85 Animal Meanings & Symbolism – The Ultimate Guide
Want to learn what your favorite animals mean, symbolize, and how they may reflect you? This is the only guide you need. Learn below the meanings & symbolism of 85 animals. You can hover on any animal you like to see details about it.
An aardvark is a humble creature known for its unassuming nature. As such, this animal can symbolize humility. Aside from that, this creature has thick skin, and it is a survivalist. Because of these characteristics, an aardvark can also represent endurance. Lastly, this animal can also symbolize lethargy because it spends most of its time sleeping.
Despite being tiny, ants possess great strength. For this reason, they can symbolize strength, diligence, and determination. Additionally, ants are also hardworking; thus, they can also represent discipline and hard work. In fact, these tiny creatures can teach us that good things require effort and patience. Finally, they work together to survive, making them a symbol of unity and loyalty.
Armadillos are known for their armored shell that is made of cartilage and bone; thus, this creature is often used to symbolize defense and protection. Additionally, armadillos can also represent endurance, resilience, and self-protection because of their hard shell. Also, this animal can symbolize survival because of its unique body structure that allows them to endure severe weather conditions.
For the Native Americans, a bat is a symbol of intuition, vision, and dreams. The reason is that this magnificent animal is sensitive to its surrounding. Aside from that, bats are also sociable creatures. Aside from being sensitive and nurturing, they often communicate and touch their co-members. For this reason, bats may also represent communication.
Aside from physical strength and raw power, a bear also possesses confidence and a sense of self-assurance. Because of these qualities, this mighty creature can symbolize strength, power, courage, and confidence. Additionally, it may also represent authority and dominion. Plus, a bear can survive on its own, so it can also symbolize independence.
A beaver is a hardworking creature; thus, it can symbolize achievement and productivity. If this animal appears to you, most people believe that it is reminding you to be diligent until all your task is completed. Plus, beavers are ingenious builders. As such, they can be an analogy for your dreams, specifically when it comes to building your dreams.
Generally, bees are a symbol of sexuality and fertility because they pollinate flowers. For the ancient Egyptians, this wonderful creature is also a symbol of power and royalty. The reason is that they believed that the bee came from the tears of Ra, the sun god of the Egyptians. Lastly, bees may also represent productivity due to their hardworking nature.
Because birds can fly freely in the sky and roam the planet, they often symbolize freedom. Aside from that, they may also represent your ability to rise above your adversities because of the capability to soar high into the sky. Also, a lot of cultures consider birds as a link between heaven and earth.
A boa constrictor is a protective animal. For this reason, it can symbolize the things that you are trying to protect. It can also represent the things that you can’t let go of. Overall, a boa constrictor can symbolize guarding and protection. If you dream about this creature, it may be warning you to let your guard up.
A buffalo is a mighty animal that exudes great strength and power. As such, it can symbolize courage and strength. For the Native Americans, this powerful creature is a sign of abundance and prosperity. For this reason, if you a buffalo appears, it may be telling you that your hard work will soon be rewarded.
Like the buffalo, a bull is also a mighty creature, so it can also represent strength and power. Additionally, it can also symbolize a person’s strong will because of the great strength it possesses. Lastly, this powerful animal is also hard to tame. For this reason, it can also symbolize ferocity and stubbornness.
As you know, a caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly. Because of this process, a butterfly is generally used as a symbol of transformation, great change, and rebirth. Plus, it can also represent hope and new beginnings. However, the color of a butterfly may also affect its meaning. For instance, a black butterfly is a sign of bad news.
Cats are a symbol of rebirth because of the saying that they possess nine lives. Aside from that, cats patiently wait for their prey; thus, they can also signify patience. Plus, they can also represent courage and adventure because of their courageous and adventurous nature. As nocturnal creatures, cats are also associated with darkness.
Because chameleons are able to change the color of their skin based on their mood and the environment, these creatures generally symbolize adaptability, change, and transformation. They may also represent life’s inconsistencies. Finally, a chameleon can also symbolize survival because it is a tough little creature that can live on its own.
