Chimeras are one of the most intriguing creature in mythos, and not just one in particular. You have a single creature described as having the (insert body part) of an (insert animal) all across its body. Its hind legs differ from the front, the torso is mismatched with its head, and the tail clashes in style with the wings. It's as though Frankenstein mixed and matched the first animals that came to his mind and forced them together...yet this creature is born as such. It's the perfect imperfect being that is on the cusp of not having its own identity, as without all of the elements of the varied animal kingdom meshed together, it can't exist.
There's a mysterious aspect to it that always intrigued me, and while there might be some answer rooted in mythological fact, it's a fun idea to toy with. What if the chimera came first? A test subject by the gods to see what body parts would be most effective in specific situations, and after this amalgamation of a test subject was thrown through the trials for each piece of it, it was separated or evolved into it's different animals and creatures. And the one's who remain throughout mythos are just remnants of an odd experiment?
This is pure speculation of course.
The chimera is also an interesting case because it can be anything. Something as old as the minotaur or as contemporary as Bigfoot all have general description and looks that identify it as its species, but the chimera could be anything as imaginative as the god or writer can think of. Yes, the idea of a chimera will exist with the idea of being created by multiple animals, but the look itself will always differ. Any person could create a unique chimera if you wished, for example.
-Head of a rhino
-Body of a whale
-Legs of a spider
-Tail of a cow
This would look more than goofy, but regardless this is a result. There's a high level of creativity involved in a chimera, and there's a good chance that if a writer were to create their own sort of creature, the idea of a chimera, while perhaps not the intention, has a chance of coming through in the final design. If someone is creating a new creature, the description of it in a story is almost always rooted in trying to relate its pieces to something familiar to the reader. Things like "horns like an ox" or "claws as large as a lion's" are descriptors of one beast. It's as though any new creature is subconsciously bound to the idea of a chimera when being created, and to me, there's something amazing about that.