Siren Picture

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The Sirens or Mermaids were odd looking creatures who had features of a bird from the waist down and a body of a woman from the waist up. The Sirens were thought to be three in number, but that is not certain. The most common names were Teles, Raidne, Molpe,Thelxiope, Aglaophonus, Parthenope, Ligeia, and Leukosia.

It is said that the Sirens induced by Hera competed with the Muses in a singing contest and lost. The Muses plucked the Sirens of their feathers and wore them as a trophy. With their feathers plucked the Sirens were no longer able to fly and turned half of their body into a fish tail.

Half-woman and half-dolphin or fish depiction's today are more common than the early sixteenth century part woman, dolphin and lion. The fish tail was thought to be shed when needed to make the mermaid more attractive to men. There is a theory that mermaids were actually misidentified sea-cows, mamals or porpoises.
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Erato
Siren
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