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The Merlion (Malay: Singa-Laut) is a mythical creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish, used as a mascot and national personification of Singapore. Its name combines mer meaning the sea and lion. The fish body represents Singapore's origin as a fishing village when it was called Temasek, which means sea town in Javanese. The lion head represents Singapore's original name — Singapura — meaning lion city or kota singa.