第156課: Plants & Animals

We humans share the planet with many kinds of living things. We all probably know the names of hundreds in our native languages, but what about Japanese? All speakers of Japanese will know just as many organism-related words as you do in English, or perhaps even more depending on their occupation. In this lesson, the goal will not be to learn each and every word that describe living things, but by studying them in real life examples, the hope is that you'll have a resource more useful than a simple vocabulary list. 

 Evolutionary Tree 系統樹

All life (生命) on Earth (地球) is thought to have a common ancestor (共通祖先).This primitive life-form (原始生命体) is thought to have arisen soon after the emergence of water. Taxonomy (分類学) is the classification of living things in biology (生物学). This field is consistently being revamped as more is learned about living things. When you visit any zoo (動物園), aquarium (水族館), botanical garden (植物園), or any display of living things, you will encounter various classification words that aim to distinguish organisms from each other.     

In English, most speakers are familiar with words such as "animal" (動物), "plant" (植物), "mammal" (哺乳類), "reptile" (爬虫類), "bird" (鳥類), "fish" (魚類) "insect" (昆虫), "bacteria" (細菌), etc. In biology class, you may have seen a more specific breakdown of life like the following:   

 物 → ドメイン → 界 → 門 → 綱 → 目 → 科 → 属 → 種
Organism → Domain → Kingdom → Phylum → Class → Order → Family → Genus → Species

As a quick example, humans can be simply referred to as ヒト, but there once lived other human species. Many of you have probably heard the term Homo Sapiens (ホモサピエンス), which happens to be the technical name of our species. The genus Homo ホモ属 would encompass all of our human relatives/ancestors that are deemed to have diverged from other life in our "family" (ヒト科), which includes all great apes (類人猿). Mankind then falls under the primate order (サル目), then under the Mammalia class (哺乳鋼),  then under the phylum Chordata (脊索動物門), then under the kingdom Animalia (動物界), and then finally under the domain 真核生物 (eukaryote). 

What Words Should You Study?

As a Japanese learner, there isn't a need to learn all these complicated terms, but it is important to know that many of them do find their way in common usage. If your goal is to learn Japanese at a conversational level, knowing how to say words like "kangaroo," "rose," "bear," etc. will be all you'll need. If your goal is to know Japanese at a near-native level, then you'll need to learn a lot more vocabulary. 

Looking at long lists of words, though, is not always helpful when learning vocabulary--regardless of your goal for learning. As such, we'll be learning groups of words with similar meaning. Based on your level/aim of learning, you are free to skim for what you need. Each section will begin with a vocab chart. If a word is deemed necessary for any learner of Japanese, it will be in bold. 

Orthography Note: When species are discussed in a biology setting, they are written in カタカナ. In common practice, names are written in either 漢字 or かな, with 漢字 use being determined by the complexity of the spelling.   

Broad Terms

When you think of plants and animals, you likely start off by thinking in the broadest of terms. You know there are fish, birds, etc., but you may not know the difference between a herring and a bass. Even if you don't know the difference between the two, you may still recognize them as both being species of fish. Japanese speakers are no different in this way, but if you want to talk about all the creatures of the world in Japanese, you will need to start somewhere. As such, here are the most basic broad terms you might want to learn.

 動物 どうぶつ  Animals 植物 しょくぶつ  Plants 細菌 サイチョウいん Bacteria
 哺乳類 ほにゅうるい Mammals 爬虫類 はちゅうるい Reptiles 両生類 りょうせいるい Amphibians
 鳥類 ちょうるい Birds 昆虫 こんちゅう Insects 恐竜 きょうりゅう Dinosaurs
 齧歯類 げっしるい Rodents 鯨類 げいるい Cetaceans 甲殻類 こうかくるい Crustaceans
 魚類 ぎょるい Fish 有袋類 ゆうたいるい Marsupials  ウイルス Viruses
 菌類 きんるい Fungi      

Vocabulary Notes:

1. Many more broad terms that may refer to various classes, families, orders, etc. of life do exist, but these are the most essential words you'll encounter. 
2. These words are all taxonomic words and are to be distinguished from vernacular words such as 鳥 (bird), 虫 (bug), 魚 (fish). 
3. Viruses are not officially viewed as living things, but they are a part of our world and are very often the topic of discussion. 

