Welcome to our visual list of things that are GRAY in nature!
Nature is home to just about every color imaginable. Many of us are drawn to the bright reds, blues, and greens we so often see, but gray offers its own muted beauty.
Whether it’s part of the sky, the ground, or the water, gray is one of the most present colors in the natural world. If you look closely, you’ll soon discover the many wonderful gray things that surround us.
List of Things That Are Gray
Here’s our extensive list of things that are gray in nature:
1. Bottlenose Dolphins
These friendly creatures can commonly be seen leaping out of the ocean or swimming in small groups. Dolphins are incredibly intelligent animals who seem to enjoy being around people. In some cases, they will swim close to people in shallow water.
The orange glow of fire is one of the most captivating natural sights. But after the glow of fire comes the gray dust of ash. You’ll often see it mixed with black soot. Interestingly enough, ash turns gray because the fire removes all of the carbon stored in it.
3. African Gray Parrots
All parrots are generally intelligent creatures, but the African Gray is the most intelligent of the bunch. In some cases, these birds can even outperform young children on cognitive tests! They are also especially beautiful. Their almost penciled gray appearance, white faces, and red tails make them especially striking. If you want to keep one as a pet, be sure that you can offer plenty of time and enrichment opportunities.
These lanky, deep-chested dogs can run over 40 miles per hour. Greyhound racing is becoming uncommon in the United States, but it’s a worldwide sport that is somewhat popular in the UK and Australia. These silvery gray dogs are sometimes retired through rescue leagues, and they make excellent pets for active people.
5. Gray Hair
Some people believe that hair turns gray due to stress, but that isn’t the case. Human hair follicles will produce less color as you age, so over time, the hairs that grow in will have less color and appear gray. Your genetics play a major role in whether your hair will become gray, but generally speaking, hair won’t start turning gray until about age 35.
6. Secretary Birds
These large, strange-looking birds are native to Africa. Secretary birds are tall with black legs and tails and light gray necks and chests. They have a patch of red around the eyes, and a feathery gray and black crest crowns their heads. Secretary birds rarely fly, and they usually hunt their prey by running after it and stomping it to death with their large feet.
If you’ve ever spent a good bit of time around a volcano, you’ve probably seen basalt. Most volcanic rock is basalt. It forms when lava cools very quickly. Basalt is made up of a large amount of iron, and that helps explain its medium-gray color. This rock also sometimes forms very unique structures when it cools. It can form in columns, jointed polygons, and even pillow-like shapes.
8. Eastern Fence Lizards
These lizards earned their name from their love of resting and basking on fences. They also are sometimes called “gray lizards.” Eastern fence lizards are built for camouflage. They are a brownish-gray color with bumpy, keeled scales. That combination makes it easy to blend in with tree bark, rocks, and the weathered wood of fenceposts.
Bobcats are a type of lynx native to North America. These animals can range from a spotted red to a grayish-red color, and bobcats in Canada tend to lean toward the grayer side. Bobcats are somewhat unique in that they tend to be able to find ways to coexist with people. They are flexible and can usually find an acceptable habitat even in fairly developed areas.
10. Canyon Mice
Canyon mice are different from your typical brown house mice. While house mice love to nest in sheds and attics, the canyon mouse prefers rocky desert terrain. They usually nest under rocks. These mice can be found in the western United States and in some parts of Mexico. Unlike some other similar species, canyon mice arch their tails over their backs when running.
11. Silver Sage
You may have seasoned a dish with sage or even “cleansed” a home with a burning bundle of this herb. And while some varieties are green, the silver-gray sage is a rare visual treat. This type of sage is common in western and central North America, although it can serve as a striking addition to any garden.
12. Chartreux Cats
This beautiful slate-gray cat is the national cat of France. It has bright amber eyes that contrast with its dark gray coat. These cats are heavily built with thick bones and powerful musculature. Chartreux also make wonderful pets. They are incredibly loyal and affectionate, but they aren’t overly needy. Their coats do require daily brushing, as they’re prone to forming mats and knots.
13. Sandhill Cranes
These majestic birds have an interesting distribution. Their habitat ranges from North America to northern Siberia. There are several subspecies, and the tallest of them can reach 4’6″. Their bodies are a grayish brown with a dramatic red patch on the face. Sandhill cranes also have more complex calls than other birds. When in pairs, they effectively perform complex duets.
Gabbro is an igneous rock, meaning that it forms from magma or lava. In terms of composition, it is identical to basalt. But while basalt forms out in the open or close to the surface of the earth, gabbro forms from very slow-cooling magma far under the earth’s crust. It is very coarse-grained and often appears mottled with various shades of gray.
15. Gray Whales
Gray whales are some of the largest creatures in the ocean. They can grow up to 90,000 pounds and up to 49 feet long. While most other whales have a single blowhole, gray whales have two. The two blowholes can sometimes form a heart-shaped arc of water. While they have a deep slate-gray color, researchers can distinguish them by patterns of scars left by parasites that have fallen off the surface of the skin.
16. Gray Rat Snakes
These snakes have a distinctive mottled gray appearance. And while the name might make you think that the gray rat snake is small, it actually can grow to over six feet in length. These snakes usually kill prey through constriction. And even though they are strong, their bite is rarely harmful to humans.
