Every animal in the world has its own special feature. However, some are more standout than others with their spectacular appearance. Their multicolored coats or feathers are stunning and incomparable. The followings are the top 12 most colorful animals on earth.
1. Lilac-breasted roller
The lilac-breasted roller is one of the most colorful animals in nature. It has plumage that is full of different colors. Its head is green, the chest and throat parts are pale lilac, the belly is blue, and the legs are greenish yellow. Its tail feathers and wings come in turquoise and deep blue colors respectively.
The term roller derives from the motions the birds make when in aerial displays. They can whirl in circles on their back, perform acrobatic skills, and do other moves, especially in the breeding season. To find out more about the mating ritual of lilac-breasted rollers, you may read our guideline.
Lilac-breasted rollers are found in East-southern Africa. The specie is chosen to be Kenya’s and Botswana’s national bird. This beautiful creature is a common migratory bird. In winter, they move to warmer regions.
These birds like to sit on top of trees or poles, where they can watch their prey (lizards, insects, and snails) on the ground clearly. About the nest, they prefer the wide woodlands and savannahs.
Beautiful as it is, the lilac-breasted roller can be an annoyance. It can occasionally lay its eggs in the nests of other birds, and then make the nests theirs.
These are not endangered species, they are classified as “least concern”.
2. Panther chameleon
Panther chameleons are the most colorful animals in the world. Moreover, they are also the best camouflage masters you’ve ever seen. They can change their colors and excellently blend in their surroundings. You may pass by a panther chameleon in nature without recognizing it.
These chameleon species are brilliant green and scarlet with turquoise to deep blue scales. Unlike common belief, chameleons don’t change colors to camouflage. Their colors alter in reaction to their moods (hungry, scared, relaxed, etc). In roughly 20 seconds, they may entirely change hue to suit their emotions.
The species have unique cells beneath their outer body layer. These cells can modify the hue of the body. You can see more about how chameleons can change their colors in the following article.
The panther chameleon gets its name from the patches on its body, which form broad strips that resemble leopard and panther patterns. Thanks to their five toes on each foot, they can grip branches and different surfaces. They can hang from such surfaces in various ways to help them camouflage with the environment.
They are native to Madagascar’s tropical woodlands, but they have also been brought to Mauritius and Reunion’s islands. They reside on forest floors and feed on insects, such as grasshoppers, roaches, crickets, etc. Their conservation status is categorized as “least concern.”
3. Mandarin fish
Mandarin fish is among the most colorful animals in the ocean. This saltwater fish was found in the Pacific Ocean in 1927. It comes in a distinct and vivid appearance that mixes several brilliant hues of orange, blue, yellow, and green. Pink and black dots can be found on some fish.
The wavy patterns on its body even make it more stunning and unique. It is one of a kind creature in the Pacific ocean. To have such colorations like that, mandarin fish have a key called cellular pigment.
Another distinguishing aspect of mandarin fish is its odd head shape. They also make appealing movements, similar to a hummingbird flying.
The fish are carnivores that eat little fish in the environment. You can read our “ 8 Facts about Mandarin Fish” to know more about this creature.
Toucans are the species living in South America. The standout feature of these birds is their 8-inch colorful bill. This bill is usually in orange, red, black, green, yellow, brown, or blue. It can also have multiple colors.
Being big, bus the toucan’s bill is very light. It cannot be used for drilling wood. Instead of that, the toucan uses its bill to keep its body temperature stable in all weather settings.
You can find about 40 different toucan species. Here are two of the most vivid toucan species and the most colorful animals in the world:
– Keel-billed toucan
The keel-billed toucan is found throughout Latin America, and it is the national bird of Belize. It has a distinctive curved bill which is very useful in egg cracking.
Besides the shape, the color of this bill is also a special characteristic of this toucan. It is brilliant green with orange speckles down the edges and a deep crimson finish. Some birds have an orange stripe running from the side to the tip of their bill.
The keel-billed toucan feed primarily on fruits and small lizards. But will seek out other food sources like insects or small creatures when needed.
– Green-billed toucan
The green-billed toucan is also known as the red-breasted toucan. This is because it has a red breast bordered with white feathers and a yellow region. It has a pale green beak.
Not only are these the most colorful animals, but it’s also one of the biggest and longest toucans. It has a sense of humor.
Most monkeys don’t come in colorful coloration, however, the mandrill is an exception. They are, in fact, one of the most colorful animals in the jungle. These biggest monkeys belong to the Old World monkeys and are related to baboons.
