World Facts

10 Cuban Animals

A list of animals that are native to Cuba including the spinner dolphin, Cuban finch, and Cuban treefrog.

Cuba is a nation that is situated in the Caribbean at the point of convergence of the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico. The nation is endowed with a wide variety of wildlife species including 17,801 known animal species, 270 bacteria species, 707 chromista species, 5,844 species of fungi (lichen included), 1,440 protozoa, as well as 9,107 plant species. Some of the animal species in the nation include the likes of the Cuban treefrog, the spinner dolphin, the Cuban ground iguana, and many more.

10. Cuban Ground Iguana

#10 Cuban Ground Iguana

The Cuban ground Iguana, scientific name Cyclura nubila, is a species that is currently categorized as vulnerable. Among its genus, Cyclura, this iguana is the largest. Regarding size, this iguana has the potential of weighing up to 15 pounds and have a length of between 4 and 5 feet. Their color can be either brown or dark gray with a prominent banding. They have a lifespan of about 15 years and have a very pleasant behavior, which makes them popular among people who like pets. In their habitats, they enjoy climbing trees and darting on rock formations.

9. Land Crab

#9 Land Crab

Land crabs refer to any terrestrial crabs of the family Gecarcinidae. These crabs usually have square bodies and go back to the sea when they are adults. Their diet includes both plants and animals. Concerning their habitats, the crabs prefer mangrove thickets, fields, and swamps. Across the carapace, the adult members average four inches wide and have an average weight of about 18 ounces.

8. Cuban Crocodile

The Cuban crocodile, scientific name Crocodilius rhombifer, is a small species that is capable of growing up to around 16 feet in length. Found only in Cuba, the reptiles average between 150 and 180 pounds in weight while average lengths range between 6.9 and 7.5 feet. Once existing in high numbers, the animal has been hunted almost to extinction by people who want its meat and skin. Of all the New World Crocodiles, the Cuban crocodile is the most endangered. Interbreeding with the American Crocodile is also threatening its existence since the species is being polluted by the hybrids. Their lifespan is between 50 and 70 years.

7. Cuban Finch

#7 Cuban Finch

Also known as the Cuban grassquit, the finch is native to Cuba, the Caicos Islands, and the Bahamas. The small birds prefer habitats in areas where there are shrub-lands and tropical forests. The birds are capable of growing up to 3.5 inches in length. Like the Cuban trogon, this bird does not do too well in captivity. However, experienced breeders are able to breed them in captivity with great care. They are aggressive birds that are capable of killing members of their own species although the level of aggression is varied. The diet includes things like seeds, leaves, and other foods.

6. Cuban Treefrog

#6 Cuban Treefrog

Widespread in Cuba and with the scientific name Osteopilus septentrionalis, the Cuban treefrog is the largest of its kind in North America. The frog prefers to live in habitats that are moist and close to houses or trees. One of the most interesting things about this frog is its strange diet. The frog will eat almost anything that it can find, including other frogs, lizards, and toads. For this reason, they are considered a destructive invasive species. Seeing them during the day is difficult because they are nocturnal. Their lengths average between 3 and 5.5 inches.

5. Cuban Solenodon

The Cuban solenodon is a small animal that is currently extremely endangered. In fact, due to their small numbers, they were once thought to be extinct until a member of the species was caught back in 2003. The animals resemble shrews in physical appearance. Over millions of years, the primitive insectivores have had very little going on in the way of evolution. The lack of evolution is probably because the animal is highly specialized in killing its prey through the use of its potent paralyzing venom. The low populations are due to non-native predators such as cats and dogs.

4. Desmarest's Hutia

#4 Desmarest's Hutia

Also known as the Cuban Hutia, the Desmarest's hutia is the largest widespread mammal in the nation and can grow up to 24 inches in length. These rodents are spread all over Cuba and have been around for thousands of years. Part of the reason is that they do not have a lot of opposition from other larger mammals. Of the 25 species of this rodent identified, there are studies suggesting that only seven are still around with the rest being extinct. The mammals are generally shy and prefer living in pairs in the leafy canopies or in holes in the ground or trees.

3. Cuban Tody

#3 Cuban Tody

This small bird is native to Cuba and nearby islands. On average, they measure about 4.3 inches in length and have a size of about 2.1 ounces. Some of the distinguishing features include a red throat, blue ear patch, pink sides, and yellow lores. The animals often stay in pairs and feed mainly on insects although other animals such as lizards and spiders may also be eaten.

2. Spinner Dolphin

#2 Spinner Dolphin

This dolphin is relatively small and is mostly known for its acrobatic antiques. Adults average between 50 and 92 inches while the average weight ranges between 50 and 174 pounds. The fish have three-way color patterns with a dark gray dorsal area, light grey sides, while the underside is white or pale gray. Most of them prefer to rest during the day and feed at dusk. Some of them do not go to rest in bays.

1. Cuban Trogon

#1 Cuban Trogon

The diminutive Cuban trogon is unique because it is the nation’s national bird. While it is unclear why this is the case, most people believe it is because the bird’s colors of blue, red, and white resemble those on the national flag of Cuba. Another theory is that it was chosen because it does not survive in captivity, which may be representative of the love of freedom by Cubans. The habitat of this bird is mainly characterized by woodlands with nesting done in thick and dense thickets. The crown is deep blue, their chests are white, while the lower half of the body is red.

More in World Facts