Apart from this website, there does not seem to be any comprehensive list of images of extant animal species anywhere on the internet. There are lists of species and lists of photos, but not both together. For reptiles, amphibians and fishes there are more complete lists, but there are several large gaps in the number of images. Birds on the other hand are better served with images, but not all together in one site.
Scientists differ as to the number of extant animal species there are on the planet, so I have made lists compiled from several sources, and found 5,427 mammals (of which 1,118 are bats), 9,139 reptiles, 9,564 birds, 7,119 amphibians and no fewer than 32,839 fishes. The purpose of this website is to put in one place an image of as many of these species as can be found on the internet.
In doing this we have to take on trust the identification of the species by the photographer (or by the website that published them), so it is wise to treat them with a certain amount of caution. Additionally many of the photos on the internet are copyrighted in some way, so I have just presented a thumbnail 60 pixels high.
The main sources for the list of mammals are "Mammal Species of the World" (MSW) maintained by the Smithsonian, The "Animal Diversity Web" (ADW) maintained by the University of Michigan and of course Wikipedia. For reptiles the most authoritative source is "The Reptile Database" (RDB), now maintained in the Czech Republic. For birds I have used the Wikipedia bird list (WBL) which is constantly being kept up to date. For amphibians I have used "Amphibiaweb" (AMP), which appears to be the most authoritative (although for common or "vernacular" names Wikispecies is more thorough).
Fishes are a great deal more complicated. Most of them (31,503 in my list) are classed as Actinopterygii or Ray-finned fishes, but there are 1,211 Cartilaginous fishes classed as Condrichthyes (mostly sharks and rays), 8 Lobe-finned fishes classed as Sarcopterygii (lungfishes and coelacanths) and the 113 very primitive Jawless fishes, hagfishes and lampreys, which can be classed as Cyclostomata. I have used "Fishbase" as my main source (FBS), where the only weaknesses appear to be some strange anomalies and gaps in the lists of common names.
I have ignored most of the sub-divisions beloved of taxonomists, such as sub-families, clades, tribes etc - I have just listed the species alphabetically by Order, Family, Genus and Species. (This means, among other things, that the poor old aardvark comes last instead of first in the list of mammals). The exception to this is the order Squamata of reptiles, which I have split into Amphisbaenia (Worm Lizards), Sauria (Lizards) and Serpentes (Snakes).
There are many sources for the images themselves, and also many museums, zoos and specialized societies maintain their own lists of images. There does not seem to be a single source - maybe this website fills a small gap.
The main groups of animals are:
The Orders and families on this website are:
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