Scotland's official national animal is the unicorn, a fictitious creature. The unicorn has been a Scottish heraldic symbol since the 12th century, when William I put it on an early form of the Scottish coat of arms.Know More
When King James VI of Scotland succeeded Elizabeth I of England, uniting the two countries, the Scottish Royal Arms featured two unicorns supporting the royal shield. As a gesture of unity, James replaced the left unicorn with the English lion. This provides strong symbolism, as mythology paints the lion and the unicorn as enemies, vying for the crown of king of beasts; the unicorn rules through harmony and the lion by might.
The United Kingdom's Royal Coat still has the English lion on the left and the Scottish unicorn on the right. Scotland's Royal Coat of Arms has them reversed.Learn more about Europe
Though there is a bit of debate regarding the official national animal of Italy, the golden eagle and Italian wolf have both been deemed Italy's national animals by different sources. Although these animals are not officially recognized, unofficially they are regarded by certain sects as Italian symbols.Full Answer >
Switzerland does not have a national animal. There are many popular animals in the country, such as the cow and the blackbird, but none have ever been chosen to represent the nation as a whole.Full Answer >
The red deer is the national animal of Ireland. They are the largest and only native species of deer found in Ireland. Red deer have a rich red-colored coat that darkens to grey-brown in winter.Full Answer >
The national animal of Portugal is the Iberian wolf. The country has a national bird as well, which is the Barcelos cock.Full Answer >