The Animal Kingdom (動物界)

Let's now look at the various species of animals that you may hear of in Japanese. To make things easier, we'll split things up by looking at mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, sea creatures, and insects. 


  イヌ Dog 猫 ネコ Cat
 牛 ウシ Cow 豚 ブタ Pig
 羊 ヒツジ Sheep 山羊 ヤギ Goat
 鹿 シカ  Deer 狐 キツネ Fox
  ウマ Horse 驢馬 ロバ Donkey
 騾馬 ラバ Mule  ネズミ Mouse/rat
  ウサギ Rabbit
 ハムスター Hamster
  ヤク Yak  モルモット Guinea pig
 箆鹿 ヘラジカ Moose  オオカミ Wolf
 駱駝 ラクダ Camel 縞馬 シマウマ Zebra
 馴鹿 トナカイ Reindeer 蝙蝠 コウモリ Bat
 麝香猫 ジャコウネコ Civet cat 山鼠 ヤマネ Dormouse
  バイソン Bison  カピバラ Capybara
 獅子 シシ Lion 虎 トラ Tiger
  リンクス Lynx  ジャガー Jaguar
  ヒョウ Leopard 雪豹 ユキヒョウ Snow leopard
 狩猟豹* チーター Cheetah  ゾウ Elephant
  オセロット Ocelot  ピューマ Puma
 雲豹 ウンピョウ Clouded leopard  カラカル Caracal
  サーバル Serval  ベンガル Bengal
 鼬 イタチ Weasel 貂 テン Marten
 毛長鼬 ケナガイタチ Polecat  フェレット Ferret
 飯綱 イイズナ Least weasel  ミンク Mink
  スカンク Skunk  ミーアキャット Meerkat 
  コヨーテ Coyote  イノシシ Boar
 獏 バク Tapir 洗熊 アライグマ Raccoon
 貉 ムジナ Badger  タヌキ Raccoon dog
 穴熊 アナグマ Badger 土竜 モグラ Mole
  アルマジロ Armadillo  オポッサム Opossum
 河馬 カバ Hippopotamus 犀 サイ Rhinoceros
 猿 サル Monkey 類人猿 ルイジンエン Ape
 大猩々 ゴリラ Gorilla 黒猩々 チンパンジー Chimpanzee
  ボノボ Bonobo 猩々 オランウータン Orangutan
 狒々 ヒヒ Baboon 狐猿 キツネザル Lemur
 麒麟 キリン Giraffe 鬣狗 ハイエナ Hyena
  オカピ Okapi  クマ Bear
 月の輪熊 ツキノワグマ Moon bear 北極熊 ホッキョクグマ Polar bear
 樹懶 ナマケモノ Sloth 樋熊・羆 ヒグマ Brown bear
 河馬 カバ Hippopotamus 大熊猫 パンダ* Panda
  ヌー Gnu  インパラ Impala
  クーズー Kudu  マングース Mongoose
  ペッカリー Peccary  オリックス Oryx
 羚羊・氈鹿 カモシカ Serow 小熊猫 レッサーパンダ Lesser Panda
 蟻喰 アリクイ Anteater 山荒 ヤマアラシ Porcupine
 針鼠 ハリネズミ Hedgehog 疣猪 イボイノシシ Warthog
長尾驢 カンガルー Kangaroo 袋熊*・子守熊 コアラ Koala
  ワラビ― Wallaby  ウォンバット Wombat
  クスクス Cuscus 袋猫 フクロネコ Quoli
 鯨 クジラ Whale 海豚 イルカ Dolphin
 一角 イッカク Narwhal  シャチ Killer whale
 水牛 スイギュウ Water buffalo 白海豚 シロイルカ Beluga whale
 儒艮 ジュゴン Dugong 白長須鯨 シロナガスクジラ Blue whale
 海獺・猟虎 ラッコ Sea otter 膃肭臍 オットセイ Fur seal
 海象 セイウチ Walrus 海豹 アザラシ Seal
 海馬 トド Steller sea lion 海驢 アシカ Sea lion
 獺 カワウソ Otter 栗鼠 リス Squirrel
 雨虎 アメフラシ Sea hare 鼯鼠 モモンガ Flying squirrel

Vocabulary Notes:

1. The word "panda" is a loanword from English. 熊猫 is the 漢字 attributed to this animal, which may be read as くまねこ (the native name) or ションマオ (its Japanized Mandarin pronunciation). 大熊猫 specifically refers to the ジャイアントパンダ (giant panda).  
2. 袋熊 read as ふくろぐま is the native name for "koala," which would only be seen in literature.
3. 狩猟豹 may also be read as しゅりょうひょう, which is an older word for cheetah. 


