10 Animals That Can’t Swim (Updated 2023 + Images)

The animal kingdom is wholly filled with different astonishing facts and mysteries. Many of us do not know the animal’s nature and their behaviors. There are 8.7 million animal species living in our beautiful world, and 71% of the world is based on water. Most of us think that most animal species know how to swim. But this is not true. 

However, many animal species survive on their swimming qualities, and others adapt to different natural habitats for survival in the wild. But today, we discuss “10 Animals That Can’t Swim.” 

10 Animals That Can’t Swim Or What Animals Can’t Swim?

1. Giraffes

Scientific name: Giraffa

Family: Giraffidae

Order: Artiodactyla

Giraffes are the tallest animal species in the world. They have very long necks and high thin legs that do not support them to swim in the water. They are five species of giraffes living in the world. 

If a giraffe tries to swim in the water, it requires a huge amount of energy to move its long, thin legs fast for swimming. 

These 14 feet tall 1500 lbs, weight species can’t be able the floating because their long neck and thin legs are not made up for swimming. 

Although giraffes are not professional swimmers, they are very good runners, which helps them survive. They have the ability to run at the speed of 60 kilometers per hour. These tallest animals are brave and can beat and kill the largest predators, like lions. Giraffes are herbivore animals, and they rarely come near lakes and rivers. 

2. Camels

Scientific name: Camelus

Family: Camelidae

Order: Artiodactyla

Camels are the oldest domestic animal species that first evolved 44 million years ago in North America.

 However, most of the camel specie lives in the sands. In the deserts, the water is available only for drinking instead of swimming. In the desserts, the camels always drink a lot of water when they have it. After that, the water is stored in their bloodstream. 

Many people also think the camel uses its hump to store water, but it is false. They use their hump to store the fat, so they use it as nourishment.

There are three species of camel living in the world, but only one specie, the Kharai camel of Kutch, can swim in the water. However, unfortunately, this specie rapidly lost its homeland and food supply. 

So, the Kharab camels can swim, but in high water levels, they are always troubled. So, we can say that they are swimmers but not professional ones. 

3. Tortoises

Scientific name: Testudinidae

Family: Testudinidae; Batsch‎, 1788‎

Order: Testudines

First of all, many people think that technically all tortoises are turtles, but it is not true. All the tortoises are not turtles. They look like turtles, but they cannot swim as turtles can. 

Tortoises have bent legs like elephants and clawed toes, which means these are made for the land instead of the water. They also have haviers shells than the turtles, which work as protection from the predators on the land. 

Their shells are also a fact that enables them to swim. But, this excellent feature of protection was well inspired by the ancient Roman empire. The Ancient Roman Empire created a military strategy named “Testudo Formation.” The Testudo Formation word meaning in Latin is tortoise. 

The average tortoise’s shell weight is about 5 to 30 lb, but it depends on the age and weight of the tortoise. However, in history, the heaviest tortoise (the Galapagos tortoise) shell was about 880 lbs. However, they cannot swim but can float in the small water.

4. Hippopotamus

Scientific name: Hippopotamus amphibius

Family: Hippopotamidae

Order: Artiodactyla

It will shock you that hippos actually can’t swim. Now, you may be thinking, how can Africa’s most dangerous predator can not swim? But, it’s true, they do not swim in the water.

In the daylight, hippos seem to spend most of their time in the rivers and lakes; in fact, they spend 16 hours of the day in the water, floating just below the surface. 

However, hippos in the water do not swim; they always do bouncing. Their heavy weight and dense bones enable them to swim in the water. Hippo’s weight is huge and can go over 4000 lbs.

There are thick layers of buoyant fat around their dense bones which help to float at the surface level in the water, but they do it for a limited time. They do not survive underwater for a long time, so to take a breath, they launch themselves above the surface. They always take deep breaths before they enter the river and lake to float.

5. Gorillas

Scientific name: Gorilla

Family: Hominidae

Order: Primates

Gorillas are the world’s smartest animals and a specie that can’t swim. They are born with no swimming abilities and always try to avoid or stay away from lakes and rivers.

Gorillas are very intelligent and have the ability to learn sign language and other interesting things, such as form thoughts and sentences. But, unlikely, they can’t swim, and they also know the fact.

Gorillas fear the water, and they always use the stick to measure the depth of the water so as to avoid drowning. 

Like other animals, gorillas also struggle with a lack of buoyancy for swimming. They are Low-fat bodies, big muscles, and heavy bones animals, and these factors enable them to swim. These muscular animals have the ability to lift a weight that is ten times heavier than them. 

Instead of these factors, they also have a poor motor movement that keeps them above the water. Human motor movement is excellent, so we use many body parts at once. 

