A griffin is a creature with the head, wings, and talons of an eagle and the body of a lion. Though it has the head of an eagle it has the ears of a lion.
The male griffin is sometimes born without wings, and may have two long horns, and spines or rays emanating from its body.
The griffins of the Rhiphaean mountains were guardians of great treasure, the Arimaspians made many attempts to steal this treasure - always on horseback. Which is how the hostility between horse and griffin began and also how the griffin discovered that the horse made a tasty meal.
However, not all griffins ate the horses they encountered, on a rare occasion a male griffin fell in love with a female horse and together they produced a hippogriff.
Sacred to the sun, and a valiant hero, the griffin will never yield to his enemies and is a symbol of strength, vigilance, watchfulness, courage, perseverance, and swiftness of execution.
They are not for eating. "Of birds these are they which you must not eat, and which are to be avoided by you: The eagle, and the griffon, and the osprey" (Leviticus 11:13 Douay Version).
Also known as griffon, gryphon, gryphus, and gryps.
See Also: Creatures by Type » Hybrids
The Holy Bible, Douay Version.
Vinycomb, John. Fictitious & Symbolic Creatures in Art. London: Chapman & Hall, 1906.