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Centaur variants

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Attributed Coat of Arms of King Stephen of England

Centauroid creatures, also known as centaur-like or centauric creatures, appear frequently in mythology and works of fiction. Like the centaur of Greek myth, such creatures typically possess the body of a four-legged animal with a human or human-like torso where the head should be, giving them six limbs and a double set of ribcages. An example of centauroid creatures in classical Greece would be Ichthyocentaurs.

Ancient Near EastEdit

See Wikipedia:Shedu


Urmahlullu relief from a bathroom in the palace of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh

In Mesopotamian mythology the urmahlullu, or lion-man, was a centauroid creature who served as a guardian spirit, especially of bathrooms.[1][2] Another Mesopotamian centauroid was the Aqrabuamelu or scorpion-man.

Classic mythology, folklore, and literatureEdit

Fire belching dragon

"They Thought I Was One of Those Fire Belching Dragons" by Dan Beard, from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, 1889

Lion-centaurs appear again in English heraldry. A centaur-like archer was at times used as a charge known as a sagittary, named for the constellation Sagittarius. While this charge was typically depicted as a more traditional centaur, the attributed Coat of Arms of King Wikipedia:Stephen of England employed leonine-bodied centauroids.[3]

Some medieval bestiaries referred to a half-human, half-donkey creature called an Wikipedia:onocentaur.[4][5]

A draconic centauroid appears in an illustration by Wikipedia:Dan Beard, appearing in Wikipedia:Mark Twain's Wikipedia:A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court in 1889.[6]

The Ichthyocentaur is the name of a sea-horse type Centaur being, and the Pterocentaur is a winged Centaur type being.

Modern science fiction and fantasy Edit

Writers of science fiction and fantasy literature frequently include centauroid creatures in their work. The liminal nature of the centaur is sometimes downplayed in these modern creations, lending animal features to the otherwise human upper body. This may include fur, horns, or an upper body which is wholly an anthropomorphised version of the lower-body animal.

Authors often coin names derived from specific animals. The suffix "-taur" is often appended to the name of an animal species ("liontaur") or to its Greek or Latin equivalent ("dracotaur"). Likewise, some fantasy writers, especially within the furry subculture, use "taur" as a generic term for any centauroid creature.

Some centaur-like creatures in modern fiction and games include:

Animal Species name Work Notes
Cat Cat-Centaurs appear in Wikipedia:Steven Brust's Wikipedia:Vlad Taltos series.[7]
Cheetah Cheetaur Wikipedia:Sierra Entertainment's Wikipedia:Quest for Glory series of computer games
Lion Liontaurs Wikipedia:Sierra Entertainment's Wikipedia:Quest for Glory series of computer games
Horse Centaurian Mortal Kombat Wikipedia:Motaro, from the Mortal Kombat series, is a Centaurian, as shown in Wikipedia:Mortal Kombat 3 and its remakes. (He also appeared in Wikipedia:Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, though without his back legs because he was cursed by Quan Chi to be a minotaur.)
Lobster Cray The Wikipedia:Bas-Lag novels of Wikipedia:China Miéville
Dragon (WP) Wikipedia:Drachnid Wikipedia:Sony Online Entertainment's Wikipedia:Everquest
Dragon Ogres Warhammer Fantasy.[8]
Wikipedia:Spider Spidrens Wikipedia:Tamora Pierce's Tortall series
Dragon The dragonspawn[9] Wikipedia:Warcraft universe
Insect Nerubians Wikipedia:Warcraft universe
Crocodile The Wikipedia:Posleen Wikipedia:John Ringo's Wikipedia:Legacy of the Aldenata series.[10] The Posleen serve as the primary antagonists
Tiger The Rowra Mentioned in Wikipedia:Poul Anderson and Wikipedia:Gordon R. Dickson's novel Hokas Pokas.[11]
Horse Centaurs The Wikipedia:Dungeons & Dragons Wikipedia:roleplaying game.[12] One Dungeons & Dragons sourcebook provides rules for generating "tauric creatures" from an arbitrarily chosen base species.[13]
Lion Wikipedia:Wemic The Wikipedia:Dungeons & Dragons Wikipedia:roleplaying game.[14] A tribal race
Symbolic serpent Lamia The Wikipedia:Dungeons & Dragons Wikipedia:roleplaying game.[15] Evil
Spider Wikipedia:Drider The Wikipedia:Dungeons & Dragons Wikipedia:roleplaying game.[16] Created from dark elves
Scorpion Wikipedia:Scorrow The Wikipedia:Dungeons & Dragons Wikipedia:roleplaying game.[17] Created from dark elves
Dragon Wikipedia:Dracotaur The Wikipedia:Dungeons & Dragons Wikipedia:roleplaying game.[18]
Wikipedia:Quaraphon The Wikipedia:Dungeons & Dragons Wikipedia:roleplaying game.[19]
Horse Females of the alien Warlock species 2000AD series Wikipedia:Nemesis the Warlock The females of the alien Warlock species are centauroid, with horse-like bodies, humanoid and demonic-looking heads, similar in appearance to the more humanoid males.
Spider The Lilian form of the Ananasi, or werespiders The original World of Darkness game, Werewolf: the Apocalyse,
Horse-like Wikipedia:Andalite The Wikipedia:Animorphs book series Wikipedia:Andalites are centaur-like aliens, and are the ones that created the morphing power.
Wikipedia:Garatrons The Wikipedia:Animorphs book series Garatrons are aliens similar to Andalites and are able to move at high-velocity speeds.
Various Various The anime/manga series Bleach Wikipedia:Arrancar and former Espada Neliel Tu Oderschwanck becomes a centauroid after she releases her zanpakutō, Gamuza; also Yammy Riyalgo.
Horse-like Wikipedia:Titanide The Titan book series Titanides are centaur-like aliens; each is both male and female, and their language is song and music.
Deer Cervitaurs Cein Isles
Unicorn Unitaurs Various