The world is full of species of birds. When it comes to Japanese, you'll need to understand that the most important words will pertain to species native to Japan. Those words will be the primary focus of this section. In addition, birds in particular are notoriously hard to spell in 漢字, many of which have more than one possible spelling. When in doubt, write in カタカナ. 

 鶏 ニワトリ Chicken 鳩・鴿 ハト Pigeon
 家鴨・鶩 アヒル Domestic duck 鴨 カモ Duck
 白鳥 ハクチョウ Swan 鷹 タカ Hawk
 鸚哥 インコ Small parrot 鷲 ワシ Eagle
 金剛鸚哥 コンゴウインコ Macaw 背黄青鸚哥 セキセイインコ  Parakeet 
 梟 フクロウ Owl 鴎 カモメ Seagull
 鴛鴦 オシドリ Mandarin duck 青懸巣 アオカケス Blue jay
 阿呆鳥 アホウドリ Albatross  ウグイス Warbler
 鶺鴒 セキレイ Wagtail 鶚 ミサゴ Osprey
 雲雀 ヒバリ Skylark  ツバメ Swallow
 軍鶏 シャモ Shamo (kind of chicken) 鵞鳥 ガチョウ  Goose
 鶫 ツグミ Thrush 鵯 ヒヨドリ Bulbul
 大嘴 オオハシ Toucan  ツル Crane
 鸚鵡 オウム Large parrot 鴫・鷸 シギ Sandpiper
 黄巴旦 キバタン Crested cockatoo  コウノトリ Stork
 紅鶴 フラミンゴ Flamingo  カササギ Magpie
  サギ Heron 鳶 トビ・トンビ Kite
 雁 カリ Wild goose  トキ Ibis
 鴉・烏 カラス Crow 千鳥・鵆 チドリ Plover
 田鳧 タゲリ Lapwing 水鶏 クイナ Rail
  ウズラ Quail 駝鳥 ダチョウ Ostrich
 時鳥・杜鵑・子規 ホトトギス Lesser cuckoo 鴯鶓 エミュー Emu
 企鵝 ペンギン Penguin 雀 スズメ Sparrow
 駒鳥 コマドリ Robin 雉 キジ Pheasant
  キュラソー Curassow 椋鳥 ムクドリ Starling
 白頭鷲 ハクトウワシ Bald eagle 舎久鶏 シャクケイ Guan
 孔雀 クジャク Peacock 白鷺 シラサギ Egret
 箆鷺 ヘラサギ Spoonbill  ペリカン Pelican
 啄木鳥 キツツキ Woodpecker 蜂鳥 ハチドリ Hummingbird
 川蝉・翡翠 カワセミ Kingfisher 犀鳥 サイチョウ Hornbill
 蜂喰 ハチクイ Bee-eater 夜鷹 ヨタカ Nightjar
 蝦蟇口夜鷹 ガマグチヨタカ Frogmouth 禿鷹 ハゲタカ Vulture
 道走 ミチバシリ Roadrunner 烏帽子鳥 エボシドリ Turaco
  ウ Cormorant 長元坊 チョウゲンボウ Kestrel
 郭公 カッコウ Common cuckoo 山鳥 ヤマドリ Mountain pheasant 



The reptile words in Japanese are rather limited in scope, and so you will hear most of them.  

  ヘビ Snake 蝮 マムシ Viper
 波布 ハブ Yellow-spotted pit viper 蜥蜴 トカゲ Lizard
  コブラ Cobra  イグアナ Iguana
  カメレオン Chameleon  マルスッポン Softshell turtle
 矢守 ヤモリ Gecko 亀 カメ Turtle
 陸亀 リクガメ Tortoise 鼈 スッポン Snapping turtle
 金蛇 カナヘビ Grass lizard 石亀 イシガメ Pond turtle
 青大将 アオダイショウ Rat snake 銭亀 ゼニガメ Baby pond turtle
 がらがら蛇 ガラガラヘビ Rattlesnake  コモドオオトカゲ Komodo dragon
  ガビアル Gharial  クロコダイル Crocodile
  アリゲーター Alligator 鰐 ワニ Crocodilian

Vocabulary Note: 鰐 refers to crocodilians in general as neither crocodiles nor alligators are native to Japan, but they have been known of for centuries. It is interesting to note that the word ワニ originally meant "shark," which may have been likened to crocodilians before people got the chance to see them firsthand. 


