Heraldic Animals

Heraldic Animals are very popular and numerous, so you can likely find ones that in a clan badge or coat of arms.

Among the quadrupeds, the lion is most used. The eagle is the bird most used. The dolphin and bar are the most used fish.

Moving on to reptiles, the snake ranks number one. Hard to believe, but the fly is the most popular insect. Lastly, the dragon ranks right up there for allegorical, mythological creatures.

All breeds of dog will be found under Dog.

Heraldic Symbols and Their Meanings

A ~ B ~ C ~ D ~ E ~ F ~ G ~ H ~ I ~ J ~ K ~ L ~ M ~

N ~ O ~ P ~ Q ~ R ~ S ~ T ~ U ~ V ~ W ~ X ~ Y ~ Z ~


A ~ Heraldic Symbols


    Image courtesy UK College of Arms


  • Alpaca [Pago] ~ In 1836 Sir Titus Salt introduced alpaca fabric to the British market. He owned a mill in West Yorkshire, England. An alpaca standing on a rock is on his crest. As yet, a rendition of this crest has not been located.

    An Alpaca and two Angora Goat heads are in the arms of Benn.


    Bolivia Arms and Alpaca image courtesy Wikipedia


  • Ant ~ great labor, wisdom, providence in one's affairs

    Proverbs 6:6 collaborates this meaning, ‘Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise’, a sluggard being a work hater.

  • Antelope, Heraldic [mythical creature with body of a stag, tail of a unicorn, tusk at the tip of the nose, tufts down the back of the neck, chest, and thighs] ~ meaning uncertain


    Image courtesy James Parker


  • Antler ~ strength and fortitude

  • Ape ~ meaning uncertain


    Image courtesy Weebsite


  • Ass ~ patience, humility
~ Return to Heraldic Symbols Index ~
for other heraldic animals

B ~ Heraldic Animals

  • Bat ~ see Birds

  • Bear ~ strength, cunning, ferocity in the protection of one's kindred


    Image courtesy Heraldry WS


  • Beaver ~ industry and perseverance

  • Bee ~ efficient industry, well-governed industry


    Image courtesy James Parker


  • Boar [Hog, Porc; Grice and Marcassin are young wild boar] ~ bravery, warrior

    A fierce combatant when at bay. He will only quit fighting when dead.


    Image courtesy Civic Heraldry


    Boar's Head ~ hospitality

  • Buck ~ one who will not fight unless provoked; peace and harmony, policy

  • Buffalo
    Water Buffalo [Cape Buffalo, Asian and African cattle, draft animal, fierce when wild, life sustaining when tamed] ~ power, wealth, and comfort


    Image courtesy James Parker


    American Bison ~ valor and magnanimity, bravery, generosity

    Image courtesy James Parker


  • Bull ~ valor and magnanimity, bravery, generosity
    Bull's Head


    Image courtesy James Parker

    Bull's Horns ~ strength and fortitude

  • Butterfly ~ freedom, frivolity, the soul's ascent to immortality


    Image courtesy Heraldica


    Also see Furs, Feathers, and Scales for Butterfly scales.
~ Return to Heraldic Symbols Index ~
for other heraldic animals

C ~ Heraldic Symbols

  • Camel ~ docility, patience, indefatigable perseverance


    Image courtesy Wikipedia


  • Cameleon ~ inconstancy


    Image courtesy James Parker

~ Return to Heraldic Symbols Index ~
for other heraldic animals

D ~ Heraldic Symbols

  • Deer ~ policy, peace, harmony, one who will not fight unless provoked

  • Dog ~ courage, vigilance, loyaltyThe Lanestosa arms displays dogs in a tree ~ meaning uncertain


    Image courtesy Wikipedia


    Bloodhound ~ meaning uncertain


    Image courtesy James Parker


    This bloodhound sits passant ~ a profile view, if his head were turned toward us he would be passant gardant

