Butterflies, dolphins, eagles, horses and more, animal tattoo designs
come in all shapes and sizes.
“Animals have these advantages over man: they never
hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians
to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant
ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over
A great majority of tattoo galleries across the world devote a good majority
of their selection to pictures inspired by the animal kingdom. Whether worn
as a visual witness to animal rights and protection or as a personal testimony
of religious or spiritual convictions and beliefs, animal tattoo designs are
being worn by humanity all across the globe.
Indeed, animals have been viewed by some religions with such respect that all
of their followers refuse to eat meat or other animal products. Others revere
certain creatures (like cows in India) and offer them special protection and/or
homage. Still others avoid particular animals because of undesirable capabilities
Throughout the ages, mankind has come to respect certain living things for
their strengths and capabilities. This is attested to by the number of popular
proverbs, clichés and metaphors that extol (or admonish against) certain
animals’ characteristics. A few would include:
“The early bird gets the worm.”
“March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb.”
“As eager as a beaver.”
“As free as a bird.”
“As brave as a lion.”
“As sly as a fox.”
“As mean as a snake.”
While perhaps a bit outdated or stereotyped, the same concepts and reasons
that make animal proverbs and clichés appropriate are the same ones that
stir individuals to get an animal tattoo design.
Popular Animal Inspired Body Art
Different types of people are attracted to different kinds of wild life. Despite
this diversity, it isn’t difficult to categorize the different animal
themed tattoo designs together. From here on, we will classify different animal
selections by their habitat or environment.
NOTE: Due to the growing belief and reverence towards the concept of animal
totem spirits integrated with tribal, Celtic and New Age tattoo designs, the
popular totem significance of each animal will be listed whenever possible.
Butterfly tattoo designs – A beautiful way to capture the amazing
power of personal change, the butterfly has become quite popular as a tattoo
design. The butterfly’s energy is associated with balance, transformation
and grace. The butterfly makes a great adornment for a lower back tattoo.
Eagle tattoo designs– In demand amongst Patriots and bikers,
environmentalists and extremists, the eagle is here to stay in the world of
tattoo images. The energy of the eagle includes potency, freedom and illumination.
Hawk tattoo designs – Ruthless and majestic; with a terrifying
scream and powerful talons the hawk has become a favorite among body art enthusiasts,
especially in Celtic and Native American tribal designs. The spirit of the hawk
is one of truth, awareness, and perceptiveness.
Owl tattoo designs – With its signature hoot and nocturnal
habits, the owl is a favorite of both young and old. The owl is a spirit of
vision, wisdom and insight.
Raven tattoo designs – Popular amongst Poe fans and occult
enthusiasts, the raven’ black feathers and all-knowing gaze are showing
up in more and more tattoo designs. The Raven symbolizes the unknown and Otherworld
Bear tattoo designs – Towering over so many of the creatures
who share its territory, the bear is a primal testimony of strength, self-preservation
Cougar tattoo designs – Also referred to as the mountain lion,
these lone rangers of the forest strike fear into their prey with their far
reaching screams. The cougar speaks of leadership, loyalty and courage.
Deer tattoo designs– Quiet and somewhat naïve, these
beautiful, graceful creatures are a favorite wild life tattoo subject. The spirit
of the deer is one of peace, sensitivity and gentleness.
Fox tattoo designs – Wily and quick, the fox has been referred
to many animal metaphors and similes. Not surprisingly, the message of the fox
is one of cleverness, discretion, and cunning.
Wolf tattoo designs – The wolf often appeared in tattoo design
because of its magnetic appeal to humanity. The feral version of our more domesticated
dog, the wolf represents the skill of teaching, loyalty and cooperation.
Frog tattoo designs – Able to cover incredible distances in
each leap, frogs are a colorful and playful addition to any tattoo image gallery.
The frog has long been respected for its healing powers, as an indication of
peaceful change and as a testimony to adaptability.
Salmon tattoo designs – Always fighting against the current,
the salmon has long been a symbol of determination. The same holds true of its
animal totem nature, which tells of persistence and single-minded dedication.
