Centaurs are a specific kind of Half-Human Hybrid originating in mythology, possessing the upper body (head, torso and arms) of a man and the lower body of a horse (though other animals are common). In the original myths they tend to be a savage and brutal species: most Greek depictions show them living only to drink and... kidnapnote read "rape"women, or to attack travelers with their arrows. One possible explanation for the original myth is of a non-horse-using culture seeing horse riders for the first time and misinterpreting what they saw (See Real Life below).
Some modern depictions will have centaurs as wise scholars; this version is inspired by the mythological centaur Chiron, who mentored several of the Greek heroes. He was very much atypical, though. note Justified to a degree: standard centaurs have the ancestors Ixion/Nephele, only Chiron has Kronos/Palmyra. The other common modern depiction is to make them into a Proud Warrior Race, which at least agrees with the myths that centaurs are violent, even if the whole 'code of honour' thing seems to clash with the Classical centaurs' frequent depiction as drunken, dimwitted thugs.
Traditional centaurs do not bother with clothing.
Centaurs are often depicted as a One-Gender Race composed entirely of males (often used as an explanation for all the... kidnapping) but in fact female centaurs (Kentaurides) are also mentioned in some ancient Greek and Roman myths. According to Ovid they were quite comely.
A few works of fiction include winged centaurs, sometimes as the result of a cross between a centaur and a Pegasus or a Hippogriff. Other fictions include centaurs with black skin and African features, often combining them with the body of a zebra.
Sub-Trope of Vertebrate with Extra Limbs. See also Fauns and Satyrs who are half-man half-horned animal, Our Mermaids Are Different who are part fish, Snake People who are part snake and Spider People who are part spider.
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Old Spice advertised their new moisturizing bodywash with commercials and print ads featuring a centaur, to go with the theme of "It's two things."
Progressive Insurance also used a centaur to emphasize the two-in-one aspect of their bundled insurance in "The Bundler" commercial.
The 2011 Preakness horse race ran the "Kegasus" ad campaign, featuring what the Baltimore Sun described as "a centaur with a nipple ring, body hair and ample beer gut," "half-man, half-horse and altogether drunk" and "a 'party manimal'" clearly going more for the frat-boy version of the myth. Kegasus returned for the 2012 running.
The My Life With Monster Girl comics had the centaur as a Tsundere.
In the beginning of the Thriller Bark arc of One Piece, three of the characters are escorted to a mansion in a carriage. One of the horses drawing the carriage is a zombie centaur.
Not to mention the actual centaurs from Punk Hazard. There's giraffe centaurs, leopard centaurs, alligator centaurs... However, none of them seen to be natural centaurs, as one of them was originally introduced as a human.
Bleach: Nel is based on antelope and goat-antelope themes to such an extent that when she enters resureccion, her form takes on a centauroid shape. The animal part of her body is based on the gemsbok rather than a horse.
In Stardust Memories, Hoshino Yukinobu took an interesting take on the centaur concept in one of his series of short stories, "The Centaur of Sagittarius" in his science fiction anthology "Stardust Memories". Said centaur was an alien on a distant planet called Sagittarius Alpha that looked like a thick-tailed, headless ungulate with a circular maw filled with rows of sharp teeth. Lacking most of its brain, nervous system, and digestive organs, the creature survived by preying on the nearby amphibian-like aliens, eating everything beneath their abdomens and merging with the rest to make it appear as a hideous-looking centauroid creature. In the story, an elderlyCorrupt Corporate Executive of a gigantic corporation funds an expedition to the planet Sagittarius so he can capture Chiron (the name of the alien) in hopes of using its body to give his dying body immortality and eternally rule over his vast empire. After incurring many casualties, the man is betrayed by his female assistant (whose family was one of the many victims he crushed on his bid to the top) by poisoning his pills and leaving him to die. While trying to escape on her aircraft the assistant is killed by Chiron, who discards its used-up host and gallops towards the old man, mouth wide open. The story ends with the old man becoming Chiron's new host, having finally attained his immortality at the cost of suffering excruciating pain forever.
Centaur no Nayami stars Himeno, a Japanese kentauride teenager and chronicles her daily life in High School.
Early in Yu-Gi-Oh!, the centaur "Mystical Horseman" was introduced. It was immediately fused with "Battle Ox", a minotaur, and they become "Rabid Horseman". A centaur-minotaur hybrid, and its Japanese name is actually "Minocentaurus".
