Beast Index - Category

This is an index to the beasts grouped by category (Beast, Bird, Plant, etc.). The categories are based on how medieval people categorized animals, so some animals are in odd categories (e.g. a whale is a fish).


Beasts (mostly mammals, plus composites and beast-like non-mammals)
Ant-lion The offspring of an ant and a lion
Antelope An animal so wild no hunter can approach it
Ape Called "simia" because it is similar to humans
Ass An animal that is slow and resists commands
Badger A dirty beast that bites
Bear The cubs are born unformed, and must be licked into shape by the mother
Beaver Hunted for its testicles, it castrates itself to escape from the hunter
Boar (Wild) A savage wild pig or hog
Bonnacon A beast like a bull, that uses its dung as a weapon
Buffalo Buffalo are so wild that they cannot be yoked
Bull The Indian bull is tawny colored and swift as a bird
Camel Camels can endure thirst for three days and prefer to drink muddy water
Cat An animal that is hostile to mice
Catoblepas A beast with a head so heavy it can only look down
Centaur A beast part man and part horse
Cow (Domestic) A useful animal
Crocodile A beast that weeps after eating a man
Dog A young dog bound to a patient cures internal wounds
Dormouse They sleep all winter as if dead
Dromedary The dromedary is a small camel that can travel a hundred Roman miles a day
Elephant Persian and Indian soldiers build wooden towers on the back of elephants and fight from there.
Fox A crafty and deceitful animal that never runs in a straight line
Giraffe A beast that looks like a camel but has the spots of a leopard
Goat An animal that likes to live on high mountains
Griffin A beast with the body of a lion and the wings and head of an eagle
Hare A timid beast that runs fast
He-goat A beast so hot that its blood dissolves diamond
Hedgehog A beast that carries away grapes on its sharp quills
Horse A horse is a horse, of course, of course...
Hyena A beast that eats human corpses and changes sex
Ibex A beast with horns so strong they can save it from a fall
Lamb The lamb knows its own parents by their voice
Leontophone A small beast that is deadly to lions
Leopard The offspring of a mating between a lion and a pard
Leucrota A composite beast with a mouth that stretches from ear to ear
Lion The lion is the king of the beasts
Lynx The urine of the lynx hardens into a precious stone
Manticore A composite beast with a man's face, a lion's body, and the stinger of a scorpion
Mole A blind animal that lives in the earth
Monocerus A fierce beast with a single long horn
Mouse A small animal that is born from the soil
Mule Mules come from the unnatural mating of a female horse and a male ass
Muscaliet A beast with the body of a hare, tail of a squirrel, teeth of a boar
Onager A wild ass that can predict the coming of the equinox
Onocentaur A beast with the upper body of a man and the lower body of an ass
Ox The ox is a strong beast that can predict the weather
Panther A gentle, multicolored beast whose only enemy is the dragon
Parandrus A beast that can conceal itself by changing its appearance
Pard A swift and deadly beast that kills with a single leap
Pig (Domestic) A filthy animal that wallows in mud
Rabbit A wild beast hunted by dogs
Ram Rams were the first animals to be sacrificed on alters
Rat An oversized mouse
Satyr An ape-like wild man
Sheep The sheep is a defenceless, placid animal
Stag (Deer) A drink made from the tears and the heart bones of a stag is a cure for troubles of the heart
Tiger Tigers are remarkable for their strength and speed
Tragelaphus (Reindeer) A deer-like animal that has a beard
Unicorn The unicorn is a fierce beast that can only be captured by a maiden
Water-horse A beast with the front half of a horse and tail of a fish or serpent
Weasel The weasel conceives at the mouth and gives birth through the ear
Wether The wether is named from the worms in its head
Wolf If a wolf sees a man before the man sees the wolf, the man will lose his voice
Yale A beast with flexible horns that it can move at will
Birds (and other flyers)
Alerion A bird the color of fire, with razor-sharp wings
Barnacle Goose A bird that initially grows from trees
Bat A bird that gives birth to living young
Bittern A bird that makes a booming noise
Blackbird An agreeable bird that sings in April and May
Caladrius A bird which can tell if a sick man will die, and can cure disease
Cinnamologus An Arabian bird that makes its nest from the fruits of the cinnamon tree
Cock The cock is a bird that can tell time
Coot An intelligent bird that stays in one place
Crane At night cranes take turns keeping watch for enemies
Crow A long-lived bird that foretells the future
Cuckoo A weak bird that travels on the backs of kites
