You can probably name the United States’ national animal: the bald eagle. But did you know the U.S. has another national mammal, the bison? About 35% of countries worldwide have multiple national animals representing them. These animals range from general national animals to more descriptive categories like national birds, national aquatic animals, and even a national horse or two. Some countries even share the same national or heraldic animal as other countries. There is one animal 17 different countries list as their national symbol. Plus, more countries than you might think are represented by mythical creatures. The world’s national animals include more dragons, double-tailed lions, phoenixes, and unicorns than appear in Harry Potter and throughout all eight seasons of Game of Thrones combined. Read on to discover more about the national animals of every country.
View National Animals of Every Country in a full screen map
The map contains 158 national animals. Sort them by the categories our data source noted, which includes national insects, reptiles, heraldic symbols, and more.
The national animals can be grouped into ten categories. The most frequent category is simply “national animal,” of which there are 87 on the map. Typically, each country has just one official national animal that is the ultimate representation of the country. Some places may also have a national bird. In fact, 33 countries list national birds. Plus, there are 16 national heraldry animals. Heraldic national animals are drawings of animals that may have appeared on a shield throughout the country’s history. There are also ten national aquatic animals and five national insects, along with national dogs, heritage animals, horses, predators, and reptiles.
You can sort the map above by these ten national animal categories, just as you can do with any map made with BatchGeo. It’s called map grouping, which allows you to use groups to break down your data and see trends on a map.
Seventeen countries have the same national animal: the lion. However, there are some differences between the lions that represent these countries. Five countries list the lion as a heraldic national animal. Belgium’s is the mythical Belgic lion, while the double-tailed lion, another mythological creature, represents the Czech Republic. In addition to Belgium and the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, and Norway also have heraldic lion national animals.
Iran’s national lion is more specific: the Persian lion. Compared to the typical African lion, the Persian lion is smaller and less hairy. However, aside from the five countries with heraldic national lions and Iran, the following 11 countries have the exact same African lion as their national animal:
- The Gambia
- Sierra Leone
- Sri Lanka
You’ll note that seven out of the 11 countries are in Africa. This makes sense seeing as it is the African lion that represents them all. Then we have the second most common national animal: the Arabian oryx. This little antelope is the national animal of Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.
Pakistan, Finland, India, and Mexico each have more than four national animals. Pakistan has six distinct animals. The country is ultimately represented by their main national animal: the Markhor. However, Pakistan also lists a national aquatic animal, the Indus river dolphin, a national bird, the Chukar, and a national reptile, the Indus crocodile. They also have a national heritage bird: the Shaheen falcon, which we categorized as a national bird on the map. Plus, Pakistan is the only country with a national predator: the Snow leopard.
Finland, India, and Mexico have five different national animal symbols. Finland’s national animal is the Brown bear. The country also has a national bird, the Whooper swan, and a national aquatic animal, the European perch. Plus, they have a national insect, the Seven-spot ladybird, and a national butterfly, the Holly blue, that we paired with the other insects on the map.
India is much the same as Finland, with the addition of a national reptile, the King cobra and a national heritage animal, the Indian elephant. India’s #1 national animal is the Royal Bengal tiger. Mexico also has a similar makeup as the other two countries with five national animal symbols. However, Mexico also has a national dog, the Xoloitzcuintli, and a national mammal, the Jaguar, which for mapping purposes, we paired with other national animals. Mexico’s main national animal is the Golden eagle, which also appears on the national flag.
Overall, 35 out of the 102 countries represented on the map have more than one national animal. Breaking it down, 23 countries have two national animal symbols. Eight countries have three national animals, three places have five, while only Pakistan boasts six national animals.
We found it fascinating that the following 15 countries have mythical national animals:
- Austria — Austrian Bundesadler “Federal Eagle”
- Belgium — Leo Belgicus “Belgic lion”
- Bhutan — Druk
- China — Chinese dragon
- Czech Republic — Double-tailed lion
- Germany — Bundesadler “Federal Eagle”
- Greece — Phoenix
- Hungary — Turul
- Indonesia — Garuda
- North Korea — Chollima
- Portugal — Cock of Barcelos
- Russia — Double-headed eagle
- Scotland — Unicorn
- Serbia — White eagle
- Wales — Y Ddraig Goch (Welsh Dragon)
Now that you know the national animals of every country, it’s time to expand your knowledge even further. Check out our map of the state birds, capitals, and flowers of each of the 50 United States. It will even show you how to make your own flashcard maps to help you visualize your data. With BatchGeo, the visual learning options are endless.