Daniel Giraud Elliot was an American zoologist and the founder of the American Ornithologist Union.
He was born in New York City on March 7, 1835 to George and Rebecca Elliot. In 1858, he married Ann Eliza Henderson.
From 1869 to 1879 he was in London and established strong links to British ornithologists and naturalists.
Elliot used his wealth to publish a series of sumptuous color-plate books on birds and animals. Elliot wrote the text himself and commissioned artists such as Joseph Wolf and Joseph Smit, both of whom had worked for John Gould, to provide the illustrations. The books included A Monograph of the Phasianidae (Family of the Pheasants) (1870–72), A Monograph of the Paradiseidae or Birds of Paradise (1873), A Monograph of the Felidae or Family of Cats (1878) and Review of the Primates (1913).
In 1890 he was President of the American Ornithologists' Union.
In 1899, Elliot was invited to join the elite Harriman Alaska Expedition to study and document wildlife along the Alaskan coast.
Elliot was one of the founders of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, of the American Ornithologists' Union and of the Société zoologique de France. He was also curator of zoology at the Field Museum in Chicago.