Mandrills are notable for their striking colors. Their noses feature deep red and blue grooves. They have bright scarlet lips and red facial marks. On the rear of the animal, you’ll see a rainbow part.
When mandrills are agitated, the colors of these parts will even become bolder, especially if they are in heat. These colors play an important role in their hierarchy community. You may read our article to know the meaning of the colors in mandrills’ bodies.
Mandrills are rare creatures because there are not many mammals that are colorful like that. They are becoming more scarce as a result of habitat loss and hunting for food.
6. California red-sided garter snake
The California red-sided garter snake is the next colorful creature. As the name, the species live in California, but they can also locate in other states of the UK, Mexico, and Canada.
Many people believe that red-sided garter snakes aren’t venomous. However, this’s not true. These species do have venom, but the toxin is too mild to hurt us. You’ll get itching and inflammation if bitten. This toxic level is enough for the red garter snakes to kill their prey like frogs and mice.
Besides small mammals, the snake also feeds on eggs and insects. You may learn more about this colorful snake through our article.
7. Peacock mantis shrimp
Mandarin fish is not the only ocean creature with such beautiful colors. There are many more and the mantis shrimp is one of them. It comes in a brilliant green shell and white legs. The underbelly part has vibrant spots of color, like orange and scarlet.
This species is not only brightly colorful, but it also appears to have the most “colorful eyes” as well. This doesn’t mean that their eyes are colorful, it implies that mantis shrimps can see a full range of colors.
With 12 – 16 photoreceptors, these crustaceans can see 10 times more color than humans. This is understandable because we only have 3 color receptors. They can also see ultraviolet light and polarise light.
Mantis shrimp is aggressive and it is stronger than you might think. It can break shells and even defeat an octopus with its club-like claws. So what makes it so strong like that? You might read our “Mantis shrimp facts” article to find out!
8. Mandarin duck
These are medium-sized Asian ducks coming in different colors. They are usually found in several regions of Russia and Asia, such as China and Korea.
They are the most colorful animals on the planet. They have a red beak, deep blue, green, and purple feathers on the head with white stripes outlines.
The males are more appealing than female mandarin ducks. They have a lavender chest and orange-gold feathers. The duck also has certain distinguishing characteristics, such as kaleidoscopic brown, black, and white feathers on its flanks.
The males woo females with their eye-catching coloring. Mandarin ducks congregate in huge groups. Unlike other birds, they maintain the same relationship throughout their lives.
9. Sunset moth
Despite feeding on white flowers, the sunset moth has richer body colors. And they are among the most colorful species on earth. Their colors are similar to those found in a beautiful sunset. That’s the reason why the term “sunset” appears in their name. Sunset moths are native to Madagascar.
They have huge wings with emerald and black stripes on top and orange and yellow stripes on the underside. In some lighting conditions, these colors might appear shimmering or metallic. The colors are generated by little scales on the tops of the wings.
10. Peacock spiders
Peacock spiders are very little, measuring no more than 0.3 inches. Most are also only a few grams in weight.
It is one of the most colorful spiders on the globe with a combination of the shade of twinkling blue, emerald, oranges, and yellows on its tiny body.
Peacock spiders have a variety of species. One of the more remarkable species is the Sparklemuffin. They feature scarlet and blue bodies along with lines and various patterns. On the face, they have shimmering orange and blue dots.
Male peacock spiders use their multiple glittering colors to attract possible partners. They display their colorful bodies and do an elegant dance, walking back and forth and waving their legs, in the hopes of luring a female.
It is a risky venture that can end disastrously: if the females find it unsatisfied, they consume the males.
11. Dogbane leaf beetle
Next on the list of most colorful animals is dogbane leaf beetles. This insect can be azure, emerald, or orange depending on the lighting and angle from which it is viewed. It has a glossy shell that alters color depending on the light.
It lives throughout North America but prefers to reside east of the Rocky Mountains, where the environment is milder. The dogbane leaf beetle is often found across Illinois.
The insect feeds on grass and other flora that grows wild on the plains. When detects a predator, it releases a terrible smell, which deters them.
12. Fiery-throated hummingbird
Last but not least – the fiery-throated hummingbird. This species has a bright color of blue-green and golden-copper. Its complete color spectrum is only viewable from certain angles.
Those are the top 12 most colorful animals in the world. Each of them is beautiful and unique in its own way. In your opinion, which animal is the most colorful? Let us know in the comment below!