Cows are often associated with femininity, motherhood, and fertility due to their nurturing and selfless nature. In fact, the cow is often used to symbolize femininity, while the bull represents masculinity. Additionally, cows also signify prosperity and abundance because they have provided humans with milk and food. Lastly, cows are calm creatures, making them a great symbol of calmness.
Generally, cougars symbolize leadership, and they represent your desire to take charge of your life and become the best version of yourself. Aside from that, cougars are great mothers, and they will protect their young with all their might. For this reason, they can also symbolize motherhood, femininity, strength, and intuition.
In general, coyotes can represent jokesters because of their playful nature. Aside from that, they can also symbolize the two sides of a coin, meaning they can be troublesome creatures, but they can also be a sign of good fortune. As such, they teach us to find the balance between foolishness and wisdom.
Generally, crabs are a symbol of self-preservation and protection because they have an armored shell that protects them. Additionally, they can also represent rebirth because they can cast off their shells and replace them with new ones. Other meanings associated with the crab are trust, emotions, and the cycle of life.
Cranes have positive and negative connotations. For instance, in some Asian countries, like China and Japan, these majestic creatures are considered auspicious. To be specific, they are a symbol of eternal youth, prosperity, and happiness. However, in some European cultures, cranes represent bad will and miserliness. In some parts of the world, a crane symbolizes immortality, longevity, and wisdom.
Crocodiles are ferocious creatures that possess great strength and power. Because of these traits, this animal often symbolizes strength, courage, ferocity, and primal power. Aside from that, crocodiles can also symbolize stealth and independence because they are solitary hunters that will quickly sneak up on their prey. Lastly, this creature can represent instinct because they possess great survival instincts.
Some people believe that crows are a symbol of death and misfortune because of their black color. However, this mysterious creature is actually a symbol of mysteries and life magic. Aside from that, this bird is also associated with prophecy and good luck in Greek mythology. Aside from those meanings, a crow can also represent destiny, intelligence, and flexibility.
A deer may symbolize a hunt. The reason is that this creature is often hunted for sport and ceremonial purposes. Aside from that, this creature can also signify tenderness or gentleness due to its gentle nature. Also, it can represent the inner child within us, reminding us of our innocence when we were young.
Dogs have been man’s loyal companions for years; thus, this animal can symbolize loyalty and protection. Additionally, dogs can also represent playfulness. The reason is not only due to their playful nature. They also remind people that they must enjoy life. Finally, dogs can also symbolize unconditional love because of their big heart, especially for their owners.
Dolphins are calm and peaceful creatures. As such, they can symbolize peace. Aside from that, they can also signify protection. The reason is due to the various stories about dolphins saving drowning sailors and distressed humans. Plus, those who travel the sea consider this adorable creature as a symbol of good luck.
In general, doves are considered a symbol of purity because of their white color. Additionally, a lot of cultures around the world use the dove as a symbol of hope and peace. In Christianity, this gentle bird is believed to represent the holy spirit, and it is able to deliver our messages and prayers to God.
In a lot of cultures, dragons are considered evil creatures and the enemy of mankind. In fact, a lot of stories are about a hero slaying a dragon. Because of this, this mighty animal can symbolize heroism, valiance, nobility, power, and perseverance. In the Orient, dragons represent strength, wisdom, hidden knowledge, and supernatural power.
Dragonflies molt several times in their life. Because of this characteristic, this creature can symbolize transformation, change, and new beginnings. Aside from that, a dragonfly spends most of its life as a nymph. Once it transforms, it will only live for about six months. For this reason, dragonflies are often a symbol of living life to the fullest.
Because ducks can walk on earth and fly into the sky, they are considered a link between heaven and earth. Additionally, they can also be a symbol of freedom because they can soar into the sky. In Asian countries, this bird is a symbol of happiness and good luck. However, in some cultures, a white duck represents lies and deceit.