However, gorillas are not dependent upon water because they get most of the water from their diet, and they rarely seem to drink water from rivers and lakes. 

6. Chimpanzees

Scientific name: Pan troglodytes

Family: Hominidae

Order: Primates

Chimpanzees are other primates like gorillas that can’t swim in the water. Chimpanzees are also the closest relatives to humans and share a lot of DNA sequences. They are not natural-born swimmers like humans.

Like gorillas, chimpanzees also have a lot of muscles but not a lot of fat. So, they contain low body fat, which makes it impossible or very difficult for them to float in the water. Their bulky bones also create a lot of hurdles for them to swim.

These excellent apes may not be experts in the swim, but they are the most intelligent specie in the animal kingdom. For survival, they use some tactics like fighting and opening food. They are also pro-level animals at communicating with complex vocalizations and problem-solving. 

Chimpanzees are also famous for fighting with other groups of their specie (chimpanzees) for many years. During the fight, they use different strategies like retreating and sneak attacks. They always hunt in groups. 

7. Peacocks

Scientific name: Pavo cristatus

Family:  Phasianidae

Order: Galliformes

Peacocks also know as the most attractive, good-looking, and beautiful birds in the world. These birds are really beautiful masterpieces of nature.

Their long, astonishing features are the most beautiful thing in the world, but they are useless for them in the water. Unlikely other birds like ducks and geese, peacocks lack webbed feet. However, they use their four different toes that help them clunk into things.

Most of the peacocks do not like the water and the rain. However, they can float in the water with the help of their height. 

Peacocks do not like snakes because they are the big predators of their eggs. That’s why they always protect their eggs and young (chick, peachick) from snakes and other slithering creatures.

The lifespan of peacocks is 15 years, and there are three types of peacocks lives in the world:

  • Indian Peafowl.
  • Green Peafowl.
  • Congo Peafowl.

8. Chinchillas

Scientific name: Chinchilla

Family:  Chinchillidae

Order: Rodentia

Chinchillas is a specie of rodent that is very clean, quiet, attractive, and usually do not smell. The lifespan of a Chinchilla is 15 to 20 years. They are also famous for their dense and soft fur. Many children also keep them as a pet. 

Their fur is also softer than rabbit fur. They are very cute, but they contain very hydrophobic fur, which means their fur repels or is insoluble in water.

That’s why they should not also take a bath due to their fur, and they usually use dirt baths. If a chinchilla goes into the water, the fur will become denser and heavier, and a small chinchilla can drown in the water.

So, if we keep them as a pet, try not to give them the regular bath. If they take a bath, many different causes can occur, such as fungus, hair loss, etc. 

However, you can only give them a bath tour when they cannot clean themselves. Always do that task by the professional because he knows how to clean a Chinchilla. 

9. English Bulldogs

Scientific name: Canis lupus familiaris

Family:  Canidae

Order: Carnivora

As many of us know the fact that most dog species can swim in the water. But the English Bulldogs are the ones that cannot swim.

They mostly live in England, and also the lifespan of this specie is 8 to 10 years. They also keep as pet dogs. They are also known as British Dogs.

English Bulldogs contain brachycephalic traits, and their heavy weight does not permit them the swim. However, many owners use different tactics for them to swim, such as using lifejackets.

10. Porcupine

Scientific name: Erethizon dorsatum 

Family:  Erethizontidae 

Order: Rodentia

Porcupine is one of the largest specie of rodents, and their size can be 2 to 3 feet. Porcupine is the largest rodent species in North America. 

They are also famous for their sharp quills that cover their whole body. The short quills are near the head, and the long ones cover the other body. However, their quills are not poisonous, but they are very sharp, do a lot of damage, and give huge pain. 

So, if you see a porcupine, always be aware of its quills. They use them to protect themselves from humans and predators. 

They usually do not enter the water but go when some danger and emergency comes. Although they do not have the ability to swim, but their hollow quills help them a lot to float. However, they will drown in the water without their hollow quills. 

However, they are not masters in swimming but in climbing; they are just magnificent. They like to climb the trees, and they do it very easily. When they feel threatened, they hide in the trees to protect themselves from predators such as coyotes, mountain lions, and bobcats. 

Some Others Birds And Animal That Can’t Swim

Unfortunately, in this blog, we write about the 10 animals that can’t swim. We mentioned early their names and reasons why they can’t swim. But there are also many other animal species exist that cannot swim. Here is the list:

  • Parrots
  • Dachshunds
  • Pugs
  • Owls
  • Prairie Dogs
  • Toads
  • Boxers
  • Red-Tailed Hawks
  • Basset Hounds
  • Blobfish
  • White and Black Rhinoceros
  • Portuguese Man O’ War
  • Batfish
  • Shih Tzus


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