6) Grey peacock-pheasant (Myanmar) –
A peacock and a pheasant?! Well, actually the peacock-pheasants are a particular bird genus (Polyplectron) who have wondrous ability to alter their shapes when they feel threatened. The Grey peacock-pheasants (also known as the Burmese peacock-pheasant) are the most widespread of this genus, and hence they are evaluated as a Species of Least Concern on list of Threatened Species by IUCN. As as is usual in the cases of birds, the male specimen tends to be more elaborate and ornamented than the female in its dark spotted plumage.
7) Harpy Eagle (Panama) –
The Harpy Eagle is the most powerful, largest and vicious raptor found in the extended continent of the Americas. With a wingspan that extends to more than 7 ft and a height that goes almost till 4 ft, the powerfully-built bird also has an exhilarating ‘swooping down’ speed of over 50 mph. So, it really comes as no surprise that the winged beast is named after the ‘Harpy‘, the mythological monster-creature with human face and eagle body. And as for the Harpy Eagle’s brutish capacity, the predator bird is even known to make preys of monkeys and sloths that mainly dwell inside rain forests.
8) Hedgehog, Rabbit and Wood Mouse (Monaco) –
The holy trinity of adorable critters – Monaco’s national animals are surely a far cry from the tiny tax haven’s ostentatious wealth, ritzy casinos and convoluted Grand Prix track. Now, were they inspired by the famous pop cultural characters of Sonic the Hedgehog, Bugs Bunny and Jerry? We highly doubt that, since Monaco’s other national symbols (like its flag) are often considered as being among the oldest ones in the world. And since we brought up the flag, here is a bit of trivia – the particular ensign showcases the same color-combination as that of Indonesia’s flag!
9) Okapi (Democratic Republic of the Congo) –
Often perceived as the closest ‘real’ thing to unicorn, the Okapi is incidentally also the closest relative to the tall Giraffe. In fact, both the animals have evolved from the ancient antelope, and still maintains no definite connection with the modern-day antelope. And, for those of you who are confused about its unicorn-related credentials – the Okapi is known for its ardent elusiveness (much like its mythical counterpart) so much so that the first photograph of the animal in its wild state was only captured after 2008. Unfortunately, a comprehensive study done in 2013 estimated that only around 10,000 Okapis remain in the wild – which sadly makes the ‘real unicorn’ an endangered species.
10) Unicorn (Scotland) –
Yes, you have read that right – unicorn! As a matter of fact, the unicorn has been a heraldic symbol of Scotland since the 12th century, and the mythical creature was also depicted in the gold coins of King James III during the late 15th century. And, while it may seem weird for a country to adopt this one-horned beast as a national animal; unicorns featured prominently in the Celtic mythology (as opposed to our earlier mentioned rooster), with them mainly symbolizing purity, innocence and even healing powers. The unicorn is presently used as one of the heraldic supporters in the royal coat of arms of United Kingdom, with the other supporter being a lion – thus epitomizing the union of England and Scotland.