This paper addresses the use of specific classifiers to mark the category of animals in two ancient Near Eastern writing systems: the [hide & tail] sign of the Egyptian hieroglyphs and the breath sign of the Anatolian hieroglyphs. We shall consider what the use of these signs tells us about ANIMALIA as a semantic category, and the role of the relevant signs as parts of their respective writing systems. We are interested in the origin of these signs, their iconography and a functional analysis of their role within the script. We will also investigate whether a comparison between the two ancient pictorial writing systems reveals commonalities, or even possible points of contact, or whether the respective developments show a distinctly separate character.