17. Canyon Treefrogs
These bumpy, gray-brown frogs look a bit like toads at first glance. They are commonly seen around the Grand Canyon, where they eat bugs and call at night. Their names are somewhat misleading. They spend most of their time perched on boulders as opposed to sitting up in trees. Canyon treefrogs are also very small. They are typically less than two inches in length even as adults.
18. Andalusian Horses
This ancient horse breed has exerted impressive influence over the development of countless newer breeds of horses. They are also commonly called Pura Raza Espana (PRE), which means “purebred Spanish horse.” PREs are especially popular as dressage horses, and their arched necks and flowing manes and tails make them look like horses out of fairy tales.
19. Scottish Deerhounds
These massive, wiry-coated hounds are known as the “royal dogs of Scotland.” They can reach over 32 inches in height. This breed was developed to hunt the large red deer native to Scotland. You can find the Scottish deerhound in a few different colors, but the most popular color is a deep bluish-gray.
20. Lavender Guineas
The unusual-looking (and unusual-sounding) guinea is a good bird to keep if you want to reduce the tick population around your home. Most of us have seen the more common coloration: black with contrasting white polka dots. But the lavender guinea’s feathers replace the black with a pale purplish gray. These birds tend to be happiest in free-ranging flocks, so they make great additions to small farms or homesteads.
21. Florentina Irises
These sweet-smelling iris flowers are commonly described as being white, but many flowers have a silvery-gray cast. And while these irises are beautiful, they can be harmful. Ingesting most parts of the plant will usually cause vomiting. If you are especially sensitive, you may also experience skin irritation if you handle these plants. Their gray beauty is best enjoyed from afar!
22. Gray Agate
Agate is an affordable gemstone that comes in almost every color. But gray agate has a stunning ghostlike quality that makes it a great choice for understated jewelry. Gray agate is sometimes semi-translucent, and it often has striated white and gray bands. If you want a large, natural stone pendant that won’t break the bank, gray agate is a great choice.
23. African Elephants
These beloved gray giants are intelligent and social. Human encroachment on their habitat has caused their population to decline rapidly, and the African elephant is now classified as an endangered species. One interesting study of these elephants found that their brains respond to humans similar to the way human brains respond to puppies: elephants think humans are cute!
24. Ring-Necked Snake
The ring-necked snake is found in most of the United States, southeastern Canada, and central Mexico. But you’re lucky if you spot one because these snakes are secretive, nocturnal animals that are rarely seen during the day. Look for their gray or brown body and the distinct yellow neckband.
Granite’s strength and beauty have made it a popular choice for construction both in ancient times and now. Granite is an igneous rock, but it can include a wider variety of colors than you get with gabbro and basalt. Usually, granite forms deep underground from magma that includes large amounts of quartz and feldspar. These inclusions often help give granite its interesting and distinctive patterns.
26. Great Gray Owls
These owls are the largest in the world. They can reach 33 inches in length! They have especially striking faces. They are flat with gray barred circles around the eyes. The eyes are a captivating yellow-green and look a lot like a cat’s. The great gray owl also has an impressive range. You can find them in North America, Asia, Finland, and Estonia.
27. Bell’s Turtles
This grayish turtle is part of the group of saw-shelled turtles. The back edge of the shell looks like the teeth of a saw. It has also adapted to spend more time underwater than many turtles. You may sometimes hear it described as a “butt-breathing” turtle, meaning that it can extract oxygen from water via glands in its cloaca.
28. Native Silver
You’ve likely seen silver made into jewelry. But even before it’s processed and polished, silver can be especially beautiful. Native silver (or elemental silver) is silver in its natural form. It can form “wires” that curl like the horns of a ram, and it also can form whole geometric crystals. Though it is fairly rare, large amounts can be found in Arizona and Michigan.
29. Rock Pigeons
Rock pigeons are the iridescent gray pigeons seen in cities around the world. The rock pigeon has been valuable to humans for centuries. They have been trained as homing pigeons and domesticated as pets. They also are sometimes used for meat and for laboratory testing. They also are a primary food source for peregrine falcons.
30. Cushion Bushes
Cushion bushes, also called silver bushes, are another of the relatively few species of silvery-gray plants. They are native to Australia’s southern coast and are very hardy, often growing well with very little water. The entire plant is silvery in color, and it’s a great addition to a garden if you’re looking for a contrast against bright green plants.
31. Whiting True Blue Chickens
Though the Whiting True Blue is often a blue-gray or brown-gray color, its name comes from the fact that it lays bright blue eggs. Like the Easter Egger chicken, the Whiting True Blue is not a recognized breed, but it’s a popular backyard pet. They are relaxed and personable and can tolerate both heat and cold very well.
32. Chinchilla Rabbits
The name of this rabbit breed is a little confusing. The chinchilla rabbit is not related to the chinchilla rodent. However, the breed was developed to have a coat that looks like that of a chinchilla. But despite their beautiful gray coats, chinchilla rabbits are at risk of dying out. They are the only rabbit breed considered to be critically endangered by the National Livestock Conservancy.
