list of 20 animals with keratin (with pictures)

list of 20 animals with keratin

Keratin is the magic protein, and it can be found in just about any living animal. The animals on display below have all earned their spot on this list because of their ability to harness the Keratin protein to suit their needs.

Within the kingdom of animals, you can evolve and survive or remain the same and perish.

There is no room for anything else but who among this list can call themselves the champion of using Keratin in a beneficial way?

Well, you must now read on and figure it out yourself.

This article is meant to explore all the various ways that animals use Keratin.

Wild animals with Keratin:

Horseshoe crab

horseshoe crab, marine life, ocean-1869338.jpg

Horseshoe Crabs have been around for more than 300 million years. The secret to their resilience?

The hard keratin shell that adorns their back is probably a good reason.

Their design has changed very little throughout their time on Earth, and the reason may be that they have nailed down survival to a tee. They no longer need to keep innovating.

Horseshoe crabs are world-famous for their alien appearance and for having blue-colored blood. That is truly astonishing and very hard to believe until you see it for yourself.

Mountain gorilla

mountain gorilla, gorilla, africa-416772.jpg

Mountain Gorillas have such destructive strength that they could literally rip you apart limb from limb. The tune “rip and tear” can best describe these titans of the jungle mountains.

Often, the pack leaders will have a silver patch on their lower backs. This silver patch represents their seniority and longevity, it is also evidence
of their fighting experience. Keratin fuels their muscle fibers, making them easy to grow to ridiculous proportions.

Mountain gorillas scare the life out of anyone in their vicinity, beating their chest.


keel billed toucan, costa rica, bird-1021048.jpg

Toucans aren’t just for use as a mascot for a cereal brand, these gorgeous birds can thank keratin for their defining feature. The keratin helps build the outer shell of their beak; this is why it has such a bright and vibrant color. They use their long beaks to crush nuts and other seeds; they are not to be taken for a poor defenseless avian.

Toucans have strong long beaks. A beautiful ornament that is made of Keratin, a living jewel.


pygmy sloth, sloth, bradypus pygmaeus-62869.jpg

Sloths, more commonly known as three-toed sloths, spend most of their time gripping a tree with their keratin claws. The only time that a sloth will come down to Earth is when they have to defecate.

They are safe up in the trees, and they know it; this is why the strength of their claws is so revered. The keratin is the sole reason for having such herculean strength. These claws make it easy for them to grip tightly onto the trees.

Sloths may be slow, but they have also adapted long arms to aid them as they live amongst the trees.


indri, lemur, babakoto-7327950.jpg

Indris have an icon appearance, a black face surrounded by a white mane of hair. What we get is a cross between an eye-eye and a tamarin.

Know for having one of the loudest calls in the jungle; these noisy neighbors aren’t afraid to disrupt everyone around them in pursuit of a mate. A nasty behavior that desperate humans no doubt inherited from these primates. Oh yeah, Keratin makes up their nails and claws.

Indris are nocturnal at times to avoid certain death from dangerous predators.

Aldabra giant tortoise

aldabra tortoise, giant tortoise, tortoise-4364580.jpg

The name says it all, the giant tortoise from the island of Aldabra hauls around its home on its back. That entire massive shell that can weigh dozens of pounds is made up entirely of keratin.

The super protein keratin sprouts when the tortoise is still in the egg. Once the egg hatches, the shell has been fully formed but will continue to grow with the turtle through the years.

This giant tortoise has a massive shell of keratin; they are cold-blooded.


grey crowned cranes, birds, cranes-540657.jpg

If you are searching for the keratin on the slender body of the elegant crane, then you won’t have to look for long. You can probably guess why. That long beak is used to reach the tastiest fish at the bottom of the lake in the environments where it dwells.

But it doesn’t end there because the category of animals with keratin is such an expansive grouping that you could also include the cranes’ long legs and long talons into the mix.

