Boa
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Source: Kongelige Bibliotek (Bestiarius - Bestiary of Anne Walsh (Gl. kgl. S. 1633 4)) Copyright 2003 Kongelige Bibliotek / Used by permission Manuscript description Kongelige Bibliotek, Gl. kgl. S. 1633 4, Folio 55r


 

Boa

Latin name: Boas

Other names:

An enormous snake, found in Italy, that feeds on cattle

 

 
General Attributes

The boa is an enormous snake found in Italy. It feeds on cattle, but not by swallowing them; instead it sucks the milk from a cow's udder, sometimes taking so much that the cow dies.


Sources (chronological order)

Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 8, 14): The boa is a serpent of Italy, that is so large it can swallow a child whole. Their chief food is milk sucked from cows; from this they derive their name.

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 4:28): The boa is an emense snake from Italy. It pursues heards of cattle and oxen, and attaching to their udders kills them by sucking the milk; it is thus called boas from the killing of oxen (boa).


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