In Requiem Chevalier Vampire, centaurs are the reincarnations of rapists, used as heavy cavalry by the Lemures against the vampires.
There's a Belgian series of comics by Pierre Seron named appropiately Les Centaures (The Centaurs). It's about a pair of young blue-skinned centaurs that have to wander across the Earth after being expelled from Olympus.
Do not, I repeat NOT confuse it with the French comic by the same name. You will recognize that one by the interesting concept that the author tells the same story, with only slight differences, with a) centaurs b) Hells Angels (an interesting analogy - the bike works as the horse part). Oh, and by the gratuituous porn.
The short-lived 1990s comic Tiger Woman featured centaurs and other fantastic creatures. The story took place in a post-apocalyptic future where mythical creatures are descendents of humans who had been transformed while attending futuristic theme parks and became trapped in these bodies when society broke down.
Donna Barr's comic Stinz features the adventures of the Bavarian "half-horse" of that name (In this setting "Centaur" only refers to the barbarian nomads of the same species.)
Fantasia's Pastorale symphony segment features centaurs and centaurettes, one famous for the Unfortunate Implications of a centaurette servant in blackface with the body of a donkey (oddly enough they also had far less offensive Zebra-bodied black centaurs as well). The sequence has been cut from every release of Fantasia since 1960, but stills and occasionally the clip itself can be found online.
The Fearless Four has a mechanical cyborg centaur that sings a Villain Song. In what appears to be a setting that is anything but fantasy or futuristic.
Poul Anderson's "Polysotechnic League" stories mention centaurs being common, but they rarely appear and the ones that do are quite non-human
The Andalites of Animorphs are best described as mouth-less blue centaurs with a scorpion tail and two extra stalk eyes. One book even has a TV show with a few seconds of a Andalite on film as a centaur.
The centaurs of Narnia are completely opposed to the classic Greek ones, as they are brave fighters in Aslan's army. The individual centaurs Glenstorm ("Prince Caspian") and Roonwit ("The Last Battle") are Chiron-like scholars.
In an interesting detail, in the movies the centaurs have pointed, horselike ears that stick out almost horizontally from their heads as well as more horselike noses.
The books note that they are expensive guests because they have both a human and a horse stomach "and naturally both want breakfast."
Harry Potter's centaurs are a fiercely independent society of forest-dwelling stargazers, who tend to be distrustful of humans and dangerous with a bow. However, a few help out when Harry gets lost in the forest, as well as terrifying Umbridge in a most satisfying way. It's implied outside of the main books that they are a One-Gender Race, and the fact Firenze is so popular with the human girls he teaches after becoming a teacher at Hogwarts may indicate how they reproduce.
Then again, with the canonical disdain centaurs evince for humans (muggle and wizard alike), it may be that a certain trope often seen in fanfiction for the series may apply to the propagation of the centaur species.
Though they are polygamous, so one can, if one squints, perhaps see where a reputation for kidnapping women might have came from. They're also an endangered species because they tend to be paranoid, even of each other. Foaly muses at one point that he should start dating because there are only about forty left.
Centaurs in Piers Anthony's Xanth series are a race of scholars and researchers who consider magic (which is pervasive in Xanth) to be obscenity. They tend to have a superiority complex like — although not as severe as — elves, and are excellent archers.
Magic is obscenity when centaurs practice it. They generally don't have a problem with Puny Humans resorting to its use.
Winged centaurs develop as an additional subspecies of centaurs. Regular centaurs tend to consider them to be dirty half breeds, which is ironic give the origin of centaurs.
Centaurs are found in Dante's Inferno. They are armed with bows and arrows and ensure that the sinners stay in Phlegethon, a river filled with boiling blood.
Christian legend has the enigmatic legend of St. Anthony Abbot and the Centaur, which may represent the desire of early pagan converts to have some of the more poetic elements of their beliefs adopted by the new religion.
Robert A. Heinlein's Starman Jones had centaur-like aliens. They appeared to be stupid, but the humans who landed on their planet discovered that they were highly intelligent and had other alien creatures on the planet under their control.
The Centaurs in Fablehaven are a typical Proud Warrior Race, skilled and powerful fighters, but they're also arrogant jerks who think they should naturally be in charge and are uninterested in helping anyone but themselves, even when the fate of the world is on the line. Every character who has expressed an opinion has said they dislike dealing with them.
Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files includes a blacksmith centaur briefly in the fourth book, depicted as being a breed of Fairy. While centaurs are Summer-aligned, he's not really what you'd call friendly, and seems to have some of the rage tendencies of more traditional centaurs.
