The physiological processes of cells and organisms are regulated by various biological macromolecules, including long-noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), which cannot be translated into protein and are different from small-noncoding RNAs on their length. In animals, lncRNAs are involved in development, metabolism, reproduction, aging and other life events by cis or trans effects. For many functional lncRNAs, there is growing evidence that they play different roles on cellular level and organismal level. On the other hand, many annotated lncRNAs are not essential and could be transcription noises. In this minireview, we investigate the physiological function of lncRNAs in cells and focus on their functions and functional mechanisms on the organismal level. The studies on lncRNAs using different classic animal models such as worms and flies are summarized and discussed in this article. © 2020 [The Author/The Authors].