Reptiles have always been associated with mythology and have been credited with magical and supernatural powers. The Egyptians considered the snake to be the Pharaohs reptile and the Cobra was credited with the gift of immortality. Lizards are also associated with the Sun. The movement of a lizard was thought to be able to return sight to a blind person and it also represented good luck and divine knowledge. Turtles were associated with drought and viewed as the enemy of the Sun God. And Crocodiles are associated with deceit, two-facedness, passion and betrayal.
Dragons – The Lizard Kings
The dragon is the most feared and esteemed of beasts. The beast that all the world knows and the creature that never was. It is the impossible creature that exists in art, mythology, religion and legend.
Belonging to the family of extremely large, long-lived winged lizards, true dragons constitute the most advanced race of lizards known, far surpassing other orders in size intelligence and life-span.
Classical Dragon – Common European Dragon (Draco magnificens)
Four-legged creature with tough, scaly hide, an eagles talons, a long sinuous tail, a reptilian snout crowned with a pair of horns. Bat-like wings spring from extended rib-bones just behind the front legs and fiery breath typical of most world dragons.
Dragons in Mythology
The three predators who most threatened our ancestors The Eagle, the Leopard and the Snake, merge in mythology to become a single creature The Dragon. Classical Greek mythology is alive with Dragons… One of the twelve tasks of Hercules was to defeat a fearsome dragon and Zeus also had an unwelcome encounter…
Typhon the Hydra
After defeating Cronus, his father, Zeus was confronted by Typhon, Demon of the Whirlwind, a creature created from hundreds of coiled snakes, hundreds of serpents writhing from its shoulders, vast leathery wings and eyes that flashed fire; its roar shook the Earth and flames shot from its gaping mouth.
Fearful of Typhon Zeus fled, taking refuge in Egypt but accused of cowardice, Zeus return to face his formidable mountain hurling enemy. Zeus won the battle at Thrace, wounding and chasing Typhon to Sicily where he crushed him under Mount Aetna.
Gaea, the ancient Greek earth goddess was impregnated by just one drop of blood that fell from Typhons’s head and gave birth to Actaeus, first King of Athens.
Norse myth (Scandinavian Vikings) of Midgard Serpent – Jormungander
Jormungander, a huge winged serpent with a dragons head and son of Loki and Angerboda, the gods of evil. “Odin the All Wise” recognised its potential danger and threw it into the depths of the sea. He ordered it to stay there, tail in mouth encircling the world until Ragnarok – the Day of the Last Battle when giants, monsters and warrior gods would engage in final battles. The outcomes would define eternity.
At this time Jormungander rose from the sea to battle Thor – the mighty god of thunder. A raging thunderous battle ensued…
Thor hurling thunderbolts Jormungander roaring with mind shattering blasts but eventually both were killed when Thor’s great hammer Miolnir struck Jormungander’s head and Jormungander’s poisoness breath caused Thor’s demise minutes later
Timat, mother of the gods sought revenge for her husband’s killing transforming into a dragon with impermeable scales, two heavily clawed forelegs, a long snake-like neck and head, and a pair of horns. Timat’s battalions comprised of Sirrush – terrifying creatures, a hybrid mix of bird of prey, lion and Scorpion.
Japanese Myth – The Koshi Dragon
The impossibly huge Koshi dragon, could drape its body over eight hills and valleys simultaneously was slain by Storm god, Susa-no-ow, a wild and footloose warrior- hero. Trees and bushes grew on its scaly back as did its eight heads with blood-red eyes and eight serpentine tails.
Japanese Dragon Birds (hai-riyo)
Locals claim a scaled serpent with a dragons head and features and a bird’s wingsand body, lives in the centre of Lake Ukisima. Every 50 years it appears as O-gon-cho, “Golden Plumed Bird” from the lake to sing its terrible song – more howling-wolf than singing-bird. When heard, the season of sickness falls on the people. Last heard in 1834, famine and disease soon spread over the local area…
Wyverns and Drakes
Both are closely related to dragons but do not belong to the same order.
Wyverns have true wings like bats or birds (derived from their forelimbs) and look like miniature dragons but with only two legs. They live in forests and woods and sport Eagle-like talons and tails tipped with barbed stings.
Aggressive by nature they attack potential prey on sight, and breeding females should never be approached when with their young.
Drakes have dragon like wings –developed from extended ribs and look like typical dragons. They are more timid than Wyverns and live in remote mountain areas. Their blood is toxic and they’re saturated in highly corrosive sulphur salt. This is flammable on contact with air; consequently the Drake does not breathe fire! Drakes are also known as Fire Drakes.
Griffons (Raptopanthera gryphos)
In ancient times Griffons were symbols of safeguarding, protection and fair-dealing of justice. For over 5000 years these fierce highly dangerous wild creatures of India Middle East and N Russia have proved both inspiring and terrifying. One of nature’s most majestic creations and the emblem of sovereigns and kingdoms.
