The tigre or tyger of the old heralds still holds it place in English armory, retaining the ancient name to distinguish it from the natural tiger, to which it bears but little resemblance except the name… The habit of drawing in a conventional manner may also have assisted in producing such a monster. This type of wild and ruthless ferocity, approaching the draconic in its power and destructiveness, was to their minds fitly suggested by exaggerations of those attributes of savageness and bloodthirstiness with which it was supposed to be endowed.

From Fictitious and Symbolic Creatures in Art by John Vinycomb, p190

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