Can You Correctly Identify These Animals in French?

Monica Lee

Image: WikiCommons by Frosya a

About This Quiz

To quote the comedian Steve Martin, "It's like those French have a different name for everything!"  And they do! Although some words are actually the same as in English, such as rat, alligator and serpent. You'll also find there are animal names that may stump you, like raton laveur (racoon), papillon de nuit (moth) and requin (shark).  

How much French have you been exposed to in your life? A year in high school or college? Or have you traveled and know how to figure out the different Romance languages from the similarities of the words? Either way, you'll enjoy taking this quiz. It's a two-fold challenge. First, you need to identify the animal, and then you need to identify its name in French. It's lots of fun! 

You'll also learn a bit about the animals themselves, such as an otter's home is called a holt, or that the antlers (bois) of a moose are made of bone -- which is an extension of the skull itself. Comprend? Then get a croissant, fold one end in a napkin and dip into your coffee, (it's the French way) and begin this quiz. With 40 questions, you'll be able to find out how fantastique you are!


We'll start with an easy one. What is the French name of this cuddly creature?

Although most cats will pay attention to you if you call their name, they are not the type that will sit and chat with you. However, chat is their name in French.

This furry fur ball is also a household pet, what is its name in French?

No matter what size or shape, dog is man's best friend and a great companion. Chien is the word for dog in French.

There are other household pets you may own as well. What is the French name for this one?

The uret (ferret) is frolicking pet to have in your home. They are cuddly and curious, but they do bite.

Here's another pet you may have scurrying around in your home. What is the French name of this animal?

The gerbil is a great pet to have if you have kids, they won't bite no matter what the circumstance. Be aware they can squirm out of your hands and escape.

What is the French name of this animal that may be outside your window?

Whether you see red squirrels, gray squirrels or brown squirrels in your area, they are called Écureuil in French.

Do you have families of these animals in your neighborhood? What is their name in French?

Raccoons don't attack humans. Raccoons may huff, grunt or “charge” at you, but they're just trying to scare you off so you'll leave them alone.

What is the French name of this beauty?

Butterflies bring color and movement to the world. Papillon de nuit is a moth.

Stay away if you don't want to get sprayed. What is the French name for this animal?

Be aware when there are skunks around. If you approach too close they may spray you with an obnoxious odor.

Let's move out to farm country. What is the name of this animal in French?

Whether raised for milk or meat, cows are a vital resource to many countries.

This one you can ride. What is the French name for this animal?

Do you ride Western or English? Either way, horses can be saddled up and ridden into the sunset or used on the farm for workhorses.

We're still on the farm. What is the French name of this animal?

If you want to live on a farm, then get used to waking up early. Roosters start squawking at daylight.

Time to eat. What is the French name of this tasty treat?

French have no problem eating escargots, but some of don't like the idea of eating snails.

Yummy food. What is the French name of this animal?

Scallops with butter and garlic is delicious. But it may be hard to identify in the ocean. These sea creatures and others like shrimp and oysters are a favorite of many people.

Not as appealing to look at in the ocean, but another delicious dish. What is the French name for this animal?

Crevettes are shrimp and are a favorite dish in many cultures around the world.

Another culinary question. What is the French name of this animal?

Freshwater mussels inhabit lakes, ponds, rivers, creeks and canals. Maybe there are so many delicious recipes for this shellfish because they are so easy to find.

You can probably order in a French restaurant if you know the French name for this animal. What is it?

We hope you find a pearl, but if you don't, the meat alone is succulent and more than satisfying.

Let's head out to sea. What is the French name of this sea creature?

Don't try to spout off that you know all these French words unless you got this one right. Otherwise it will be a whale of a story.

If you're in these waters, don't bleed. What is the French name of this animal?

If you're in shark-infested water, don't bleed. Sharks can smell blood from a long way away.

What is the French name for this animal?

A jellyfish can sting you. So beware where you swim. Their tentacles have a poisonous sting.

Although this is served in restaurants, it's nasty to meet underwater. What is its French name?

Calamar is a squid. Although it tastes wonderful breaded or grilled. If you meet one underwater, stay away, large ones can be dangerous if they attack.

Some are harmless, some are not. What is the French name of this creature?

Spiders are good at catching flies and mosquitoes. However, there are also some species that can bite you.

This is a phase in this animal's lifecycle. What is the French name of this animal?

The caterpillar eats its weight (and more) in leaves and then spins a cocoon to emerge as a butterfly. An amazing creature of nature.

After it rains, you'll see this creature. What is its French name?

When it rains, worms get flooded out of their holes and can be found on the surface of the dirt, grass, sidewalk, etc. That's also when you'll see des oiseaux feasting on them.

The last question gave you a hint about the correct answer. What is the French name of this animal?

The French name for bird is oiseau. They are out eating worms after it rains.

Let's talk about stinging insects. What is the French name of this animal?

Frelon is a hornet, and when they get aggressive it's time to run away since they have a more painful sting than a wasp.

Careful what you swat. What is the French name of this flying creature?

Unlike bees, which can sting only once, wasps can sting multiple times. Which is a good reason to stay away from them.

In a sleeping bag? This one will drive you crazy. What is the French name for this flying insect?

A single mosquito can drive you crazy if you camp outside and are trying to sleep. Did you know only the females bite?

This one is a jumper. What is the French name for this animal?

Grasshoppers use muscles in their knee joints to effectively catapult themselves upward. Some species can leap as high as 10 inches or 25 centimeters.

Depending where you live, the chirps are lovely. What French animal is this?

The chirping of crickets can be very loud or can be comforting and can remind you of home, They make the chirping noise by rubbing their back legs together.

Out into the forest we go. What is the French name for this animal?

If it's springtime, you'll see lots of lapin around. Some people "breed like rabbits" which means they produce too many babies very quickly.

Look into the forest, and you may see this animal. What is the French name for it?

You are clever as a fox if you got this answer correct. Depending on where you live, foxes come in a variety of colors, from a light orange, resembling dark yellow, to a dark orange.

The antlers on these animals are impressive. What is the animal's French name?

Male moose grow antlers (bois) which is made of bone that is an extension of the skull.

If you see this animal in the forest, walk the other way. What is its French name?

Whether a black bear or grizzly bear, walk (or run!) the other way if you see one of these in the woods.

This animal is bigger than you think. What is its French name?

Although an elk is smaller than a moose, mature males are still 710 – 730 lbs and around 5 feet at the shoulder.

These animals can stop the flow of water. What is their French name?

The castor or beaver will build a dam with downed trees to stop the flow of a river. That enables them to build a conical or bank lodge made of mud, sticks and rocks.

Howl away at this one. What is the French name of this animal?

Although coyotes don't have the long, slow howl of wolves, they do yip-howl which are short howls that often rise and fall in pitch, punctuated with yaps and barks.

This animal likes to play, what is its French name?

The playful otter is so much fun to watch. Whether cracking open shells, caring for their young or building their home or holt, they seem to have fun doing it all.

Two more to go: What is the French name of this animal?

Although "The Three Blind Mice" nursery rhyme has them getting their tails cut off by a farmer's wife, you don't want mice in your home.

One more question to go: What is the French name of this animal?

The horn of the rhinoceros is made of keratin, the same type of protein that makes up hair and fingernails.

Final question, and it's an easy one. What's the French name of this animal?

Hungry after this quiz? Thank goodness you're not an elephant. An adult elephant can eat 300 pounds of food in a day, according to the National Geographic. Think about that grocery bill!

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