The Canadian Space Agency has a coat of arms with the following creature on it. What is this creature, and why is it there?

CSA coat of arms
A1 Aardvark / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

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    $\begingroup$ It's Canadian Space Agency's Patronus. $\endgroup$ – Pavel Sep 23 at 18:27
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    $\begingroup$ The Governor General of Canada's coat of arms features a space helmet and an MOD sigma. gg.ca/en/governor-general/governor-general-julie-payette/… $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Sep 23 at 21:50
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    $\begingroup$ What did you think the Canadarm was designed to lift? $\endgroup$ – Jason Sep 23 at 23:45
  • $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble: Which makes sense, as she was an astronaut. $\endgroup$ – DrSheldon Sep 23 at 23:56
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    $\begingroup$ @DrSheldon I worked with her quite a bit. I figure that's my "in" if I need to escape northwards. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Sep 24 at 0:03

It's not a unicorn, but a pantheon:

The Pantheon is a mythical or imaginary creature used in heraldry, particularly in Britain. They are often depicted as white deer with the tail of a fox and spangeled with purple stars along their back.

They first became popular in heraldry in the 16th century, but had a comeback in technical and engineering fields in the 20th:

Examples are the arms of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, granted in 1955; two pantheons also appear as the supporters of the arms of the Engineering Council (the United Kingdom regulatory body for the engineering profession), granted in 1984.

I think someone thought a beast with stars on it would be appropriate for a space agency.

The formal definition, or blazon, of the coat of arms is

Per chevron in chief Bleu céleste semé of estoiles Or and in base Argent a maple leaf its stem issuant from base Gules and voided of a broad arrow point upwards charged at its tip with a torteau;

A demi pantheon Azure unguled Gules semé of estoiles Or bearing between its forelegs a staff Or flying therefrom a streamer paly Bleu céleste and Or as an auroran arc;

AD FINEM ULTIMUM. This Latin phrase means "To the ultimate end".

"Demi pantheon Azure unguled Gules semé of estoiles Or," in the quasi-French language of heraldry, means "a half pantheon, in blue, with red hooves, sown with gold stars."

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    $\begingroup$ I always find it weird to read blazons — all the older terms from the French and the word order make me feel like it's switching back & forth between languages. $\endgroup$ – Michael Seifert Sep 23 at 14:40
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelSeifert it isn't? It's like reading patents, where the sentences (102) are formed like sentences (102) which prevent readers from reading sentences (102) in a humanly readable manner (709), especially unskilled humans (2) should be able to not read the meaning of the original sentence (301) because the sentence (401) never stops being a sentence (101). $\endgroup$ – Arsenal Sep 24 at 14:37

Unicorns have........horns. There's no horn. That's not a unicorn. It's a Theow, a wolf with a hooved legs used in heraldry

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  • $\begingroup$ The image in the question looks like a theow, but one can't always trust the user contributed copyright free images in wikipedia. $\endgroup$ – JCRM Sep 23 at 5:16
  • $\begingroup$ @JCRM it's the same image as in the WIkipedia page for CSA, although that's presumably under the same constraints. CSA's website doesn't show the CoA, although I only searched briefly. $\endgroup$ – Barmar Sep 23 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ if you check the link to the Canadian Governor General's Heraldry Registry in Russel Borogrove's answer, @Barmar, it's more clearly a dear head, and a bushier fox-tail $\endgroup$ – JCRM Sep 23 at 13:53
  • $\begingroup$ @JCRM Took me a while to notice that "is" is a link. $\endgroup$ – Barmar Sep 23 at 13:59

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