Cranes use keratin to make their long beaks.


animal, mandrill, primate-396289.jpg

Mandrills have adapted to have long claws and, surprisingly, even longer faces. Both are used by sucking the nectar out of the fruits it picks.

It doesn’t end there because Mandrills have special facial markings tailor-made for sending messages to other animals, “stay out of my territory”. They are one of the only primates that can run forwards, backward, and even side to side.

The Mandrills appear to have war paint drawn on their faces; they are aggressive.

Strange animals with Keratin:


channel catfish, river, lake-86584.jpg

Catfishes are another animal that has a very obvious feature made from keratin. Of course, it should go without saying that their keratin feature is the whiskers on their face.

They adapted these whiskers to be multi-functional. It can be used to lure curious prey into their layer, where they will be ripped apart brutally by the catfish’s
dangerous maw.

Catfish also use their whiskers to communicate with the fish and sea life near them. A clear and impactful way of saying “stay away”.

Tasmanian devil

tasmanian devil, marsupial, animal-6493400.jpg

When you look at a Tasmanian Devil, do you think to yourself, “world-class vicious and dangerous hunter?”.

If you said yes, you would be right and should pat yourself on the back because there is nothing about their physical appearance that could be considered useful for killing.

But guess what? Their keratin-made teeth and claws are perfectly suited to take chunks out of rivals.

Tasmanian Devils have also used keratin to develop long claws.


rodent, chinchilla, mouse-3785819.jpg

Much like the Toucans that started this incredible list of amazing animals with keratin, the chinchilla’s keratin can be found in its teeth. Its tiny little claws are primarily useful for digging deep into the environment.

Their fur is surprisingly thick, which keeps the Chinchilla warm during those sweltering seasons when the sun cooks everything it sees, and darkness falls slower and remains for short amounts of time.

Chinchillas are incredible bathers due to using their long keratin claws to rip up the dirt and splash it on themselves.


jackal, south africa, nature-1648765.jpg

Jackals are the masters of keratin, which should be the first line on their biography, forever engraved next to their name whenever a Jackal gets brought up at any place or time.

These wandering monsters have had keratin claws and teeth for the last hundred years; do you think any other animal could measure up to these creatures? Not when it comes to keratin use.

Jackals have used keratin for their long teeth to become dangerous hunters. Their teeth act as their primary weapon.


leopard, panther, animal-3229940.jpg

Panthers don’t need to be researched extensively for you to figure out where their keratin lies. A panther’s keratin is in its claws. A panther uses its long claws to run around and scale up the sides of the trees in the jungle, where it searches for birds and other tasty creatures.

Panthers use keratin greatly thanks to their claws and nothing much else. That is their one keratin, a special gift that they have developed.

Golden lion tamarin

monkey, tamarind, primate-3732957.jpg

A Golden Lion Tamarins is known worldwide for its impeccable mane and look. Wow, these creatures tend to themselves with the care and precision most hair salons wish they could reach. That’s right, Golden Lion Tamarins have adapted the ability to style their mane.

Most surprising is that a simple animal like this tamarin is better at maintaining its hygiene than ninety-nine point nine percent of the United States. This is why this tamarin is considered beautiful.

Golden Lion Tamarins are world famous for their long wonderful mane, their defining trait.


hedgehog, animal, hoglet-1759027.jpg

Upon reading the name Hedgehog, you instantly thought about its sharp quills that will prick any pricks that dare disturb this wonderful creature of the forest.

But that is not the only reason why Hedgehogs are on this list of animals with keratin. Hedgehogs have adapted to having a distinct set of claws that turn them into great diggers.

Hedgehogs are usually easily frightened.

Why do so many animals have Keratin?

Such a large number of animals have the Keratin protein within them because Keratin is essential for growth. Our environment can sometimes determine what we become and how we become it.

The same can be said for animals; they adapt in certain ways because they need to survive and pass on their DNA to the next generation. This is why Keratin is so interesting and unique.