One-fourth of our planet is covered with water, with 97% of it being saltwater and 3% being freshwater. The world is mostly covered by oceans, but it also has a significant number of lakes.
Birds, mammals, amphibians, fish and invertebrates.
Many people are surprised to learn that there are more than 100,000 species of plants and animals living in freshwater ecosystems – lakes included!
These habitats can support a wide variety of plant life as well as a large number of vertebrate animal species.
Some common examples include birds (including waterfowl), mammals (including otters and beavers), amphibians (such as frogs and newts), fish (many varieties including bass and trout), plus invertebrates such as insects.
What are some animals that live in lakes?
- Water Snakes
- River Otters
- Painted Turtles
- Aquatic Salamanders
Animals That Live in Lakes
Scientific Name – Nerodia
Diet – Carnivore
primarily in the eastern US, but also in parts of southern Canada.
According to the University of Michigan’s Animal Diversity Web, water snakes like to stay near any significant body of water. They are most commonly found in North America, primarily in the eastern United States but also scattered throughout southern Canada.
Water snakes are mostly non-venomous, although they can bite you as a defense mechanism owing to their aggressive nature.
Water snakes are reptiles that commonly feed on amphibians such as toads, frogs and salamanders. They have a variety of different species, and many of them eat fish as well. There are close to 10 different species of water snakes.
Scientific Name – Ardeidae
Diet – Carnivore
Herons are a type of bird that is easily identifiable. They have long legs, a longer neck, and a bright yellow bill. Almost all of their species live near water in some way or another.
Herons are carnivorous birds that live in wetlands and water. They eat aquatic prey, including amphibians, reptiles, crustaceans, fish, aquatic insects and mollusks.
Herons stand in water and wait for prey, such as a frog or fish, to come within range. They use their long necks to snatch the prey.
Scientific Name – Phoenicopterus ruber
Diet – Omnivore
Flamingos are aquatic birds that live in watery habitats, such as estuarine lagoons or saline and alkaline lakes. These lakes can be near the sea or far inland.
Flamingos are known to feed on small insects, larva, red and blue-green algae, crustaceans, small fish, and mollusks.
Flamingos are migratory birds that move around to find new food and water sources. However, changes in water levels or the climate in their breeding areas can trigger them to relocate. It is also found that flamingos are monogamous, meaning they stay with the same mate forever once they have mating opportunity.
Scientific Name – Lontra canadensis
Diet – Carnivore
River otters are one of six mustelid genera that live in North America. They are members of the family Mustelidae, which includes weasels, minks, badgers, and wolverines.
River otters are carnivorous animals that primarily eat fish as their food. They are found in a variety of water habitats, including lakes, ponds, rivers, and marshes.
They are known for their intelligence, being able to use tools and build dens. These mammals can travel up to 450 yards in a single dive and are excellent swimmers.
Scientific Name – Chrysemys picta
Diet – Omnivore
Painted turtles are a popular pet because they are very docile and have a life expectancy of 35-40 years old.
Painted turtles are fond of spending their days basking in the sun and enjoying a nutritious meal that includes aquatic plants, worms, fish, and insects. They spend at least 5-6 hours a day lounging around on sun decks or in the water.
Painted turtles generally eat while in water, but it has been observed that they do not move their tongues freely when they’re on land. Once the eggs hatch, the babies known as hatchlings are not cared for by their mothers and must survive and be on their own since birth.
Scientific Name – Alligator
Diet – Carnivore
Another animal that inhabits lakes is the alligator. These reptiles are cold-blooded and can survive in alkaline or salty water for a short amount of time, but they would quickly move to rivers, lakes, ponds, streams or swampy areas if they were to live in an ocean.
Alligators have been observed to be eating fruits too! Crocodilians are the only family of reptiles that includes alligators and crocodiles. While both animals belong to this group, alligators exist in salt water while crocodiles primarily live in freshwater ecosystems.
Scientific Name – Anura
Diet – Carnivore
Frogs are found all over the world, and there are over 5,000 different species of them. They live in moist environments such as wetlands and canals, and require moisture in order to survive. Some frogs have special skin areas that help them absorb water more easily.
There are many types of ducks, including the common mallard and the pint-sized drake. Ducks are aquatic birds that live in water environments such as lakes, ponds, and wetlands. However, there is also a group of ducks who live on land but return to water every year to breed.
Many different types of frogs live both in and around bodies of water such as wetlands, ponds or lakes; however there are other frog species which only inhabit grasslands or woodlands (and thus only visit bodies of water for breeding purposes).
Scientific Name – Anas platyrhynchos
Diet – Omnivore
Ducks are a common aquatic animal, living both on land and in water. They are known as waterfowl due to their ability to live both on land and in water, which makes them prevalent around bodies of water.
Some ducks live in salt water, while others live in freshwater habitats. Ducks are known to live up to 20 years and are highly emotional and intelligent birds.
