We have a state mammal? Do you know North Carolina’s official state symbols?

North Carolina

Each state in America boasts its own culture, history, and natural beauty.

To represent such diversity, people from these states have chosen their own set of symbols and customs. Specific flags, songs, mottos, flowers, and even fruits commemorate the uniqueness of individual states. Some of these symbols border on the bizarre: Texas, for example, has made the Dutch oven its official state cooking pot. Other symbols are more universal, like state birds.

Many people remember learning about their states’ history back in elementary school. But can you still remember your state bird? How about your state flower? To test your state knowledge, Stacker compiled a list of symbols in North Carolina.

1 / 14Sergey Galyonkin // Flickr

Clue: North Carolina state fish

Clue (freshwater): These fish are sometimes known as specs, thanks to their unique spots. Found in the state’s mountain streams, this favorite of sport fishermen is the only freshwater fish of its entire species that’s native to North Carolina.

Clue (saltwater): Most fish of this kind max out around 30 or 40 pounds, but some of the biggest can reach 75 pounds. The reddish fish is known for its strength and has become a popular cajun delicacy.

2 / 14Derek Ramsey; George A. Hearn Fund // Wikimedia Commons

Answer: North Carolina state fish

Answer: Southern Appalachian brook trout (freshwater), channel bass (saltwater)

3 / 14digidreamgrafix // Shutterstock

Clue: North Carolina state mammal

This state has two official mammals. One is the gray squirrel. The other is the only marsupial found in North America. They’re most renowned for their habit of “playing dead” when threatened. They can hang from branches using their prehensile tails and have a clawless toe that works much like an opposable thumb.

4 / 14Agnieszka Bacal // Shutterstock

Answer: North Carolina state mammal

– State mammals: Gray squirrel, Virginia opossum

5 / 14Pixabay

Clue: North Carolina state song

North Carolina’s state song was widely popular and served as the unofficial state song since the time it was written in 1835. It wasn’t written into law, however, until 1927.

6 / 14UNC Libraries Commons // Flickr

Answer: North Carolina state song

– Answer: “The Old North State”

7 / 14Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

Clue: North Carolina state insect

State insect: This species has been part of commerce since at least 1622 when populations were shipped from Britain to Virginia. World War I increased its commercialization, through establishing further developed highways and popularizing motor vehicle use.

State butterfly: This insect is known to engage in puddling, a practice in which they gather in puddles, mud, or on damp gravel. In doing so, they can extract sodium ions and amino acids from their environment, which can be used later in reproduction.

8 / 14PumpkinSky // Wikimedia Commons

Answer: North Carolina state insect

– State insect: European honey bee (Apis mellifera)
– State butterfly: Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

9 / 14brandon walker // Wikimedia Commons

Clue: North Carolina state tree

North Carolina is unique: It doesn’t actually have a state tree, but instead has a state genus, or group of tree species. The group is a conifer which grows across the state, well-adapted to both sandy and acidic soils, and these trees have historically been important for North Carolina’s lumber industry and naval stores of turpentine and pitch.

10 / 14Pixabay

Answer: North Carolina state tree

Answer: Pine (Pinus)

11 / 14Creative Commons

Clue: North Carolina state bird

Likely one of the first birds American children learn to spot in their backyards, this bright and beloved bird is the favorite of many states. The species’ signature red color and spiky hairdos are hard to miss.

12 / 14Ken Thomas // Wikimedia Commons

Answer: North Carolina state bird

Answer: Northern cardinal

13 / 14Carolyn Franks // Shutterstock

Clue: North Carolina state flower

Common in North Carolina, the state’s flower can be found from the coast all the way to the mountains. This flower is around for the entirety of the year, changing its appearance each season. Less of a flower and more like a tree with flowers, this can grow up to 30 to 40 feet at its maturity.

14 / 14Skeeze // Pixabay

Answer: North Carolina state flower

Answer: Dogwood

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