Animals With Claws (Sharp, Long, Curved, Retractable)

Different types of claws are found in thousands of different animals around the world. Many creatures use their claws as their weapons. They use them to dig, climb, grab, pierce, find food and protect themselves from predators. In today’s article, we will talk about animals with claws.

Bears, eagles, owls, sloths, huge armadillos, kangaroos, cats, and many other species are examples of animals with claws. Animal claws have a variety of functions, while some common uses include digging, climbing, defending, and attacking.

In this article, we will look at each type of claw and explain its use in detail.

 Without further ado, let’s meet the animals with claws.

Animals With Claws

Grizzly Bears

Animals With Claws (Sharp, Long, Curved, Retractable)

The first member of our list of animals with claws is the fearsome grizzly bear. Grizzly bears are one of the strongest bear species, and sit at the very top of the food chain, although a large portion of their diet consists of plant-based foods.

Grizzly claws can reach a length of three inches. A grizzly bear’s claws can decapitate a wolf with one swat, but that’s about as awesome as a grizzly bear can get – all their strength is in their paws, not their claws.

Their claws are too sharp and ineffective to break bones. However, they are quite useful for digging, catching fish that are naturally thin and difficult to catch, and browsing logs to eat insects.

Harpy Eagles

Animals With Claws (Sharp, Long, Curved, Retractable)

The harpy eagle (also known as the American harpy eagle or Brazilian harpy eagle) is found mostly in Central America, particularly Panama. These fearsome birds of prey are some of the most powerful birds with equally powerful claws to match.

Its large claws were not designed simply to collect straw or mice for dinner – as most birds of prey are.

Harpy Eagles weigh about 20 pounds and stand 3 feet 11 inches tall (about the size of an average eight-year-old) – can you wrap your mind around how big their talons are? are!

A harpy eagle’s claws can grow up to 5 inches in length – remember a grizzly bear’s average of 5 inches? Now you understand!

A harpy eagle’s claw is strong enough to snatch a monkey from a tree and practically crush the mammal’s spine. This is the most powerful eagle in the new world!


Animals With Claws (Sharp, Long, Curved, Retractable)

Only bats are genuinely flightless mammals. Apart from the fact that they are mammals, they have a lot in common with birds.

These unique mammals have a thin membrane that acts as wings and have as many as two sharp claws on each hand.

Bats can’t perch on trees like other birds because their feet are facing backwards. Instead, they hang upside down from branches when they are inactive – by their claws.

An average bat weighs 3.3 pounds, and to support its weight, the bat needs powerful claws to maintain a firm grip while hanging (at rest).

Its claws can also be used to grab prey but are not strong enough to grab prey from the ground or a tree in flight, as most birds do.


Animals With Claws (Sharp, Long, Curved, Retractable)

The lion, another animal with claws that occupies the highest position in the food chain, makes use of this physical trait for a variety of activities.

They have retractable claws (claws that retract into their claws when not in use) and their claws are more complex than most ungulates.

They have deadly claws on the tips of their toes that are about 1.5 inches long. Typically, lions have five toes in the front and four toes in the back, giving the illusion of a lion in heels.

A lion claw can be compared to a simple kitchen knife. If not sharpened from time to time, it becomes dull.

Apart from providing a strong grip while climbing, the lion’s claws are the main weapon in its arsenal for hunting. So, it takes good care of its weapon by using trees to keep it sharp.

Read Also: Animals with Hands


Animals With Claws (Sharp, Long, Curved, Retractable)

Another big cat having retractable claws that are roughly 4 inches long is the tiger. Their claws are naturally curved for a better grip, just like us humans.

They have five toes on their forelimbs and four toes on their hind limbs, which are made of keratin. However, they are at a disadvantage when it comes to climbing due to their extremely long, curved claws.

The claws are more effective at climbing up trees than down. Still, claw retraction is a major advantage for tigers as they live in the wild.

For a successful stealth animal, a tiger has to retract its claws to avoid crushing vegetation on the forest floor in the process of searching for prey.

Domesticated Cats

Animals With Claws (Sharp, Long, Curved, Retractable)

Even our cute and cuddly domestic cats have retractable claws. Although domesticated, domestic cats belong to the cat family.

But unlike their big brothers in the wild, they have no care and no enthusiasm to attack and eat us.

Domestic cats retract their claws only when they feel threatened, and they are used only for scratching and catching mice and other small creatures.

Most of the time, their paws are usually hidden under their paws when they are around humans. However, cats sharpen their claws from time to time, as do their larger cousins.

Domestic cats have five claws, including one dewclaw on their front feet and four claws on their hind feet.

Giant Armadillos

Animals With Claws (Sharp, Long, Curved, Retractable)

The giant armadillo has extremely long claws that are unable to retract. Longer than the back claws are the front claws.

The third front claw is called the ‘sickle claw’ and is about 8 inches long, about the size of an average human palm.

Giant armadillos have the largest claws of all animals with claws. Their claws are quite sharp, and they use them to dig holes, big enough for their bodies to fit, and find food.