Most Griffons live in high unscalable mountain crags and rocky overhangs, though North Russian Griffons differ from Indian Griffons in that they live in hilly forests and mountains. Likened to a combination of reptile, feline and raptor, griffon-dragons stand around 2.4 m (8 feet) high at the shoulder. Their rear half is all lion including paws, and long tail, which acts as a rudder in-flight and a violently lashing expression of pleasure, anger or lust.
Its front half is eagle. With viciously curved front claws, a cruelly hooked beak and powerful wings classed as a genuine third pair of limbs spanning 5.5 m (18 ft) the Griffon is probably descended from an exotic branch of the bird family. An authentic six-limbed creature with long, pointed ears and fiery eyes it can fly at tremendous speeds and easily lift off again carrying heavy-weight prey. Its colours vary from burnished-gold through to the exotic gaudy colours commonly seen on the Indian griffon.
Blog credit to Kïrstin…she who flies on silver wings! Thank you for this blog suggestion…
May your scales shine forever bright!
35 thoughts on “Raptor-Lizards of Mythology”
Hi Wolfie, Mythology has always been an interest of mine. Egyptian and Greek Mythology are my favorites, but all bring much thought when studied. Thanks for the wonderful post with pictures. Smiles~
I Will Call Back & Read This One When I can Take It all In… Looks A Very Interesting Feast of a Post… Be Good Now Icywolfy.. Androgoth XXx
Well I never knew Thor was laid waste, by a full frontal halitosis attack. I wonder what ever happened to his hammer. Well Timid One, It has to be the Griffon for me ! Nope ! you would not want to step on his tail.
Hiya Miss Wolfie. The dynamics and Characteristics shared by the Dragon and the Griffon are interesting, due to the fact that some cultures view the dragon as a benevolant creature. I wonder where the origins of the Phoenix came from? Interesting post and food for thought. xx
Hi Wolfie, Brillant Blog, really enjoyed it. You certainly did some research for it.
I can’t make my mind up which I prefer…..think I’ll have to take my time and decide……Dragon….or Griffon…..hmmmmmmm
Interesting but..mmm no mention of Chinese dragons [who unlike european ones] traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, and floods. In yin and yang terminology, a dragon is yang (male) and complements a yin (female) fenghuang "Chinese phoenix".
Let me be your everlasting light..The sun when there is none.. I’m a shepherd for you.. And I’ll guide you through.. Let me be your evelasting light..
wow! well done icy! well done indeed! i took great pleasure in reading this 😉 the difference betreen asian dragons and european dragons is facinating. i love them all!i just wonder which one is my ancestor – thor or the dragon! ha! k☼
Hiya Wolfie.. loved reading this one – I love dragons.. interesting point Natalia has there about the Phoenix.Hope all is well with you.xXx
Natural Person…Hey Betty! Thank you for your visit it’s always a pleasure to see you here 🙂 World mythologies are fascinating in their range of extraordinary and magical creatures!Androgoth The Goth Prince…See you later then! And you know the score as regards my goodness abilities…Admirable!… lol 😉
Kenny…Yo!! How kind of you to fly majestically thru on a Griffon’s wing with a Kenny comment in tow 🙂 Yes way to go Thor!! A most unfortunate fate …he only took 9 paces before being struck down by that venomous breath lol ;)… Thor’s hammer was magic! It brought animals back to life…was the source of Thor’s thunderbolts and always returned to his hand after striking…and wasn’t bad for fertility either!! Timid one 🙂
Natalia…Their benevolence is a difference in perception rather than in type. W cultures tended to connect dragons with Satan! Not a problem for E cultures. Both E and W have on occasion also perceived the Griffon to be a benevolent creature, despite it’s fierce and dangerous nature. Thought provoking comment thank you ;)… Look skywards…The Phoenix will rise up out of the ashes of the blog pages! 😉
Rosemary … How pleasing to know they let you out on day release from the WLS padded cell!! Must be my turn next 😉 Yes…These mythology subjects lead off in far too many interesting directions. Several sharp u-turns were necessary in order to return to the matter in hand!SJF…Griffons being furry&feathered…are good for cuddling up to on a cold night! lol…Dragons are perhaps a touch too scaly for comfort but great for lighting barbecues 😉 Hope that helps!!!
