|Other names:||Caucatrix, Cocadrille, Cocatris, Cocodrille, Cocodrillus, Kokedrill|
A beast that weeps after eating a man
The crocodile is a four-footed beast, about twenty cubits long, that is born in the Nile River. Its skin is very hard, so that it is not hurt when struck by stones. It spends the day on land and the night in the water. It is armed with cruel teeth and claws; it is the only animal that can move the upper part of its jaw while keeping the lower part still. Its dung can be used to enhance a person's beauty: the excrement (or the contents of the intestines) is smeared on the face and left there until sweat washes it off. Crocodiles always weep after eating a man. Despite the hardness of the crocodile's skin, there are two animals that can kill it. The sawfish (serra) can cut the crocodile's stomach, and the hydrus can crawl into the crocodile's mouth and kill it from the inside.
The illustrations of the crocodile are varied and usually fanciful; the only consistency is in having four legs. Some illustrations show a dog-like or lion-like animal; in some cases the head is on upside-down. Only rarely does the depicted animal look anything like a crocodile. The most commonly illustrated scene is of the hydrus eating its way out of the crocodile's side.
Uses Magical, Medical, Alchemical and Culinary
Crocodile dung is made into a perfume, with which old and wrinkled harlots rub their faces, so that the loose skin on the surface is stretched out and they appear more beautiful. The effect does not last long; in a bath the perfume is removed and the wrinkles return.