The Top 10 Beloved Animals of Texas

Kyryl Gorlov/Getty

Beyond rodeos and tumbleweeds lies a wilder Texas. The Lone Star State’s diverse habitat provides a haven for a wide variety of wildlife, making it an excellent place for animal lovers to explore and appreciate the wonders of nature. Discover Texas’ captivating creatures, from Longhorns to armadillos. See their unique adaptations and crucial role in the ecosystem.

Texas Longhorn


The Texas Longhorn isn’t just a symbol of the state; it’s a living legend. These majestic cattle boast the longest horns of any breed, sometimes reaching over 8 feet! Originally descended from Spanish cattle, they adapted to the harsh Texan landscape, becoming known for their resilience and strength. Today, Longhorns are prized for their iconic appearance, historical significance, and lean, flavorful meat.



The nine-banded armadillo is the only mammal in North America with a bony shell. With their armor-like plates, these unique creatures are easily recognizable throughout Texas. Armadillos are insectivores, meaning they primarily eat insects.

White-Tailed Deer

Gunther Fraulob/Getty

With the most White-tailed Deer of any US state, they’re practically synonymous with the Texas landscape. Spotting them grazing in fields or bounding through forests is a quintessential Texan experience. Their graceful movements, impressive antlers, and elegant presence make them a joy to behold. 



Found in a variety of habitats across Texas, coyotes are intelligent and adaptable animals. Even though they are often seen as predators, coyotes help control rodent populations by controlling their numbers.

Texas Horned Lizard

KJ Sullivan/Getty

These reptiles thrive in the state’s dry regions, perfectly adapted to the harsh conditions. Their flattened bodies absorb heat efficiently, and their diet of ants helps control insect populations. But don’t let its comical “horns” or humble diet fool you! This aptly named lizard is a defensive powerhouse. When threatened, it inflates its spiny body and squirts blood from its eyes to deter predators.

American Alligator

Alex Pankratov/Getty

Lurking in the East Texas swamps and marshes, these scaly giants are the top predators in their ecosystem. They keep prey populations like fish, turtles, and small mammals in check, and their presence usually signifies a healthy wetland ecosystem.



Don’t be duped by their adorable bobbed tails; bobcats are Texas’ top feline predators. From dense forests to brush country, they thrive across diverse Texan habitats. But spotting a bobcat in the wild is a rare treat. These shy and solitary cats are masters of camouflage and stealth, making them incredibly successful hunters of rabbits, rodents, and birds.

Wild Boar

Oleg Kovtun/Getty

The Wild Boar is an interesting case in Texas. Introduced for hunting purposes, these large, aggressive mammals have become an ecological problem. Their destructive foraging habits damage property, crops, and native ecosystems. 



These wild horses descending from the horses brought to North America by Spanish colonists symbolize Texan independence and resilience. Their herds roam freely across the state, from deserts to grasslands. Texans admire their strength and spirit but also recognize the need for responsible management to protect both the horses and the environment.

Greater Roadrunner

Daniel Swaim/Getty

A staple in the state’s southern half, this long-legged wonder can reach high speeds on the ground — up to 20 mph. Unlike most birds, Roadrunners spend most of their time on the ground, using their long legs and sharp eyesight to hunt insects, lizards, and even small snakes. Look for the distinctive spiky blue crest on the Roadrunner’s head to identify them. 


Gerald DeBoer/Getty

Javelina, or collared peccary, are Texas’ quirky residents. These pig-like creatures with prominent tusks add an exotic touch to the landscape. Locals admire them for their unique look and role in the ecosystem, but their fondness comes with caution — Javelina can be destructive to property and crops, making them unwelcome visitors at times.

Black-tailed Jackrabbit


A Texas favorite, these speedy fellas are the largest rabbits in North America and a common sight across the state. Texans admire their impressive jumping skills and fascinating zig-zag escapes from predators. Black-tailed Jackrabbits are more than just cute; they play an important ecological role, grazing on vegetation and serving as prey for various animals. 

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake


The Western Diamondback Rattlesnake isn’t exactly “popular” in Texas. It’s a common and sometimes an unwelcome guest due to its venomous bite. However, they are a vital part of the Texas ecosystem, controlling rodent populations. Texans respect their power and have a healthy dose of caution, but their presence signifies a healthy, balanced environment.

Blue Bunting

Banu R/Getty

Texas welcomes the Blue Bunting, a vibrant songbird, each spring and summer. Birding enthusiasts adore their dazzling blue plumage and sweet melodies. As seasonal visitors, they bring a touch of migratory magic and a splash of color to the state’s grasslands and prairies.


Leave a Comment