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The griffin, griffon or gryphon (from Old French grifon) is a legendary creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. As the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle the king of the birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. In antiquity it was a symbol of divine power and a guardian of the divine.-----------------------
Most contemporary illustrations give the griffin the forelegs of an eagle, with an eagle's legs and talons, although in some older illustrations it has a lion's forelimbs; it generally has a lion's hindquarters, however. Its eagle's head is conventionally given prominent ears; these are sometimes described as the lion's ears, but are often elongated (more like a horse's), and are sometimes feathered. Some writers describe the tail as a serpent, in the manner of a chimera.---------------------------
Infrequently, a griffin is portrayed without wings (or a wingless eagle-headed lion is identified as a griffin); in 15th-century and later heraldry such a beast may be called a male griffin, an alce or a keythong. In heraldry a griffin always has aquiline forelimbs; the beast with leonine forelimbs is distinguished as the opinicus.