  1. Black, Jeremy A. and Anthony Green Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia University of Texas Press 1992 isbn=0-292-70794-0
  2. F. A. M. Wiggermann Mesopotamian Protective Spirits: The Ritual Texts Styx 1992 isbn = 9-072-37152-6
  3. D.J. Conway Magickal Mystical Creatures Llewellyn 2001-01-01 |isbn=1-567-18149-X}}
  4. Wikipedia:Philippe de Thaon Bestiaire c.1300
  5. Hugo de Folieto Aviarium / Dicta Chrysostomi late 13th cent.
  6. |last=Twain |first=Mark |title=A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court |publisher=Charles L. Webster |year=1889
  7. cite book |last=Brust |first=Steven |title=Taltos |publisher=Ace |year=1988 |isbn=0-441-18200-3}}
  8. cite web |title=Dragon Ogre Shaggoth |url= |publisher=Games Workshop |accessdate=2006-12-11}}
  9. cite web |title=Green Dragonspawn |publisher=Blizzard |url= |accessdate=2006-12-11 |archiveurl = |archivedate = 2006-10-20}}
  10. cite book |last=Ringo |first=John |title=A Hymn Before Battle |publisher=Baen |date=2001-10-01 |isbn=0-671-31841-1}}
  11. cite book |author=Anderson, Poul and Gordon R. Dickson |title=Hokas Pokas |publisher=Baen |year=1983 |isbn=0-671-57858-8 }}
  12. cite book |title=Monster Manual III |publisher=Wizards of the Coast |month=September | year=2004 |isbn=0-7869-3430-1 |author=design Rich Burlew ...}}
  13. cite book |author=Wilkes, Jennifer Clarke, David Eckelberry, Rich Redman, and Sean K. Reynolds |title=Savage Species |publisher=Wizards of the Coast |month=February | year=2003 |isbn=0-7869-2648-1}}
  14. cite book |title=Monster Manual III |publisher=Wizards of the Coast |month=September | year=2004 |isbn=0-7869-3430-1 |author=design Rich Burlew ...}}
  15. cite book |title=Monster Manual III |publisher=Wizards of the Coast |month=September | year=2004 |isbn=0-7869-3430-1 |author=design Rich Burlew ...}}
  16. cite book |title=Monster Manual III |publisher=Wizards of the Coast |month=September | year=2004 |isbn=0-7869-3430-1 |author=design Rich Burlew ...}}
  17. cite book |title=Monster Manual III |publisher=Wizards of the Coast |month=September | year=2004 |isbn=0-7869-3430-1 |author=design Rich Burlew ...}}
  18. cite book |title=Monster Manual III |publisher=Wizards of the Coast |month=September | year=2004 |isbn=0-7869-3430-1 |author=design Rich Burlew ...}}
  19. cite book |title=Monster Manual III |publisher=Wizards of the Coast |month=September | year=2004 |isbn=0-7869-3430-1 |author=design Rich Burlew ...}}


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