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Re: Dragons, GRIFFINS, etc


Did you know that the chinese history for dinosaur finds is documented back
by the Chinese to at least 1200 BC?   That there is a minor trade in China in
'Dragon Bones' primarily for the purpose of grinding up said bones to be made
into powders and pills for the ingestion of same, in the folk-Taoist belief
that since dragons are immortal (in Chinese myth), eating one would impart
longevity?  (Kinda like the trade in rhinceros 'horn' as an aphrodisiac)
     However..... In a 1994 issue of MINERVA, an archeology magazine my
father recieves, (and you can bet I'm trying to get him to give me the
pertinent issue) there was an article pointing out how,  GRIFFINS were traced
back to their earliest historical appearance, and that the  earliest
appearances in literature or art (even earlier than the greek and etruscan
stuff you'd think about) occur not more than 100 miles from a certain modern
Mongolian Protoceratops site, and that Gosh!  Protoceratops being a fairly
common fossil today in the area, you'd think that the early nomads that lived
in the area would occasionally find the remains of one, and Gosh! If you look
at the early griffin discriptions; head of an eagle, body of a lion, ears of
an ass, (no wings early on), a top-knot, and a penchant for
gold..........Well, Protoceratops has a neck-frill that is frequently found
incomplete (perhaps the top-knot and the asses' ears), a beak like a bird of
prey (perhaps the head of an eagle), a quadruped body with claws on the end
of it's feet (lion-sized, too), and is found in areas that can also have
gold-bearing gravel.
   If you wanted to re-create the animal from it's remains, a griffin is as
likely a restoration from a protoceratops, as the first restorations of an
iguanodon as a quadruped with a nose horn.  Only thousands of years earlier,
so the scientific method kinda skipped clades.  But you gotta agree that the
nomads did a pretty damn good job, considering.......

Betty Cunningham(Flyinggoat@aol.com)