33. California Valley Quail
There are several varieties of quail, but this is the one that most people picture when they think of a quail. These birds are primarily a slate gray color, although their bellies and wings are usually brown. Notably, the California valley quail has a plume of feathers that curves forward over the beak. California valley quail can be found in the wild in California and parts of the Pacific Northwest, but they are also kept as domestic birds nationwide.
34. Silver Brunias
This odd plant looks a bit like a single spruce branch with a white or silver gray ball on top. The silver brunia’s bloom is often called a “bauble,” although it doesn’t look like your typical flower. Despite the prickly look of the stems and branches, brunias tend to have fairly soft foliage.
35. Mississippi Kites
This graceful bird is a beautiful soft gray in color with deep garnet eyes. Even though it is a raptor, this kite tends to eat more insects than it does smaller vertebrates. The name of the Mississippi kite is also somewhat misleading. Though they can sometimes be found in Mississippi, they are much more common in the southern regions of the Great Plains.
36. Zero Morph Bearded Dragons
Wild bearded dragons are usually a brownish color in order to blend in with their surroundings. But in captivity, breeders have developed a number of unique colorations. One of the rarer and more costly variants is the “zero” morph. This morph has no pattern thanks to its very low levels of melanin. Zero bearded dragons are usually grayish-white in color. For reptile enthusiasts who want a truly unique dragon, a zero may be just right.
As you may have guessed from the name, a concretion is similar to a natural version of concrete. Concretions form when a pocket of mineral material hardens inside of sedimentary rock. Concretions tend to be disc-shaped or spherical, and their shapes fool some people into thinking they are extraterrestrial objects or even dinosaur eggs.
38. Dark-Eyed Juncos
These fluffy, roundish birds are common in many parts of North America, and they can often be found foraging in snowy winter landscapes. Sparrow-like in build, they are a slate gray in color with white bellies. Unlike many birds, dark-eyed juncos usually nest on the ground instead of in trees.
39. Gray Matter
Much of the tissue in the brain and central nervous system is divided into gray matter and white matter. Gray matter contains most of the cell bodies that control movement and sensory perception. It’s also the part of the nervous system that’s most commonly harmed by long-term use of substances.
40. Gray-Banded Kingsnakes
These snakes are especially visually stunning. Much of the body is a pale ash gray, but it’s interrupted by dark orange bands with black edges. Despite these bright patches, the gray-banded kingsnake is not venomous. It’s commonly found in the southwestern U.S., and it commonly eats rattlesnakes, making it a very useful part of the ecosystem.
Though chert has a smooth, tight-grained surface, it’s actually a type of sedimentary rock. It usually forms from sediment containing large amounts of small quartz crystals. Though it is usually a medium gray in color, the presence of trace elements can change its color. For instance, when chert contains traces of oxidized iron, it will usually be a rusty red color.
42. Loggerhead Shrikes
From a distance, the gray and black loggerhead shrike looks a bit like a chickadee. It has a black “bandit mask” across the eyes, and the wings are rimmed in black. This bird is somewhat unusual. Even though it’s a small songbird, it behaves a lot like a raptor. The loggerhead skrike perches up high and looks for prey. Once it finds it, the little bird skewers the prey with a thorn or a sharp twig.
43. Malayan Water Monitors
Monitors are very large lizards, and the Malayan water monitor is an especially large one. It can reach 10 feet in length! And despite their giant size, these gray-brown lizards can move extremely quickly. Their powerful legs are good for both running and climbing trees. They are also good swimmers and use their tails as rudders like alligators and crocodiles do.
44. Egyptian Fayoumis Chickens
These slender, graceful chickens are an ancient breed, and experts believe they may have been around during the reign of the pharaohs. They are usually a light silvery gray with black barring on the lower body. While they are beautiful, they aren’t as friendly as other breeds and don’t generally like being handled. However, they’re an excellent choice if you want a free-range flock. Fayoumis are especially adept at detecting predators, and they are also very good at foraging for food.
45. Gibeon Meteorite
Gibeon meteorite is a unique stone that is commonly collected in Namibia. It’s a type of iron-rich meteorite that also usually contains a significant amount of nickel. As a result of its descent to earth from outer space, gibeon meteorite often has unique patterns and striations, and it also is frequently used as a gemstone.
46. Weimaraner Dogs
This beautiful German breed has a distinctive gray coloring. They are solid in color, but the Weimaraner breed standard permits a patch of white on the chest. They also have beautiful light blue eyes when born. Weimaraners were originally bred as big-game hunting dogs for the German elite, but they are enjoying growing popularity as a pet and show dog. The breed comes in both short-haired and long-haired versions, but the American Kennel Club only recognizes the short-haired version.
47. Ghost Cacti
These are odd-looking cacti that have very little ability to make chlorophyll. As a result, they don’t have much green coloring at all. Their skin is mostly white, although the remaining traces and undertones of green give it a bit of a grayish cast. These cacti developed in humid, tropical regions, making them a great choice if you’d love an outdoor cactus but don’t live in a desert area.
48. Blue Slate Turkeys
These rare and beautiful turkeys have a beautiful pale gray coloring. Their feathers are often light gray rimmed with dark gray. As with many blue animals, they don’t breed true. Some birds will have flecks of blue and black spots, some will be solid blue, and some will be solid black.
