mouse
  • Silky pocket mouse
  • Spiny pocket mouse
  • White-eared pocket mouse
  • Dark kangaroo mouse
  • Pale kangaroo mouse
  • Agile kangaroo rat
  • Banner-tailed kangaroo rat
  • Big-eared kangaroo rat
  • California kangaroo rat
  • Chisel-toothed kangaroo rat
  • Desert kangaroo rat
  • Dulzura kangaroo rat
  • Fresno kangaroo rat
  • Giant kangaroo rat
  • Gulf Coast kangaroo rat
  • Heermann’s kangaroo rat
  • Merriam’s kangaroo rat
  • Narrow-faced kangaroo rat
  • Ord’s kangaroo rat
  • Panamint kangaroo rat
  • Stephen’s kangaroo rat
  • Texas kangaroo rat

Large Rodents – Family Castoridae

Along with the capybara of South America, this family consists of only one species which can be found in North America.

  • American Beaver

Mice, Rats, Voles, Lemmings – Family Muridae

Although the Muridae family consists of more than mice, the latin word Muridae translates as mouse. This family is the largest family of rodents with approximately seven hundred species worldwide.

  • Coues’s rice rat
  • Marsh rice rat
  • Eastern harvest mouse
  • Fulvous harvest mouse
  • Plains harvest mouse
  • Salt Marsh harvest mouse
  • Western harvest mouse
  • Texas mouse
  • Brush mouse
  • California mouse
  • Canyon mouse
  • Cactus mouse
  • Cotton mouse
  • Osgood’s mouse
  • Northwestern deer mouse
  • White-footed mouse
  • Deer mouse
  • Mesquite mouse
  • Northern rock mouse
  • White-ankled mouse
  • Oldfield mouse
  • Pinyon mouse
  • Florida mouse
  • Golden mouse
  • Northern pygmy mouse
  • Mearn’s grasshopper mouse
  • Northern grasshopper mouse
  • Southern grasshopper mouse
  • Arizona cotton rat
  • Tawny-bellied cotton rat
  • Hispid cotton rat
  • Yellow-nosed cotton rat
  • White-throated woodrat
  • Bushy-tailed woodrat
  • Allegheny woodrat
  • Arizona woodrat
  • Desert woodrat
  • Dusky-footed woodrat
  • Eastern woodrat
  • Mexican woodrat
  • Southern Plains woodrat
  • Stephen’s woodrat
  • Beach vole
  • California vole
  • Creeping vole
  • Gray-tailed vole
  • Eastern heather vole
  • Western heather Vole
  • Insular vole
  • Long-tailed vole
  • Meadow vole
  • Mogollon vole
  • Montane vole
  • Prairie vole
  • Northern red-backed vole
  • Southern red-backed vole
  • Western red-backed vole
  • Rock vole
  • Sagebrush vole
  • Singing vole
  • Taiga vole
  • Townsend’s vole
  • Red tree vole
  • Sonoma tree vole
  • Tundra vole
  • Water vole
  • White-footed vole
  • Woodland vole
  • Muskrat
  • Round-tailed muskrat
  • Brown lemming
  • Northern bog lemming
  • Southern bog lemming
  • Collared lemming
  • Northern collared lemming
  • Ungava collared lemming
  • Richardson’s collared lemming

Jumping Mice – Family Dipodidae

There are over fifty species of jumping mice in the family Dipodidae but in North America there are four species.

  • Woodland jumping mouse
  • Meadow jumping mouse
  • Western jumping mouse
  • Pacific jumping mouse

Porcupine – Family Erethizontidae

There are nineteen species of porcupine but only one in North America. They are the second largest rodent after the American Beaver.

  • North American porcupine

Order Lagomorpha

The order of Lagomorpha consists of pikas, rabbits and hares. There are two families in the order, both of which have species in North America.

Pikas – Family Ochotonidae

There are thirty species of pika worldwide and two of these living in North America.

Pika
  • American pika
  • Collared pika

Rabbits, Cottontails and Hares – Family Leporidae

The Leoporidae family consists of rabbits and hares. There are over sixty species worldwide and fifteen of these can be found in North America.

Photo of rabbits
  • Brush rabbit
  • Appalachian cottontail
  • Desert cottontail
  • Eastern cottontail
  • Mountain cottontail
  • New England cottontail
  • Marsh rabbit
  • Pygmy rabbit
  • Swamp rabbit
  • Antelope jackrabbit
  • Black-tailed jackrabbit
  • White-sided jackrabbit
  • White-tailed jackrabbit
  • Alaskan hare
  • Arctic hare
  • Snowshoe hare

Bryan Harding

Bryan has spent his whole life around animals. While loving all animals, Bryan is especially fond of mammals and has studied and worked with them around the world. Not only does Bryan share his knowledge and experience with our readers, but he also serves as owner, editor, and publisher of North American Mammals.

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