Dove There is meaning in the various colors of doves
Duck The ducks of Pontus feed on the poison in the sea
Eagle A bird with eyes so strong it can look directly into the sun
Falcon A bird used for hunting
Goose Geese can smell the odor of man better than any other animal can
Harpy A fierce bird with a human head
Hawk The hawk has great courage in a small body
Hen Hens become weak because their chicks are weak
Hercinia A bird with brightly glowing feathers
Heron A bird wise above all others
Hoopoe The young care for their elderly parents
Ibis The dirtiest of birds because it feeds on corpses
Jay A very noisy bird
Kingfisher A bird that calms sea storms
Kite A rapacious bird that feeds on carrion
Magpie The magpie has a voice which can express words with distinct sounds
Martineta A bird that does not decay when dead
Nightingale A bird that that sings so enthusiastically that it almost dies
Orphan Bird The mother bird knows which of her eggs contain the best offspring
Osprey Ospreys are smaller than eagles but larger than hawks
Ostrich A bird that can digest anything, even iron, but is careless of its eggs
Owl The owl is a dirty bird that prefers darkness to light
Parrot A talking bird with a very hard beak
Partridge A deceitful bird that steals other birds' eggs
Peacock A bird with a terrible voice and flesh too hard to cook
Pelican A bird that revives its dead young with its own blood
Phoenix A bird that rises anew from the ashes of its funeral pyre
Quail Quails cannot be eaten, because they feed on poisonous seeds
Raven The raven will not accept its young until their feathers turn black
Siren A deadly creature, half human, half bird or fish
Sparrow Sparrows are swift and live in cracks in walls
Stork Two crows lead flocks of storks when they cross the sea to Asia
Swallow The swallow deserts buildings that are about to collapse
Swan The swan sings most sweetly just before it dies
Titmouse A bird that is curious about other birds
Turtledove A bird that always remains faithful to its mate
Vulture The vulture is a slow-flying bird that eats corpses
Woodpecker No spike can remain in a tree where a woodpecker nests
Fish (and marine mammals)
Crab A fish with claws
Dolphin Dolphins gather in schools at the sound of music
Echeneis This fish clings to ships and holds them back
Fish The number of species of fish is uncountable
Mermaid A creature half human, half fish
Sawfish The sawfish has enormous wings and likes to race against ships
Sea-pig Sea-pigs dig up the ground under water
Swordfish A fish with a pointed beak it uses to sink ships
Torpedo A fish whose touch numbs the strongest arms and swiftest feet
Whale Sailors mistake the whale for an island
Insects
Ant Ants harvest grain to store for the winter
Bee Bees are the smallest of birds, and are born from the bodies of oxen
Cricket A creature that likes to sing, forgetting all else
Scorpion The scorpion is a worm that stings with its tail
Spider The spider is an aerial worm that takes its nourishment from the air
Plants
Mandrake A plant with human-shaped roots, that shrieks when it is pulled from the earth
Peridexion Tree A tree in India that attracts doves and repels dragons
Serpents (snakes, lizards, dragons)
Amphisbaena A serpent with two heads, one at either end
Asp Blocks its ear with its tail so as not to hear the charmer
Basilisk Its odor, voice and even look can kill
Boa An enormous snake, found in Italy, that feeds on cattle
Cerastes An exceptionally flexible serpent with horns
Chameleon An animal that can change its color
Dipsa A snake so poisonous that its bite kills before it is felt
Dragon The greatest of all serpents on earth
Frog Land frogs die if exposed to rain
Hydra A multi-headed serpent
Hydros A water snake that makes those bitten swell up
Hydrus The enemy of the crocodile, which it kills from the inside
Ichneumon Another enemy of the dragon
Jaculus A flying serpent
Lizard When the lizard goes blind, it looks to the rising sun
Newt A lizard with spots like stars on its back
Salamander Salamanders are so cold they can extinguish any fire
Scitalis A serpent with such a marvellous appearance that it stuns the viewer
Seps The poison of the seps consumes both body and bones
Siren (Serpent) An snake so poisonous that those bitten die before they feel pain
Snake The snake crawls with hidden steps
Viper The young of the viper eat their way out of their mother's side
Worm Worms are born from flesh without intercourse
Stones and Gems
Carbuncle When it is held against the sun it resembles a burning coal
Diamond If a diamond is kept in a house, demons cannot enter
Fire Stones Stones that burst into flames when brought close together
Indian Stone A stone that can cure the illness called dropsy
Pearl-oyster Pearls are produced by a stone called an oyster