A hybrid is a composite animal, in other words a creature that appears to be a combination of animals. Often literally half one animal and half another such as the griffin which has the foreparts of an eagle and the hindquarters of a lion, or the harpy which has the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a bird.
In addition to a combination of animals, hybrids can also be combinations of animals and supernatural beings, such as the Nephilim which are part fallen angel and part human.
A true hybrid is the offspring produced by interbreeding beings or creatures of different species, races, or breeds.
The Nephilim are true hybrids, other examples include the Chuman which is chimpanzee and human, and the hybrid alien which is human and grey.
The angel is commonly represented as a human with bird-like wings but is not a result of a human mating with a bird.
The Cherubim, a type of angel, is a combination of man, ox, lion, and eagle, also not the result of interbreeding.
The Chimera is a combination of lion, goat, and serpent. It is a result of interbreeding but not of lions, goats, and serpents. Its mother was part nymph and part snake and its father was some sort of monstrous combination of man, dragon, and snake.
The word Chimera can be used to refer to any composite animal as well as any monstrous, imaginary, or impossible creature.
See Hybrids by Type for a complete list of creatures frequently classified as hybrids in mythology.
See Also: Creatures by Type » Hybrids