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12 Animals That Represent Life (Pictures)

Animals are creatures of life, and many of them have been associated with different ancient cultures throughout history. There are many animals that represent life’s sacredness in one way or another.

For thousands of years, certain creatures have been linked with specific cultures. In fact, these animals appear in art created over time by cultural groups because they were thought to symbolize life!

This article will highlight some species that depict life in all its forms, including rebirth, longevity, transformation, and even creating your own life.

12 Animals that represent life

1. Crane

Common crane in marsh
Common crane in marsh | image by Smudge 9000 via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Grus grus

Cranes are large birds with long necks and legs that are mostly found in Asia and Africa. Cranes have wings that can grow to be 1.8 to 2.4 m long and long bills that they use to get food from the water. These birds live in wetlands such as marshes or swamps, where they build nests out of reeds and grasses to lay their eggs.

They eat insects, seeds, worms, snails, and birds that live near water. Cranes represent long life in Chinese mythology and are thought to be used as immortal rides because they can travel between heaven and man’s world.

2. Spiders

Common house spider on the wall
Common house spider on the wall
  • Scientific Name: Parasteatoda tepidariorum
  • Tattoo meaning: wisdom, fertility, harmony, patterns of life, balance

Spiders are eight-legged arthropods that can be found all over the world in a variety of habitats such as forests, caves, deserts, and under rocks. These carnivorous creatures eat insects and other small animals. Many species use silk to construct webs that act as traps for prey.

Others use silk for other purposes, such as making egg sacs or cocoons for their young. Spiders are recognized as sacred life weavers in many cultures around the world due to their habit of weaving webs. Because of this, spiders are a wonderful metaphor for having to construct your own path in life.

3. Rabbits

European Rabbit
European rabbit | image by Peter O’Connor aka anemoneprojectors via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Oryctolagus cuniculus

Rabbits are small, furry mammals that live on land and can be found worldwide, though they prefer grassy environments with plenty of cover. They’re herbivores, meaning they eat mostly plants and other vegetation.

Rabbits are social creatures that live in colonies. These creatures live in shallow burrows called warrens that are made of grass. This is usually where their babies or kittens are found.

Rabbits are a popular symbol of new life and beginnings, which is why they’re among the most popular Easter animals. This is due to the fact that they’re known to have 7-15 kittens per pregnancy and can give birth six times a year.

4. Goat

Domestic goat in the farm
Domestic goat in the farm | image by shankar s. via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Capra hircus

Goats are a type of hooved mammal found in Africa and Asia. They’re among the domesticated animals that are kept as livestock throughout much of the world. These herbivorous mammals live in open areas such as hillsides or grasslands.

They consume grass, leaves, plants, and shrubs. Goals represent life because they’re frequently used as a symbol of fertility. Goats are often seen as stubborn and a symbol of disobedience in some beliefs, such as Christianity, but in other cultures, these animals are often a symbol of fertility and the reproduction of new life.

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5. Bearded dragons

Central bearded dragon
Central bearded dragon | Image by HIROMASA HADACHI from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Pogona vitticeps

A reptile with a recognizable beard is called a bearded dragon. This beard is displayed whenever they want to attract mates or detect a threat. They’re native to Australia, and are one of the most popular reptiles kept as pets.

These lizards eat a wide variety of insects, worms, and plants. Bearded dragons are thought to symbolize rebirth and growth in life. This is due to their ability to drop and then regrow their tails, which these reptiles do whenever they perceive a threat.

6. Coyote

Coyote lying in the grass
Coyote lying in the grass

Scientific Name: Canis latrans

A coyote is a medium-sized dog native to North America. It belongs to the dog family and resembles a german shepherd. Coyotes can be found in a variety of open habitats, including prairies and deserts.

These animals primarily consume rodents, carrion (dead animals), deer, and insects, but they also consume fruit and berries. Despite the fact that they live in packs, they usually hunt and travel alone at night.

The coyote is deeply associated with the creation of life in some native religions. It was thought to wander off alone and provide advice and instruction, making him an important part of life’s creation.

7. Snakes

King cobra striking position
King cobra striking position | image credit: Max Jones @thekingcobrareport
  • Scientific Name: Ophiophagus hannah
  • Tattoo meaning: Wisdom, fertility or a creative life force, immortality

Snakes are cold-blooded reptiles that live in the warmest parts of the world. They have long bodies with no legs and fangs for biting their prey. These slithering creatures are carnivorous, eating other animals as well as their own kind.

Snakes are associated with life because they represent rebirth and renewal. Some people believe snakes shed their skin to be reborn, while others believe snakes shed their skin to make room for new growth. The majority of people who get tattoos of ouroboros or snakes biting their own tails do so to express eternity and the ongoing renewal of life.

8. Turtles

Green sea turtle underwater
Green sea turtle underwater

Scientific Name: Chelonia mydas

Turtles are reptiles that can live on land and in water. They’re known for having shells on their backs, which allow them to hide when a threat approaches. These reptiles are slow on land but fast swimmers in the ocean.

Turtles are omnivores that feed on plants and worms. As an animal representing life, turtles have appeared frequently throughout history in various artistic mediums. They’re associated with the creation of life, and some cultures believe that their very long lifespan and wrinkled appearance represent longevity.

9. Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly
Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay
  • Scientific Name: Danaus plexippus
  • Tattoo meaning: rebirth, transformation, change, hope, endurance

A butterfly is an insect with colorful wings that can have various patterns and markings. They prefer warm climates, such as tropical forests, and can also be found in parks and gardens with plenty of flowers. These insects consume flower nectar as well as animal droppings.

Butterflies represent life because they can transition from one stage to another. They’re also known as rebirth and transformation symbols, allowing us to fully understand that we can always transform and create the life we desire.

10. Stork

White stork standing
White stork standing | image by Wildlife Terry via Flickr

Scientific Name: Ciconia ciconia

The stork is a large bird with long legs and a long bill. They have a wingspan of approximately 7 to 9.5 feet and weigh approximately 3 to 8 kg. These birds inhabit wetlands, marshes, coastal areas, and tidal waters with a plentiful supply of prey.

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Frogs, fish, snakes, mollusks, and worms are among their favorite foods. These big birds have long been associated with life and rebirth.

Storks are very hands-on parents, and both males and females will take turns feeding their young. Because they’re nurturing and affectionate parents, they have become associated with the creation of new life.

11. Bear

Grizzly bear
A grizzly bear

Scientific Name: Ursus arctos horribilis

Bears are large mammals found primarily in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. They have shaggy fur and sharp claws that they use to eat meat, as well as plants. Bears are extremely powerful and have a keen sense of smell.

They have been observed hunting large prey such as moose and elk. Bears represent life because they symbolize strength, power, and perseverance, all of which we require to live fulfilling lives. They’re also significant beings in Native American culture because their movements symbolize the spiritual journey in life.

12. Cicada

Common cactus dodger on plants
Common cactus dodger on plants | image by James St. John via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Cacama valvata

Cicadas are large insects that live underground for long periods of time. They’re also known to make loud noises in order to attract mates.

As nymphs, these insects can live underground for up to 17 years before emerging as fully formed adults. Once they have emerged from the ground, they continue to live for an additional 2 to 5 years before passing away after mating and giving birth.

The cicada is a representation of life and rebirth because it spends the majority of its life underground as a nymph before emerging as an adult to reproduce and lay eggs. They’re also associated with rebirth, immortality, harvest, and fertility.