Eagles are fearless creatures, and they are considered the chief of all winged animals. Because of these traits, they are often used as a symbol of power, strength, courage, resilience, and authority. The Native Americans consider an eagle as a symbol of wisdom and vision. As for most religions, this mighty creature represents hope and salvation.
Universally, elephants are a symbol of power and strength because of their enormous size and strength. However, these creatures are also tender and peaceful unless their herd is threatened. As such, they can also represent peace, patience, stability, and calmness. Lastly, some cultures consider an elephant as a bringer of good luck and fortune.
For the Native Americans, elks are valuable animals, and they consider the elks as a relative who can bring them patience, endurance, and strength. Aside from that, this mighty creature is also a survivor and a protector. As such, it can represent survival and protection. Finally, elks are also considered auspicious, and they can bring good omens to people.
Falcons are the “king of the birds.” As such, they are a symbol of authority, royalty, and leadership. For the Europeans, this mighty bird is treasured for their hunting assistance, and they often used it as an emblem for war and victory. Also, this bird is a solar symbol, defining your capability to rise above any situation.
Foxes are playful creatures. For this reason, they often symbolize mischief and playfulness. Additionally, foxes are known for their ability to skillfully and quietly catch their prey. As such, they also symbolize cleverness, slyness, and cunningness. Plus, the Celtics honor this creature for its intelligence and wisdom; thus, it can also represent wisdom.
Frogs are associated with springtime because they often cloak loudly when spring arrives. As such, this animal can be a symbol of renewal and new beginnings. In other cultures, a frog can also represent abundance, wealth, prosperity, and good luck. Finally, this creature can also symbolize fertility because it is associated with the start of the farming season.
A giraffe may have a large body, but it is a gentle and peace-loving creature. For this reason, it is a symbol of peace and gentleness. Because of its long neck, a giraffe can also represent the balance between one’s head and heart. Likewise, it can also symbolize the worldly and spiritual realms.
Because goats are often used as sacrificial animals, they are a symbol of sacrifice. Additionally, if a goat appears to you, it is a sign of many opportunities ahead as long as you believe in yourself. For this reason, a goat can also represent independence and faith. In some cultures, this animal is also a symbol of health and vitality.
A goose is a loyal creature, and it is often used to symbolize loyalty and devotion. It is also a courageous animal; hence, it can represent bravery and fearlessness. Additionally, a goose will mourn when one of its kind dies. For this reason, it is considered a compassionate creature, making it a symbol of compassion as well.
Grasshoppers are earth creatures that are attuned to the wind. As such, they can symbolize freedom and being grounded. Additionally, this characteristic can also mean the balance between having your feet on the ground and your head in the clouds. Aside from that, grasshoppers are also considered lucky, and they can symbolize glad tidings and good news.
Many cultures believe that hawks are messengers from the spirit world; thus, they are often used for clarity and intuition. Additionally, this mighty creature can also represent strength, power, and bravery. Seeing a hawk, on the other hand, may mean that there’s an opportunity for growth. Also, it represents Horus, the god of the sky, in Egyptian mythology.
Most people feel free when riding a horse. As such, this majestic creature can symbolize freedom. Because horses are the means of transportation in ancient times, they can also represent movement and travel. Some cultures also use this animal as an emblem of war. They can also symbolize power because those who have more horses can win more battles.
hummingbird is an ancient symbol of happiness and enjoyment of life. Plus, it is believed that its colorful appearance brings positive vibes and good luck into our lives. Because of their beautiful appearance, a hummingbird can also symbolize beauty. Other meanings for this wonderful creature are optimism, joy, appreciation, hope, comfort, and love.
A jaguar is an aggressive animal that possesses great power. Plus, he moves through the jungle with might and intensity. Because of these traits, this creature is often used to symbolize aggressiveness, ferocity, valor, strength, and power. For some cultures, a jaguar can also represent one’s ability to confront his enemies and fears.
