This is what's written in Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You about Griffins.
Griffins (Family: Mixtidae)Edit
The regal griffin (also spelled gryphon) is thought to be the offspring of an eagle (king of the sky) and a lion (king of all beasts). Its plumage ranges from cream to deep brown, yet some specimens have feathers with a deep, dark bluish sheen.
While many griffins migrated to Eastern Europe from the Middle East in the thirteenth century, most remain desert-dwelling. They roost in high places and are only likely to be spotted when they fly in search of food. Their bones are more commonly discovered, although they are often mistaken for the bones of dinosaurs.
The adult griffin is about the size of a bus. Despite their formidable natural advantages, griffins are very rare. Unlike less fantastical hybrids like mules, however, they can reproduce. Their eggs are said to be made of agate.
Griffins are resistant to the poison of dragons and very hostile to horses. For this reason, the offspring of a griffin and a horse — the hippogriff — is considered to be a symbol of the enduring power of love.
- North American Griffin (Gryphon americanus)
- Hippogriff (scientific name unknown)
Even though they are said to be the offspring of an eagle and a lion, most Gryphons have a head shape that closer resembles that of a vulture or hawk.
They have exceptional stereoscopic vision, as Griffins in flight are able to see a rabbit running at the ground from miles up in the air.
The "mane" is made of shaggy hair and long, thin feathers. Griffins have dangerously sharp talons, just like fish-eating raptors.
A Gryphon's call resembles a sereecky tea-kettle whistle.
Simon Grace once pointed out that Griffins may have hollow bones, like birds.
Gryphons' major food supply often consists in the form of a large herd of sheep or an overpopulation of deer.
Once common in much of Asia and Europe, griffins have the odd habit of hoarding gold and precious stones.
Arthur Spiderwick encountered a Griffin who "lived in a very remote mountain range far north of civilization". It was fond of eating salmon, and often captured these as they moved in to the streams to spawn.
Byron was doubtless the most famous Griffin. Encountered by the grace children in the Goblin Camp, Byron was held captive with fatal wounds by the Goblins. When Simon Grace was kidnapped and his siblings went to rescue him, Simon was terrified at how crude the Goblins acted to kill the large animal. He shouted they should leave the griffin alone, and this led to the Goblins chasing the children down to Robinson Creek, where a waiting Troll devoured the evil Faeries. Then, the children went back to release other animals that had been captured by the Goblin pack, and also took Byron with them home where Simon took care of him. Byron later assisted the Humans in rescuing their mother from Mulgarath the Ogre.
William G. was the signature of a boy who's big brother owned a pack of puppies, which the family kept in a couple of dog igloos in the backyard. But one day, one of the pups disappeared. The next day another was gone. They slowly disappeared, one by one every day, until there were only two puppies left. William got a cold and stayed home alone one day, and when he sat in the kitchen and looked out the window, he saw a large Griffin swoop down from the sky and catch a puppy in its claws. William ran out and brought the last pup in. After that, the family kept the single dog in the house. The Griffin did never return.
A Study By Simon GraceEdit
Discovery and InjuriesEdit
When the Grace kids first found Byron at the goblin camp, he was unable to move and in great distress. He had a deep gash running down his left flank. This was not caused by the goblins, although they had attacked him in a cowardly way with their pointed sticks.
Simon Believe that he must have been hit by a truck on Rountree Street and dragged himself into the woods. Without "the Sight" the truck driver would not have been used to traffic as griffins normally live in isolated mountain or desert regions.
Once the Grace kids had taken him to the carriage house, Simon was able to clean his wounds with antiseptic and apply clean dressings. The wounds then healed themselves remarkably quickly. This seems to be one of the Griffins magical properties, probably related to the fact that they are immune to the venom in a dragon's bite (as the kids saw when he later defeated the dragon outside Mulgarath's lair).
WingsEditByron's wingspan is roughly 12 feet (around 4 m) from wingtip to wingtip. The feathers on his wings are the largest on his body, measuring up to 3 feet 4 inches (1 m) long. They vary in color from dark brown to dark blue.
The shaggy mane around Byron's neck consists of rough hair and feathers, which provide an armor padding that protects the vulnerable areas of his neck and chest.
When Byron was recovering, he consumed a huge amount of food every day-the Grace kids' mom was wondering why the pantry was always empty. In a single day he could eat:
5 LBS (2.25 KILOS) OF MINCED OR CHOPPED MEAT
2 BOWLS OF CORN FLAKES
3 BOWLS OF BOILED PASTA
4 PINTS OF MILK
Once he had recovered enough, Byron was able to fly free and hunt for himself, which is just as well or the Grace family would have starved!
(Byron has also been known to eat baby dragons, after he recovered)
appear to be part lion, part eagle (though, it's said Byron looked more like a hawk). They have the powerful hind legs of a lion, which they use to launch themselves into the air. Their lions' claws are very sharp and useful in battle. They also have the talons, wings, and beak of a bird of prey.
Byron's beak is a fearsome weapon. Even in his weakened state, one nip was enough to sever the arm of a goblin when it attacked him.
Byron has large, tufted feathered ears that allow him to hear the slightest movements of potential prey from distances in excess of two miles.
Unlike many normal bird species, griffins have binocular vision -both of their eyes face forward. This gives them excellent eyesight. When flying at great heights, griffins can spot the smallest of prey moving on the ground.
The sharp talons of a griffin can tear flesh viciously but are also able to grip quite gently. Byron swooped down to pluck a salmon from a river, can catch small prey like rabbits, and he is certainly strong enough to carry off larger prey like sheep or even deer.