ANIMAL VOCABULARY in ITALIAN: mammals, birds, fish…

We love them so much (or at least, most of them!), but often we do not know what they are called in a foreign language… We are talking about ANIMALS! Don’t be afraid! In this article, we’ll see what all ANIMALS are called in Italian.

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Categories of animals in Italian

Let’s start now because there are so many words! Take pen and paper, you will need them! We’ll categorize the animals for clarity.

 

MAMMIFERI  (MAMMALS):  when they are young, they eat the milk produced by the mother’s breast.

 

UCCELLI (BIRDS):  most of time, they have their body covered in feathers, a beak and two wings to fly.

 

RETTILI (REPTILES): usually they don’t have legs but they crawl.

 

INSETTI (INSECTS): the are generally very small ad they can fly.

 

ANFIBI (ANPHIBIANS): they are able to breathe in the water and even outside of it.

 

PESCI (FISH): they live in the water.

 

MAMMIFERI (MAMMALS)

Mammals that we can adopt as pets or that we find in farms:

Il gatto (cat)

Il cane (dog)

Il cavallo (horse)

L’asino (donkey)

Il coniglio (rabbit)

Il maiale (pig) – the female of the pig is la scrofa (sow)

La capra (goat)

La mucca (cow) – the male is il toro (bull)  (il bue -ox- a neutred male)

La pecora (sheep) – the male is il montone (mutton)

 

Wild mammals, which we can find in forest locations:

Il lupo (wolf)

La volpe (fox)

Il cervo (deer)

Il daino (deer)

Lo scoiattolo (squirrel)

La marmotta (marmot)

La renna (reindeer)

La scimmia (monkey)

Lo scimpanzé (chimpanzee)

L’orso (bear)

Il panda (panda)

Il cinghiale (wild boar)

L’alce (moose)

L’antilope (antelope)

La puzzola (skunk)

Il topo – il ratto (mouse-rat)

Lo stambecco (ibex)

Il riccio (hedgehog)

La lepre (hare)

La talpa (mole)

 

Mammals found in arid locations, with warm temperatures, or in the Savana:

La tigre (tiger)

Il leone (lion)

Il leopardo )leopard)

La giraffa (giraffe)

Il lama (llama)

L’elefante (elephant)

La zebra (zebra)

Il canguro (cangaroo)

Il koala (koala)

Il rinoceronte (rhino)

L’ippopotamo (hippo)

Il cammello (camel)

 

Marine mammals, found in seas or oceans:

La balena (whale)

Il delfino (dolphin)

La foca (seal)

Il leone marino (sealion)

L’orca (orca)

 

The only mammal that flies:

Il pipistrello (bat)

 

UCCELLI (BIRDS)

The most common birds, some of them we can see even in the city :

Il passero (sparrow)

La rondine (swallow)

La gazza (magpie)

L’usignolo (nightingale)

Il merlo (blacbird)

Il corvo (crow)

Il pappagallo (parrot)

Il piccione (pigeon)

Il canarino (canary)

Il picchio (woodpecker)

Il tucano (toucan)

 

Birds living near a pond:

L’oca (goose)

Il cigno (swan)

L’anatra (duck)

La papera (duck)

 

Birds of prey, are able to hunt other small animals :

Il gufo (owl)

La civetta (owl)

L’aquila (eagle)

Il falco (hawk)

 

Seabirds:

Il gabbiano (seagull)

Il pinguino (penguin)

L’albatro (albatross)

 

Wading birds with very long legs:

La cicogna (stork)

La gru (crane)

Il fenicottero (flamingo)

 

Birds that we can find on a farm, they can’t fly well:

Il fagiano (pheasant)

Il tacchino (turkey)

Lo struzzo (ostrich)

Il pavone (peacock)

Il gallo (rooster)

 

POLLO (CHICKEN) vs GALLO (ROOSTER) vs GALLINA (HEN)

I want to open a little parenthesis here about CHICKEN vs ROOSTER vs HEN, which often creates confusion for both Italians and foreigners. Is there a difference? And if so, which one?

So, the ROOSTER is the adult male, while the HEN is the adult female, raised mainly for the production of eggs.

The CHICKEN, on the other hand, is a hen still young, from which we get the meat we know. The young of the species, on the contrary, are called the CHICKS.

Having said that, in your opinion, which was born first, the egg or the chicken? Before continuing with the reading, write it in the comments!

 

RETTILI (REPTILES)

Some can be found even in the city, while others live in swampy areas:

La lucertola (lizard)

Il geco (gecko)

Il serpente (snake)

La tartaruga (turtle)

Il coccodrillo (crocodile)

 

INSETTI (INSECTS)

We definitely find them on flowers, in tall grass and in general on plants. It may happen, however, to run into some of them even at home:

L’ape (bee)

La vespa (wasp)

La mosca (fly)

La zanzara (mosquito)

La formica (ant)

La libellula (dragonfly)

La cavalletta (grasshopper)

Il grillo (cricket)

Il ragno (spider)

La lumaca (snail)

La coccinella (ladybug)

La farfalla (butterfly)

Lo scarafaggio (cockroach)

La cicala (cicada)

La lucciola (firefly)

Lo scarabeo (scrabble)

Lo scorpione (scorpion)

 

ANFIBI (ANPHIBIANS)

We can find them near a pond:

La rana (frog)

Il rospo (toad)

Il tritone (triton)

 

PESCI e altri ANIMALI MARINI (FISHES AND MARINE ANIMALS)

Il salmone (salmon)

Il tonno (tuna)

Il merluzzo (cod)

L’orata (sea bream)

Lo sgombro (mackerel)

La sardina (sardine)

Lo squalo (shark)

L’acciuga (anchovy)

La rana pescatrice (monkfish)

La spigola (bass)

La sogliola (sole)

L’anguilla (eel)

Il branzino (seabass)

Il dentice (redsnapper)

Il pesce spada (swordfish)

La ricciola (amberjack)

La triglia (mullet)

Il baccalà (salt cod)

 

CROSTACEI (CRUSTACEANS)

They have an armored body and are equipped with antennas:

Il gambero – Il gamberetto (shrimp)

L’aragosta – L’astice (lobster)

Il granchio (crab)

La cicala (mantis shrimp)

 

MOLLUSCHI (MOLLUSCS)

They have a soft body, some can be protected by an outer shell:

Il polpo (octopus)

Il calamaro (squid)

La seppia (cuttlefish)

La vongola (clam)

L’ostrica (oyster)

La cozza (mussle)

 

 OTHER MARINE WILDLIFE

Il riccio di mare (sea urchin)

La stella marina (starfish)

La medusa (jellyfish)

I coralli (coral)

 

Ah, among the animals there is also him: the worm (il verme)! An invertebrate animal, without any bone, with a long and cylindrical body, usually found in the ground. It’s definitely not our favorite animal!

 

Was the egg or the chicken born first?

Before concluding the reading, we wanted to give an answer to one of the most FAMOUS questions of all time!

Was the chicken born first?

According to science, the EGG was born first! The first bird eggs, in fact, go back, think about it, to 200 million years ago!

Birds, on the other hand, are born about 140 million years ago, descended from a group of small carnivorous dinosaurs. To have something similar to our chicken, however, we will have to go up to 50 million years ago.

 

What is your favorite pet? Do you own a pet pet? Is there anyone you’ve never seen? Let us know in the comments! If you want to learn more Italian vocabulary, take a look at our video-lesson on Italian vocabulary about clothes! And don’t forget to use uTalk if you want to learn other words and common phrases in Italian!

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