This is the index page to my hub pages on the subject of unusual and mythological creatures. The topic below either lead to my current pages on that topic, or are subject I intend to write pages on in the future. Please feel free to make requests.
My hubpages fall into two main areas. First, all types of animals from myth and legends (but that do not actually exist) indexed on this page. Second, unusual variants of normal animals such as albinos and "real unicorns" which are indexed here.
Chimera (a.k.a. Chimaera) are imaginary creatures that are made up from parts of several different real animal species. The name comes fron the name of an actual animal from ancient Greek mythology--also the source of most of the well-known examples listed below. Chimera was a creature that possessed three different animal heads, a lion, goat and snake.
Some Chimera are part human and others are not. The following are examples of mythical creatures made up entirely from non-human animals. Non-human chimera generally play the role of either the monster that the hero must over come, or the helper that allows them to do this (e.g. Pegasus), or the helper of a God or Goddess (e.g. Hippocamp)
Science is now allowing the creation of a form of real chimera, specifically animals with genes from completely different species. In some respects the negative emotional responses many people have to these technologies echoes an ancient idea of 'monsters' and the immorality of crossing species boundaries--especially between humans and animals.
Animals in Culture and Religion
Sometimes what is interesting is not so much the animals itself, as the meanings and significance we give to the animal in our culture and traditions. How we see them as individuals, as species, and as symbols. For example:
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Cyclopia is a serious genetic defect that results on an appearance similar to the one-eyed cyclops. It can affect almost any species of animal.
Cerberus the three-headed dog of the underworld.
The symbolism of Christmas includes many animals. Both those associated with the Christ story and earlier pagan traditions.
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- Baylis F, Robert JS (2006) Primer on Ethics and Crossing Species Boundaries
- Saniotis A (2007). Social and genomic constructions of chimera [pdf]