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Wyvern Facts

> Wyvern | Basilisk | Hydra | Amphiptere/Quetzalcoatl | Guivre
Dragonet | Drake | Faerie | Lindworm | Wyrm


[actual size] A Wyvern from the bishopric pipe rolls at Hampshire Record Office

1. Originated in Europe

2. Nearly always depicted as having two bird-like legs and two wings, sometimes with eagle's claws on the wingtips

3. Some had a serpent's head and the hind end of a serpent or lizard

4. Wyverns have been depicted in heraldry on shields, coats of arms and banners for hundreds of years, and are a symbol of strength and endurance

5. Name derived from the Saxon word Wivere, which means "serpent"

6. Other variations include:
Wyvere [Middle English which means "viper"]
Wouive, Vouivre [names for the French Wyvern]
Old English form: Wyvre
Old North French: Wivre

7. The French Wyvern is depicted with the head and upper body of a voluptuous woman. A ruby set between her eyes helps her find her way through the Underworld

8. Wyverns became vicious and sinister creatures of pure evil in Western culture

9. Delighted in killing young maidens, other wyverns and relishing the taste of human flesh

10. Modern depictions of wyverns include:
- Fiery beady red eyes
- Foul-smelling poisonous and corrupt breath
- A razor sharp stinger filled with poison on the end of their tails

11. Came to symbolise envy, famine, war and hatred

12. This depiction of wyverns is associated with pestilence and viciousness

gallery of Wyvern pictures

next [basilisk]

Books -
Dragons: A Natural History, by Dr. Karl Shuker

Websites -
(Apr 2002): Unlisted (way too many sites, checked and cross-referenced for accuracy)