Kangaroos are anything but dull and lazy. They are always on the move unless they are sleeping. Because of these traits, this adorable creature is a symbol of movement, speed, strength, and stamina. Aside from that, kangaroos are also kind, and they protect their children with all their might. As such, this animal can also represent kindness and maternal instincts.
Aside from being a flute player, a Kokopelli is also a storyteller and a jokester. Some cultures also consider him as a healer and rainmaker. For these reasons, this wonderful creature can symbolize fertility, feast, joy, and long life. Additionally, a Kokopelli reminds us that we shouldn’t take life seriously. Instead, we must enjoy life to the fullest.
Leopards hunt with stealth and grace. Because of these traits, they can symbolize strength, agility, aggression, gracefulness, and instinct. Additionally, this marvelous creature is known for its unique coat, making it a symbol of beauty. Also, leopards are solitary and territorial animals; thus, they can represent isolation and protection. Other cultures also use leopards to represent ambition and courage.
The lion is the “king of the jungle,” and it faces its enemies courageously. For these reasons, this majestic creature is often used as a symbol of royalty, pride, power, strength, bravery, ferocity, and justice. Aside from that, the lion’s hair resembles the sun; thus, this mighty animal is often used to represent the sun.
Because a lizard is capable of dropping its tail and growing it back, this creature symbolizes survival, growth, and regeneration. For the Roman, a lizard represents resurrection. The Greeks and Egyptians, on the other hand, consider this animal as a symbol of godly wisdom and good fortune. The other meanings of a lizard are clairvoyance, sensitivity, adaptability, change, and introversion.
Loons are solitary birds living in the wilderness, and they symbolize peace, tranquility, and serenity. Because they rely on water to survive, they can represent the symbolic meaning of water, which is associated with our dreams, wishes, and hopes. To be specific, a loon can symbolize the reawakening of our old dreams and wishes.
Monkeys are mischievous and energetic creatures. As such, they are often used to symbolize joyfulness and entertainment. Aside from that, monkeys are also clever and intelligent animals; thus, they can represent intelligence and cleverness. The other meanings associated with this animal are balance, mobility, and control. Lastly, some cultures also consider a monkey as a symbol of good luck.
A moose has a solid stance, and it stands proud and strong. As such, this creature is a symbol of tenacity, strength, dominance, self-confidence, and masculinity. Additionally, they also guard and protect their young with all their might; thus, they can also represent care, guardship, and protection. Finally, they can also represent stamina, endurance, and patience.
Even though a mouse has a small body frame, it has the strength to endure worse weather conditions. For this reason, this creature can symbolize endurance and adaptability. Aside from that, a mouse is also sneaky, especially when obtaining food. As such, it can also represent opportunism, cleverness, and focus. In some cultures, a mouse can symbolize betrayal and disloyalty.
An octopus doesn’t have bones; however, it is able to move freely under the sea because it is flexible. As such, this animal can symbolize flexibility. Aside from that, this creature can escape its predators using its brain; thus, it can also represent intelligence and cleverness. Because it has eight tentacles, it can also symbolize abundance and prosperity.
Otters are mischievous and social creatures, and they represent a person’s inner child. Plus, they can also symbolize playfulness, friendship, happiness, kindness, and never-ending curiosity. Additionally, some cultures consider an otter as a giver or bringer of great fortune. The other meanings of this adorable creature are creativity, agility, and imagination.
There are a lot of mythologies and folklore about the wisdom of an owl. Because of these stories, a lot of cultures consider an owl as a symbol of wisdom and knowledge. Because this creature lives in the dark, it can also represent mystery. The other meanings for this nocturnal animal are rebirth, death, change, and transformation.
Although strong, a panda is a gentle creature. As such, this animal can symbolize peace, calmness, and gentle strength. In China, the black and white color of this bear represents the ying and the yang. Some cultures also consider a panda as a symbol of good luck and a positive outlook in life.
