Special Report

America’s Most Popular Animal Tattoos

Tattoos have become increasingly prevalent in the last decade. According to a 2019 poll by Ipsos, 30% of Americans have at least one tattoo. That’s up from 21% in 2012. While popular tattoo patterns include flowers, dragons, skulls, and “tribal” designs, a particularly fashionable ink category is animals. From frogs to jellyfish to hummingbirds and even dinosaurs, people are wild for animal tattoos. (Tattoos, temporary or not, were embraced by at least some actors who made major body transformations for roles.) 

To identify America’s 25 most popular animal tattoos, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the annual search volume and Instagram hashtags for specific animal tattoos published by All About Cats, which used Google Keyword Planner to track searches on animal tattoos from June 2021 to July 2022.

Click here to see America’s most popular animal tattoos

Animal tattoos can carry a number of meanings. Some people may feel drawn to a particular type of creature and wish to project or embody an aspect of its personality. Snake tattoos, for example, can represent rebirth after the shedding of one’s skin, while wolf tattoos can portray self-reliance, and elephants may characterize strength or wisdom.

Some tattoos might not symbolize an aspect of a creature’s character, but simply represent a favorite animal or display an exquisite design from a favorite tattoo artist. Images of dogs and cats are both popular. (Here are America’s most popular dogs.)

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