The centaurs in the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks are (mostly) intelligent and honorable, if unfriendly and avoiding contact with humans. They believe themselves to be horses who were cursed with a human appearance for angering Hunnynhan the Stallion God.
In A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle, winged centaur-like creatures lived on the planet Uriel. Mrs. Whatsit transformed into one in order to help show Charles Wallace, Meg, and Calvin the nature of what they were fighting against.
John Varley's Titanides are different on several levels. For one thing their colors vary wildly, from normal horsey hues to patterns like checkers or plaid. For another, each one is a multiple Hermaphrodite, with both types of equipment on the horse half plus a third set on the human half. The third set determines the individual's pronoun gender (while all Titanides can give birth, those who can do so by parthenogenesis are considered female), but even the males have prominent breasts, causing most humans to mistake them for an all-female race.
Mercedes Lackey's The Obsidian Trilogy portrays centaurs as somewhat rustic but very intelligent farming people who are creatures of the Light along with unicorns, brownies, elves and others.
Centaurs in the Tortall Universe look standard enough, but they are Immortals - creatures that live forever unless they're killed, never aging beyond maturity. "Killer centaurs" are just clawed monsters, but the standard variety is variable, with individual alignments. They refuse to be shod, hate crossbows, and like using Immortal feathers in their fletching. It's also shown, in Squire, that they keep horses, call them "slaves", and mount them. Female centaurs attack males if not given gifts, they call killing their own people "culling", and one attempts to purchase Keladry of Mindelan, believing she's stocky enough to "breed well, maybe even bear sons of my kind". Kel doesn't like them.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians has Chiron, the wise trainer to heroes. He's pretty much just like the original myths, except he can hide his horse self in a magical wheelchair. His relatives, though? The 'Party Ponies' could be best described as four-legged frat boys.
In the Sequel Series, Percy discovers another tribe of centaurs that are horned bad guys and part of Gaea's army, terribly confusing him
One of the New Crobuzon books by China Mieville included a Remade man who'd been turned into a centaur for his crimes. Unusually cruel in that the biomancer responsible attached his human torso to the equine neck backwards, meaning he could only see where he was going if he forced his horse body to back up, which horses aren't built for.
Rahul from Iron Council is a lizard-bodied centaur Remade.
Some non-equine centaurlike beings turn up in other books, such as an aquatic lobster-bodied race in The Scar and the ravening, caterpillar-like inchmen from Iron Council.
Centaurs from the world of Garrett, P.I. are somewhat smaller than usual (donkey-sized), and are natives of the war-torn Cantard region. Their tribes served as mercenary scouts for both sides of the war until they deserted to support Glory Mooncalled's renegade republic, which makes them even less popular with TunFaire's human majority than most non-humans in the war's aftermath.
In Diana Wynne Jones's novel Deep Secret, centaurs turn out to be very central to the plot, after they first appear roughly halfway through. They're standoffish and proud with a distinctive set of cultural norms, and they require a certain level of ambient magic to survive long, which is why none of them live on Earth anymore, due to universal drift.
Includes lovely tidbits like the 'human' part's skin matching the horse part's, so that a bay looks fairly normal but a grey resembles a granite statue. (Which gets its head blown up.)
That fantasy convention was not normal. Point one, it was super awesome beyond reason and I want to attend it. Point two, and largely unconnected, there were like three separate groups of magic-users, several fragments of a god, a heavily bleeding centaur, and an insane Croatian witch-hunter there, and it ended with extradimensional hovercraft troop carriers shooting somebody during the Guest of Honor's speech.
It was also being held on some kind of ley-line node that was being so regularly scrambled the convention hotel did not obey the conventional rules of geometry. Everyone knows that at a con it'll probably take seven turns to make a square trying to find your room, but literally?
The Well World series has Dillians and Rhone (which are basically the same race on two different planets; long story) as more-or-less the classic model (albeit with horse ears, and only about the size of big ponies) in the original series. Dillians also appear in the Watchers at the Well series; there, they're stated to have become a smoother synthesis of hominid and equine than the classic centaur. And then, there are the matriarchal Gekir felitaurs.
Another Chalker series, Changewinds, has the ba'ahdon, who look more like a cross between a chalicothere and a pygmy elephant from the waist down.
In The Darksword Trilogy, Centaurs are warchanged, humans who were turned into savage berserkers to take part in a war, with the intention of turning them back mentally and physically once the war was won. The war proved far bloodier than expected and mages capable of restoring them became quite rare.
