Mythical Creatures and How to Make Them

The topic of Classification is explored in this video following Linnaeus as he demystifies the world of myths, legends and fraud!


Suitable for Curriculum Point
Year 4 recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways
Year 6 living things and their habitats; classification

This video follows Carl Linnaeus as he travels to Germany to see a specimen that is said to be a Hydra; a many-headed serpent! The content lends itself well to discussions around mythical animals and the problems we would have if we try to classify what kind of animal they are.

Below we provide a full transcript of the video, a supporting worksheet and follow on questions for your class.

Questions to follow up with

The Hydra, Phoenix and Dragon are all mythical creatures. Why can't they exist in real life?

The Hydra has multiple heads, a phoenix is reincarnated in fire, and a dragon is a huge flying lizard, which might not be impossible, but breathing fire probably is.


What differences do these mythical creatures have?

Dragon and Hydra are scaly reptiles while the Phoenix is a feathery bird; plus the Phoenix and Dragon can fly, while the Hydra can't. Depending on your belief systems around dragons and hydras, they might be cold blooded, or they might not.


What similarities do these mythical creatures have?

They all have backbones, they all have two eyes (per head)


Why is a bat considered a mammal and not a bird?

Bats give birth to live young, not eggs; bat-wings are not their arms, but their hands


The Panther, Lion and Tiger can all be grouped together as members of the cat Family (Felidae). Can you name some members of the bear Family (Ursidae)?

Brown/Grizzly Bear, Black Bear, Polar Bear, Giant Panda, Sloth Bear

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