A bizarre looking creature, the manticore was early on thought to be a demonic branch of beastmen. However, further study proves them to be a naturally occurring species in Vana'diel. Most manticore vary in size, though they are all larger than adventurers. Their striking red color along with their gigantic fangs and spiked tails makes them an imposing target to go after. Armed with various breath attacks, brute strength, and even an ability to lower MP, they are well equipped for combat. Interestingly, all manticore have wings, but it seems they are incapable of flight due to their size. It is believed these wings act as cooling units, since the majority of manticore are found in desert regions such as Altepa and Teriggan. Several notorious manticore are known to drop valuable weapons and armor, and even a rare type of hide.
Many a crafter has come to value the materials from manticores. Their hair is used in the synthesis of ninjitsu tools, and their famously large canines are a common ingredient in bonecrafting. Manticore hides are valuable to leathercrafters due to their wide application in the crafting of armor, from the Ogre set to the Bison set to the Wise set.
The manticore is a legendary creature, a kind of chimera with the head of a man — often with horns, gray eyes, three rows of iron teeth, and a loud, trumpet/pipe roar — the body of a (sometimes red-furred) lion, and the tail of a dragon or scorpion, which may shoot out venomous spines or hairs to incapacitate prey (thus confusing its imagery with the cryptozoology of a porcupine, though tarantulas do something similar with their hairs). Occasionally, a manticore will possess wings of some description. Size reports range from lion-sized up to horse-sized.
The manticore was of Persian origin, where its name was "the Eater of People" (from early Middle Persian martya "human, mortal being" and xwar- "to eat"). The English term "manticore" was borrowed from Latin mantichora, itself borrowed from Greek mantikhoras - an erroneous pronunciation of the original Persian name. It passed into European mythology first through a remark by Ctesias, a Greek physician at the Persian court of King Artaxerxes II in the fourth century BCE, in his notes on India ("Indika"), which circulated among Greek writers on natural history, but have not survived.