The Lion is a traditional symbol of solar energy, and this symbolism carried into Christianity with its attributes intact. It is a symbol of strength, fortitude, and wisdom. In some cases, the lion represents the Hebrew Tribe of Judah, in which case it is likely to carry a banner. A winged lion (tetramorph) represents the Apostle Mark. The lion is frequently pictured alongside saints Anthony and Jerome.
The Lamb most often represents Christ, a symbolism that is drawn from numerous references in scripture. (John 1:29: Behold the Lamb of God) When the lamb is pictured with Jesus, as in "good shepherd" poses, it represents man as a redeemed sinner. When the lamb bears a cruciform banner, it represents John the Baptist as the first to recognize the "lamb of God."
The Ox is a symbols of the nativity, and are drawn from the apocryphal gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, which quotes Old Testament prophecy: "and the ox and the ass adored Him. Then was fulfilled that which was said by Isaiah the prophet, saying: The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib." The ass was the conveyence of the pregnant virgin, and was so highly esteemed by early Chhristians that they were accused of donkey-worship.
The ape is a symbol of the lower nature of man, and represents lust, avarice, malice. Satan sometimes appears in the form of an ape. An ape in ahains represents sin conquered.
A dragon in Christian art represents sin and the sinful nature, and is also a common way of depicting the devil, especially in the context of devourer. A number of saints are depicted defeating or otherwise overcoming dragons.
The dolphin is a very ancient Christian symbol, and is drawn from earlier Greek and Roman symbolism. The dolphin was traditionally regarded as a psychopomp, leading souls to safety, and in this sense came to represent the church as guider of souls into paradise.
The snake or serpent is the most unusual symbol, because it represents both good and evil, depending on context. As the serpent of Eden, often pictured with human face (inevitably female), the serpent is the embodiment of Satan.
The peacock is an ancient symbol of immortality. The tail of the peacock, with its 'thousand eyes' are symbolic of omnipotence and often ascribed to the Archangel Michael. The peacock's feather is sometimes associated with St. Barabara.
The phoenix has been a symbol of Christianity from the very first century, when it was used on jewelry, amulets, and inscribed on tombstones. As the phoenix was long rumored to continually renew itself through death and rebirth, it was a perfect emblem of the resurrection and the promise of eternal life.
The dove is the traditional emblem of the Holy Spirit, and is mentioned numerous times in scripture. The dove is the bird who brings to Noah the olive branch symbolic of God's covenant with man, and again appears at the baptism of Christ. Because of this, the dove is used to represent grace and the seven gifts of the Holy spirit.