A peacock has a gorgeous tail filled with amazing colors. Because of this trait, this creature is often used as a symbol of beauty. Aside from that, this bird also represents resurrection in Christianity because of its tail that molts and grows back after some time. In Hinduism, peacocks are a symbol of fortitude, compassion, and good fortune.
There was an old legend that tells the story of a pelican piercing its chest to give blood and life to its offspring. Because of this legend, this bird is used as a symbol of unconditional love, motherhood, and sacrifice. In Christianity, a pelican also represents Jesus Christ because he also sacrificed himself to redeem mankind.
Penguins are often seen in groups because they stick together through thick and thin. As such, this adorable animal can symbolize unity, loyalty, sociability, faithfulness, devotion, and teamwork. Aside from that, penguins also represent elegance because of their black and white color. Lastly, they can also symbolize parenthood for being devoted parents.
Despite being able to fly, pheasants spend most of their time on land, hiding in tall grasses. For this reason, the Native Americans consider this beautiful bird as a symbol of concealment and protection. In China, a pheasant symbolizes nobility, and it is associated with high-ranked officials. The other meanings of this bird are sexuality, refinement, creativity, and magic.
A Pheonix is a legendary bird known to rise from the ashes. As such, it is considered a symbol of rebirth, immortality, renewal, and resurrection. In Christianity, the Pheonix also represents Jesus Christ because the bird is willing to sacrifice itself to death to be reborn. The other meanings for this majestic creature are hope, grace, and solitude.
Pigs are a symbol of abundance, fertility, wealth, and prosperity in various cultures. The reason is that they are believed to bring good luck to farmers. Despite its positive meaning, a pig also has negative symbolism. To be specific, some cultures consider this animal as a symbol of greed, laziness, and foolishness.
German farmers capture a quail and use it as a protection for lightning strikes. For this reason, quails are a symbol of protection. Additionally, these birds are associated with hunting, and they often symbolize a good hunt. Because this bird is also a modest creature, it can represent a humble life. The other meanings for quails are family and community.
Raccoons are resourceful and mischievous creatures, and they are a symbol of curiosity, playfulness, and resourcefulness. Aside from that, this animal is also intelligent and possesses great problem-solving skills. Because of this, it also represents intelligence. The other meanings associated with this animal are disguise, secrecy, mystery, courage, agility, and nimbleness.
A ram is a symbol of leadership because of the traits it possesses, like having the courage to face danger. Additionally, it can also symbolize determination and confidence because of its will to climb dangerous mountains. Lastly, some cultures use a ram as a sacrificial offering; thus, it can also represent sacrifice, purity, and holiness.
Because ravens have a black color, they are often used to symbolize darkness, death, and bad omen. As a talking bird, it can also represent communication, insight, and prophecy. Additionally, ravens are among the most intelligent birds on the planet, and they symbolize knowledge, wisdom, and mental clarity. Lastly, this creature can also represent affection, longevity, and fertility.
For the Celtics, they consider salmons as the guardians of knowledge and wisdom that a mortal can’t comprehend; thus, this unassuming creature can symbolize knowledge and wisdom. Aside from that, salmons can also represent determination, endurance, and dedication. The reason is that they will do everything in their power to complete their tasks.
Generally, scorpions represent evil. As such, they often symbolize unpleasantness, destruction, and death. Aside from that, a scorpion deals with a threat in a unique way; thus, it can represent self-defense and protection. In some cultures, a scorpion is used as a symbol of passion, sex, and lust. The other meanings for this dangerous creature are dominance, ardency, transformation, and rebirth.
A seahorse has a boney structure that represents protection. Aside from that, some cultures also believed that this creature is a symbol of luck and good fortune; thus, they are often used as good luck charms. Also, a seahorse moves slowly along with the current; thus, they can also symbolize contentment, serenity, and patience.
People living in the South Pacific Islands consider a shark as their protector or guardian. For this reason, this fierce animal is a symbol of guidance and protection. Additionally, it can also represent authority because of its reputation, which is a powerful predator of the sea. Lastly, sharks are fast-moving creatures; hence, they can also represent adventure.