There aren't that many amphibians left in the world, and so all related words are marked as important to learn. Note that Japanese has two words for toad, and they don't refer to different animals.  

  カエル Frog 蟇蛙・蟾蜍 ヒキガエル Toad
 井守 イモリ Newt 蝦蟇 ガマ(ガエル) Toad
 山椒魚 サンショウウオ  Salamander 御玉杓子 オタマジャクシ Tadpole


 Sea Life

Japan is an island nation heavily dependent on its fish resources. There are hundreds of species, all of which will have their own 漢字. Fish 漢字 is a common topic for quizzes and such, and you'll see plenty of them used in markets such as 豊洲市場. Aside from fish, there are also various other organisms that will be lumped into this section.

 浅蜊 アサリ Littleneck clam 鮎 アユ Sweetfish
 鮑 アワビ Abalone 鮟鱇 アンコウ Monkfish
 烏賊 イカ Squid 鰯 イワシ Sardine
 鰻 ウナギ Eel 鱏 エイ Stingray 
 海老 エビ Shrimp 虎魚 オコゼ Stingfish
 鰍 カジカ Sculpin  カツオ Bonito
 梶木 カジキ Swordfish  ピラニア Piranha
 電気鰻 デンキウナギ Electric eel 介党鱈 スケトウダラ Pollock
 鰈 カレイ Righteye flounder 鱚 キス Sillago
 鯉 コイ Coy 鮴 ゴリ Goby
  サケ Salmon 鯖 サバ Mackerel
 鮫 サメ Shark 鰆 サワラ Spanish mackerel
  スズキ Bass 鯛 タイ Sea bream
 蛸 タコ Octopus 鱈 タラ Cod
 太刀魚 タチウオ Hairtail 鯣烏賊 スルメイカ Flying squid
  アンチョビー Anchovy 秋刀魚 サンマ Saury
 鰌 ドジョウ Loach 鯰  ナマズ Catfish
  ニシン Herring 鯊 ハゼ Goby
 鰰 ハタハタ Sandfish  ハマグリ Clam
 鱧 ハモ Daggertooth pike conger 鮠 ハヤ Minnow
 平目・鮃 ヒラメ Flounder 鱶 フカ Large shark
 紋付鱈 モンツキダラ Haddock  ティラピア Tilapia
 車海老 クルマエビ Tiger prawn 蝲蛄 ザリガニ Crayfish
 河豚 フグ  Puffer fish 鮒 フナ Crucian carp
 鰤 ブリ Amberjack 鰡 ボラ Striped mullet
  マグロ Tuna 鱒 ナマズ Catfish
 海胆 ウニ Sea urchin 貝 カイ Shellfish
 海鼠 ナマコ Sea cucumber 蟹 カニ Crab
 磯巾着 イソギンチャク Sea anemone 人手 ヒトデ  Starfish
 珊瑚 サンゴ Coral 撞木鮫 シュモクザメ Hammerhead shark
 海百合 ウミユリ Sea lily  プランクトン Plankton
 海月・水母 クラゲ Jellyfish 海綿 カイメン Sponge 
 穴子 アナゴ Conger eel 雑魚 ザコ Small fry



Insects come in all shapes and sizes, many of which we remain cautious of. Many of the 漢字 spellings are also frequently used when testing someone's reading abilities.  

