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The true origins of the Myrmecoleon are fairly obscure. Despite having a species name with Greek roots (from 'myrmex' meaning 'ant' and 'leon' meaning 'lion'), the first known mention of the Myrmecoleon on record is in the Medieval bestiaries of old. However, even these seem to have just a rudimentary understanding of this interesting and enigmatic chimera.
It was even believed that, when Myrmecoleons were found dead, that they had died because of their combined formic and leonine natures. It was assumed that the lion part of them required meat, while the ant part required grain, and thus conflicting body types caused them to starve to death.
It is now known that such strange variations in body type can be bypassed due to the Myrmecoleon's special chimerical adaptations, amalgamating the body chemistry of two otherwise incompatible creatures. The fact that it is a magical creature also helps.
The Myrmecoleon is very easy to distinguish from BOTH creatures that lend to the creature's nature. Its head is that of a lion, and yet the body attached is that of an ant!
Naturally, this leads to two variations of Myrmecoleon. The first is best known, and easiest to spot, as it is lion-sized. However, the second is actually most common, since it is only the size of an ant.
The behavior of the Myrmecoleon depends on the breed.
The ant-sized (Formic) Myrmecoleon is diligent, industrious and militant, highly-organized; they attack intruders to their mounds with undeterred ferocity. Its nature is quite ant-like.
The lion-sized (Leonine) Myrmecoleon is brave and extroverted, outgoing and unafraid to confront creatures who would consider its smaller cousins a tasty snack; its nature more reveals that of a lion.
Naturally due to its chimerical nature, the Myrmecoleon combines the capabilities and traits of both a lion and an ant. And yet, the distribution of these traits varies.
For example, regardless of size, every Myrmecoleon is capable of communicating with both insects and felines. They can also climb walls and other surfaces. In addition, they can secrete venom from their stingers like ants (only it's like a thousand ants stinging simultaneously).
However, some have lion fangs, while others have ant mandibles that can clamp down with lion force; and occasionally, there are breeds which have both ant mandibles and lion fangs. Furthermore, some gain a lion's strength, while others gain strength proportional to an ant (capable of lifting up to 150 times their own body weight). It is even known that only a portion of Myrmecoleons can roar (and a great deal are the ant-sized variety).
Not to mention, only some female Myrmecoleons can lay eggs, while others can only give live birth; and others are able to alternate between the two different types of births.