The CIA World Factbook has a comprehensive list of national animals, and Smithsonian Magazine compiled a list of 10 unusual national animals. The United States adopted the bald eagle as its national animal in 1782.
There are no strict rules for choosing a national animal. Any creature that has come to be closely identified with a country or entity can be selected, according to the CIA Factbook. Some countries have mythical beasts in addition to real ones. Scotland's national animal is the unicorn, which has been used in Scottish symbols since the 12th century.
The Komodo dragon, the world's largest living lizard, is the national animal of Indonesia. Mexico boasts five different national animals, including the golden eagle, which appears on the Mexican flag, the jaguar and the grasshopper. The vaquita is the national marine mammal of Mexico, and the Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced “show-low-itz-quint-lee”) is the country's national dog.