    Greyhound ~ meaning uncertain


    Image courtesy James Parker


    Ratch Hound [small hound] ~ loyalty, courage, and vigilance

    Talbot [hunting dog of quick pursuit and eager pursuit] ~ courage, vigilance and loyal fidelity


    Image courtesy Wikipedia



    Image courtesy Cheshire Heraldry


    Image courtesy Vector


  • Dragonfly ~ meaning uncertain


    Image courtesy New Gaso
~ Return to Heraldic Symbols Index ~
for other heraldic animals

E ~ Heraldic Symbols

  • Elephant ~ courage, great strength, wit, longevity, happiness, royalty, dignity, good luck, ambition, patience, wisdom


    Image courtesy Heraldica


    Tusks ~ see Proboscides

  • Emu ~ see Kangaroo, in Australia Coat of Arms

  • Ermine ~ dignity


    Image courtesy Wikipedia


    Also see Furs, Feathers, and Scales for many ermine fur examples

  • Escallop ~ see Sea Creatures

  • Ewe ~ gentleness and patience under suffering
~ Return to Heraldic Symbols Index ~
for other heraldic animals

F ~ Heraldic Animals

  • Fleece, Lamb's ~ ancient honor from the knightly order of the Fleece of Gold

    The golden Fleece, or Toison d’or, is renowned from the classic fable of Jason and his expedition to Colchis on his ship, the Argo, to obtain the Golden Fleece. The Fleece of Gold Order of Knighthood was popular in Spain and Austria.

    Baron Robert Jason, c. 1661, placed a golden fleece on his arms.




    Image courtesy James Parker


  • Fox [Genet, Reynard, Tod] ~ most famous of tricksters, strategic talents, fertility of resources, willing to use all that he possesses of wisdom and wit for his own defense.

    If you’ve ever seen a fox standing in the middle of a field, one leg raised, head slightly cocked, sniffing the wind for information, then you know the appeal of the fox.


    Image courtesy James Parker


  • Frog [Powet, Toad, Tadpole] ~ fertility, resurrection, prone to anger, rapid determination, Satan

    Satan was depicted as a plague of frogs, from Revelation 16:13, thus this heraldic charge


    Image courtesy Wikipedia


  • Furs ~ see Furs, Feathers, and Scales
~ Return to Heraldic Symbols Index ~
for other heraldic animals

G ~ Heraldic Symbols

  • Goat ~ emblem of a martial man who wins through politics rather than war

  • Grasshopper ~ wisdom and nobility, home-bred


    Image courtesy Points of Heraldry


  • Gringole [snake heads] ~ see Snakes
~ Return to Heraldic Symbols Index ~
for other heraldic animals

H ~ Heraldic Animals

  • Hare ~ one who enjoys a peaceable and retired life


    Image courtesy James Parker


  • Hart [male deer] ~ policy, peace and harmony

  • Hedgehog - provident provider

  • Hind [female deer] ~ peace and harmony

  • Holt [squirrel's nest] ~ pun for the Holt family name, see squirrel for symbolism

  • Horn ~ strength and fortitudeWhen shown as small, overlapping scales also called tegulated [see below]

    Image courtesy Heraldry WS


  • Horse ~ war, warrior spirit, bravery, courage, strength, speed, intellect, virility, lust, innate clairvoyance, loyalty, devotion, readiness of all employments for king and country

    Black Horse ~ calamitous war
~ Return to Heraldic Symbols Index ~
for other heraldic animals

J ~ Heraldic Symbols

  • Jaguar ~ meaning uncertain
~ Return to Heraldic Symbols Index ~
for other heraldic animals

K ~ Heraldic Symbols

~ Return to Heraldic Symbols Index ~
for other heraldic animals

L ~ Heraldic Animals

  • Lamb ~ gentleness and patience under suffering
    Carrying Banner with a Cross ~ faith, innocence, bravery, gentleness, purity, resolute spirit

