Here we see the Buddhist Wheel of Samsara. The details of the wheel (which you'll find here) illustrate the pleasures, torments, hungers and passions that rule our lives and shackle us to the endless cycle of death and rebirth.
What monster is this which holds the entire wheel in its claws? Why that is Yama, the cosmic of beast of impermanence forever feasting on everything we attempt to keep for ourselves.
Death personifications are ancient, you see, and you'll find them throughout the world. To understand the forces that rule our lives, we pour them into animal and human forms.