Centaurs appear in some books by Lord Dunsany, including, obviously, The Bride of the Man-Horse, where they're rather warlike — said to have defeated some human cities and tried to play a Trojan Siege with the city of gods. Also, briefly met in The Long Porter's Tale.
In The Echorium Sequence, centaurs are one of the four races of "half-creature". They use herdstones to bend light so as to render themselves invisible to humans; obtaining one's herdstone serves as a rite of passage into adulthood.
In Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert's Hellhole series the alien Xayans have a humanoid top half and caterpillarlike bottom half.
Hercules also had the Golden Hind, an all-female race in contrast to the all-male centaurs (but the two are not shown to be related). Golden Hinds have the lower body of deer, golden hooves, and golden horns on their heads. They have a healing ability and their blood can kill a god.
An episode of Saturday Night Live had Chris Parnell as a centaur interviewing for a typical office job. He was quite polite and well-mannered, but the boss, played by Christopher Walken, could not get past the fact that he was, indeed, a centaur; asking such questions like "Does centaur pornography exist?" and "If I watch centaur porn with the bottom half blocked out by a sheet of paper, would I be aroused?"
Centaur: Are there going to be any questions regarding my aptitude or employment history? Walken: All the remaining questions ... will be centaur related.
The Centauromachy is another well-known story: having been invited to a wedding and getting drunk, proceed to kidnap the women at the wedding, including the bride. This does not go well with the groom, and violence ensues.
There're also the onocentaur, part man part donkey.
Some early Greek vase paintings depict a bizarre variant of the centaur: a complete human body, with the rear end of a horse attached to the butt. There's no explanation for how these could walk, let alone run. One vase even depicts what's clearly supposed to be Medusa as a female one of these, with a Skull for a Head, and somehow wearing a dress.
In ancient Persian and Mesopotamian scultpure, Always Male guardian statues called shedu and lamassu have the forms of bulls and lions, with human heads and eagle wings. The leonine ones are basically male sphinxes. Unlike centaurs, they don't have arms.
Much closer Mesopotamian analogs to the centaurs are the urmahlullu, which have a human torso on a lion's body.
Some depictions of Cernunnos, the Celtic god of fertility are like this; with a deer's body, a man's torso and arms, and a stag head and horns.
There is also the bucentaur, kind of an inverted Minotaur: The Other Wiki says, "The term bucintoro [referring to the state galley of the Doges of Venice] was Latinized in the Middle Ages as bucentaurus on the analogy of an alleged Greek word boukentauros meaning "ox-centaur" (from bous, 'ox,' and kentauros, 'centaur'). The common supposition was that the name derived from a creature of a man with the head of an ox, a figure of which served as the galley's figurehead. This derivation is, however, fanciful; the word boukentauros is unknown in Greek mythology..."
The antagonist of Bally's Centaur, who has a human/horse face, a human torso, a motorcycle lower half, a horse's tail, and some sort of clawed feline hindleg.
The interplanar Zelekhut, a (winged) clockwork centaur, "charged with hunting down those who would deny justice".
Basic D&D had the winged pegataur (pegasus plus centaur), the chevall (could shapechange between horse and centaur forms), nuckalavee (transparent skin) and the manscorpion (Human top half, scorpion lower body).
At least in Mystara, Pegataur is the Elf/Pegasus variant centaur. As to the attutude — take a guess from this:
"I'm half elf, half mighty stallion, and half noble eagle, and more'n sum of me parts."
From 3.5E Monster Manual 3; the Dracotaur (doesn't have the upper body of a human, but a humanoid torso coming up from the lower body of a wingless dragon) and the Quaraphon (a squat, muscular centaur with lumpy blue skin, elephant's feet, and two mouths and four eyes randomly placed on its face... Don't look up the picture, you don't wanna know.)
4E has the Drakkoths, which a weird mixture of crested lizardman upper torso (with Non Mammalian Mammaries for the females) on the body of some sort of spiny-tailed drake.
And just in case that's not enough, there's a "tauric" template for 3.5 that can be applied to combine still more critters with humanoids, centaur-style.
3rd Edition Creature Collection: The Proud (lion bottom, human trunk, lion head), Marrow Knight (skeletal undead), Sandmasker (scorpion/human).
One webpage has a list of the different centauroids that populate the D&D universe.
Dragon magazine #116 "Dragon's Bestiary". The Sea Centaur is an aquatic creature that appears to be a cross between a triton and a hippocampus.
