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The 20 Most Strikingly Beautiful Animal Photos You Need to See

Updated: Jun. 04, 2021

You won't believe some of these actually exist.

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Close up of yellow-banded poison arrow frog (also known as bumblebee poison frog) against black background
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You’ll barely believe your eyes

Dolphins and sea dragons and birds, oh my! You may think you have seen it all, but there are some pretty weird animals out there. The animal kingdom is huge with so many species to see and learn about. You certainly may have gushed over all the cute animals and the baby animals, but just wait until you see what beautiful animals we have in store.

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Secretary Bird, Western Cape, South Africa
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Secretary bird

Maybe she’s born with it? Maybelline could never bring you eyelashes like these. But don’t let their beauty fool you. These birds of prey have an incredibly strong body, with a wingspan of nearly seven feet.

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Portrait of Arctic Fox
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Arctic fox

While you sit and marvel at the Arctic fox’s luscious fur, you should know that it actually serves a greater purpose than just being beautiful. The thickness of the fur helps the fox survive the frigid temperatures and the white color helps it blend in with the snow in order to hide from predators.

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Mandarin dragonet (Synchiropus Picturatos)
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Mandarinfish are usually found swimming in the Pacific between Japan and Australia, but this picture may be as close as you ever get to these beautiful animals. These fish are stinky. Since Mandarinfish don’t have any scales to protect them from predators, they are protected with poisonous spines and caked in a copious amount of smelly mucus.

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colorful panther chameleon on a branch
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Panther chameleons

The gorgeous colors on panther chameleons become even more astonishing once you recall that they can change them in an instant. Chameleons change color in order to communicate, express emotion, and blend in with their natural habitat to protect themselves from predators.

RELATED: Hilarious Farm Animals

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Green Headed Tanager standing on a stick
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Green-headed tanager

Look at this beauty! Native to Brazil, green-headed tanagers blend right into the forest environment with their green, blue, and black feathers. They also like to stick with their clique, so you’ll likely see these guys in small groups.

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Sunset moth (Urania riphaeus) on leaves in Madagascar

Sunset moth

Solely residing on the island of Madagascar, the sunset moth is known for its vibrant, rainbow wings. While we humans will gawk at its beauty, the beautiful colors indicate to hunters that they are toxic.

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Glasswinged butterfly in butterfly house
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Glass-winged butterfly

You can probably see where this butterfly gets its name. The transparent wings allow the glass-winged butterfly to camouflage and protect itself from predators.

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Close up of Leafy Sea Dragon
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Leafy sea dragon

Residing in the waters off the coast of east and south Australia, the leafy sea dragon is closely related to seahorses and pipefish. But they’ll have you doing a double take as these guys look more like seaweed than fish.

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Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) male leaving nest after feeding chicks
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Resplendent quetzal

Both male and female quetzals share the striking animated colors, but it’s the male birds that grow the train of twin feathers. These trains can be up to three feet long during mating season in order to attract the females.

RELATED: Cute Alpaca Photos

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California Red Sided Garter Snake slithering in sand
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California red-sided garter snake

While snakes may be unappealing to many people, you have to admit that these guys have absolutely beautiful skin. These snakes like to slither in marshlands, shallow water, and dunes. Although they aren’t considered dangerous to humans, they do have toxins in their saliva that may cause an unpleasant reaction.

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Bottlenose dolphin jumping in the air
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We can’t have a list of the most beautiful animals without including the majestic dolphin. They are extremely acrobatic and can leap over 25 feet out of the water as you may already know. Not to mention they are unbelievably intelligent, generally considered to come in second after humans.

RELATED: Smartest Animal Species

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A Loch's Chromodoris (Chromodoris lochi)
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Loch’s chromodoris

Not all sea slugs are created equal, and this chromodoris proves it. These little beauties are vividly decorated with colors that deter predators as they move along reefs and feed on sponges.

RELATED: Most Colorful Animals of the Ocean

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Lilac Breasted Roller standing on branch
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Lilac-breasted roller

Aside from its lilac chest, this roller is identified by its disproportionately large head. They are typically found in open woodland areas or savannas in pairs as they watch for prey.

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Black panther sitting on a log while looking at the camera
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Black panther

Arguably, all big cats are jaw-droppingly picturesque, but the panther is especially so. Interestingly, the panther is not a distinct species, but is just a general name used to identify any big cat with black fur.

RELATED: Adorable Puppy Pictures

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African Mandrill family (Mandrillus sphinx), father caressing mother, baby suckling breast.
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Ah, the circle of life. You may recognize this primate from The Lion King, holding up baby Simba for all the animals to see. Aside from your TV screen, you’ll find these monkeys in tropical rainforests in large groups munching on fruits and insects.

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Cute Fluffy Red Panda sitting in tree during the winter
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Red panda

Beautiful and also adorable, red pandas can be found showing off their acrobatic skills high up in the trees. Their fluffy tail is used mostly for balance and as a blanket to cover themselves in the winter.

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Black stallion portrait outside with colorful autumn leaves in background
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Where should we even start with this one? The long, muscular legs? The silky mane? The smooth fur? Although a stallion is a male horse, the word is also used to describe someone who has breathtaking qualities. Now you can see why!

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close up of Siberian Husky in the snow
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Siberian husky

There could be many, if not all, dog breeds on this list for various reasons, but the Siberian husky’s eyes really take the cake for beauty. Their eyes can either be an ice blue or a deep brown but striking either way. Some of them may even have one of each.

RELATED: Adorable Husky Pictures

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poison dart frog Ranitomeya ventrimaculata small tropical amphibian kept in rain forest terrarium
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Poison dart frogs

At only one inch long, these cuties come in a wide array of colors and leap around South American rainforests. But don’t be fooled by their size! If you see one of these beautiful animals, keep your distance as one tiny frog can have enough poison to kill ten adult men.

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Close-Up Of Orchid Mantis On Yellow Flowers Blooming Outdoors
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Orchid mantis

Imagine seeing a beautiful pink orchid flower and realizing that it’s actually a praying mantis. This is not an uncommon mistake as these females have evolved to resemble the flower since they typically hunt for pollinating bugs. Keep the animal love going and check out these adorable animal photos that will make you say “awww.”