Phoenix \Phe"nix\, n.; pl. Phoenixes. [L. phoenix,
Gr. foi^nix.] [Written also ph[oe]nix.]: 1. (Gr. Myth.) A bird fabled to exist
single, to be consumed by fire by its own act, and to rise again from its
ashes. Hence, an emblem of immortality. 2. (Astron.) A southern constellation.
3. A marvelous person or thing. [R.] --Latimer. Source: Webster's Revised
Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
The Phoenix is a brightly colored bird, about as
big as the mythical condor bird, with feathers of red, orange, and yellow. The
unique things about the phoenix is their method of reproduction and defense.
Evidently they are similar to dragons, chimeras, and several other beasts in
that they can internalize and bring forth fire. But whereas dragons and
chimeras can release that through their mouths, a phoenix stores it until the
pressure become unbearable. Then the bird bursts forth in flame, and the
fertilized egg within breaks open under the intense heat, and a new phoenix
Often times a phoenix can force the issue, killing the animal attacking it (rocs are very afraid of the phoenix), but, like the mythical bee's sting, dying in the killing of its enemy. Phoenixes are natural hemaphrodites, and can be either male or female, and very few do not have a fertilized egg within them.
Predatory birds, they eat pixies, faries, cockatrices and basilisks (diving so fast they are not affected by the basilisk's stare and attack from behind). They have no real natural enemy, save the occasional basilisk that catches them in time, or the roc who attacks and they both die.
One reason the bird is associated with the fire service and used on many badges is because of the fact that it has been fabled to be consumed by fire, only to rise again from its ashes. Hence, an emblem of immortality.
Info obtained from the NET: http://www.fortunecity.com/tattooine/farmer/4/tupheon.html
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