This versatile rock’s deep gray color and slight sheen have made it a popular choice for builders. You can often see it used as a flagstone or roofing material. Slate is metamorphic, meaning it arises from changes made in existing rocks. It usually forms from shale or mudstone.
50. Demoiselle Cranes
These statuesque birds are the smallest type of crane, but they can still reach 30 inches in height. Demoiselles have a distinctive light gray body with a black neck. They also have a stripe of white on each side of the head and have deep red eyes as well. It received its name from Marie Antoinette, who found it to be delicate and dignified.
51. Silver Rabbits
In this case, “silver” isn’t just a color descriptor. It’s the name of a rabbit breed. The silver breed is one of the oldest breeds of rabbit, and their origins can be traced back to the 1500s. Their somewhat variegated gray coat looks a bit like the coat of a chinchilla rabbit.
52. Blue Sapphire Chickens
The Blue Sapphire is a hybrid chicken strain. They have the gentle disposition of a Plymouth rock bird, but they lay stunning brown eggs and they are a light, almost lavender blue. As adults, males tend to have some level of barring in their pattern, and females are a solid pale blue in color.
Just as mudstone is formed by the gradual hardening of mud, claystone forms when clay hardens over time. Not surprisingly, the color of claystone depends on the color of clay it comes from. It often is a deep, slate-light gray in color. But if coming from red clay, claystone will have a rusty red appearance.
These docile Australian marsupials are sometimes called “koala bears,” but that term is technically incorrect. Koalas aren’t bears at all. While they are not yet considered an endangered species, koalas are considered to be “vulnerable.” Part of their population decline is due to the relatively high presence of chlamydia in populations. This STD makes female koalas permanently infertile.
These massive gray animals may look peaceful. But when they’re angry, they’re a formidable sight. Large groups will sometimes even take on crocodiles. Hippos also have a unique and useful way to communicate. If they need to communicate with a surrounding group, they can partially submerge their heads and cry out. That cry can travel through both land and water so other hippos above water and underneath can respond.
56. Gray Diamonds
If you like rare diamond variants but don’t want anything overly flashy, gray diamonds may be just right. Most natural gray diamonds are a pale gray in color and look slightly smoky or silvery. Brilliant-cut stones often look a bit like snowflakes. Gray diamonds look especially nice when set in white gold.
57. Blue Cochin Chickens
These fluffy giants make excellent pets. Cochin chickens are known for being affectionate and sweet. The breed comes in a range of colors, but blue birds are especially striking. Their heads and necks are typically a darker slate gray, while their other feathers are a paler blue-gray. If a standard Cochin is too big, you might like the smaller bantam variety. These snowball-like birds are about 1/3 of the size of a standard bird.
58. Western Yellow-Bellied Racers
These unique snakes look dull in color when viewed from above. They are a smoky gray in color. But as the name suggests, the snake’s entire belly is a bright and striking yellow. The western yellow-bellied racer is an especially slender snake, and it is technically a subspecies of the eastern yellow-bellied racer, a snake with a very similar appearance but found only in the eastern United States.
Slugs aren’t the most popular gray animals, and many people find them to be disgusting. They do leave pretty, sparkling silver trails behind them. There are several different species of slugs, and some species are plant pests. Because they feed on growing plants, they can cause plant damage and even death.
60. Inland Ring-Tailed Geckos
Though they aren’t as well-known as the leopard gecko or crested gecko, inland ring-tailed geckos are a large and particularly striking type of gecko. They are native to Australia, and their tails and bodies are marked by distinctive dark rings. Some individuals are pale gray with darker gray bands, while others are pale brown with darker brown rings.
61. Chukar Partridges
These quail-like birds are native to the Middle East and parts of Asia, although they may be kept as a meat bird or game bird in other parts of the world. Chukar partridges have a complex and beautiful pattern, but they are mostly a pale iron gray in terms of color. Their bright red bills and black faces make them particularly distinctive.
62. Runner Ducks
Runner ducks have a characteristic upright appearance that’s reminiscent of a penguin. They were originally bred for pest control in rice fields, but they can be a useful addition to any homestead or farm where you want to reduce pest populations. Runner ducks come in a variety of colors, including lighter and darker grays, and the blue variety is an especially beautiful one.
63. Gray Squirrels
These common North American squirrels are extraordinarily abundant, and you can find them scurrying up trees to escape predators. These squirrels are especially opportunistic feeders that love raiding bird feeders and outdoor trash cans. Around college campuses, obese squirrels are a common sight. They are able to find plenty of discarded food in trash cans. Gray squirrels can easily be recognized thanks to their short gray coats and long, bushy tails.
64. American Crocodiles
These giant reptiles are a fearsome sight. They are especially common in Florida, where they coexist with alligators. Adults have gray-green backs that help them blend into swampy surroundings. Crocodiles often appear to be smiling, and they tend to have narrower noses than alligators do.
65. Grey Peacock Pheasants
Pheasants are known for their bright and fascinating color patterns, and the gray peacock pheasant is an especially gorgeous one. These animals are marked with round spots that look a lot like the blue circles that appear on a peacock’s green tail. They make beautiful lawn ornaments and are sometimes kept as pets.
