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Myrmecoleon is an animal from Medieval bestiaries, also referenced in some sources as a Formicaleon (Antlion), Formicaleun or Mirmicioleon.

There are two interpretations of what a Myrmecoleon is. In one version, the ant-lion is so called because it is the "lion of ants", a large ant or small animal that hides in the dust and kills ants. In the other version, it is a beast that is the result of a mating between a lion and an ant. It has the face of a lion and the body of an ant, with each part having its appropriate nature. Because the lion part will only eat meat and the ant part can only digest grain, the ant-lion starves.

The ant-lion story may come from a mistranslation of a word in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, from the book of Job. The word in Hebrew is laiisch (ליש), an uncommon word for lion, which in other translations of Job is rendered as either lion or tiger; in the Septuagint it is translated as mermecolion, ant-lion.[1]


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