List of 10 Herd Animals (With Pictures)

A herd is a group of wild or domestic animals of the same species living together in groups. The main reason herd animals stay together is that grouping increases their chances of survival.

Humans live in groups because they are social creatures. However, this trait is not unique to people, other animals may also prefer to live in groups for their own benefit.

There are all kinds of animals that live in groups, mammals, reptiles and even some species of birds. Different groups of animals may have different names, but the purpose of their gathering is the same.

Today in this article we will read about 10 herd animals.

Examples Of Herd Animals

Elephants

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The first animal on our list of herd animals is the elephant. This giant holds the distinction of being the world’s largest land mammal living between seven and ten.

There are three types: Asian elephant, African bush and African forest. A group of elephants is called a herd, and it consists mainly of females.

In addition to the female adults, there are male juveniles that remain with the rest only until the age of 15. Later, they usually plan to live alone or with two or three other males. They only come close to the group during mating or when guarding a watering hole.

The herd is led by a mother who is the oldest in the group, and when she dies the eldest daughter usually takes over.

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Horses

Horses are herding animals with a standard hierarchical way of life. A typical herd of horses consists of a dominant male, female, and foals.

Horse herds can vary in size from a few members to 25 individuals. In some cases, there may be other subordinate males in the group, but this is not very common.

Males often remain solitary and only approach females for mating purposes. Males show dominance by controlling who comes in and out of the herd.

Typically, the dominant male chases away any animal that threatens their authority and blocks those who want to come inside. The alpha male has breeding rights within the herd and prevents other males from trying to approach his female.

When stallions reach the age of maturity, they are usually removed from the herd, and they form a “bachelor herd” with other horses.

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Deer

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Groups of deer are called herds, and consist of a dominant male, a few females, and their young. You can tell males from females by the presence of horns.

Each herd is led by a female deer, known as a doe. Usually, the most experienced and the biggest doe.

Males, on the other hand, are responsible for protecting the herd from other males who might attack. Usually, the dominant male can breed with every female in the herd. Another male may challenge them, which they resolve by fighting.

Females enjoy better protection within the herd than if they were alone. They share good feeding grounds, and in the event of an attack, they have a better chance of defending themselves together. Young males only stay with the herd until they reach adulthood, then they leave alone.

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American Bison

American bison or simply buffalo are the largest land animals in North America. While the animal was nearly extinct, conservation efforts have helped increase its numbers to around 350,000 bison.

They are social animals that like to travel in groups. A group of buffaloes is called a herd. Buffaloes use their numbers to protect themselves from carnivores. If one of their members is threatened, the other members will act aggressively against their predators.

Bison herds come in two varieties: one has only females and their calves, and the other has just males. Each herd numbers between 2,000 and 3,000 members.

No one in the herd is dominant, so each has equal responsibility for the other animals. Herds only mix when males join females in search of a mate during mating season.

American bison communicate by sound and smell. Also, bison release pheromones that come in handy during mating season as it helps attract a mate.

Antelopes

There are two types of antelopes, one lives mostly in forests and wetlands, while the other lives in savannahs in Africa. A few species are found in Asia.

Antelopes live in herds that usually consist of one male, several females and their young. Typically, they are found in herds of at least ten and as many as fifty animals.

The purpose of the community is to protect animals from predators. The dominant male usually mates with more than one female in the herd, especially if it is small.

However, large herds usually have more than one male to ensure the growth and survival of all animals. They migrate in large groups in search of food and to avoid predators such as lions and cheetahs.

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Zebras

A group of zebras is known as dazzle and is made up of one male, a few females and their young. These family groups usually consist of five to 20 people.

Unlike deer, where the male is the sole leader, the oldest females in the group usually dominate the rest of the group.

Sometimes a small flash can combine to form a large group. This allows members of small subgroups to interact with others who are not in their limelight. This will enable them to better protect each other from predators and help reproduce within groups.

Newly formed herds can number up to 1,000 individuals. These large groups are also known as ‘super herds‘, and occasionally, they mix with other herd animals, such as deer or wildebeest.

