8 of the most fascinating animals in North America

Canada Lynx

These majestic hunters boast snowshoe-like paws and black-tufted ears, stalking snowshoe hares through boreal forests. Though large, they're not big cats, measuring 75-90 cm and weighing 6-14 kg. Their IUCN status is Least Concern.

Gila Monster

The US's only venomous lizard, found in parts of Arizona, California, and Mexico. Despite its fearsome reputation, it's sluggish and rarely attacks humans. Its black and orange stripes, near threatened status, and vulnerability to illegal trade and habitat loss make it unique.

Ringtail

Mistaken for a cat, this clever little fox (its Latin name translates to that) spans from Louisiana to California and Mexico. Its dark fur, fox-like face, and ringed tail are iconic. Interestingly, it has the most concentrated urine of any mammal! 

Thick-billed Parrot

Formerly native to the US but now only found in Mexico, this red and green parrot mimics human laughter. Tragically, it's Endangered with less than 2,800 individuals remaining due to deforestation and climate change.

Arctic Wolf

These white-coated wolves thrive in the remote High Arctic regions of Canada, Alaska, and Greenland, surviving harsh winters without needing to hibernate. Unafraid of humans due to minimal interaction, they're currently Least Concern.

Beaver

North America's largest rodent, known for building dams and creating vital wetlands. They mate for life, swim with webbed feet, and use their large tails for balance and communication. Beavers are often misunderstood but play a crucial role in their ecosystems.

Bison

The continent's largest land animal, reaching 2m tall and weighing up to 900 kg. Once numbering in the millions, their populations were decimated by westward settlers. Now considered Near Threatened, Yellowstone National Park.

Javelina

Also known as peccaries or skunk pigs, these pig-like mammals live in herds in the US Southwest and Mexico. Though not true pigs, they're the closest relatives. Populations thrive in some areas, while others like the Chacoan peccary are Endangered.