Can You Guess Which Animal Is the National Symbol for These Countries?


By: Jacqueline Samaroo

6 Min Quiz

Image: Pixabay by 12019

About This Quiz

Take a walk on the wild side!

Throughout history, countries, kingdoms and empires have adopted symbols for a variety of reasons. These symbols ranged from simple shapes like stars, crosses or crescents to weapons like scimitars and axes. As humans have existed alongside (and observed) animals for all of history, it should come as no surprise that animals have often been touted as symbolic figures in countless cultures. In the Indian subcontinent, animals like the ferocious tiger and the massive elephant are often seen as the most symbolic. However, in some countries like Scotland and China, mythological animals like the dragon and unicorn have been closely tied to cultural identity as well.

In this quiz, we've trekked deep into the wilds of the animal world and come back with an eclectic assortment of some of the most notable specimen that the animal kingdom has to offer. Can you match them to the countries that name them as national symbols? Let's jump right into this quiz and find out!

India's national animal is a large endangered feline that goes by what name?

The tiger is without a doubt one of the most recognizable animals in the world, and certainly one of the most culturally significant animals in India. It is now currently endangered; loss of habitat and poaching have lead to a drastic decline in the overall population.


Algeria proudly venerates which small canine as its national animal?

The national animal of Algeria, the fennec fox, holds the disticntion of being the smallest living canid in the world. The fennec fox is also notable for its large ears (having the largest ear-to-body-size ratio of any fox) that allow it to stay cool more effectively.


What is the name of the hardy wild cat that serves as Romania's national animal?

Most of the Eurasian lynxes that are found in Romania make their home in the Carpathian Mountains. It is the largest species of lynx and has an extensive range that stretches from Northern Europe to the Russian Far East and the Himalayas.


Egypt has appointed which bird of prey as one of its national symbols?

The Steppe eagle serves as the national animal of Egypt, but its range is far more extensive than that: Not only does it cover a large portion of Africa, but it winters in South Asia and breeds in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.


Which species of antelope serves as South Africa's national animal?

The springbok is a slender antelope that can be found in the southern reaches of Africa. While it most notably serves as the national animal of South Africa, the South Africa national rugby union team also uses the springbok as its mascot.


This grazing animal from the Himalayas is Bhutan's national animal. What is its name?

The national animal of Bhutan, the takin, is found exclusively along the eastern reaches of the Himalayas. Its relatively small population is now threatened even further by human encroachment on some of its preferred habitats.


Costa Rica's national animal is also the state animal of Michigan and Arkansas--what is its name?

The white-tailed deer can only be naturally found in the Americas; however, its range in this half of the world is extremely extensive. This common deer can be found throughout most of North America and the northern reaches of South America -- it has also been introduced to the Caribbean and parts of Europe.


Croatia's national animal is a small mammal that is extremely common throughout most of Europe. What is its name?

The pine marten can be found throughout most of Europe, with a range that extends from Portugal to Turkey, and as far north as Scandinavia. They feed primarily on birds, small mammals ,fruit and insects.


What is the name of Sweden's national animal that is actually the largest member of the deer family?

Moose can be found in subarctic regions (and also somewhat temperate locations) in both North America and Eurasia. They are extremely massive and are capable of reaching heights (up to 6.9 ft) that are taller than the average man.


The island nation of Mauritius has which extinct flightless bird as its national animal?

Although countless animals have gone extinct throughout history, the flightless dodo bird is by far one of the most well-known examples. The dodo was native only to Mauritius and was pushed to extinction by the activities of European sailors and the animals they introduced to the island.


China's national animal is the large, bamboo-eating bear that goes by what name?

The giant panda is a black and white bear that is native only to China. Perhaps one of the most distinct things about the giant panda is its diet that consists almost entirely of bamboo, an odd fact since it is a member of the Carnivora order.


Which enormous herbivorous mammal serves as the national animal of Thailand?

Throughout history the Asian elephant has been culturally and economically significant to numerous cultures in South and Southeast Asia. In the region, domesticated elephants have been used for heavy labor (like moving logs) and and mounts during times of war.


The largest cat in the Americas is also Brazil's national animal. What is its name?

Historically, the jaguar has been culturally significant in much of the Americas, and it also serves as the national mammal of Mexico and the national animal of Guyana.


What is the name of the colorful, fast-moving bird that serves as a national symbol of Jamaica?

The red-billed streamertail is a species of hummingbird that is native only to the island Jamaica. It is also commonly referred to as the scissor-tail hummingbird or the doctor bird.


The largest land-dwelling mammal that is endemic to Australia is also its national animal. What is its name?

While Australia may be notorious for being the home of numerous dangerous animals, the innocuous red kangaroo is one of the country's most recognizable inhabitants. The red kangaroo is notable for being the largest marsupial in the world and the largest land-dwelling mammal endemic to Australia.


Finland's national animal is which species of large bear that can also be be found in Canada, the Caucasus and Russia?

The brown bear is notable for being one of the largest land-dwelling carnivores in the world, with only its frigid cousin the polar bear being slightly larger. It is culturally significant is several countries in the northern hemisphere and it serves as the national animal of Finland.


Which fierce and darkly colored feline serves as the national animal of Gabon?

Gabon's national animal, the black panther, is actually technically classified as a color variant of the leopard. Two black panthers are also prominently featured on the coat of arms of the country.


Papua New Guinea venerates which massive marine mammal as one of its national symbols?

The dugong is currently classified as vulnerable, primarily due to hunting and the degradation of its habitat. It primarily feeds on sea-grass, but may also eat algae and invertebrates to survive.


Which endangered primate that is native only to Madagascar serves as the country's national animal?

