Can You Identify All of These European Animals?

By: Jacqueline Samaroo

As its name suggests, the Arctic fox makes its home in the frigid Arctic region at Earth's northernmost reaches (in Europe it can be found in parts of Russia, Iceland, Norway, etc.). In some areas, it is referred to as the snow fox or the polar fox (due to its native habitat), or simply the white fox.

Although the red squirrel is a common sight in Europe, in some areas it is threatened due to competition with the recently introduced eastern grey squirrel. It is also known as the Eurasian red squirrel due to the fact that it can be found throughout most of Europe and the northern reaches of Asia.

The Cretan goat is It is oftentimes referred to as the Cretan ibex or more frequently as the kri-kri. It is currently endangered and is only native to Crete and a few surrounding islands.

The Alpine ibex is a wild goat that is renowned for its excellent climbing ability. As its name suggests, its primary habitat is the Alps, where it thrives on the rocky and treacherous cliff sides.

The Corsican hare gets its name from its primary habitat, the island of Corsica that is found in the Mediterranean Sea. It is also found in some parts of mainland Italy and it is oftentimes also referred to as the Italian hare or the Apennine hare.

The European ferret is native to a large portion of the continent, although it is less common in the northern region. It is often referred to as the common ferret and throughout history it has been hunted for sport or for its fur.

As its name would suggest, the Iberian lynx is native only to the Iberian peninsula (Portugal and Spain). It is currently endangered, with its population having been decreased in recent years by a lack of readily available prey (the European rabbit).

The Sicilian pond turtle is a relatively small reptile that is closely related to other pond turtles like the western pond turtle and the European pond turtle. This turtle gets its name from the fact that it is native to Sicily and is usually found in ponds (or other freshwater sources).

The aptly named brown bear is a massive ursine animal that can be found primarily in Europe's northern reaches but it is also scattered throughout the rest of the continent as well. This species of bear holds the distinction of being the second largest land-dwelling carnivore in the world.

The Sardinian long-eared bat gets its name from the fact that it native only to the Italian island of Sardinia. It is relatively small, with its body being usually less than 2 inches in length.

The wood mouse gets its name from its preferred habitat, wooded areas like forests; however, it can also be regularly seen in farmlands and fields. As a result of this, it is also sometimes referred to as the common field mouse or the long-tailed field mouse.

The red deer is a relatively common species of deer that can be found throughout a large portion of Europe, as well as also select parts of North Africa and Western Asia. It is an extremely important part of the history of the region, featuring heavily in ancient folklore and medieval heraldry.

The gray seal can be found on shores that are washed by the North Atlantic Ocean; in Europe it can be found in Iceland, the UK, France, Scandinavia, and Germany This species of seal is also sometimes referred to as the horsehead seal or the Atlantic seal.

The lesser horseshoe bat is one of the smallest species of bat in the world, with a body length (excluding wingspan) that on average ranges from 1.3 inches to 1.8 inches. Its name is a direct reference to its nose, which is distinctly shaped like a horseshoe.

The polar bear is a massive mammal that can be found living in the Arctic Circle. It is not bothered by the cold and is easily able to adeptly swim in frigid water while hunting seals.

The Italian wolf gets its name from the fact that it primarily makes its home in the Italian peninsula, however it has been extending its range to parts of France in recent years. Its conservation status is ranked as threatened, with the overall population estimated to number in the low thousands.

The smooth snake is a species of reptile that can be found throughout Europe (from as far west as Portugal) and even into parts of western Asia (Iran, Turkey, Armenia, etc.). It is nonvenomous and instead uses constriction when hunting.

As its name suggests, the sand lizard prefers sandy habitats like sand dunes and arid shrublands; however, it can often be found in some urbanized environments as well. It can be found as far west as the United Kingdom and as far east as Mongolia.

The pine marten is an extremely common species of mustelid that can be found throughout most of Europe. It is notable for its role in helping to cull the population of the gray squirrel, an invasive species that threatens the survival of the native red squirrel.

The alpine marmot is a species of relatively large rodent that can be found throughout the central mountainous regions of Europe. This marmot is an extremely proficient digger, having the ability to break through particularly tough soil.

Although it is called the Greek tortoise, this reptile ca be found as far west as Spain and North Africa, as well as further east into Asia. These tortoises are capable of living for extremely long periods of time, easily being able to surpass 125 years in age.

