Ammit Picture

The Nile lion, called Ammit by the Ancient Egyptians, is a rare feliform endemic to the Nile River delta in Egypt. Despite its name and appearance, the Nile lion is more closely related to hyenas than true lions.

Ancient Egyptians thought of the Ammit is a hybrid creature consisting of a lion front, hippopotamus back, and crocodile head. This is probably because of its flat, elongated muzzle, short back legs, and large bulk. It was known as the "devourer of the dead" and a resident of the Egyptian underworld, probably because of its scavenging habits. Due to its bulk, it is an inefficient hunter, but its sheer strength is an asset when competing with other animals over carcasses.

In one drawing assignment this year, I redesigned four mythological hybrid creatures, attempting to make them plausible as real animals. Because of this, I had to discard all six-limbed bird/mammal hybrids (griffin, hippogriff, etc.) since both birds and mammals have only four limbs. I might try to figure those out at some other point, but for now, here's Ammit.

I started off with a digital sketch that included basic colors and shades, printed it out lightly and used colored pencils over it.
Continue Reading: The Underworld