I have a toy of one of these little guys sitting on my desk right now. I did a bit of research on them to see how accurate my toy was.
I discovered a set of theories that the protoceratops is what inspired the griffin. Apparently, Roman and Greek mythology didn’t come up with the griffin. They borrowed it from Asia and Russia. The griffin was always considered to be a real creature, and thus less interesting than dragons or other more fantastic beasts.
Bird head with the body of a lion. Wings were added later because everything has wings in heraldry. But isn’t that interesting? I want to try to draw one of these guys and make them really griffin-like.