Turtle tattoo designs – Able to escape the world with the comfort
of its shell, there are many people who identify well with this aquatic creature.
The spirit of the turtle is one of protection, healing and inner knowledge.
Dolphin tattoo designs – A mammal of the sea, the dolphin has
long enchanted mankind with its intelligence and social nature. When the dolphin
spirit becomes your guardian, it is an omen of harmony, communication and intelligence.
Dolphin tattoos can often be found on an ankle or lower back.
Cat tattoo designs – First domesticated by the Egyptians thousands
of years ago, the cat has made its way into the hearts and homes of many men
and women across the world. The spirit of the cat is one of independence, quick
recovery and freedom of thought.
Dog tattoo designs – Long time companion and “man’s
best friend”, the dog has bonded with humans in a way that few other animals
have. True to its nature, the spirit of the dog is one of loyalty and friendship.
Many people have portraits of their own family dog tattooed as part of their
body art collection.
Horse tattoo designs– People across the ages have been captivated
by the horse, this free spirit of great power and strength who has chosen to
align itself with humanity. The totem of the horse speaks of freedom, strength
Parrot tattoo designs – These beautiful, colorful birds have
made fabulous tattoo designs. Grey, green, blue or red, the parrot’s beauty
and mimicking ability have endeared them to us. As a guardian, the parrot lends
us communication, flight, beauty and mockery.
Lion tattoo designs – King of the Jungle, the lion speaks to
us of pride, leadership and magnificent courage. Lion tattoos often include
whole packs of lions, a lioness and her cub, or simplified but powerful Celtic
or tribal designs.
Lizard tattoo designs – Just as the lizard is able to drop
its tail in order to escape danger, so the lizard totem shows us the principles
of letting go and self-protection. A popular lizard for tattoo designs in the
gecko, which appears often in Polynesian tribal tattoos.
Tiger tattoo designs– Tigers are very popular tattoo subjects.
The largest of all of the “big cats”, the tiger has a spirit of
enormous power and potency. If the tiger has recently become your guardian,
be prepared for new adventured and an awakening of both your power and passion.
Jaguars (and Panther) tattoo designs – Solitary and camouflaged,
the jaguar and panther are masters of disguise. Lethal predators, they rely
heavily on their ability to seemingly disappear. As a totem, the jaguar is very
mystical, a shape-shifter, bringing with it psychic energy and nocturnal tendencies.
Scorpion tattoo designs – Known for its powerful body and deadly
sting, the scorpion has a long time history in the world of tattoo designs.
The spirit of the scorpion is one that warns of coming danger or difficult transformation.
Dragon tattoo designs – Though mythical, dragons have often
been associated with the land of the desert. As a totem, the spirit of the dragon
shows longevity, wisdom, all that is infinite, and the ability to move between
worlds. The dragon has powerful medicine.
Coyote tattoo designs – Often referred to as the “Trickster”,
this mischievous creature serves as a playful (in the sense of practical joke
playful) guardian spirit. The coyote speaks of reversal of fortune (for better
or for worse), cunning and humor (even if it is at your expense).
Tortoise tattoo designs – Slow and incredibly hardy, tortoises
are provided with facilities that make it more resilient in difficult seasons
of life. As a totem, the tortoise offers us patience, non-violent action and
Possible Animal Tattoo Placement
Animal tattoos have unlimited possibilities for placement. If you can conceive
or believe it, your tattoo artist can do it for you.
Below, you’ll find a list of suggested body locations for your tattoo
Pelvic / Groin-al areas
Whether you want a butterfly tattoo on your lower back or a panther on your
shoulder, animals can be a great choice for any body art collection. They can
be rendered in a realistic style or can be drawn as tribal or Celtic designs.
Animal tattoo designs are often pictured alone or combined with other subjects
such as fairies or landscapes. Armed with a little knowledge, you can
find or create nearly any picture, style or placement for your animal tattoo
design. So, go ahead and unleash it. What animal is dying to escape from you?
Show me more Animal Tattoo Designs