In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164 came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The sphinx Is a typical example of a mythical creature, taking the form that we still recognise today. Wade suggests that it symbolises “omniscience and secrecy”. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P87