Blueschist takes a long time to form. It is a volcanic rock that then goes through metamorphosis. It often forms from shale, which is how it gets its usual mottled blue-gray appearance. Trace amounts of the mineral glaucophane give it its blue cast.
67. Toulouse Geese
This French breed of goose can be found in agricultural areas all over the US. This breed has a taupe-gray body accented by bright orange bills and legs. The goose comes in two varieties. One is very large, while the other is slightly smaller. The Toulouse is a very old goose breed that can be traced as far back as the 1500s!
68. Greater Earless Lizards
This lizard gets its name from the fact that it does not have holes for ears like most lizard varieties do. It is primarily a pale gray color, but males in breeding season may be mottled with bright patches of red, yellow, and blue. It has the odd habit of “wagging” its tail when threatened.
Gneiss is a very common type of igneous rock. But unlike many other varieties, it has a striated look from the formation of layers as it develops. Gneiss is often striated by bands of gray and white (or off-white). Depending on the area, gneiss can be found on the surface of the earth or deeper in the crust.
70. California Legless Lizards
Legless lizards are strange animals. To the untrained eye, they look like snakes. This one bears some resemblance to yellow-bellied racer snakes. It can be found in some areas of California and Mexico.
71. Dapple Gray Horses
Dapple gray horses are not a breed, but they are an especially beautiful color of horse. They usually are a somewhat dark gray with round patches of paler, near-white gray. Like all gray horses, dapple grays tend to turn pale white all over as they age. Many have a silvery, metallic sheen when their coats are clean and in good condition.
72. Pygmy Goats
These cute, compact goats are one of the more popular breeds among people who keep goats as pets. And despite their very small size, pygmy goats can produce a good bit of milk. They are intelligent and loyal to their owners, and they’re a lot of fun to have around. Pygmy goats are not always gray, but gray is an especially common color.
73. The Moon
The moon adds beautiful white light to the night sky. But as you can tell from pictures (as well as some nighttime views) the surface of the moon itself is actually rocky and gray. Its white appearance comes from its ability to reflect the light of the sun. The moon does not produce any light of its own.
74. Gray Wolves
These majestic animals travel in packs and can be found across two-thirds of the United States. But despite their broad range, gray wolves are also an endangered species. Most individuals are medium gray in color. They are large and look a bit like gray German shepherds. In some cases, they will even breed with domestic dogs to produce wolf-dog hybrids.
75. Chinese Crested Dogs
These small dogs have a lion-like appearance thanks to their furry crest. Most of the body is hairless, although the skin is usually patterned. These dogs come in many colors, but the most common is dark gray or gray with patches of white. It does come in a somewhat lesser-known “powderpuff” variety, which is entirely covered in fur.
This rock type is a little like gneiss; it is an igneous rock with a striated appearance. However, unlike many other igneous rocks, this one is very fine-grained and has a smooth appearance. It is typically extremely tough and durable.
77. Marbled Salamanders
These salamanders usually have black-and-gray or marbled gray bodies. They are nocturnal and usually live in forests. They behave a little differently than some other salamander species. Rather than laying eggs in water, they lay eggs in dried-up pools that later refill with water.
78. Murray Grey Cattle
This cattle breed was developed in Australia, although there are Murray Grey breed registries in the U.S. and UK as well. These cows have a very distinct appearance. Their body color ranges from light silver to dark gray, and they usually have dark gray or black noses and short horns.
79. Storm Clouds
Storm clouds are one of the first gray things in nature that most of us think of. They sometimes come in the form of white clouds with gray bottoms, but it’s common for them to be entirely dark gray in color. Before major storms, these clouds will sometimes cause the whole sky to darken.
80. Sicilian Donkeys
These adorable donkeys come in one color: they are a dark gray with a black mane and tail. They historically have been used as working animals, but they are commonly kept as pets now. Sicilian donkeys make great companions for horses, and they are sometimes kept with a single horse when housing another horse is not an option.
81. Tufted Titmice
This little gray bird has a distinctive look. The body is pale gray, and the head is topped by a small crest. Tufted titmice are very common in forests in the eastern United States. They also are not afraid to visit bird feeders. You can often find them picking out sunflower seeds and carrying them away one by one.
These easily recognizable horned animals are some of the largest mammals that live on land. There are several subspecies of rhinos, but many are now extinct. Most species are hairless but have gray skin. But one, the Sumatran rhino, has a shaggy coat like a woolly mammoth.
83. Zebra-Tailed Lizards
These primitive-looking, grayish-brown lizards are a common sight in the southwestern United States. But as their name suggests, they aren’t entirely gray. The tail is usually covered in black and white bands that resemble the stripes on a zebra’s coat. As is the case with many related lizards, males in breeding season often develop patches of more brightly colored scales.
84. Siberian Huskies
The Siberian husky is a popular pet dog, especially in colder climates. Huskies have been bred to be hardy working dogs in the frigid north, so they are both energetic and tolerant of cold. Huskies have unusual eating habits compared to most dogs. While most dog breeds will gorge themselves on food if given the opportunity, a husky will often leave some food in the bowl and come back to it later.
