Animal Tattoos

Animal tattoos are among the most popular of all tattoo designs.

Marketing agencies have long tried to promote products (e.g. cologne, perfumes, clothing) promising that it will 'bring out the animal' in you.

Well, animal tattoo designs are the only permanent way to bring out the animal in you and put it on you!

Theriomorphism is the word used to describe the attributing of animal characteristics to a human being. Since the dawn of time, humans have aligned themselves, and the images of their gods, to animal forms and spirits.

The ancient Greek philosopher Porphyry said,

"We can find no animal without some likeness to man."

From Egyptian gods with the head of a jackal or body of a lion, to European stories of werewolves and vampires, legends of animal/human crossovers abound. Some of the most famous of these are the transformation tales from Native American tribes.

Often, in their vision quest search for power and protection, tribesman acquired a guardian spirit in the form of an animal or bird. This animal became their totem or talisman. A similar phenomenon occurs with the indigenous Aboriginal peoples of Australia.

Lakota Indian Brave 'Buffalo', of Standing Rock Reservation in the United States, proclaimed.

"Let a man decide upon his favorite animal and make a study of it. Let him learn to understand its sounds and motions. The animals want to communicate with man, but Wakan-Tanka* does not intend they shall do so directly man must do the greater part in securing an understanding."

And what better way to think about and try to understand the animal than to inscribe its image on our skin? Animal designs demonstrate our connections to the spirits of the fine beasts that define our personalities; that symbolize our instincts and innate nature. Sometimes they are our pets, other times they are simply in our dreams. But we connect to them in a very serious way.

The word 'animals' is a broad term, and encompasses all forms of sentient life. To keep the categories simple, this page will be devoted to mammals. Please see our other pages for bird tattoos, sea life tattoos, and insect and reptile tattoos for further reading.

Popular Animal Tattoos

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Owl and bats tattoo 
This tattoo symbolizes my past, what's dead and gone being the dead tree and bats, then the owl is me fleeing with my wisdom. Headed towards a new life. …

Deer stag tattoo 
Deer stag tattoo - Representing purity and power.

Tiger on back 
This tiger tattoo was a gift from my wife for my 40th birthday. The tiger picture was selected for its realism and for its meaning, which represents …

Amber's Frog 
Well I got this tattoo about a year ago, I was planning to get one to "bond" with my step mother who was more a mother to me than my own. Shortly after …

freedom for humanity 
this tattoo is what i feel and believe is the reason for the way the human race is going. we are all stuck here together and if we dont change these things …

Lizzie Giraffe Tattoo 
I decied to get this tattoo, not for myslef, but for my great grandmaother. I know on this site you say get it for you, but im not a selfish person. My …

Luscious Lioness 
My zodiac sign is LEO THE LION... Enuff said! Heres the Luscious Lioness Tattoo.

"Brutus" Grizzly Bear tattoo 
I Love all Bears, but I'm very interested in Grizzly Bears. They are an AWESOME animal with alot of strenth and power, Very Beautiful also. I had a …

Hakuna Matata 
I've always loved The Lion King - and I've always been a worrier. My tattoo symbolifies how you need to take in the little things in life, and say to …

Loepard Tattoo 
I had been contemplating a tattoo for a very long time and finally this past year I decided to do it. I went back to my youth when I have a reading done …

English Lion Tattoo 
It reads My English Lion Tattoo "British by Birth and English by the Grace of God" I got it because wanted to show I love my country and am proud …

King Cheetah 
I really love animals and I thought the Cheetah represented me well. I do everything fast paced in my life. I also am going to major in Zoology in …

Grizzly Bear Tattoo in Flame 
I just wanted a totem to remind me of all the hardships and courage in facing difficult times i have experienced since i was young til now. My Grizzly …

Horse and Rose Tattoo 
I got this tattoo to represent my passion for the horse. I originally wanted a horse shoe with the rose vine running in out of the nail wholes but …

Flutterby Tattoo Not rated yet
I have a flutterby tattoo, a.k.a. a butterfly. It stands for freedom and my desire and love for travel. I also read about a belief that when someone dies …

Polynesian Turtle Tattoo - At last! Not rated yet
I eventually was able to travel to Tahiti and the other islands and that was fabulous because I always said that I wouldn't get a tattoo unless I went …

Hakuna Matata 2 Not rated yet
I saw someone else on this site had a similar tattoo, so I wanted to upload my own! I got this 2 years ago for the same reason she did: to remind myself …

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