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Collective nouns for animals & quiz

When you go on holidays with kids, you’ll often get a question like “What’s a group of cows called?” Sometimes you also find the kids know the collective nouns for animals way better than the adults do. 

They say that the collective names for groups of animals date back to medieval times. This might explain why some collective nouns for some animals seem a bit strange, surprising or just plain funny. For example, it’s a business of ferrets and group of ravens is called an unkindness.

This raven is missing his unkindness as he watches the guards at the Tower of London. Credit: Shutterstock

Whether it is a group of mammals, birds or insects, there is a unique collective noun to identify the specific group of animals. Not only is it fun to say certain names for groups of animals, but it is interesting as well. The collective names given to groups of animals can be as unique as the animals themselves and highlight certain traits of that group. For example, a group of skunks is called a stench.

Read more: Call of the wild. Animal encounters around Australia for kids

10 collective nouns for animals you might like

  1. Crocodiles = a bask
  2. Cockatoos = a crackle
  3. Finches = a charm
  4. Giraffes = a tower
  5. Jellyfish = a smack
  6. King parrots = a company
  7. Penguins = a waddle (on land) or a raft (in the water)
  8. Toads = a knot
  9. Whales = a pod, school, or gam
  10. Wombats = a wisdom

And for the Aussies reading this, did you know that there’s no official collective noun for a group of koalas? Apparently that’s because you rarely see them travelling in groups, and their eucalyptus diet leaves them too tired to form meaningful relationships.  What do you think?

there is no collective noun for a group of koalas
Even if there’s no collective noun for a group of koalas, we still think they’re pretty cute! Credit: Shutterstock

Now it’s time to test your knowledge.  How well do you know your collective nouns for these animals?

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More quizes

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