CALYGREYHOUND: (EUROPE)

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Renowned for its incredible speed, this creature is notable for its apparent synthesis of features which are found on both carnivores and grassland herbivores.

Sometimes associated with the CARETYNE, this unique animal appears on the Medieval heraldry of the de Vere family — who were the Earls of Oxford – during the 15th and 16th centuries.

Often used to symbolize speed, the Calygreyhound was an apparently terrifying melding of different mammals, which was described as having the head of a wildcat, the torso of an antelope, the fore-claws of an eagle and the hind legs and hooves of an ox.

That having been stated, there are some illustrations which depict the creature as an AQUATIC ENIGMA, complete with a fish-like tail.

These creatures were also often depicted as having a pair of bulbous, ram-like horns. Although, this animal is commonly accepted to be a figment of medieval artists’ fertile imaginations, the fact remains that even the most fantastic beasts, more often than not, have some basis in reality.

© Copyright Rob Morphy 2002 — 2011