I went to an exhibition at the Horniman museum about Myth and monster and how they came about, for example, fossils of dinosaurs lead to belief in dragons. The unexplained explained in myth.
It was a really fun exhibition but was definitely designed for the under 12's! However i did learn the word Chimera, meaning any imaginery creature made up of different animals. E.g a fire-breathing monster with a lion's head, goat's body and a serpents tail= CHIMERA.
There was also a section about modern chimeras, and 19th century experiments leading to the Geep, half goat, half sheep!
SO a mermaid and harpy are chimeras. It was this exhibition that gave me this idea to use the disguise of the myth to reveal the links within the real.
I will put up some photos soon!