Thursday, September 6, 2007

Curb Your Chimera

"Scientists have begun blurring the line between human and animal by producing chimeras—a hybrid creature that's part human, part animal." Maryann Mott
National Geographic News
January 25, 2005

An ancient Etruscan statue of a chimera found in north-central Italy. The mythic beast had a lion's body, serpent's tail, and goat's head.

Photograph by James P. Blair, copyright National Geographic Society


Function: noun

Etymology: Latin chimaera, from Greek chimaira she-goat, chimera; akin to Old Norse gymbr yearling ewe, Greek cheim On winter -- more at HIBERNATE

1 a capitalized : a fire-breathing she-monster in Greek mythology having a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail b : an imaginary monster compounded of incongruous parts

2 : an illusion or fabrication of the mind; especially : an unrealizable dream

3 : an individual, organ, or part consisting of tissues of diverse genetic constitution

Could the possibility of animals who are part human be the inspiration for the inscription on the door of the Washington Mutual Bank branch in Uptown Whittier:

"Please ask your pets to remain outside."


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