  アリ Ant 百足 ムカデ Centipede 
 蠍 サソリ Scorpion 馬陸 ヤスデ Millipede
 蜘蛛 クモ Spider 天道虫 テントウムシ Ladybug
 蟋蟀 コオロギ Cricket 蜚蠊 ゴキブリ Cockroach
 蝿 ハエ Fly 蜂 ハチ Bee
 雀蜂 スズメバチ Wasp 蝶(々) チョウ(チョウ) Butterfly
 飛蝗 バッタ Grasshopper 蚊 カ Mosquito
 蛾 ガ Moth 蟷螂 カマキリ Praying mantis
 蚤 ノミ Flee 蜻蛉 トンボ Dragonfly
 七節 ナナフシ Walking stick 蛍 ホタル Firefly
 蜻蜒 ヤンマ Darner 蚯蚓 ミミズ Earthworm
 虱 シラミ Louse 蜉蝣 カゲロウ Mayfly
  セミ Cicada 螽斯 キリギリス Katydid
 貝殻虫 カイガラムシ Scale insect 油虫 アブラムシ Aphid
 薊馬 アザミウマ Thrip 茶立虫 チャタテムシ Psocid
 紙魚 シミ Silverfish 螻蛄 ケラ Mole cricket
 毛虫 ケムシ Hairy caterpillar 鋏虫 ハサミムシ Earwig
 甲虫 カブトムシ Beetle 虫螻 ムシケラ Worm
 宿借・寄居虫 ヤドカリ Hermit crab  イナゴ Rice grasshopper
 亀虫 カメムシ Stink bug 虻 アブ Horsefly


Plant Kingdom (植物界)

Below are the most important plant-related words in Japanese--excluding words related to fruits and vegetables. 

  き Tree 薔薇 バラ Rose
 椰子 ヤナギ Palm tree 柳 ヤナギ Willow
 樫 カシ Oak 柊 ヒイラギ Holly
 海藻 かいそう Seaweed 葵 アオイ Mallow
 茜 アカネ Madder 葦 アシ Reed
 紫陽花 アジサイ Hydrangea 梓 アズサ Cherry burch
 羊歯 シダ Fern  カエデ Maple
  サクラ Cherry blossom 蝿地獄 ハエジゴク Venus flytrap
 桂 カツラ Judas tree 黍 キビ Millet
  クズ Kudzu 梔子 クチナシ Gardenia
 楠 クスノキ Camphor 椚 クヌギ Sawtooth oak
 慈姑 クワイ Arrowhead 芥子・罌粟 ケシ Poppy
  ケヤキ Zelkova 楮 コウゾ Paper mulberry
 苔 コケ Moss 秋桜  コスモス  Cosmos
 山茶花 サザンカ Sasanqua 皐月 サツキ Satsuki azalea
 薇 ゼンマイ Royal fern 蘇鉄 ソテツ Cycad
 蒲公英 タンポポ Dandelion 栂 ツガ Hemlock
 躑躅 ツツジ Azalea 葛籠 ツヅラ Kudzu
 柘植 ツゲ Box tree 椿 ツバキ Camellia
 栃木 トチノキ Horse chestnut 撫子 ナデシコ Dianthus
 仙人掌 サボテン Cactus 沈丁花 ジンチョウゲ Winter daphne
 芒 ススキ Pampas grass 菫 スミレ Violet
 蓮 ハス Lotus 蓼 タデ Knotweed
 楡 ニレ Elm tree 萩 ハギ Bush clover
 麦 ムギ Barley/wheat 桑 クワ Mulberry
 稗 ヒエ Barnyard millet  ヒシ Water chestnut
 檜 ヒノキ  Cypress 向日葵 ヒマワリ Sunflower
 瓢箪 ヒョウタン Gourd 牡丹 ボタン Tree peony
 無患子 ムクロジ Soapberry 郁子 ムベ Staunton-vine
 木犀 モクセイ Olive plant 無花果 イチジク Fig
 樅 モミ Fir 蜀黍 モロコシ Sorghum
 八手 ヤツデ Paperplant 宿木  ヤドリギ  Mistletoe
 山吹 ヤマブキ Yellow rose 百合 ユリ  Lily
 蓬 ヨモギ Mugwart  ラン Orchid
 勿忘草 ワスレグサ Daylily 蕨 ワラビ Bracken
 山葵 ワサビ Wasabi 稲 いね Rice plant
  タケ Bamboo 筍 タケノコ Bamboo shoot
 榎 エノキ Hackberry 茸* キノコ Mushroom
 椎茸 シイタケ Shiitake 舞茸 マイタケ Maitake
 滑子 ナメコ Nameko  エリンギ King oyster mushroom
 榎茸 エノキタケ  平茸 ヒラタケ Oyster mushroom

Note: Mushrooms are fungi, but they are listed here for convenience.


