The countries of the world are represented by a variety of animals. The following is a list of some of the more unique selections.
Creatures of Fantasy
Some countries have picked their national symbols from folklore and legends. Scotland claims the mythical unicorn as its animal. The powerful dragon symbolizes the countries of China and Vietnam. The phoenix, an emblem of rebirth, is the national animal for Greece.
Several nations have selected extinct animals as their national symbols. Libya and Morocco both picked the Barbary lion. This creature went extinct in the wild a century ago. It is possible that some lions in zoos are descendants from these animals.
The dodo represents the island of Mauritius. The dodo was a flightless bird that left little historical record. Even to this day, no one knows for sure what it looked like. All the dodos on the island were dead by 1681.
The Less Exotic Choices
While many countries have chosen exotic animals native to their lands, others have opted for more common animals. These animals, however, are surely just as important to them as any cheetah or panda is to another country. These common animals include the Manx cat for the Isle of Man and the European rabbit for Monaco.
These national animals are an important part of their country’s culture and history in their own way.