Are there any real-life animals that are shown to actually be magical in the Harry Potter universe?

For example, we know that Komodo dragons exist in the real world, but let's say it turns out they are actually magical dragons in the HP world, but muggles just don't know about it.

I'm not counting pets (owls, cats, snakes, etc), because though they tend to be much more intelligent and behave more like familiars in HP, as far as I know none of them have shown to be inherently magical themselves. If you can find an example otherwise, I'll accept that. I also am not counting animals that are used in potions (e.g., lionfish spines), unless you can show that the animal is inherently magical itself, and not just when brewed into a potion.


2 Answers 2


Yes, the dodo.

In the Harry Potter universe, the small flightless birds are actually magical creatures called Diricawls that can disappear at will when humans approach. Muggles assume they've hunted them to extinction, and the magical community declines to tell them the truth because of the way it's sparked conservation efforts.

Interestingly, Muggles were once fully aware of the existence of the Diricawl, though they knew it by the name of “dodo.” Unaware that the Diricawl could vanish at will, Muggles believe they have hunted the species to extinction. As this seems to have raised Muggle awareness of the dangers of slaying their fellow creatures indiscriminately, the International Confederation of Wizards has never deemed it appropriate that the Muggles should be made aware of the continued existence of the Diricawl.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

  • 18
    Nit: dodos weren't small, as birds go.
    – chepner
    Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 17:25
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    I've taken the liberty of adding in the book quote that inspired the wiki article. Primary sources are invariably more useful than commentary
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 17:44
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    Opting to not tell muggles that Dodos are magical because it sparked conservation efforts, as opposed to all the other creatures wizards prevent muggles from learning about simply because they are magical?
    – Muuski
    Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 18:02
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    @Muuski If you're looking for consistency in world building, you are barking up the wrong series!
    – mattdm
    Commented Apr 10, 2020 at 15:13

Salamanders are mentioned in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as being magical in nature. Their properties don't, however, match those of muggle salamanders.


The salamander is a small fire-dwelling lizard that feeds on flame. Brilliant white, it appears blue or scarlet depending upon the heat of the fire in which it makes its appearance.

Salamanders can survive up to six hours outside a fire if regularly fed pepper. They will live only as long as the fire from which they sprang burns. Salamander blood has powerful curative and restorative properties.

Owls are noted by Pottermore to be magical in nature.

Owls are magical creatures most often used for delivering post and parcels in the wizarding world. They are known for their speed and discretion and can find recipients without an address. First-year students are allowed to bring them to school as pets.


The advantages of owls as messengers are those very qualities that make Muggles view them with suspicion: they operate under cover of darkness, to which Muggles have a superstitious aversion; they have exceptionally well-developed night vision, are agile, stealthy and capable of aggression when challenged. So numerous are the owls employed by wizards worldwide that it is generally safe to assume that virtually all of them are either the property of the Owl Postal Service of their country, or of an individual witch or wizard.

Whether because they possess an innate bent for magic (just as pigs are reputed to be innately non-magical), or because generations of their ancestors have been domesticated and trained by wizards and they have inherited the traits that make this easy, owls learn very quickly, and seem to thrive on their task of tracing and tracking the witch or wizard for whom their letters are intended.

Pottermore Wiki: Owls

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    Good find for the owls being explicitly described as magical. As for the salamander, I'm not sure that applies, because I think that's a different creature that happens to have the same name. The common muggle salamander is an amphibian that tends to live in damp environments and nowhere near fires, whereas the magical salamander's life is explicitly linked to fire. Maybe an argument could be made for muggles seeing a magical salamander and mistaking it for a common salamander.
    – David K
    Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 18:04
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    @DarrelHoffman - Magicians seem to imbue intelligence on snakes by speaking to them
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 15:51
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    @DarrelHoffman I don't think the glass disappearance was involuntary. Not any more so than, say, the quick hair regrowth, the jumping onto the roof, and so on. Harry was chatting with the snake and was upset that it was trapped, just like him, so his innate magic kicked in and fixed that.
    – Tin Wizard
    Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 18:10
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    Historically salamanders have been associated with fire (search for the word fire). Frozen 2 also used a salamander as a fire elemental.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 19:44
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    The real-life salamanders are named after the legendary magical ones. etymonline.com/word/salamander Commented Apr 10, 2020 at 10:59

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