The manticore (also known as martichora) was a mythical animal with a human head and face, a lion's body, and a scorpion's tail. According to legend, this fast, powerful, and fierce beast attacked and devoured people.

First described by the Greek physician Ctesias in the late 400s or early 300s B . C ., the manticore was said to have originated in India. It was mostly red, had pale blue or gray eyes, and had three rows of sharp teeth stretching from ear to ear. The manticore's voice sounded like a combination of a trumpet and a reed pipe. Its tail was equipped with stinging quills that the creature could shoot like arrows.

medieval relating to the Middle Ages in Europe, a period from about A . D . 500 to 1500

heraldry practice of tracing family history and determining family emblems

In medieval Christianity, the manticore was a symbol of the devil. It appeared in a number of bestiaries, books containing pictures or descriptions of mythical beasts. The manticore was also featured in medieval heraldry on items such as coats of arms, banners, and family trees.

See also Animals in Mythology ; Monsters .

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