Ducks are omnivorous birds and their diet includes a variety of items, such as small fish, snails, eggs, worms, berries, seeds, weeds and grass. Ducks can poop approximately 96 times per day!
Scientific Name – Castor
Diet – Herbivore
Beavers are one of the largest rodent species in the Northern Hemisphere, and can be found on both land and water. Although they are usually located in their homes built from natural materials, beavers sometimes venture out into other areas to forage for food.
Besides lakes, beavers also inhabit ponds, rivers, swamps, and streams. These semi-aquatic animals are herbivores that eat plant-based food. Their favorite meals include leaves, woody stems, tree bark and cambium (the layer of cells between the bark and the sapwood).
Predators include coyotes, owls, eagles and otters. Beavers usually stay in their dens most of the time to avoid these predators.
Scientific Name – Caudata
Diet – Carnivore
Most salamanders live in water, but some species are terrestrial. Some salamanders have a completely smooth skin while others have a pattern of spots or stripes. Salamanders typically eat insects and other small creatures, but they can also eat fish if they catch it.
The last members of our list of animals that live in lakes are aquatic salamanders. These amphibians resemble lizards and can be found in the Neotropical and Holarctic regions. Mostsalamanders livein water, but some species are terrestrialandhave apatternofspotsorstripes. Salamanderstypicallyeatsinsectsandothersmallcreatures,buttheycanalsoeatfishifthiscatchit
Semi-aquatic salamanders like the ‘bobcat’ and ‘newt’ spend a good part of their lives on land but are able to retreat into water if they encounter danger. The last type, terrestrial salamanders, live completely on land.: There are three types of Salamanders: aquatic (living in water), semi-aquatic (halfway between water and land) and terrestrial (living exclusively on land). Aquatics have hind limbs that have been reduced or eliminated which gives them the appearance of an eel. They have a lateral line organ that helps them ascertain changes in the water pressure. Semi-aquatics like bobcats and newts often spend time on dry ground but can retreat into water if threatened. Terrestrial Salamanders live completely on dry ground so they don’t need to be able to swim in order to survive predators or floods.
In Summary on Lake Animals
Lakes and ponds are created through natural processes such as the ice melting from the mountains or through direct rainwater. They provide a source of freshwater where aquatic animals and plants can thrive, and artificial lakes and ponds are also prevalent in modern society.
Lakes can be home to a variety of animals, but some live there permanently. Fish, amphibians, birds, and insects all commonly inhabit lakes.
Whats a animals that live in a lake?
Many people think of fish when they think of lakes. Some of the most common fish found in lakes are tiny shiners, sunfish, perch, bass, crappie, muskie, walleye, perch, lake trout, pike , eels , catfish , and salmon. Many of these provide food for people.
What animal lives in a lake with the longest name?
The Southeast Asian soldier fly, a native of Thailand, has the longest scientific name of any living organism.
Do animals live in the lake?
Lakes provide drinking water, fishing opportunities, and a place for people to swim or boat.
What is the name of an animal that lives in water?
Aquatic animals can be broadly categorized into two groups: those that live in water and breathe air, and those that live in water and extract oxygen from it through specialised organs called gills. The classification is polyphyletic, as there are many aquatic creatures that inhabit both terrestrial environments and watery worlds.
How many animals are in lake?
Freshwater biomes are home to a large number of plant and animal species. Some common freshwater creatures include amphibians, reptiles, and alligators.
What lives in lakes and ponds?
Many freshwater creatures live in habitats near water. Some of these include snails, worms, turtles, frogs, marsh birds, mollusks, insects such as beetles and flies, and some unusual animals like the river dolphin and diving bell spider. Plants such as algae help clean the water by using their roots to filter out pollution and excess nutrients.
What lives in the Great Lakes?
There are more than 250 species of fish found in the Great Lakes, including Atlantic salmon, bluegill, brook trout, Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, freshwater drum,. lake sturgeon,. lake trout,, lake whitefish,. northern pike. rock bass., walleye., white perch,. yellow perch,, and many others. Native mammals include the black bear,, fox,, elk.. white-tailed deer.. moose.. beaver.. river otter. coyote., gray wolf .. Canada lynx .. and many others. Bird species native to Great Lakes include herring gulls,… whooping cranes,… snowy owls… wood ducks… great blue herons… bald eagles….. piping plovers….. and much more.
Why can fish live in water?
Fish need water to survive. They breathe by taking in water and forcing it out through their gills.
When they feed, they must be able to find food in both fresh and saltwater environments.
The animal kingdom is vast and diverse, with creatures that can be found in every environment on Earth. Today we’ve focused on animals that live in lakes, but there are many more creatures to discover. Next time you’re near a body of water, take some time to see who or what calls it home. Do you have a favorite lake-dwelling creature? Let us know in the comments below!