The ring-tailed lemur is found only on the island of Madagascar where it feeds primarily on fruit, leaves and small animals (insects and birds). They are currently classified as endangered, primarily due to habitat loss.


Scotland proudly uses which horned mythological animal as one of its most prominent national symbols?

The unicorn is a mythological animal that dates all the way back to ancient Indus Valley civilizations. The unicorn was adopted as a symbol by the Scots in medieval times and it is currently featured on the United Kingdom's royal coat of arms.


Which lion-fighting antelope currently serves and the national animal of Zimbabwe?

The sable antelope is a species of grazing animal that is plentiful throughout parts of Southern Africa and East Africa. When they are approached by predators, sable antelopes often fight head-on with their horns.


The national animal of the United States builds the largest nests of any living bird. What is its name?

The bald eagle is a predatory bird that can be found throughout most of the contiguous United States, Alaska and Canada. It is the national animal of the United States and is also culturally significant in several Native American cultures, such as the Lakota and the Navajo.


The island nation of Cyprus has which historically important grazing animal as a national symbol?

The mouflon is notably considered to be animal from which the domestic sheep is descended. Human activity has resulted in the animal being classified as "threatened."


New Zealand's nickname for its inhabitants comes from which flightless bird that is also a national symbol?

The kiwi is a species of small, flightless bird that is native only to New Zealand. When compared to other birds, the kiwi notably lays the largest egg compared to body size.


Denmark changed its national bird to which elegant white waterfowl in the 1980s?

Although it is called the "mute" swan, it is actually capable of vocalizing; it's just less likely to do so when compared to other swans. Up until 1984, Denmark's national bird was actually the Eurasian skylark.


Which hardy animal that is well-adapted to dry habitats serves as Eritrea's national animal?

Eritrea is a relatively small country that borders the Red Sea and lies in the Horn of Africa. The Arabian camel (also known as the dromedary) serves as the country's national animal and it is also displayed on the emblem of Eritrea as well.


Panama venerates which deadly bird of prey as a national symbol?

The harpy eagle has an extensive range that encompasses most of Central America and the northern reaches of South America. It is named after the harpy, a mythological beast that was half-bird and half-human.


Which grazing animal that has an eccentric appearance serves as the national animal of the Democratic Republic of the Congo?

The okapi is native only the the Democratic Republic of the Congo and it is currently classified as being endangered. Although their stripes are reminiscent of zebras, of their closest relative is the giraffe.


What is the name of the freshwater fish that is one of the most prominent symbols of Japan?

The famous koi that originated in East Asia is actually just specifically-bred colored varieties of carp (specifically the Amur carp). In Japanese culture, the koi is revered as a symbol of food fortune, luck and prosperity.


Nepal respectfully venerates which common domestic animal as a prominent national symbol?

As a country that has a majority Hindu population, it is not surprising that the cow (specifically the Achham cattle) is one of the most revered animals in Nepal. Cows in the country are not raised to be slaughtered for meat; they are only used as draft animals and dairy animals.


The national animal of Spain is also a central part of one of its most prolific cultural activities. What is its name?

The national animal of Spain is widely recognized to be the bull, specifically the Spanish Fighting Bull. Although bullfighting has come under heavy scrutiny in recent years, it still culturally significant in Spain, where it is legal in most areas.


Which large species of bird is a national symbol of Colombia and several other Andean regions as well?

As its name suggests, the Andean condor can be found throughout most of the Andes mountain range in South America. When both weight and wingspan are taken into account, the Andean condor is notable for being the world's largest flying bird.


Tanzania honors the tallest land animal in the world as a national symbol. What is its name?

While it may not be the largest in terms of overall body size, the giraffe's long neck allows it to proudly hold the title of tallest land animal in the world. It has been culturally significant to several African civilizations for thousands of years, including the Kushites, Egyptians and Nubians.


Canada's largest rodent is also one of its national symbols. What is it name?

After the capybara, the second largest rodent in the world is the North American beaver (based on the largest beaver ever recorded). It is one of Canada's most recognizable animals and is also the official mammal of the U.S. state of Oregon.


Which moderately-sized aquatic mammal was established as one of the most prominent symbols of Greece?

While the bottlenose dolphin may be more well-known in popular culture, the common dolphin was proudly established as one of Greece's national symbols. In fact, the importance of this aquatic animal dates back to ancient Greece, as is evident from its appearance in literature and art from that era.


What is the name of the curly-horned animal that serves as one of Pakistan's national symbols?

The markhor is a wild goat that can be found in the northern reaches of Pakistan, as well as parts of India and Afghanistan. Due to the shape of its horns, it is often referred to as the screw horn goat.


Indonesia proudly considers the largest lizard in the world to be one of its national symbols. What is its name?

The komodo dragon is most notable for its massive size, being capable of reaching lengths of up to 10 feet. Human expansion and activities has lead to it being classified as vulnerable.


Which colorful bird serves as the national animal of Cuba?

As its name suggests, the Cuban trogon is native to Cuba, where it is also known as the tocororo (a direct reference to its unique cry). It is notable for its ability to hover while eating and it feeds primarily on fruits, insects and flowers.


Mexico venerates which regal bird of prey as one of its most well-known national symbols?

The Golden eagle is a fearsome predator that has an extensive distribution across multiple continents, which has lead to it being classified as "least concern" in terms of conservation status. It is featured on the Mexican coat of arms and numerous state symbols across the world.


One of the rarest animals in Cambodia also serves as a national symbol, what is its name?

The Kouprey is a species of large grazing animal that is native to Southeast Asia. Although it is Cambodia's national animal, it has not been seen for decades and it is currently ranked as critically endangered.


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