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Guanlong wucaii and Griffin
The location of the discovery of Guanlong wucalii and its unique
crest may help explain a puzzling feature of the ancient image of the
I have suggested that the tale of the Griffin may have arisen when
ancient Scythian nomadic gold-miners came across the fossils of
dinosaurs with beaks such as Protoceratops and Psittacosaurs, the
Jungar pterosaur, various species' nests and eggs, and other fossils
in the Jungar, Turpan, Taklamakan, and Gobi deserts.
These nomads controlled the ancient caravan routes in and out of the
Jungar Basin and went prospecting for gold for years at a time in the
foothills of the Altai and Tien Shan mountains of northwest China and
They described Griffins as a kind of predatory "bird with four legs"
that never flew, was the size of a wolf, and laid eggs in nests on
the ground and cared for its young.
The Griffin was often depicted in artwork with a strange formation on
its forehead. The beaked dinos have no horns, but perhaps the Griffin
creature was a composite of several types of Jurassic-Cretaceous
fossils observed in the deserts. I wonder if Guanlong wucaii's crest
could have contributed the odd structure on the Griffin's head?