Warhammer has Dragon-Ogres and centigors (goat-headed centaur).
Also the Beastmen have the centigors which are like goat-bodied centaurs with horns and clawed feet instead of hooves. The are raging alcoholics, and will randomly receive bonuses according to their level of intoxication.
GURPS Fantasy Folk has Onocentaurs: half human, half donkey.
GURPS Technomancer had two chimeras: a spider centaur (Homo Sapiens Arachne) and a serpent centaur (Homo Sapiens Serpens).
Villains And Vigilantes adventure Devil's Domain. The Abomination demons had a lower half like a bent over gorilla (with 4 legs like a gorilla's) and an upper half like a gorilla's trunk, with four arms. They had four glowing red eyes and a malevolent face on their chest.
Zombie centaurs are nothing new when necromancy is involved. For Swords and Sorcery in-universe, magic users specializing in the dead can sew the bodies of different creatures to create one composite one, such as a skeletal undead with the upper torso of a human attached bone to bone to the body of a horse.
Generic RPG supplement Booty and the Beasts. The Masjenada is a 12 foot long lobster with the torso of a human female sticking out of it. They are powerful magicians and are fairly civilized, not normally attacking strangers.
Pathfinder has classic centaurs, several variations of lamia, and girtablillu (scorpion-centaurs inspired by Mesopotamian myth). The Legacy of Fire adventure path has buraq (winged mules with human faces).
Rifts has two distinct breeds of the classic Centaur: The normal kind, and the high-tech Cyber-horsemen from Ixion. Serving the Mesopotamian Gods are also the Scorpion People, who given this trope are Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
In Nightbane, centauroids are just one of the shape variations available for Nightbane with an animal-based Morphus.
In Splicers, this is also one of the options for Host Armor, as shown here. The pilot's legs fold up inside the lower body.
RolemasterShadow World setting supplement Star Crown Empire and the Sea of Fates. Centaurs are not wild creatures living in the wilderness: they are full citizens of the Empire, live in buildings and practice farming and shepherding.
Chaosium's supplement All the World's Monsters. The humbaba is half human, half giant scorpion with a tail 6-9 feet long.
Centaurs in Ars Magica are faerie creatures concerned with exploring the boundaries of civilization/barbarism and humanity/beastliness. As with other faerie beings, rules for playing them can be found in "Realms of Power: Faerie".
BIONICLE's Artakha Bulls are, for all intents and purposes, biomechanical centaurs with bull heads.
Warcraft's centaurs follow the brutal and savage description to a T, with a society based on Mongol hordes (their leaders are called Khans and use axes and bows), said to be the cursed offspring of Cenarius (a night elf/stag god, see Cernunnos above), whose daughters are the Dryads (night elf/doe).
There are also Magnataurs, a much larger polar creature that are a mix of human and mammoth.
Dragonspawn are draconian versions, following the same body layout as a centaur.
Nerubians are sometimes presented as spider versions, although there's some inconsistency about whether they're a humanoid torso stuck on top of a spider-like creature or a more coherent and not particularly centaur-like form. Artwork has shown them as clearly resembling driders and holding weapons, something no Nerubian in the actual games does.
And then there's the Pit Lords, humongous demonic mixes of god-knows-what, with thick reptilian hides and tails, bat wings, and spider eyes.
The male counterparts of the dryads are the Sons of Cenarius, also night elf/stag (with an inexplicable wooden claw replacing one hand).
The Tol'vir were recently introduced in Cataclysm, being feline (Sphinx-like) centaurs created by the Titans to guard the (Egypt-inspired) land of Uldum. The Tol'vir used to have stone-like bodies, but most of them lost them. The Ramkahen have normal flesh bodies, while the Neferset have regained their stone forms.
The Legend of Zelda series sometimes has annoyingly tough Lionels, lion-human hybrids (or even lion-human-horse, judging by the artwork).
The Heroes of Might and Magic series has centaurs in various forms. Centaurs in II are Warlock (evil) aligned archers. Centaurs in III are Rampart (good) aligned wood dwelling spear wielders. Centaurs in IV and V are Might (neutral) aligned spear throwers who hate magic a la Xanth's centaurs.
The Centaurians from Mortal Kombat, of which Motaro is a member, have whiplike scorpionish tails and a set of nasty-looking horns in conjunction tauric, reptilian-looking forms. They are the natural enemies of the Multi-Armed and Dangerous Shokan race.
