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bestiary

Depiction of a bonnacon in a medieval bestiary.

Do Not Attack the Bonnacon, A Medieval Beast with a Toxic Defense

The bonnacon is a strange beast believed to have existed in the ancient world. The first attestation to the existence of the bizarre creature is traced to the Roman natural historian, Pliny the Elder...
Illustration of a range of 'sea monsters' in Carta Marina (Ocean Map)

Aspidochelone: A Giant Sea Monster of the Ancient World and an Allegorical Beast

In ancient Greece there was a large and dangerous sea monster called the aspidochelone , which could be translated as asp-turtle . The people who described it for centuries probably just saw a whale...
Strange beasts, mythological and real, graced the pages of ancient bestiaries.

Bestiary, The Book of Beasts: Compendiums of Medieval Monsters and Moral Lessons

During the Middle Ages the phoenix rose from its ashes to be reborn, dangerous dragons battled elephants to the death, and the pelican tore out its own breast to feed its young with its life’s blood—...