LAIRD…Yes!That was a little careless of me wasn’t it? 😉 Thank you for that interesting and knowledgeable enhancement to the Wolfie blog page. Your input is always welcome :)Night Lady…Thank you! And it is lovely to see you again 🙂 Hugs… Ice wolf :))
kïrstin…I am greatly relieved…lol…to know this post meets with your approval! Hmm…Thor/Dragon hybrid I think!! You have the best qualities of both! I’ve had a lot of fun with this 🙂 Thanks for the idea. Fly high my scaly friend!! ;)Eileen…Hello 🙂 How good to see you here! So you are a dragon-person too…does that mean I will have two scaly friends soaring around breathing fire?!! lol 😉
Icywolfy… You have certainly done your homework on this fine treat, covering the span of many interesting myths and legends, I quite liked Kenny’s slant on the bad breath, though the flaming aftermath must have sent many a warrior to a fiery grave… The Griffon has a wicked approach to flying too,
well if the graphic of the red haired beauty is anything to go by… lol Definitely a credit to your previous additions on the subject of Mythology.. Well done Icywolfy of the Icy Realm… Androgoth XXx
EIW AF … me day is ruined…THOR brown bread..by some creature who is a oral hygienics dodger!!!Whom may ask was making that racket in the heavens yesterday afto ?? Sounds like a myth to moi or that old chestnutNever let the truth get in the way of a good story ;))Gud Skils Alround Can’t Fault Ya TEV HC FG GP LABW LABW xXx
Hi Wolfie, I know you like sharing with your friends, but my computer, has been crashing, and refusing me access to Spaces,sinceyou complained about yours. Enjoy your week, in case I cannot a ccess Spaces for a while
Androgoth The Goth Prince…Never you mind the "red haired beauty"…lol!…devastating effect this bad breath problem can have can’t it? 😉 Sure reminder to brush vampy fangs at night! lol 😉
TEV HC FG GP LABW LABW 😉 … I am so sorry to have ruined your day! lol 😉 Can’t have been easy dealing with oral hygienics when you’re at the bottom of the sea with your tail stuck in your
mouth till the end of time now can it? lol ;)….WHY did WLS just add my comment before I’d finished it??? How ill-mannered of it!….As to the racket in the heavens…that was the sound of the toaster flipping THOR out nicely crisp and golden! AF EIW xx ;))
Rosemary…!! Stop making excuses! lol…you’ve been lurking out there on Facebook again haven’t you? 😉 That’s the real reason you haven’t been able to access spaces…fancy blaming your friend Wolfie!! lol 😉
\my knowledge is greatly enhanced every time I read your blogs. most interesting. thank you.
Arlene P – A moment ago – DeleteHi Wolfie, it’s me again, I genuinely have had poota probs, so haven’t been around, as you know. I did enjoy that blog, it had never occurred to me that there were so many different types of dragon, though had obviosly knew of Wyverns, Griffons and such,
This was a facinating blog, I had to read it twice to take it all in….I am slightly obtuse…okay more that slightly. LOL. I wondered about the various characteristicsof Dragons. I actually was going to suggest Griffons.
When behold, there they were!!! It is interesting that so many cultures all over the Earth have had similiar Mythological creatures. I enjoyed this blog. Have a wonderful Thursday my friend.Ravenxox
Hey, pssst, already heard of the Special Spaces ?–> http://spacesworthtoremember.spaces.live.com/A new space, with every month a competition !Maybe you are the best friend on spaceland..? Or you have the best lay-out.. ?May God Bless you!!http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b40/BabyEvelyne/babyevelynesummer4.jpg
Hi Raven 😉 WLS has not been the least bit obliging about letting Wolfie in on here recently…but now I’ve broken thru it’s defences…lol…thanks for flying thru! Hope WLS didn’t bruise your wings in a brutal attempt to deny you access 😉
You’re not obtuse at all…you have no idea how long it took to put that one together! It is prob’ Wolfie who is obtuse!! So we were both thinking Griffons? Shows that Raven and Wolf are very much in tune 🙂 I’m beginning to wish I’d made them a separate post…they’re so noble and fierce! There was much that I did not include about them…perhaps I should have… ;)BabyEvelyne…I do not appreciate SPAM on my blog page…don’t do it again!! Thank you.
Just calling by to see if you had added any new postings, I will keep bugging you, I mean calling in as and when I choose… lol Well we Vampires do that you know? YES, WHAT A CHEEKY LOT But you already knew about us so hard lines… lol Have a most wonderful day today Icywolfy and I do hope that your connection is buzzing later this evening so that you are not only able to access your pages but can also add more of your brilliant posts here inside New Icy Realm… Androgoth XXx
I am TRYING to get to the point where I can post something! lol …. but with a grand total of 24 hrs in a day which is nowhere near enough, and working flat out to get my head around this W/P place a blog seems a million LYrs away at the mo ;( My connection is staggering along in the same state of nervous exhaustion as its owner and is being made to work till the early hours so Icewolfie is sharing the matchsticks for the keeping open of eyes with it! 😉 Thank you for kind comment regarding my blog quality…lol…I will try to post something small and sweet over the weekend 😉 I did visit yours tho 🙂 Cos I’m a good Icewolfie…pure and angelic…lol 😉
My son and I both know you are a genius…….
Your son and your lovely self are wonderful people! Big Wolfie hugs to you both 🙂