Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Creature Feature: Mantyger

This was one of the creatures that started it all. The mantyger (also spelled "mantyre" or called a "satyral") is described as an animal with a lion's body and mane, an old man's face and beard, a long, flexible tail, and the serrated horns of an antelope. Sometimes, they're also described as having the tusks of a boar--I chose to include that part. What I find interesting about the mantyger is the story behind its description. It's widely believed that this animal was a misinterpretation of a baboon; big, fluffy mane, slightly humanoid face, and big sharp teeth. Where the horns came from is anybody's guess. When used in a coat of arms, a mantyger is hard to interpret because it's been historically confused for a manticore--which is a vicious creature with a lion's body, man's face, sharp teeth, and a scorpion tail. The two are not actually interchangeable.

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