In Greek Mythology
, the Chimera
was one of the offspring of Typhon
. Descriptions vary–some say it had the body of a goat
, the hindquarters of a snake
and the head of a lion
, though others say it had heads of both the goat and lion, with a snake for a tail. All descriptions, however, agree that it breathed fire
from one or more of its heads.
The Chimera was finally defeated by Bellerophon with the help of Pegasus, the winged horse, at the command of King Iobates of Lycia. There are varying descriptions of its death–some say merely that Bellerophon ran it through on his spear, whereas others say that he fitted his spear point with lead that melted when exposed to the Chimera's fiery breath and consquently killed it.
The term "chimera" or "chimeric" is often used metaphorically to describe things that have combined attributes from different sources. In genetics
, for example, an organism
created from two or more different genetic sources is called chimeric, as in transplant patients
from other donors. See Chimera (animal)