Monday, July 03, 2006


In Greek mythology, the Chimera (or, as in Latin, Chimaera) is a monstrous creature made of the parts of multiple animals. See Chimera (mythology).

The term chimera (alternatively chimaera) or chimeric is often used metaphorically to describe things that have combined attributes from different sources. In genetics, for example, an organism or tissue created from two or more different genetic sources is called chimeric, as in transplant patients with organs from other donors. Most other usages are related to this metaphor. The word chimera is also generally accepted to mean an unreal ambition, a fanciful scheme, or even a castle in the air. This is in clear contrast with its old meaning of a bogey or an irrational fear.

In geography

  • In the geography of the ancient world, Chimaera is the name of one or more volcanic sites in or near Lycia.

In biology


  • In zoology, a chimera is a single animal organism with genetically distinct cells from two different zygotes.
    • In ichthyology (the study of fish), a chimaera is a member of group of cartilaginous fish related to sharks.
  • In botany, a chimera is a single plant organism with genetically distinct cells.
  • In virology, a chimera (virus) is a virus containing genetic material from other organisms.
  • In biochemistry, a chimera is a hybrid protein made by splicing two genes.
  • In paleontology, a chimera is a fossil with elements from more than one creature, like the Ultrasauros and perhaps the Protoavis.


  • In molecular graphics, UCSF Chimera is a software program for visualizing molecules
  • In organ transplant surgery, a chimera is a patient with tissue from a xenograft - an organ from a different species, such as a porcine heart valve.

In computer science

In art and design

Architectural otter chimera
Architectural otter chimera
  • In architecture, a chimera is ornamental sculpture attached to a building similar to a gargoyle but which does not work as a water spout and is only decorative in nature.
  • In art and design, chimera is a very pale purple or lavender color—a term mainly used when referring to painting. Chimera, known as a base color, is made up of a mixture of two or more colors. Another base color is magnolia, which is also a common color used to paint the walls of houses, etc. when they are first built.
  • As a noun, chimera means a grotesque product of the imagination.

In business

  • In the automobile industry, the Chimaera is a model of sports car made by TVR.
  • On the internet, Chimera is the older name of a Mozilla-based web browser for Mac OS X. It is now called Camino.
  • Chimera is a brand of lighting equipment used in photography and the film/video industry.

In fiction

In music

  • In pop music,
    • "Chimera" is the title of a song by the hard rock band Bonham from their album Mad Hatter.
    • Chimera was an Irish pop band from the 1990's who had the minor hit "Catch Me"
    • "Chimera" is the title of a song by American singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik from his album, Daylight.
  • In punk music,
  • In New Age or electronica music,
  • In metal music,
    • Chimera is an album by Mayhem.
    • Chimaira is a band from Cleveland, Ohio.
    • Chimaera is a band from Limburg, Belgium.
  • In folk music,
    • Chimera was a short-lived English band that released one album in 1969.
  • In rock music,
    • "Chimera" is the title of a song by Canadian rock band The Tea Party.


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