Cows

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Cows are domesticated animals found in herds. Many years ago, before humans started domesticating cattle, they were found in the wild, where they traveled in groups of about 30.

Cows are social animals, and in addition to social reasons, they will group together to reduce the risk of attack. This behavior did not change with domestication as they still prefer to move in herds depending on how many animals are available.

Cows in herds have no social structure, so they depend on the animals in the household. They do not challenge any animal who wants to join or leave.

However, it is common to find bulls fighting to challenge each other. This is usually to dominate the herd or during the mating season.

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Wildebeest

Gnus, sometimes known as wildebeest, are fabled African herd animals. A herd of wild beasts is known as the Confusion. The name confusion probably relates to the noise and confusion that occurs when these creatures migrate together.

A herd of wildebeest consists mostly of women and their children. Males usually leave the herd after one year of age. Joining other males to form a bachelor herd. Wildebeests are gregarious and territorial beasts, and apart from their horns, the gnus’ first line of defense is herding.

Every year a huge group of wildebeests (two million) together with zebras and gazelles (700,000) travel 1,200 miles in search of food and water. This long journey is known as The Great Migration, involving various herd species migrating from Tanzania and Kenya.

Giraffes

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A group of giraffes is known as a herd or tower. It’s a fitting name for an animal known to be the tallest in the world. Giraffes are curious animals that live in herds of a few to 20 members, sometimes up to 50.

While they are social animals and like to live together, they are not structured like many animals that live in herds. Animals in the tower come and go as they please, and no animal restricts entry or exit.

Nevertheless, it is common to encounter small groups of around 10 giraffes consisting of only females and their cubs. In such groups, females alternately watch for predators and care for the young. Males may also band together and fight each other for dominance.

However, male giraffes generally lead a nomadic lifestyle and are less social than females. The main reason giraffes live in herds is to protect each other from dangerous predators like lions and hyenas.

However, it is safe to say that giraffes, unlike other large mammals, are the least structured type of herds and do not have such strong bonds with each other.

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Goats

List of 10 Herd Animals (With Pictures)

The final members of our herd animals list are the goats. Goats are grouped together as tribes or trips. The number of wild goats in a herd can vary, from very few individuals to as many as 130 members.

Usually, the ratio within the herd is two to one in favor of female goats. Goats are widely recognized as social creatures, and the leader in any herd is a female goat, known as the queen of the herd.

The queen of the herd is usually the oldest and most aggressive doe. There are a few advantages to the queen goat. He gets a great sleeping spot, as well as a full feeder. Also, the queen of the herd decides when and where to graze.

Final Words On Herd Animals

That concludes our discussion on herd animals, both domestic and wild. Many other animals live in groups not mentioned here because they are not considered herd animals. Some of these include kangaroos, tigers, wolves, and dolphins, such as raccoons, gorillas, seals, and whales, to mention a few.

Animals stay in herds for various reasons, including protection and social needs. Also, with their large numbers, they can protect against most threats in the wild.

In short, animals form groups to increase their chances of survival. Life in the wilderness has no mercy and being surrounded by the same species and living with family members is much safer than living alone.

Thank you for reading. If you like this type of article, I recommend you to read similar – Animals that live in lakes

List of 10 Herd Animals (With Pictures)
List of 10 Herd Animals (With Pictures)

Title: List of 10 Herd Animals (With Pictures)

Description: A herd is a group of wild or domestic animals of the same species living together in groups. The main reason herd animals stay together is that grouping increases their chances of survival.

Start date: January 24, 2023

Author: Muhammad Ali

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Summary

That concludes our discussion on herd animals, both domestic and wild. Many other animals live in groups not mentioned here because they are not considered herd animals. Some of these include kangaroos, tigers, wolves, and dolphins, such as raccoons, gorillas, seals, and whales, to mention a few.
Animals stay in herds for various reasons, including protection and social needs. Also, with their large numbers, they can protect against most threats in the wild.
In short, animals form groups to increase their chances of survival. Life in the wilderness has no mercy and being surrounded by the same species and living with family members is much safer than living alone.

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