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New Study Finds Dinosaur Fossils Did Not Inspire the Mythological Griffin

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AI rendering of a majestic griffin in rugged terrain. Source: altitudevisual/Adobe Stock

New Study Finds Dinosaur Fossils Did Not Inspire the Mythological Griffin

For centuries, scientists thought they knew where the griffin legend came from. A new study takes a closer look at the data and folklore’s influence on science.

A popular and widely-promoted claim that dinosaur fossils inspired the legend of the griffin, the mythological creature with a raptorial bird head and wings on a lion body, has been challenged in a new study.

The Griffin Origin Story

The specific link between dinosaur fossils and griffin mythology was proposed over 30 years ago in a series of papers and books written by folklorist Adrienne Mayor. These started with the 1989 Cryptozoology paper entitled ‘Paleocryptozoology: a call for collaboration between classicists and cryptozoologists’, and was cemented in the seminal 2000 book ‘The First Fossil Hunters.’ The idea became a staple of books, documentaries and museum exhibits.

It suggests that an early horned dinosaur of Mongolia and China, Protoceratops, was discovered by ancient nomads prospecting for gold in Central Asia. Tales of Protoceratops bones then travelled southwest on trade routes to inspire, or at least influence, stories and art of the griffin.

www.Ancient-Origins.net – Reconstructing the story of humanity’s past


Source: https://www.ancient-origins.net/node/20976


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