85. Lavender Wyandotte Chickens
Wyandotte chickens come in a very wide range of colors. But if you want a few soft, purplish-gray beauties in your flock, the lavender Wyandotte is a great choice. Lavender breeds like this one are usually much lighter in color than blue chickens, and they are relatively uncommon. Wyandottes come in many colors, but they all tend to be laid-back, gentle birds that make great pets.
86. Jacky Dragons
This smallish lizard is native to Australia, and it was one of the first breeds to receive an official name. It was first written about as far back as the 1700s! Unlike many Australian reptiles, this one tends to prefer colder climates, and it is usually found in forests instead of desert terrain. Like many wild reptiles, it has a grayish-brown, patterned coloring that helps it blend into its surroundings.
87. Tyrolese Grey Cattle
This versatile, pretty gray cattle breed can be kept for both milk and meat. Most often, they can be found in Tyrol, Bavaria, and parts of Switzerland. Unlike most breeds of cattle, they do well in mountainous environments. They grow extremely quickly, and their rich milk is often incorporated in very high-quality food items.
88. Lipizzan Horses
These horses are most famously kept and trained at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. They learn to perform high-level dressage movements that include airborne movements. As one of the oldest horse breeds in the world, the Lipizzan was originally bred by the Hapsburg royal family as both a war horse and a general-purpose riding horse.
89. Timber Rattlesnakes
There are several varieties of rattlesnakes in North America. This one is the only rattlesnake that seems very comfortable living in populated areas. It also more commonly has a gray-patterned body (as opposed to the brown pattern you usually see). If you hear the signature warning rattle of its tail, be very careful. The timber rattlesnake has sharp fangs and a venomous bite that can be deadly.
This whitish-gray rock is made up of fossilized diatoms, which are aquatic algae made of a single cell each. Diatomite has plenty of industrial and home uses today. You may see it marketed in powder form as diatomaceous earth. It can be used as an absorbent material, as a component of laundry detergent, and for pest control.
91. Nebelung Cats
These stunning, glossy blue-gray cats are one of the rarest cat breeds on earth. They originated in Germany, and their name means “creature of the mist.” If you can find one, these cats make perfect family pets. They are loyal, intelligent, and fairly relaxed. Because they have a thick undercoat, daily brushing is a good idea.
Greenstone is an igneous rock that, as the name suggests, is often green in color. However, it also can sometimes appear with dark gray or gray-green coloring. “Greenstone” isn’t a formal identifying name. It is usually used if a more specific name or type can’t be determined.
93. Lavender Silkie Chickens
Silkies are among the best and friendliest chickens kept as pets. They are quiet, loyal to their owners, and love to be held. As a bantam breed, they are much smaller than standard-sized chickens. Their name comes from their feathering, which is silky in appearance and looks more like fur. Lavender silkies are a pretty, soft gray variety with deep gray skin.
94. Gray Seals
These cute, round-headed seals are very easy to recognize. Interestingly enough, their color varies based on sex. Females are mostly gray with a few black spots. Males are mostly black with a few gray spots.
95. Northern Dusky Salamanders
These glossy salamanders are most commonly found in Canada. Many individuals are reddish-brown, but you can also find them in a gray variety. In most cases, they have a back that is flat (in contrast to most other salamander species that have rounded backs). There is also a similar-looking subspecies, the southern dusky salamander, in the southern United States.
This oddly-named, dark gray rock is actually a type of sandstone. Its darker color comes from the inclusion of quartz, feldspar, and even smaller rocks of different compositions. Its name comes from a German word meaning a gray, earthy-looking rock.
These funnily-named birds are very common in the western United States. They have a slate gray, fluffy appearance, and much of their feathering looks hairy. Bushtits have piercing yellow-green eyes. Bushtits are especially social, and you can often see flocks huddled together as they sleep at night.
98. Gray Treefrogs
These little frogs are native to the eastern United States. They usually are a medium gray in color with patches of darker gray, but some individuals are more of a grayish olive green in color. At night, you can often hear males loudly “singing” to find mates.
These gray animals with black striped tails are commonly considered to be a nuisance animal. Raccoons have well-developed hands that allow them to open wrappers, and they often like to raid campsites to steal food. They are primarily nocturnal and often find food in trash cans.
As the most common sedimentary rock, shale can be found almost anywhere. Over time, it will usually metamorphose into slate. Shale is similar in color to slate, but it can easily flake into layers, so it is not used for building purposes.
101. Korat Cats
Thailand is home to a few different exotic and beautiful cat breeds. One of these is the korat, an all-gray cat with bright yellow-green eyes. The first descriptions of the korat date back to a book called the Cat-Book Poems. This manuscript came from Siam and dates back to the year 1350.
102. Canada Geese
These common geese can be found all over North America. They are very easy to recognize. Their wings are brownish-gray, their necks are black, and they have a white patch under the head. Canada geese tend to be very comfortable around people, and they can usually find a suitable habitat even in urban areas.
103. Plymouth Rock Chickens
Plymouth Rock chickens are a classic American breed, and they are popular in show barns and backyard flocks. They come in several colors, including gray, but the blue variety is especially beautiful. It is a bluish slate gray.
