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An exhaustive list of animal names in French

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If you’ve decided to take learning French seriously (and you’re here, so you probably have), this list will come in handy time and time again. It features the French name of a host of animal names: birds, fish, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, sea animals, desert animals, arctic animals… the list goes on. Literally.

You’ll find that a good number of animal names are spelled identically or almost the same way in English and in French, which is quite convenient. In other cases, learning the French equivalent will take a bit more time, but no worries! You don’t have to (and, well, physically can’t) learn all of these nouns in a single session, so have fun looking up and learning the French equivalents of your favorite animals.


alligatorl’alligator (m)
alpacal’alpaga (m)
antla fourmi
anteaterle tamanoir
antelopel’antilope (f)
armadillole tatou


baboonle babouin
badgerle blaireau
bearl’ours (m)
beaverle castor
beesl’abeille (f)
belugale béluga
bird of paradisel’oiseau (m) de paradis
bisonle bison
blackbirdle merle
boale boa
boarle sanglier
brown bearl’ours brun
buffalole buffle
bumblebeele bourdon
butterflyle papillon


camelle chameau
capybarale capybara
caracalle caracal
chicken/ roosterla poule / le coq
chimpanzeele chimpanzé
clothes mothla mite
clownfishle poisson clown
cockroachla blatte
condorle condor
cowla vache
crable crabe
crawfish/ crayfishl’écrevisse (f)
crocodilele crocodile
cuckoole coucou


deerle chevreuil
dingole dingo
dolphinle dauphin
donkeyl’âne (m)
dovela colombe
dragonflyla libellule
dromedaryle dromadaire


eaglel’aigle (m)
eel/ electric eell’anguille (f) / l’anguille (f) électrique
elephant / African elephantl’éléphant (m) / l’éléphant d’Afrique
elephant seall’éléphant (m) de mer
elkl’élan (m)
emul’émeu (m)


falconle faucon
fireflyle ver luisant
flamingole flamant
fleala puce
flyla mouche
foxle renard
frogla grenouille


gazellela gazelle
gazellela gazelle
giraffela girafe
gnu/ wildebeestle gnou
goatla chèvre
goosel’oie (f)
groundhog/ woodchuck, marmotla marmotte
grousele tétras


hawkle faucon
harele lièvre
hedgehogle hérisson* (aspirated h!)
hippopotamusl’hippopotame (m)
horsele cheval
hummingbirdle colibri


jaguarle jaguar
jellyfishla méduse


kangaroole kangourou
kiwile kiwi
koalale koala
krillle krill


ladybug/ ladybirdla coccinelle
larkl’alouette (f)
lionle lion
llamale lama
lynxle lynx


macaquele macaque
magpiela pie
maybugle (!) hanneton* (note: we have an aspirated h here!)
meerkat/ suricatele suricate
mothle papillon de nuit
mousela souris


narwhalle narval
newtle triton
nutriale ragondin


okapil’okapi (m)
orangutanl’orang-outan (m)
orcal’orque (f)
ostrichl’autruche (f)
otterla loutre
owlla chouette/ le hibou (aspirated h!)
oysterl’huître (f)


pandale panda
pantherla panthère
parrotle perroquet
peacockle paon
penguinle manchot
pigle cochon
polar bearl’ours (m) blanc
ponyle poney
prairie dogle chien de prairie
puma/ cougarle puma


rabbitle lapin
raccoonle raton laveur
ratle rat
rattlesnakele crotale
ravenle corbeau
rayla raie
reindeerle renne
rhinocerosle rhinocéros
rhinoceros beetlele scarabée rhinocéros


salamanderla salamandre
scorpionle scorpion
sealle phoque
seagullla mouette/ le goéland (bigger)
sharkle requin
snaill’escargot (m)
snow leopardla panthère des neiges
sparrowle moineau
spiderl’araignée (f)
squirrell’écureuil (m)
stag beetlele lucane (or: le cerf-volant for the male and la grande biche for the female)
starfishl’étoile (f) de mer
swanle cygne


tapirle tapir
tarantulala mygale
termitele termite
tigerle tigre
toadle crapaud
toucanle toucan
troutla truite
tunale thon
turkeyla dinde/ le dindon
turtlela tortue


viperla vipère
vulturele vautour


walrusle morse
waspla guêpe
wolfle loup
wombatle wombat
woodpeckerle pic-vert
wormle ver de terre


yakle yack


zebrale zèbre

That’s it! And if you’d like to read about specific animals for fun (and to boost your French skills), check out the contents of this article.

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