    Carrying Staff ~ faith, innocence, bravery, gentleness, purity, resolute spirit

    Paschal ~ faith, innocence, bravery, gentleness, purity, resolute spirit


    Image courtesy Weebsite


  • Leopard ~ valiant and hardy warrior who enterprises hazardous things by force and courage



    Swettenham arms and leopard image
    courtesy Cheshire Heraldry


    Leopard's Head Swallowing a Fleur-de-lis ~ the lion of England swallowing the lily of France

  • Lion ~ bravery, strength, ferocity, and valor


    Image courtesy Charles Boutell

  • Lizard ~ wisdom, good luck


    Image courtesy Wikipedia


  • Lynx ~ liberty, vigilance, forecast, courage
~ Return to Heraldic Symbols Index ~
for other heraldic animals

M ~ Heraldic Symbols

  • Mole ~ meaning uncertain


    Image courtesy James Parker


  • Monkey [Baboon, said to hide their sagacious wisdom and magical powers with humorous antics] ~ mimicry, agility, buffoonery, cunning, satire, the unconscious

  • Mule ~ often borne by abbots and abbesses who have pastoral jurisdiction, but not civic jurisdiction

~ Return to Heraldic Symbols Index ~
for other heraldic animals

O ~ Heraldic Animals

  • Octopus ~ meaning uncertain


    Image courtesy Dragon Azure


  • Otter ~ one who lives life to the fullest


    Image courtesy Wikipedia


  • Ounce ~ see Leopard

  • Ox ~ valor, generosity, magnanimity


    Image courtesy Weebsite
~ Return to Heraldic Symbols Index ~
for other heraldic animals

P ~ Heraldic Symbols

  • Panther [always shown with face towards the spectator, usually with fire shooting from the ears and mouth] ~ protector of the universe

    As a lion signifies a brave man, a panther signifies a beautiful woman, who will fiercely defend her young with her life, yet is very tender and loving toward her young.

  • Pig ~ fertility

  • Polar Bear


    Image courtesy Nation Master


  • Porcupine ~ invincibility, Louis XII of France alleged to the porcupine throwing spines at their enemies in his motto 'Cominus et eminus', meaning from near and afar.

  • Potent see Furs, Feathers, and Scales

  • Proboscides [pairs of elephant trunks] ~ ambition, courage, dignity, good luck, great strength, happiness, longevity, patience, royalty, wisdom, wit


    Image courtesy Fleur de Lis Designs


  • Python, Pithon [constrictor or boa snake] ~ guardianship
~ Return to Heraldic Symbols Index ~

R ~ Heraldic Animals

  • Rabbit ~ see Hare


    Image courtesy Weebsite


  • Ram ~ authority, leader


    Image courtesy Weebsite


  • Rat ~ industry and prosperity due to its ability for locating, acquiring, and hoarding abundant food


    Image courtesy Somewhere in Tyme


  • Reindeer ~ policy, peace and harmony, one who will not fight unless provoked


    Image courtesy James Parker


  • Rhinoceros ~ great ferocity when aroused


    Image courtesy Vector Graphics
~ Return to Heraldic Symbols Index ~

S ~ Heraldic Symbols

  • Salamander ~ protection

  • Scorpion ~ amulets in the form of scorpions were worn in many cultures, as a protection against evil. Also symbolic of wisdom and self-destruction


    Image courtesy James Parker


  • Sea Horse ~ power of the water


    Image courtesy James Parker


  • Sea Lion [possibly a seal or manatee]~ dauntless courage at sea


    Image courtesy James Parker


  • Sea Urchin ~ meaning uncertain


    Image courtesy James Parker


  • Seal [sea-calf, sea-wolf, sea-bear] ~ dauntless courage at sea

  • Serpent ~ wisdom


    Image courtesy James Parker


  • Shark ~ persistence and perseverance as they have to swim bladder and must swim constantly to keep from sinking.In some cultures both feared and worshipped as a demon


    Image courtesy Wikipedia


  • Sheep ~ also Ewe, Lamb, Ram

  • Shell [Conché, Escallop, Scallop, Whelk] ~ protection of Providence

    Whelk


    Image courtesy James Parker


    Scallop ~ see The Heraldic Scallop

  • Silkmoth ~ meaning uncertain, but Uzbekistan sits on what was the Silk Road from India and on to China. They became very wealthy because of the caravan traffic flowing back and forth. So the Silkmoth would mean wealth and security for them.