104. Gray Bats
This endangered species of bat looks about like what most people picture when they think of bats. However, they aren’t black. They are covered in short gray fur and have long, webbed gray wings. Most of their population reduction has happened from humans encroaching on their habitat.
This is the largest falcon in the world, and it can often be spotted on the Arctic tundra. It has gray and white barring on the back, and the rest of the body is a creamy off white. At first glance, it looks a little like a peregrine falcon.
As the name suggests, siltstone is a sedimentary rock. But unlike sandstone and other similar sedimentary rock types, it is made primarily of fine-grained silt. Siltstone appears in several colors, but one of the most common is light gray.
107. Harpy Eagles
The large harpy eagle is one of the most magnificent creatures in the rainforest. Their name comes from Greek mythological creatures called harpies. Harpies were spirits with the bodies of vultures and the faces of women. They took the dead to the afterlife.
Though harpy eagles do have almost vulture-like bodies, their coloring is a lot more striking! They have charcoal gray upperparts with lighter gray heads. Their bellies are white, and the feathered part of the legs is white with black stripes or barring. These eagles are currently classified as being vulnerable to extinction.
108. American Kestrels
You might sometimes hear the American kestrel called the “sparrow hawk,” as it likes to hunt small birds. The kestrel itself is also fairly small; it’s the smallest falcon in North America. Kestrels are a mixture of brown, gray, and white. The tops of their heads and much of their wings are an intense graphite gray. The males usually have more gray than females do.
The American kestrel isn’t quite as strong as some other falcons, as its pectoral muscles make up a relatively small percentage of its total musculature. But that makes it a great choice for those new to falconry. The kestrel will usually stick to smaller prey, but it can occasionally kill even larger animals.
109. Wood Nymph Butterflies
Wood nymph butterflies are found in Southeast Asia. They fall under the genus Ideopsis. (There’s an unrelated genus of North American butterflies called “wood nymphs” as well.) Some of these species are called “glassy tigers,” and it’s easy to see why. Their wings look almost like stained glass, with blue-gray “panes” lined in black. Depending on the exact species, these butterflies may look more blue or more gray.
Some wood nymph species have splashes of additional color that contrast beautifully with the gray base color. One of these is Blanchard’s wood nymph, a butterfly with bright yellow hindwings.
110. Sri Lankan Kangaroo Lizards
At first glance, the gray-brown kangaroo lizard might just look like a few twigs on the ground. Its lanky body helps it blend in, as it’s usually found in the leaf litter on the forest floor. If it’s frightened, the lizard will stand up on its hind legs and run or hop away like a kangaroo. The males tend to be more gray than females, and they also have a patch of maroon on their gular sac. This is a throat pouch they can puff out if necessary.
The Sri Lankan kangaroo lizard also isn’t the only kangaroo lizard in the world. Its close relative, the Indian kangaroo lizard, lives in the rainforests of southern India.
111. Bluebeard Plants
It might seem odd to see a plant on a list of gray things in nature. But some species of bluebeard plants have silvery foliage. As you can see in the picture, grayish stems and leaves really help to accentuate the cheerful bluish purple of the flowers.
The plant in the picture is a hybrid strain of bluebeard, Caryopteris x clandonensis. In horticulture, it’s sometimes appropriately called the “blue mist shrub.” It’s a great addition to your garden: the grayish foliage and bright flowers really make a statement, and its late-summer blooms smell especially sweet!
112. Gray Flycatchers
Gray flycatchers are smallish, mostly gray birds that can be found in the arid parts of the United States. The upperparts are almost entirely gray, while the belly is whitish or pale yellow. As the name suggests, it eats insects that it finds while foraging in shrubs or low tree branches.
Even this little bird’s scientific name is a nod to its bug-catching prowess. It’s from the genus Empidonax. That name comes from the Greek empis, meaning “gnat,” and anax, meaning “master.”
Florida is known for its unique and beautiful animal life, and the charming “sea cow,” or manatee, is one of the best-known species. Manatees are entirely gray and look a lot like hippos with fins. But unlike hippos, they don’t tend to be aggressive; the name “sea cow” refers to the fact that they are slow-moving, peaceful, and herbivorous.
Unfortunately, manatees are often injured or killed by run-ins with boats. Because they are curious, they will often swim up to boats and suffer injuries from the propellers.
114. Gray Hairstreak Butterflies
The delicate-looking gray hairstreak is a small butterfly with a large range; it can be found almost everywhere in North America. It even ranges through Central America and into the northern part of South America. Thanks to its large range, the gray hairstreak really isn’t too picky about habitat types.
Gray hairstreaks have wings that are almost entirely pale gray, but they do have some spots of color. Each surface of the hindwings has a couple of bright orange and black spots.
115. Curry Plants
The curry plant is part of the daisy family, although you might not guess that just by looking at it. Like the bluebeard plant mentioned above, the curry plant has foliage that is silvery-gray. Despite the name, it is not related to any of the plants that go into making curry powder.
However, the curry plant is used in cooking. It’s native to parts of the Mediterranean, where it is often used in stewing a variety of dishes. Since the shoots and leaves themselves taste bitter (much like bay leaves), they are removed before serving.
