"Look at that cute baby dog!" is not something you hear very often. There's nothing technically wrong with it, of course, but English already offers a shorter, more familiar and more evocative term for such a creature: a puppy.

Most of us can probably think of several other well-known examples — baby cats are kittens, baby cows are calves, baby bears are cubs, baby deer are fawns and baby porcupines are ... um ... what is a baby porcupine called?

Beyond a few dozen iconic species, many juvenile animals leave the casual observer fumbling for the right word. Sometimes it's just a matter of choosing from a list of common terms — like kit, cub, pup, calf and chick — but other times the official name for a baby animal turns out to be surprisingly specific and obscure.

A baby porcupine, for instance, is called a "porcupette." (And yes, it's cute.)

Below is a list of lesser-known names for baby animals, including a few of the "kit or cub" variety as well as more esoteric monikers, from porcupette to pluteus to puggle:

Mammals and marsupials

baby hare, or leveret Baby hares are called leverets, while baby rabbits are kittens, kits or bunnies. (Photo: Vlad Sokolovsky/Shutterstock)

A variety of mammalian babies are known as cubs, kits, pups or whelps, especially in carnivorous or omnivorous species. Many young plant-eating ungulates, meanwhile, go by names like fawn or calf, although the latter term is also used for marine mammals like dolphins, manatees and whales.

We'll list a few of those here, focusing on less famous examples, along with even more distinctive names for other baby mammals, marsupials and monotremes:

  • Aardvark: cub or calf
  • Alpaca, llama, guanaco or vicuña: cria
  • Anteater: pup
  • Ape: infant
  • Bat: pup
  • Beaver: kitten or kit
  • Binturong: pup or kitten
  • Boar: shoat, boarlet or piglet
  • Coyote: pup or whelp
  • Echidna: puggle

baby echidna, or puggle Baby echidnas are known as 'puggles,' as are other young monotremes like platypuses. (Photo: Almondd/Shutterstock)

  • Fox: pup, cub or kit
  • Goat: kid
  • Hare: leveret
  • Hedgehog: piglet or pup
  • Hippopotamus: calf
  • Horse: foal, colt (male) or filly (female)
  • Kangaroo: joey
  • Mole: pup
  • Monkey: infant
  • Mouse: pup or pinky
  • Platypus: puggle
  • Porcupine: porcupette

  • Pronghorn: fawn
  • Opossum: joey
  • Otter: pup or whelp
  • Rabbit: kitten, kit or bunny
  • Raccoon: cub or kit
  • Rhinoceros: calf
  • Seal: pup
  • Sheep: lamb
  • Skunk: kitten or kit
  • Squirrel: pup, kitten or kit
  • Walrus: cub or pup
  • Wolf: cub, pup or whelp

Birds

falcon chicks, or eyas The chicks of falcons and hawks are known as 'eyas.' (Photo: Maksimilian/Shutterstock)

Young birds are broadly known as chicks, a general term that applies to any bird. There are also more specific words for various stages of a chick's development, though — a hatchling is a bird that recently hatched, a nestling is a one that isn't ready to leave the nest, and a fledgling is one that's newly ready for flight.

You can't go wrong calling any young bird a chick, but if you'd like to be as precise as possible, here are a few other terms for particular types of chicks:

  • Dove or pigeon: squab or squeaker
  • Duck: duckling
  • Eagle: eaglet
  • Falcon or hawk: eyas
  • Goose: gosling
  • Guineafowl: keet
  • Owl: owlet
  • Peafowl: peachick
  • Puffin: puffling
  • Swan: cygnet or flapper
  • Turkey: poult, jake (male) or jenny (female)

Reptiles and amphibians

red eft, eastern newt An 'eft' is the terrestrial juvenile stage of salamanders known as newts. (Photo: Dave Huth/Flickr)

As with birds and other egg-laying animals, newborn reptiles and amphibians are given the default label of hatchling. They don't have nearly as many specific baby names as birds or mammals, although there are a few notable standouts:

  • Frog or toad: tadpole or polliwog
  • Newt: eft
  • Snake: snakelet

Fish

Atlantic salmon parr Atlantic salmon parr emerge from a stream bed in Maine. (Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Young fish tend to go through several developmental stages, from eggs to larvae to juveniles. Once those juveniles are able to feed themselves, instead of relying on a yolk-sac for nutrition, they are commonly referred to as "fry." And once those fry have grown scales and functional fins, they're known as "fingerlings," so named because they're often roughly the size of a human finger.

Beyond those general terms, here are some narrower names for fish offspring:

  • Cod: codling
  • Eel: leptocephalus (larva), elver (juvenile)
  • Salmon or trout: alevin (before fry), parr (between fry and smolt), smolt
  • Shark: pup

Invertebrates

spiderlings Baby spiders, known as spiderlings, look like tiny adult spiders once they hatch. (Photo: Eoin J. Byrne/Shutterstock)

This is a wide-ranging category that includes a motley crew of animals like insects, arachnids, echinoderms and mollusks. These creatures begin life as eggs, followed by other broad stages such as larvae, pupae or nymphs. Some also have unique names for their immature stages, like these:

  • Ant: antling
  • Jellyfish: ephyra
  • Mosquito: wriggler
  • Mussel: glochidium
  • Oyster: spat
  • Sea urchin: pluteus
  • Spider: spiderling
59 endearing names for baby animals
From keets and codlings to porcupettes and puggles, many animals have oddly specific — and often adorable — names as babies.