A dream about a shrimp is a representation of your feeling of insignificance or inadequacy. Aside from that, it could also symbolize your insecurities and yearning to hide. Despite these negative meanings, a shrimp can also have positive symbolism. For instance, it can symbolize passion, enjoyment, and luck.
A skunk has a white patch on its body that symbolizes creativity. Its pungent odor, on the other hand, represents protection and self-defense. Aside from that, skunks can symbolize confidence because they are confident that they can protect themselves with their extremely foul odor. The other meanings for this animal are valor, humility, self-awareness, and solitude.
Because snakes are able to shed their skin, they can symbolize rebirth, transformation, and healing. Some cultures also consider a snake as an evil creature because it tempted Eve to commit a sin. For other cultures, the use snake as a symbol of medicine and healing. Finally, it can also represent spiritual transformation and healing.
A spider takes its time to weave its web. Because of this trait, this creature is often used to symbolize patience and creativity. Aside from that, a spider also represents infinity due to its eight legs. As you know, eight is a significant number in numerology, which symbolizes infinity or the beginning and end.
Squirrels are playful animals, and they symbolize laughter, enjoyment, and playfulness. In fact, if a squirrel appears in your life, it is reminding you to take life less seriously. Additionally, squirrels are social creatures, and they can represent communication and sociability. The other meanings for this adorable animal are balance, preparation, prudence, and high energy.
Because of its white color, a swan is often used to symbolize purity. Additionally, this animal moves with grace; thus, it can also represent beauty and elegance. A pair of swans, on the other hand, can symbolize soulmates, love, and romance. Lastly, swans can also represent creativity, depth, and fluidity because it lives in water.
A thunderbird is believed to be the most powerful animal. For this reason, it is often used as a symbol of power and strength. For the Native Americans, this creature represents creation, and it marks the boundaries or separation between the earth and the sky or heaven. For some cultures, this animal is also a symbol of war and victory.
Like other predators, a tiger is commonly used to represent strength, power, courage, and willpower. In China, a tiger symbolizes the balance between yin and yang. Plus, they also represent fierceness, pride, and austerity. In some Eastern countries, a tiger can also symbolize a person’s status or rank.
Traditionally, toads have negative symbolism because they are thought to be demonic creatures. As such, they are often associated with darkness, secrecy, and trickery. Even so, they also have positive meanings. For one, they represent rebirth and resurrection because they transform from a tadpole to a toad. Additionally, the can also symbolize the cycle of life.
For the Native Americans, turkeys are a symbol of fertility and abundance. Because of this meaning, this animal is often sacrificed during fertility and thanksgiving ceremonies. Additionally, turkeys possess great beauty, and they are usually used to represent pride. For its other meanings, this animal can also symbolize generosity, virility, and awareness.
Turtles are usually used as a symbol of longevity and stability due to their long lifespan. Aside from that, many cultures consider this animal as patient and wise; thus, they can represent wisdom and patience. In Japan, turtles are a symbol of good fortune, and they are believed to bring 10,000 years of happiness.
Because of its white color, a unicorn can symbolize innocence, virginity, and purity. Aside from that, this noble animal also represents positivity, happiness, prosperity, and long life. As a mythical creature, it can also symbolize mystery, magic, and enchantment. The other meanings associated with a unicorn are romance, hope, joy, and healing.
Whales are enormous yet gentle creatures; thus, they can symbolize peaceful strength. Aside from that, whales can also represent solitude, compassion, and love. Some cultures also consider this animal as a symbol of good luck. Additionally, some cultures also believe that this animal possesses knowledge of both death and life.
Like the dogs, wolves are a symbol of loyalty, protection, and guardship. Aside from that, this animal is also friendly, sociable, and family-oriented. As such, they can represent playfulness, family, and sociability. As a predator, wolves can also symbolize power and strength. The other meanings associated with this animal are freedom, instinct, and intelligence.