However, they are underutilized when it comes to hunting. Giant armadillos only eat termites, insects and larvae.

Giant Anteaters

Animals With Claws (Sharp, Long, Curved, Retractable)

They may just be ‘anteaters’, but giant anteaters (ant bears) have deadly claws. Giant anteaters are insectivores. When it comes to hunting, the sole use of their claws is digging.

Their 4-inch-long claws are extremely useful for digging into the ground, while their long snouts and tongues are used to scoop up food. A beautiful unique creature of the wild.

They look like bears, and have the boldness and courage that other bears have. So they will use their claws to protect themselves when they are disturbed by their predators or if they feel their territory is threatened.

Read Also: Animals With Hooves


Animals With Claws (Sharp, Long, Curved, Retractable)

Sloths are arboreal animals generally associated with laziness and slow movement. They are found in trees in Central and North America.

Sloths share claws with bats and more. Sloths have curved claws and are usually 4 inches long.

These aquatic animals primarily use their claws to hang upside down when they’re inactive, just like bats do, and they’re good at it. What they are doing is doing very strange things like other animals can do.

There are two different types of sloths: two-clawed sloths and three-clawed sloths. Both species are mostly herbivores who like to consume fruits, vegetables, and occasionally other animals. But occasionally, they will eat lizards and their eggs.


Animals With Claws (Sharp, Long, Curved, Retractable)
Animals With Claws (Sharp, Long, Curved, Retractable)

Another animal with claws that comes from the cat family is the cougar. Cougars have curved claws that can retract.

They will take advantage of their claw adaptations for hunting prey, but are also used for marking territory. To mark its territory, a cougar will stand on its hind legs, dig its claws into a tree, and pull it down.

Cougars barely show their claws in their paw prints except when hunting on rough terrain, and they need their claws for anchoring and growth.

Cougars have a paw print that is about 4 inches long and has retractable claws. Because they live mostly in the high mountains, cougars commonly prey on elk, moose, deer, and wild sheep.

They have no natural enemies but have to fight other large predators in the food chain to secure their kills.


Animals With Claws (Sharp, Long, Curved, Retractable)

Jaguars are similar to leopards and have retractable claws like the rest of the cat family. Because the hunting business in the forest is so saturated, jaguars prefer to eat their prey in trees.

To maximize their kill, jaguars use their powerful claws to grip the bark of the tree while holding prey in their teeth. Isn’t it great?

Jaguar claws are extremely powerful and can grow up to 2 inches in length. In addition to climbing, jaguars use their retractable claws to scent-mark and capture prey.

These big cats are limitless predators. They can go for and kill anything for dinner, no matter what shape or size it is – even larger predators like caimans and tapers.

Polar Bears

The Arctic is home to polar bears, which are carnivorous animals. Which implies that they hunt their prey on treacherous ice.  A hunt on the slippery elements would mean salsa dancing and no food.

Polar bears, therefore, have retractable claws that are used for anchoring and drifting while chasing prey. Polar bear claws are about 3.5 inches long and razor sharp.

However, more often than not, polar bears rely on their sensory abilities rather than their physical ones.

They will wait for the seal to come out of the water to breathe and grab it with their powerful forelimbs. Both ringed and bearded seals are victims of polar bears.

Naturally, polar bears have no natural predators, but other polar bears, wolves, and killer whales kill and eat children when they get the chance.

Read Also: Animals with Fur

Black Bears

Black bears (also known as American black bears) are strong predators that use their paws and claws to hunt medium-sized animals, such as deer antlers and moose calves.

Interestingly, grizzly bears have very different prints from black bears.

Black bears have claws that are an average of 2 inches long. However, their front paws are quite short (1 inch). Regardless of size, their claws are much stronger than grizzly bears.

Black bears use their claws to catch and skin fish, scavenge fallen logs for insects and termites, or climb trees to escape predators.

Their diet consists mainly of vegetables and fruits, but after a while, they will eat insects.


A unique Australian creature, the kangaroo’s claws cannot retract. Their front paws have long curved claws that are used in boxing matches to swipe opponents, be the other males or humans, voluntarily or involuntarily.

However, the scariest claws are found on their hind legs. In particular, the main claw is very long and can rip the guts out of almost any creature with a single kick.

In addition to their harmful purposes, their hind paws serve to provide balance while hopping.

The claws on their front legs are used to grab and pull branches and plants. They are crucial for cleaning and grooming as well.


You thought you met the only animal that could win a kickboxing match – have you tried the cassowary? Well, you better not!

Cassowaries are considered to be the most dangerous flying bird in the world. They can reach a height of 6 feet – an ideal runway model height.

They have three sharp claws on each foot. The toes on the right and middle sides of their feet are about an inch long, while the toe on the left side can reach up to five inches!

Their incredible height, along with their ability to reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, and their biting claws make these running birds one of the scariest creatures you’ll encounter in the wild.