Quest for Glory has centaurs which are perfectly civilized, but it also features cheetaurs, an all black feline with a humanoid torso topped with feline head. They later added liontaur, which were much like the cheetaur but with lions, though they were actually civilized, ruling a very Egypt-inspired city.
In Fallout, centaurs are freakish mutant creatures with whiplike tongues, and are what you get when you dip multiple people and animals in a vat of FEV for awhile. As one can imagine, they are also epitomes of Body Horror.
Guild Wars has several "prides" of centaurs. Prides from Tyria generally like furry humans on a horse body, and are all hostile, and prides from Elona have a more bestial, catlike head and horns, and ally with you. You even get one as a party member.
Castlevania 64 had drider-like spider centaurs: top half human woman, lower half spider.
Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath features the steef, a race of centaur-like creatures with gorilla-like forearms, antlers, and leonine heads.
The Centaurions of AdventureQuest were originally created by magic, but since then became a conquering race.
The Shining Force series featured Centaurs as a major player race. They act as the Knights standard to most Strategy RPGs, being fast and heavy-hitting troops. Most party members are friendly, and the personalities are varied, though they have a reputation for arrogance among the common folk. The enemy armies use Pegasus Centaurs, as well as demonic ones with no heads.
Shadow Bane featured them as a civilized playable race.
In keeping with the "savage monsters" interpretation of the creature type, various Final Fantasy games have centaurs and centaur-like creatures as Mooks. If it has armor, it has a roughly 90% chance of being given a name like "Centaurion."
Dora, the centaur girl from Golden Axe: Revenge of Death Adder. When mounting other creatures, she turns her lower body into that of a human woman.
Shin Megami Tensei IV's centaurs looks nothing like those you are familiar with. They are bipedal blue creatures with hoofed hands and feet, a horse's tail, no head, and Winged Unicorns on its shoulders.
Bar'd has Vas, who became a centaur by various incidents caused by his brother. His sheer stature makes him ideal for the job of being a bar bouncer.
The Wotch has Allison Taverner, a human-turned-centaur who runs a convenience/grocery store in downtown Tandy.
The title characters of Accidental Centaurs are humans from Earth who find themselves transformed into centaurs after a teleporter accident.
‘Taurs in At Arm's Length are not a natural species, but rather beings that have been transformed. Most are mortals used for slave labor or victims of magical curses.
Equius' lusus Aurthor in Homestuck is a male mustachioed centaur-shaped creature... With cow udders. His species was the only one that could handle Equius's absurd strength and acts as a sort of a butler to the boy. These creatures later propagate an island on an alternate version of earth, where it's shown they can reach saurapod-level sizes.
The Mantidae http://iririv.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d2i129c, drawn by IRIRIV on deviant art have only a superficial resemblance to mythical centaurs. In his description, they are actually a type of sentient bug that evolved from an era where birds didn't exist and insects became bigger and stronger until they changed into the first neovertebrates
Artist Frederik K T Andersson takes a different direction with his "CarcassCentaur". An undead horse mutated by a demonic spirit, its fleshless skull and neck split vertically into bony hooks which it uses to grab living humanoid hosts that it has chased down. The lower waist of the victim is then pulled into the creature's neck-maw, while the head up the upper waist is encased in its split skull. After taking control of the still-living body, the monster sustains itself by feeding on the host's life force while appearing as an undead centaur. Similar to the alien Chiron centaur above.
One of the most famous examples, if maybe not the oldest, are the Chakats of Chakona Space. Female humanoid cat from the waist up, giant hermaphroditic cat from the waist down. The same universe also includes Skunktaurs and Stellaur Foxtaurs, which, other then the obvious species change, use the exact sort of physical arrangement.
Leela becomes one in the Futurama movie Bender's Game, as well as a Hermaphrodite Hermes who leads a pacifist army of them.
The New Adventures of He-Man had the heroic Saggitar, a member of a race of sort-of-centaurs who have hands on their forelegs. They can walk on their hind legs and use their forelegs as an extra set of arms.
In the early stages of the conquest of South America by the Spanish, horsemen were given orders to live, eat and sleep on their horses, so as to reinforce their "divine" appearance and reputation.
The constellation Sagittarius is a centaur archer. According to some interpretations, he used to be Chiron before being made into a constellation after death.
There's another centaur in the sky: the southern constellation of Centaurus. Other interpretations consider it represents the aforementioned Chiron.
The traditional arms of King Stephen show either one or three "Sagittaries", which are usually, for some reason, depicted as being bow-bearing men to the waist conjoined to lion bodies.