What Is The National Animal Of France?


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Florent Lefortier Profile
The unofficial national animal of France is the Gallic rooster, or le coq gaulois.

Why Is France’s National Animal A Rooster?
The answer to this is pretty simple, really! In the Middle Ages, the Latin word for an inhabitant of Gaul (a region in the Iron Age that encompassed modern-day France, Belgium, Luxembourg, most of Switzerland, and part of Italy) was Gallus, and the Latin for “cockerel” or “rooster” was gallus.

At the time, France’s enemies thought this was hilarious, and would use the pun to make fun of the French. It wasn’t until later that the French began to identify with the rooster: The bird has Biblical connotations, and so it seemed like a good symbol of France as a Catholic nation.

After a while, the rooster’s use as a national icon began to fade out, and wasn’t brought back until the French Revolution in the 18th century.

Nowadays, the Gallic rooster is most frequently used as a mascot of sorts, particularly at international sporting events. 

The French version of “cock-a-doodle-doo” – cocorico! – is often used as a light-hearted expression of national pride.

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