Although the wels catfish wasn't native to western Europe, it has recently been introduced there and has quickly become popular for sport fishing. The wels catfish can live for 50 years or more and like all species of catfish it doesn't have scales.

The European hedgehog is a small mammal that is relatively common throughout Europe, ranging from as far north as Scandinavia and as far south as the Iberian peninsula. It is a nocturnal animal and feeds on insects, earthworms, slugs and plant life.

The Barbary macaque is a species of primate that can be found in Gibraltar. It is notable for being the only primate (apart from humans) that is found living freely in Europe.

The walrus is an an aquatic mammal that can be found in the Arctic Ocean and subarctic regions of the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean. They are incredibly massive, with male walruses being able to easily exceed 4,000 lbs.

The four-lined snake can be found in the southern reaches of Europe; primarily Italy and the western reaches of the Balkans. It is perhaps most notable for the fact that it is one of the largest snakes that is native to Europe.

Although it can be found in southeastern Europe, the marbled polecat has a much more widespread range in Asia that stretches from the far west all the way to China. Their diet consists of small mammals, lizards, frogs, insects and fish; however, they have been known to eat domesticated animals like chickens and steal processed foods like cheese.

Although the European beaver may look strikingly similar to its North American counterpart, the two are not genetically compatible and cannot interbreed. It is oftentimes referred to as the Eurasian beaver, since its range also extends into Asia (as far east as China).

The Ottoman viper gets its name from the fact that its native habitat lies primarily within Turkey (and parts of Greece), the historical seat of the Ottoman Empire. It feeds on small mammals and birds and like all vipers it is venomous.

The tawny owl can be found throughout most of Europe, parts of Northern Africa, and sections of Asia. In the folklore of the region, it has become associated with death and bad luck.

The speckled ground squirrel makes its home in the east, including countries like Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Poland. It is currently ranked as near threatened and its population in some countries -- like Poland -- has dwindled drastically in recent years.

The Norway lemming is a relatively small rodent that usually measures around 6 or so inches. As the name suggests, these rodents can be found throughout virtually all of mainland Norway (and also in neighboring regions as well).

From the 19th century onward, the European mink has been significantly threatened when it comes to its survival in the wild. It is now critically endangered as a result of several factors; including the introduction of the invasive American mink, habitat loss, and climate change.

As its name suggests, the Spanish pond turtle maintains a large presence Spain. However, a significant population does exist in Northwestern Africa and there have been reports of it being sighted in southwestern France.

The fire salamander is distributed throughout a wide range of the European mainland and it is notable for being one of the most common species of salamander that can be found in the continent. They primarily feed on insects and worms and are capable of living for 50 years or more.

Although it is called the European rabbit, this small mammal can also be found in parts of North Africa and it has been introduced to Australia, New Zealand and Chile. In the past it was incredibly abundant in Europe; however, it is now currently ranked as "near threatened".

The fallow deer is a species of herbivorous mammal that is extremely common in Europe and parts of Asia. It has been introduced to a wide array of locations around the world; such as Argentina, Canada and South Africa.

The roe deer is distributed across most of mainland Europe, the UK and parts of Western Asia. In the original Austrian novels, Bambi was described as a male roe deer. However, in the Disney animated film of the same name, Bambi was changed to be a mule deer.

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About This Quiz

Are you a fearsome feline or a factual fox?

When it comes to continents, Europe is notably small compared to all of the others (being only larger than Australia). However, even though it may not be as massive as the other continents, Europe still manages to boast a wide array of diverse animals. This is somewhat due to the fact that Europe is in such close proximity to other larger and more diverse continents like Africa and Asia. In fact, at their closest point both Europe and Africa are less than 9 miles apart from each other. This fact means that many animals that can be found in the northern reaches of Africa can usually be found in European countries that are washed by the Mediterranean Sea (like Spain, France, and Italy). Also, animals don't care about the geopolitical border that separates Europe from Asia, so countless animals have a "Eurasian" distribution.

In this quiz, we've taken a look at the countless diverse species that call Europe their home and selected just a handful of them. These animals are notable for a variety of reasons; whether that be their size, their ferociousness or their importance in folklore. Are you ready to dive into the wild side of Europe? Then let's jump right into this quiz and get started! 

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