116. Gray Triggerfish
Tropical areas are often noted for their variety of bright triggerfish. The gray triggerfish is one of the more drab members of the family. Its whole body is solid gray, often with a warm, brownish undertone.
Gray triggerfish are delicious when prepared, but they can be tough to catch. They’re especially adept at stealing bait. And thanks to their bony mouths, you’ll need a short, sharp hook if you hope to catch one.
“Armadillo” means “little armored one” in Spanish. It’s an accurate name for this unique creature. Despite its bony shield that looks like a turtle shell, the armadillo is actually a mammal. The Aztecs even called it a name meaning “turtle-rabbit.”
Lots of people think that armadillos can curl up in a ball when threatened by a predator. But there is only one type of armadillo (the Tolypeutes genus) that can do this.
118. Gray Foxes
The gray fox has successfully adapted to living among humans in urban and suburban areas. At one point, it was the most common fox in the entire eastern United States. The red fox is now the most common, but there are some states where the gray fox is still the main fox species present.
Gray foxes have especially beautiful gray patterning. Their faces and backs have a distinctive “grizzled” gray color that helps them to camouflage when hunting or hiding from predators.
119. European Nightjars
These odd-looking birds have a massive breeding range that extends across Europe. They can camouflage extraordinarily well thanks to their brown and gray coloring. During the day, they rest while remaining almost completely motionless.
At night, nightjars hunt insects. Remarkably, they can do this relying only on their sense of sight. These birds have a reflective eye layer that grants them impressive night vision capabilities.
Oceans are one of the world’s wonders. And depending on the location and the weather, they can appear to be a range of colors. Clear tropical waters often appear bright blue. But oceans in colder areas are more likely to look gray, especially on a cloudy day. The one in the picture is the Southern Ocean near Antarctica.
Of course, the whitecaps on cresting waves provide a striking contrast to the more demure color of the ocean. Though they might not seem as exciting as bright blue Caribbean waters, gray oceans certainly have their beauty.
121. Black Mambas
You might think that the deadly black mamba is a snake that’s all black. However, the name comes from the fact that the inside of the mouth is black. A black mamba can be black, but most of these snakes are actually gray.
Black mambas can be found throughout much of Sub-Saharan Africa, and their venom is usually deadly unless a bite victim is given antivenom relatively quickly. Many people believe that this is an aggressive snake that will attack humans, but it will usually only bite if it’s threatened or cornered.
122. Clouded Mother-of-Pearl Butterflies
The clouded mother-of-pearl butterfly is a perfect example of how the color gray can add some subtle beauty to the world. These butterflies have wings that are roughly the color of the sky on a cloudy day. The wings are edged in black, with a few solid spots and a few eyespots.
The wings of the clouded mother-of-pearl have ornate, curving edges. They’re a joy to see perched on foliage in many parts of tropical Africa.
123. Great Mormon Butterflies
This magnificent and unusual butterfly is native to southern Asia. Both males and females come in multiple color morphs. That might sound unusual, but it’s a sophisticated form of mimicry; many morphs look like other species that taste terrible to predators.
Though not all morphs are gray in color, the one in the picture is reminiscent of a stormy sky. The black patterning on the wings and the shape of the wings themselves might look familiar; this species is a member of the swallowtail family, and several swallowtail species can be found in North America.
124. Gray Angelfish
Though the gray angelfish may not be quite as exciting-looking as other members of the angelfish family, its unique patterning makes it a visual standout. Like other angelfish species, this one has a relatively flattened body. The body shape and gray coloring have led many people in Jamaica to call it a “pot cover.”
This fish is a popular choice among aquarium keepers. Some fish sold in the aquarium trade are caught in the wild, although the gray angelfish can also be bred in captivity.
125. Thai Ridgeback Dogs
This agile, muscular dog originated in Thailand. Up until recently, it was a landrace breed that was not selectively bred by humans. It’s one of only three breeds with a distinctive “ridge” of fur down the back. The other two are the Phu Quoc Ridgeback and the Rhodesian Ridgeback.
The Thai Ridgeback does not only come in gray, although dogs registered as “blue” have a soft, delicate gray color. The only acceptable colors for registration are red, blue, black, and fawn. When it comes to showing, wider ridges are considered to be more desirable than thinner ones.
126. Smooth-hound Sharks
These oddly-named sharks come from the genus Mustelus. The genus name comes from the Latin mustela, or “weasel.” It’s easy to see why; these slender sharks have long, weasel-like bodies. Though they are long, they don’t tend to be heavy. Smooth-hounds can grow as long as 5’3″, but they usually only weigh up to 29 pounds.
So why is “hound” part of the name? These sharks tend to gather in large packs. When they hunt this way, they resemble a pack of dogs. That description might make you think they would be aggressive, but divers usually say that they tend to be very shy and avoid people whenever possible.
Things That Are Gray in Nature
So there you have them: the most memorable gray things you can find in nature. The next time you’re outside, look out for a flash of gray in the form of a squirrel tail or a storm cloud. Though it may not be the most noticeable of colors, gray is nonetheless an important part of the natural world.
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