Spanish Lessons 101: Animals in Spanish

Which one is your favorite? El gato or el perro? Choose carefully. The cat is watching.

Spanish Lessons 101: Animals in Spanish

Hola, Spanish language aficionado! Welcome to another basic lesson about the animals in Spanish. Whether you want to find out what does el gato mean or how to say ‘dog’ in Spanish, stick around and read on. From fluffy pets to animals from the savannah or sea creatures, we’re going to explore the entire animal kingdom in search of a complete list of animals in Spanish.

Big, small, cute or menacing, furry or not, all animals are our neighbors on Earth. That’s why we should always remember to respect their boundaries. After all, we share a home and a trophic pyramid in which each species plays a crucial role. Except for the cat, of course. The cat is only here to make Zoom calls fun.

Now that we’ve settled that, let’s discuss what was promised: the animals in Spanish or los animales en español.

Pets and other domestic animals in Spanish

The animals are a universal topic of conversation thanks mainly to our pets. That’s why studying their names in Spanish is considered one of the most basic Spanish lessons together with the days of the week and saying hello. Besides, the animals and the sounds they make are also one of the first things we learn as children. It only makes sense to follow the same “recipe” when learning a new language as adults.

Here are the most popular farm animals and pets and their names in Spanish:

  • el pájaro – the bird
  • el toro – the bull
  • el gato – the cat
  • el pollo – the chicken
  • la vaca – the cow
  • el perro – the dog
  • el burro – the donkey
  • el pato – the duck
  • el pez – the fish
  • la cabra – the goat
  • la gallina – the hen
  • el caballo – the horse
  • el cerdo – the pig
  • el cachorro – the puppy
  • el conejo – the rabbit
  • el gallo – the rooster
  • la oveja – the sheep
  • la tortuga – the turtle
funny giraffe
“Helloooo” by thapanee srisawat©

Known as las mascotas in Spanish, the pets (together with the farm animals) make up most of the basic Spanish vocabulary about animals. Considering that they live in our homes or yards, it’s more likely to mention them during a conversation in Spanish rather than a zebra or a lion.

Birds and land animals in Spanish

Now you know that un gato is ‘a cat’ and un burro is a donkey in Spanish. But there are so many more wild animals out there. From mammals to insects, reptiles and birds – they all have their own names in Spanish.

Are you ready to move on to the wilderness? Let’s see how do you say ‘lion’ in Spanish.

Animal name in SpanishAnimal name in English
águilaeagle
osobear
ciervodeer
dinosauriodinosaur
elefanteelephant
gorilagorilla
leónlion
lagartolizard
monomonkey
ratónmouse
búhoowl
serpientesnake
tigretiger
arañaspider
cebrazebra
caracolsnail
cocodrilocrocodile
escarabajobeetle
hipopótamohippopotamus
hormigaant
jirafagiraffe
moscafly
zorrofox
lobowolf
cangurokangaroo
murciélagobat
palomapigeon
abejabee
mariposabutterfly

Grammatical gender in Spanish

If you are wondering what’s the correct grammatical gender for all these animals, let’s look at a short explanation.

As a general rule, nouns ending in -o in Spanish are masculine. On the other hand, nouns ending in -a are feminine. However, most animals in Spanish have both a male and a female form. But not all of them. For example, ‘the cat’ can be el gato (masculine) or la gata (feminine), but el hámster will always be masculine.

Aquatic animals and their names in Spanish

Last but not least, let’s boost your Spanish vocabulary with the Spanish names of fish and other aquatic animals.

Animal name in SpanishAnimal name in English
delfíndolphin
pulpooctopus
orcaorca
salmónsalmon
tiburónshark
atúntuna
ballenawhale
cangrejocrab
focaseal
pingüinopenguin
calamarsquid
langostalobster
medusajellyfish

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