With their powerful kicks and dagger-like claws, cassowaries have a history of attacking and even killing humans. They are not the cute ostrich cousins ​​in the park who need to be fed.

Read Also: Animals with Scales

Golden Eagles

One of North America’s swiftest and most proficient hunters is the golden eagle. Thanks to their sharp and curved arms, these raptors are ruthless.

Golden eagles have three, irreversible helix claws on each foot. A golden eagle’s claw is typically about 2.5 inches long.

They hunt by swooping down from the sky and picking up unsuspecting prey from trees or the forest floor. Not that they can’t hunt ungulates for dinner, but golden eagles like to hunt ground squirrels, mice, and rabbits.

Their claws have a powerful grasping force that effectively clings around prey and can hold them for long periods of time. Their powerful talon claws exert 440 PSI (pounds per square inch) of pressure, six times the strength of an average human grip.

Golden eagles are such fearless birds of prey. They have sometimes been seen fighting bears, wolves and other animals much larger than them.


Animals With Claws (Sharp, Long, Curved, Retractable)

Badgers are members of the Mustelidae family, and like most members of the family, their claws are nonfunctional. There are three claws on each foot, each measuring around 1.4 inches long.

Aside from having long claws, badgers, especially honey badgers, are also brazen and dangerous. Honey badgers would use their claws to open beehives and take all the honey regardless of dozens of stings from the bees.

Lions are their natural predators, but unlike other prey, honey badgers don’t give up so easily – they don’t usually win, but at least they go down fighting to their last breath.

Honey badgers fight dirty and disrespectfully. The first thing they do when cornered by a tiger is go straight for the prize – the tiger’s scrotum.

In addition to using their sharp claws to cause trouble, badgers use their claws to dig holes and find insects.

Great Horned Owls

Animals With Claws (Sharp, Long, Curved, Retractable)

Great horned owls are the most common predatory owls found in North America. These fierce predators usually feed on smaller prey but have been known to take down falcons, ospreys and even other owls.

The flexible claws of great horned owls are similar to human fingers – when they are crouching, grasping tree branches and hunting prey, the outermost claws are curved backwards. But when in flight, three of its four paws will be facing forward while the other paw will be behind.

Their claws can extend up to four inches in length. These claws have a grip force of 300 PSI that can squeeze prey to death in seconds.

Along with attacking, great horned owls also defend themselves against predators by using their razor-sharp claws. Great horned owls are naturally preyed upon by bobcats, badgers, and coyotes.

Read Also: Animals With Patterns

Bald Eagles

Animals With Claws (Sharp, Long, Curved, Retractable)
Animals With Claws (Sharp, Long, Curved, Retractable)

The bald eagle is a different bird with strong feet and claws. These scavenger birds are faster than most birds of the sky and are exceptional hunters in addition to their stealth skills.

A bald eagle’s claws are large enough to cover a man’s fist. Their claws are irreversible. Instead, they are fixed and positioned to make it possible to perch and snatch prey.

Bald eagles have four claws on each foot, one of which is the longest and most backward, called the hallux. A bald eagle’s claws are about 2 inches long.

In addition to hunting, fighting other birds and protecting their territory, bald eagles use their talons for mating dances. A male and female bald eagle will grab one of the other’s talons in the air and spiral down to announce a match.


Meerkats are cute little creatures, especially when they stand upright on their hind legs. But they do not pet cats that can trim their claws.

Meerkats have claws that are only about 1 inch long. They delve into holes with their claws in search of insects and other buried prey.

Their claws are so long that they trap prey in their hands and try to fight off their natural predators such as snakes and eagles.

Also, long claws combined with strong hind legs come in handy when climbing trees.

Meerkats are native to South Africa – who remembers the Lion King movie?


The last member on our list of animals with claws is the koala. These beautiful looking creatures are armed with long and fearsome claws.

They have five claws on their front paws and four claws on their back paws, as one of their hind toes does not have a claw.

Since they are primarily aquatic (spending most of their lives in trees), the claws’ primary function is to climb and grip tree branches.

However, when threatened, koalas will turn these climbing tools into weapons. Behind this beautiful appearance is a solitary animal that can be quite dangerous if threatened or disturbed.

Thank you for reading. We hope you learned something new about these exceptional natural beings today.

If you liked this article, we would like to recommend you similar reading: Animals with Paws

Animals With Claws
Animals With Claws (Sharp, Long, Curved, Retractable)

Title: Animals With Claws (Sharp, Long, Curved, Retractable)

Description: Bears, eagles, owls, sloths, huge armadillos, kangaroos, cats, and many other species are examples of animals with claws. Animal claws have a variety of functions, while some common uses include digging, climbing, defending, and attacking.

Start date: September 22, 2022

Author: Muhammad Ali

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Bears, eagles, owls, sloths, huge armadillos, kangaroos, cats, and many other species are examples of animals with claws. Animal claws have a variety of functions, while some common uses include digging, climbing, defending, and attacking.
In this article, we will look at each type of claw and explain its use in detail.

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