Griffin Adult T-Shirt
Designed exclusively for The Nat, this bold T-shirt features an illustration of a griffin found in a 16th century encyclopedia, Historia Naturalis by John Jonstonus. The griffin, which has the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion, also adorns the pediment at the entrance to our Research Library, which is where this antiquarian book is stored.
Historia Naturalis served as the foremost animal encyclopedia of its time. It featured detailed engravings of common animals like horses, dogs, cows, and mice, alongside such mythical animals as the phoenix, the griffin, dragons, and unicorns.
Why did a natural history encyclopedia feature mythical creatures? One possible explanation: Where fossils were naturally intermingled, such as tar pits, people may have reconstructed one imaginary animal from several sources.