Japan, one of the richest Asian countries in terms of its culture, history and traditions, also presents an amazing fauna. Animals of all groups (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish), inhabit the great Japanese archipelago. In addition to its four main islands, Japan has more than 6,000 small islands, where its fauna appears as one of the main charms of the country of the rising sun.
Being an elongated archipelago that stretches from north to south along the east coast of Asia, it has different climates, from the sub-arctic region of Hokkaido to the subtropical islands of Nansei. In winter snowfalls and heavy rains occur in the central mountain range, while typhoons are common in summer. All this allows the development of ecosystems and that there is a great variety of plants andJapan animals .
In this AgroCorrn article you will discover the names and characteristics of +10 Japanese animals .
- Japanese black bear
- Tanuki, one of the best known Japanese animals
- Gato de Iriomote
- Japanese macaque, another of the most famous animals of Japan
- Giant flying squirrel
- Ogasawara Bat
- Japanese Serau
- Green pheasant
- Japanese salamander
- Koi, one of the best known aquatic Japanese animals
Japanese black bear
We start the list of Japanese animals with the spectacular Japanese black bear ( Ursus thibetanus japonicus ), which gets its common name due to its dense black fur.
It is the largest land animal that we can find in Japan, reaching two meters in height and weighing about 400 kilos. It lives exclusively on the island of Hokkaido. Its diet is omnivorous, although it mainly eats nuts and berries.
Tanuki, one of the best known Japanese animals
Locally known as tanuki or fortune raccoon dog ( Nyctereutes procyonoides ) , it is a carnivorous animal belonging to the dog family, although its appearance is similar to that of a raccoon. It lives in small groups, rarely appears alone, and is the only animal of this family (canids) that hibernates during the winter months (although its body temperature does not drop). It lives mainly in swampy areas with few trees.
It is one of the animals most respected by the local population, considering them as mythological animals of Japan, protectors of the supernatural and carriers of fortune.
Gato de Iriomote
Among the Japanese animals and within the group of felines, the Iriomote cat ( Prionailurus bengalensis iriomotensis ) stands out, an endemic species of the island of Iriomote, whose habitat is considered the smallest among all the species of wild cats that inhabit the planet. A subtropical climate prevails on the island, in whose forests and wetlands the Iriomote cat lives .
At present it is considered a living fossil, since its anatomy hardly differs from that which it presented in its most primitive form.
Japanese macaque, another of the most famous animals of Japan
Also known as the red-faced macaque, the Japanese macaque ( Macaca fuscata ) is the only primate that lives in the cold regions of the Japanese archipelago . These macaques are known worldwide for their relaxing bathing habits in the hot springs found in the mountains and sub-alpine deciduous forests, as well as in the coastal areas of a large number of Japanese islands. Its diet is omnivorous and currently lacks predators.
The Sika or sica deer ( Cervus nippon ) , is one of the most widespread deer in East Asia, inhabiting the forests of Siberia, Vietnam, Taiwan and Japan. It is medium in size and its antlers are highly developed, with white spots all over its body, dominated by a reddish fur.
Sika are revered by the traditional local populations of Japan, being considered as Japanese mythological animals that represent protective gods of nature.
Giant flying squirrel
Among the only two species of flying squirrels that inhabit the Old World, we find in Japan the giant flying squirrel ( Petaurista leucogenys ) . This species is the largest of all the squirrels in the world, reaching almost one meter in length (50 centimeters in body size plus 40 centimeters in the tail).
The flying quality is attributed to it due to its ability to glide, spreading the membranes between its legs like a parachute.
Learn more about What are flying mammals, their characteristics, names and photos with this other post.
Commonly known as the Ogasawara bat ( Pteropus pselaphon ) , it is a species within the group of bats that is endemic to these islands of the Japanese archipelago.
Its habitat includes the temperate and subtropical zones of the Ogasawara Islands, as well as the arid forests that are found there. Its diet includes numerous plants and mainly fruits (frugivorous diet).
Find out more about What are the characteristics of bats with this other AgroCorrn article.
Among the Japanese animals within the group of cattle that inhabit the Japanese islands, the serau ( Capricornis crispus ) stands out . It is a species related to goats . They are small in size and their antlers are very small. Its fur is gray and very dense, which helps the serau to survive during the cold winters of the sub-arctic regions of the Japanese archipelago where it lives.
Among the most emblematic animals of Japan is the green pheasant ( Phasianus versicolor ) . This bird is endemic to Japan and, therefore, it is considered the national bird.
It presents sexual dimorphism, that is, males and females are clearly differentiated by the color of their plumage and morphology. Males are large and robust, with brightly colored feathers (green and blue on the body, gray and brown on the tail); while the females are smaller and their plumage is mainly brown and gray.
Without a doubt, among the most surprising birds that inhabit Japan, appears the Onagadori , a species of domestic rooster ( Gallus gallus domesticus ). This breed of Japanese rooster is known for its extremely long tail (it can exceed one and a half meters in length). In 1952, the Onagadori was named as a Special National Treasure of the country, and can be found today as a domestic and ornamental animal in many Japanese farms.
The family of amphibians known as Hynobiidae, includes numerous different genera and species of salamanders that inhabit the humid regions of the Japanese archipelago. Among the endemic species of salamanders in Japan include the eastern salamander Sato ( Abe’s Salamander ), the nebula salamander Japan ( hynobius nebulosus ) and Japanese clawed salamander ( Japanese clawed salamander ).
Koi, one of the best known aquatic Japanese animals
We couldn’t finish this article on Japanese animals without naming the koi, the country’s iconic fish . Although the species, Cyprinus carpio is native to Europe (known as European common carp), koi, with bright orange colors, are genetic varieties of these carp, which came to Japan through China.
They are very resistant fish that live in brackish waters. In Japan there is a whole culture around koi, used as ornamentation in the artificial lakes of different types of Japanese gardens , parks and other public places.
If you want to read more articles similar to +10 Japanese animals , we recommend that you enter our Wild Animals category .
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