Although all plant and animal names have 漢字 associated with them for the most part, if the spelling is not as common than the カタカナ spelling, it will be left in parentheses for reference.  

1. 東京の葛西かっさい臨海りんかい水族すいぞくえんおとずれた人たちはいきおいよくれで泳ぐマグロ(鮪)の姿すがたを楽しんでいました。
The people who visited the Kassai Marine Aquarium in Tokyo were enjoying seeing the schools of tuna swimming energetically. 

2. 野生やせいくまが山から下りてきた。
   The wild bear came down from the mountain.

3. バラ(薔薇)の咲く楽園らくえんへようこそ。
    Welcome to paradise where roses blossom. 

4. オオカミ(狼)がいないと、ウサギ(兎)が(ほろ)びてしまう。
    If there were no wolves, rabbits would die out.

5. 道の真ん中(まんなか)(へび)()んだらどうなりますか?
    What happens when you step/stomp on a snake in the middle of the road?

6. カエル(蛙)を()いたことがあります。
    I have run over a frog before.

7. その畑には多くの樹木(じゅもく)(なら)んでいました。
    Many trees were lined up by each other in the field. 

8. 近い将来(しょうらい)、海の絶滅(ぜつめつ)状態(じょうたい)になるかもしれない。
    In the near future, the fishes of the sea may become extinct. 

Reading Note: 魚 may be read as さかな or うお. The first is typically more common, but the latter is required in certain expressions. The latter is actually from the original word for fish.    

9. に乗ったことがありますか?
   Have you ever ridden a horse?

10. 庭にを植えたいです。
   I want to plant bamboo in my yard.  

11. クモ(蜘蛛)の巣は飛んでいる(つか)まえる(わな)です。
      A spider web is a trap to catch flying insects

12. 引き上げる度に、10~20匹ずつ(あみ)カニが付いてくる。
     Each time I lift the net up, 10-20 crabs are in it. 

13. 家の(にわ)果樹(かじゅ)(さくら)植え(うえ)てはいけない。
      You can't plant fruit trees or cherry blossom trees in your yard.

14. 数頭すうとうがそこのさくを壊してげてしまった。
  Several cows broke that fence over there and escaped. 

15. カメ(亀)に()まれた時はどうすればよいでしょうか。
    What should you do when you're bitten by a turtle?

     I can't sleep even if I count sheep

17. 日本には昔からウサギ(兎)が月に()むという説話(せつわ)(つた)わっている。
There is a legend in Japan that has been told since ancient times that rabbits live on the moon. 

18. さるから落ちてもだが、議員ぎいん選挙せんきょで落ちれば、ただの人なのだ。
A monkey is still a monkey when he falls out of a tree, but an assemblyman is simply a regular man when he falls out of the election. 

19. あたしはトラ(虎)になる夢を見るですにゃあ。
     I'm a cat who dreams of becoming a tiger

20. キツネ(狐)をいたい。
      I want to raise a fox.

21. 現在、上野動物園にはぞう何頭なんとういるか知っていますか。
     How many elephants are there currently at Ueno Zoo? 

22. たまにを手で殺した時に付着ふちゃくするけど、あれって僕らの血なの?それともの血なの?誰か教えてください!
Occasionally blood gets on me when I kill a mosquito with my hand, but is that our blood? Or, is it the mosquito's blood? Someone, please tell me. 

23. フグ(河豚)を食べる国は日本以外いがいにはどれくらいありますか?
     How many other countries are there aside from Japan where people eat puffer fish?

24. 小さいトカゲ(蜥蜴)が部屋のかべにくっついていた。
      There's a small lizard stuck on the wall inside the room. 

25. 妊娠中にんしんちゅうイカ(烏賊)やタコ(蛸)を食べてはいけない。
     You mustn't eat squid or octopus while pregnant. 

26. キリン(麒麟)に乗れる場所を探しています。
     I'm looking for a place where I can ride a giraffe

27. ライオンシマウマ(縞馬)を食べますよね。
     Lions eat zebras, right?

28. パンダは中国にしかいない。
      Pandas are only in China.

29. シカ(鹿)が多すぎる。
     There are too many deer.

