CHRISTIAN DARKIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRISTIAN DARKIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Griffons. This mythical creature is half-eagle, half-lion and is believed to have watched over gold mines and hidden treasures. According to Scythian legend, the griffon inhabited the Scythia steppes (an area in Eurasia) where gold and precious stones were abundant. If strangers tried to remove these treasures, griffons would tear them to pieces. Scythians used giant preserved bones found in the area as proof of the existance of griffons and to scare away outsiders. It is now thought that these bones were in fact the fossils of a dinosaur called Protoceratops, which has an anatomy remarkably similar to that of the griffon.
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