    Image courtesy Vector Graphics


  • Snail [House Snail, limacon as opposed to the common slug] ~ deliberation, perseverance, steadfastness.

    The citizens of Marnard nicknamed the snails, thus they adopted the snail in their coat of arms

    Image courtesy Five Star Flags


  • Snake ~ wisdom

    The first example, which is nowed, belongs to Ednowain Ap Bradwen of Merionethshire. Nowed means twisted to form a knot.

    Asps, seen infrequently, are hard to distinguish from other snakes, but are a little larger.

    When snake heads are used on a cross, it is a ‘gringolee’ cross. An asp or viper at the ends of a cross, is a ‘guivere’ cross.

    Nowed

    Image courtesy James Parker

    Gringole

    Image courtesy James Parker

    Guivree

    Image courtesy Heraldica

  • Spider ~ wisdom, labor and providence in all affairs

  • Squid ~ see Octopus

  • Squirrel [he who sits in the shadow of his tail] ~ one who was provident toward the future, trustworthy, strong sense of duty, lover of the woods, sylvan retirement being the delight of its bearer. The squirrel's nest was called a 'holt', thus a squirrel can pun the name 'Holt'. This one is holding a hazelnut or hazel leaves.


    Image courtesy James Parker


  • Stag [male deer] ~ policy, peace and harmony, one who will not fight unless provoked

    Stag Antlers ~ strength and fortitude
~ Return to Heraldic Symbols Index ~

T ~ Heraldic Animals

  • Tegulated ~ small, overlapping plates of horn or metal


    Image courtesy the Weebsite


  • Tiger ~ great fierceness and valor when enraged to combat, one whose resentment will be dangerous if aroused, authority and power

  • Toad ~ in Scotland good luck on wedding day, fertility, resurrection, prone to anger, rapid determination


    Image courtesy James Parker


  • Tortoise ~ invulnerability to attack, longevity, patience, practicality, strength A major meat source for 17th and 18th century sailors

    Derived from Latin 'testuoo', which was the protective shelter Roman soldiers formed by overlapping their shields overhead to stop arrows

    Independence because it takes it's home with it and is well protected

  • Turkey ~ festivity, hospitality, resourcefulness
    Feathers ~ pride and distinction

  • Turtle ~ rapid determination


    Image courtesy James Parker
~ Return to Heraldic Symbols Index ~

V ~ Heraldic Symbols

  • Vair ~ see Furs, Feathers, and Scales

  • Vicuna


    Image courtesy Wikipedia


  • Vulned [ensanglanté, an animal wounded and bleeding, drops of blood is gouttes de sang


    Image courtesy James Parker
~ Return to Heraldic Symbols Index ~
for other heraldic animals

W ~ Heraldic Symbols

  • Walrus


    Image courtesy All States Flags


  • Water Lizard [Alsager, Askers] ~ the most common is the monitor of the Nile.


    Image courtesy Cheshire Heraldry


  • Wildcat ~ liberty, vigilance, forecast, courage

  • Wolf ~ denotes valiant captains that do in the end gain their attempts after long sieges and hard enterprises, one whom it is dangerous to assail or thwart, perseverance and hard work


    Image courtesy James Parker
~ Return to Heraldic Symbols Index ~

Z ~ Heraldic Animals

  • Zebra ~ meaning uncertain



Image courtesy Wikipedia

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