30. アリ(蟻)を殺すと雨が降る。
      When you kill an ant, it rains. 

31. ペンギンはなぜ南半球みなみはんきゅうにしかいないの?
     Why are penguins only in the Southern Hemisphere? 

32. 祖母そぼかもにくを使ったレシピを教えてもらいました。
      I had my grandmother teach me a recipe that uses duck meat. 

33. ちょう寿命じゅみょうは長くても数ヶ月すうかげつ程度ていどです。
     The lifespan of a butterfly, at the most, is around several months. 

Variation Note: Butterfly may also be チョウチョウ(蝶々)or 蝶ちょ.

34. うなぎ(鰻)りのえさは何がいい?
     What sort of bait is best for fishing eels

35. 本物のクジラを見てみたい。
      I want to see an actual whale.  

36. タヌキ(狸)は日本特有とくゆうの動物です。
     The tanuki (raccoon dogs) is a unique animal to Japan. 

37. 日本ではかつてネズミわな仕掛しかけるとき、あぶらげを餌としてもちいるのが一般的いっぱんてきだった。     
In the past in Japan, it was commonplace to use deep-fried tofu as bait to trap mice.

38. サメ(鮫)は滅多めった人間にんげんおそわない。
     Sharks seldom eat people.

Usage Note: Some people say フカ(鱶) for shark. This is predominantly a West Japanese word for it, and it traditionally refers to a large shark. Most sharks are large, so it might as well be the general word for shark.

Bee Business 

Bees/wasps are flying insects closely related to ants, and exist on every continent except Antarctica. As such, there are thousands of species, most of which coexist with humans. In English, there are various bee-species words that all speakers recognize such as "bee," "wasp," "bumblebee," "yellow jacket," etc. Excluding those who are severely allergic to bee stings, many English speakers have not grown up with a strong sense of fear toward the species that live in their environment. 

In Japan, there are also many species of bees, but due to the heightened threat to human safety that many of them pose, far more bee jargon is widely known among Japanese speakers. As a learner of Japanese, this means that the likelihood of you overhearing bee lingo is greatly increased the longer you stay in Japan. It is important to know your surroundings, and bees/wasps must be taken seriously. 

39. ハチ(蜂)やスズメバチ(雀蜂)に気をつけましょう!
      Be careful of bees and wasps

We've all heard this same phrase in the English speaking word, but what is so different about 蜂 in Japan? A bee-sting 蜂刺され is only as severe as the poison is potent, and this of course depends on the species of bee that stings you. In Japan, there happens to be far more dangerous species of bees, often larger and more aggressive than those that live in the English-speaking world.  As such, let's learn about some of the species jargon that you may come across in Japan.

アシナガバチ and スズメバチ both would be considered wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets, but the former has long legs as the name suggests. The Japanese equivalent of "bumblebee" is クマバチ. Some Japanese speakers call them クマンバチ. Both words, though, may also refer to a オオスズメバチ (giant hornet). The American version of such a wasp is マルハナバチ.The Japanese オオスズメバチ, however, is extremely dangerous as the name suggests. キイロスズメバチ (yellow jackets) may be called カメバチ (瓶蜂), トックリバチ (徳利蜂), or アカバチ (赤蜂). クロスズメバチ and シダクロスズメバチ, are native wasps of Japan known for building their nests in the ground. Other regional names for them include ジバチ (地蜂), ドバチ (土蜂), ハイバチ (灰蜂), ヘボ (used in the 東海地方), or スガレ・スガリ (used throughout 東北). Special attention is given to ハチ because all aside from bumblebees are especially dangerous in Japan.  

Aside from bee species jargon, other bee-related terminology is also important. How do you say, "I got stung by a bee"? It turns out that regardless of whether an insect 'stings' or 'bites' a person, there are three verbs that are used interchangeably in Japanese to refer to both phenomena. These verbs are 刺される (to be stung), 噛まれる (to be bitten), 食われる (to be bitten). The first verb is the standard way of saying "to be stung" whereas the second is the standard way to say "to be bitten." The actual difference between these two actions can be applied to any animal/plant. The third option is quite dialectal and actually literally means "to be eaten," but it has gained the meaning of "to be bitten" in many parts of Japan. As for bees/wasps, the most common way is to say, "蜂に刺された” with the other two verb choices being viewed as dialectal.