An Animal Alphabet of the Americas

Badger_modocnwr

El Tejón, the American Badger

This project combines a few of my interests: learning the Spanish language; using the Internet for research; and making quilts. The idea occurred to me while taking a Spanish language class and an introductory computer class during the same semester. I had ten years of experience making quilts and I’d wanted to make an animal alphabet quilt for a while. I thought maybe I could make an animal alphabet quilt using letters from the Spanish alphabet. I jotted down names of animals as I came upon them in reading my textbook. I began to wonder what kinds of animals could be found in Mexico, Central and South America and the idea for the Animal Alphabet of the Americas was born.

I limited my search to American animals and used a variety of search techniques. I cross-referenced English and Spanish dictionaries I had at home and made new finds during Internet research while writing term reports for Spanish and Word Processing.

I haven’t yet made a quilt like this, but I think it could be a very unique experience for a group, possibly an inter-generational group. There are 29 letters in this alphabet. That could be rounded up to 30 to make a quilt 5 blocks across and 6 blocks down. The extra block could be on the lower right and could include the names of those who worked on it or the name or logo of the group. Instead of a quilt, a single page report on each animal, illustrated with a picture, the capital letter chosen, and the animal’s name, might make an interesting project for a group. The pages could be mounted on colorful construction paper to make a classroom display.

Each person would be assigned a letter and would use a dictionary search to find an animal whose name starts with that letter. Those who finish first could help the others. It would be best to start with a list of animals, the mammals, reptiles, fish, birds, etc. that inhabit the area. To provide a sort of safety net, I’ve included a list of words that could be used. Not all of the words are Spanish; some are from the languages of the people who were living in the Americas before the arrival of the Spanish. Those words have often filled in some letters not often found in Spanish.  Look up a particular animal in the English dictionary to find the etymology of the word. It’s been fun to find an animal with the letter you’ve chosen. The research necessary to write a report or to set the animal within its natural environment for realistic presentation in a quilt block is a very enjoyable process.

Animal Alphabet of the Americas

A  abeja, bee; abejorro, abejór, bumblebee; abulón, abalone; aguaviva, aguamala, jellyfish; águila marina, águila pescadora, osprey; alcatraz, pelican; alguacil, dragonfly; almejas, mussels; ánade, duck; alpaca, alpaco, alpaca; anguila, eel; arenque, herring; araña, spider; armadillo, armadillo; antílope, antelope; atún, tuna; avispa, wasp

B  ballena, whale; bisonte, bison, American buffalo; borrega, ewe; borrequito, lamb; buey, ox; búho, owl; burro, burro, donkey

C  caballito del diablo, dragon fly; cabra montés, mountain goat; capibara, capybarra; capuche, capuchin monkey; caimán cayman, alligator; calamar, squid; camarón, shrimp; camello, camel; caracará, caracara bird; caracol, snail; carnero, male sheep; carrizo, wren; castor, beaver; cerdo, hog; ciempiés, centipede; chichicuilote, sandpiper; ciervo, elk; coati, coati-mundi; coche, hog; cobayo, hamster; cocodrilo, crocodile; cócono, turkey; codorniz, quail; colibrí, hummingbird; colín, quail; conejillo de Indias, guinea pig; coyote,  coyote; correcaminos, roadrunner bird; cuervo, raven; culebra, snake; cordero, corderito, lamb; cormorán, cormorant; cóndor, condor; caballo, horse

Ch  chancho, pig; chango, monkey; chupaflor, chuparrosa, chupamirto, hummingbird; chachalaca, pheasant-like bird; el chihuahua, chihuahua; cholugo, coati-mundi; chapulín, grasshopper

dinosaurio, dinosaur; delfín, dolphin

E  escarabajo, beetle; erizo de mar, sea urchin; escorpión, scorpion; estrella del mar, star fish

F  faisán, pheasant; foca, seal; el flamenco, flamingo

G  gallina, hen; gallitos, chicks; gallo, rooster; garza real, heron; gila, gila lizard; golondrina, swallow; ganso, goose; grajo, crow; guajolote, turkey; geco, gecko; gaviota, seagull; grulla, crane; guacamaya, macaw; gusano, earthworm; gato, mountain lion, wild cat; grillo, cricket; gorrión, sparrow

H  halcón, falcon; hámster, hamster; huevo, egg; hormiga, ant

I  iguana, iguana; el ibis, ibis

J  jaiba, crab; javelina, boar, wild pig; jaguar, jaguar; jicote, wasp; jicotera, wasp’s nest; jilguero amarillo, goldfinch

K  khalibu (Algonquin), caribou; kinkajú (Tupi), kinkajou; kuntur, (Quechua), condor

L  lagarto, lizard; laucha, mouse; lechuga, barn owl; libélula, dragonfly; liebre, jackrabbit; lobo, wolf; lobo, California coast, sea lion; loro, parrot; leopardo, leopard; león marino, sea lion; langosta del mar; lobster; langosta del rio, crayfish

Ll  llama, llama

M  malagua, jellyfish; mapache, raccoon; manatí, manatee; matapiojos, dragon fly; mariposa, butterfly; mariposa de la luz, moth; mariposa nocturna, moth; marmota de América, groundhog; martín, kingfisher; medusa, jellyfish; milano, hawk; mirlo, blackbird; miriópodo, millipede; misera, lobster; mofeta, skunk; morsa, walrus; mosca, fly; murciélago, bat; mono, monkey

N  neotoma, packrat; nido, nest; nutria, otter or coypu (Araucan)

Ñ  ñandú, American ostrich

O  oso, bear; ostra, oyster; ovega, sheep; orca, killer whale; oruga, caterpillar; oso hormiguero, anteater

P  paco, alpaca; palomillo, moth; pájaro, bird; paloma, dove, pigeon; papagayo, parrot; pavo, turkey; pato, drake, male duck; pavo real, peacock; perro de las praderas, prairie dog; perdiz, partridge; pescador, kingfisher; picamaderos, picaposte, woodpecker; pinquino, penguin; pulga, flea; pulpo, octopus; puma, mountain lion; panal, beehive; perro pastor, sheepdog; picaflor, hummingbird; pes, pez, fish; perezoso, sloth; puerco espín, porcupine; puerco del mar, porpoise

Q  quisquilla, shrimp; quiquiriqui, the call of the rooster; quirquincho, armadillo; quetzal, quetzal bird

R  rana, frog; rata, rat; ratón, mouse; rhea, American ostrich

S  salamandra, salamander; sapo, toad; sardina, sardine; serpiente de cascabel, rattlesnake; serpiente, snake; saltón, grasshopper

T  talapia, small fish; tarántula, tarantula; tecolote, small owl; tejón, badger; tiburón, shark; tigre, ocelot or jaguar; toro, bull; torope (Algonquin), diamondback terrapin; trucha arco iris, rainbow trout; trucha salmonada; tórtola, mourning dove; tortuga, tortoise; tapir, tapir

U  uapiti, elk; úlula, owl; urogallo, grouse; urraca, bluejay; urubú, vulture

V  vaca, cow; venado, deer; vicuña, vicuna

wabasim (Ojibwa), opposum; wapiti, elk

xoloitzcuintli indígenas, xolo, Mexican hairless dog

Y  yacaré, alligator

Z  zancudo, mosquito; zaragueya, opposum; zopilote, vulture; zopilotera, flock of vultures; zonchiche, buzzard; zorrillo, skunk; zorro, fox; zorzal, thrush; zumbador, hummingbird

El Tejón, The American Badger, from  Wikimedia Commons

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