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
Behemoth An enormous four-footed beast
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 The centaur is part man and part horse
Cow (Domestic) A useful animal
Crocodile A beast that weeps after eating a man
Doe The female deer
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.
Elk The Eurasian elk or moose
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
Hippopotamus A large beast called the river horse
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
Lamia A stealer and killer of children
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
Locust An insect with long legs
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
Martin An animal that is common in Ireland
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
Porcupine An animal that has quills or spines
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
Shrew A kind of mouse that bites
Squirrel An animal that climbs trees
Stag 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
Wild Man A man who lives wild in the forest
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
Bee-eater Bee-eater young care for their elderly parents
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
Coredulus A bird whoes name implies "eater of the heart"
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
Dyomeda A bird that can distinguish between local people and foreigners
Eagle A bird with eyes so strong it can look directly into the sun
Falcon A bird used for hunting
Goldfinch A bird that eats thorns and thistles
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
Jackdaw The jackdaw is a noisy bird
Jay A very noisy bird
Kingfisher A bird that calms sea storms
Kite A rapacious bird that feeds on carrion
Lark A singing bird
Magpie The magpie has a voice which can express words with distinct sounds
Martineta A bird that does not decay when dead
Memnonides A bird that flies from Egypt to Troy every fifth year
Mergus Generic term for a sea bird
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
Peahen Female peafowl, with a less magnificent tail
Pelican A bird that revives its dead young with its own blood
Pheasant A bird named for the Greek island of Phasis
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
Starling A bird with stars on its feathers
Stork Two crows lead flocks of storks when they cross the sea to Asia
Stymphalis Man-eating birds with beaks of bronze and sharp metallic feathers
Swallow The swallow deserts buildings that are about to collapse
Swan The swan sings most sweetly just before it dies
Thrush A bird that returns at the beginning of winter
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
Wood-dove A chaste bird
Woodpecker No spike can remain in a tree where a woodpecker nests
Fish (and marine mammals)
Allec A fish used to make pickled fish sauce
Aphorus A small fish that cannot be caught on a hook
Australis A fish that appears when the Pleiades decline
Barbulus A fish with a beard
Bream A fish with many large teeth
Crab A fish with claws
Cuttlefish A fish that is easily caught in enclosures
Dolphin Dolphins gather in schools at the sound of music
Echeneis This fish clings to ships and holds them back
Eel A serpent of the sea
Escarus A fish that ruminates its food
Fish The number of species of fish is uncountable
Glaucus A white fish that appears on cloudy days
Grey Mullet An agile fish of the Mediterranean
Hamio A fish with purple markings
Melanurus A fish with a black tail
Mermaid A creature half human, half fish
Millago A fish that flies over water
Muraena A fish that twists itself in circles
Mussel A shellfish that serves as the male for oysters
Octopus The octopus is a very clever sea fisher and very clever at deceiving others.
Pagrus A fish with hard teeth
Pike The wolf of the sea
Red Mullet A fish of the Mediterranean
Salmon Fish that swim upstream and leap up waterfalls
Sardine A small fish
Sawfish The sawfish has enormous wings and likes to race against ships
Scallop Symbol of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela
Sea-cow The cow of the sea
Sea-dog The dog of the sea
Sea-dragon The dragon of the sea
Sea-hare The hare of the sea
Sea-horse The horse of the sea
Sea-mule The mule of the sea
Sea-pig Sea-pigs dig up the ground under water
Sea-raven The raven of the sea
Sea-scorpion The scorpion of the sea
Sea-snail The sea-snail produces purple dye
Sea-spider The spider of the sea
Sea-swallow The swallow of the sea
Sea-urchin A shellfish with spines
Sea-viper The viper of the sea
Seal The calf of the sea
Snail Snails live on land and in water
Sparus A fish shaped like a spear
Sponge A fish used for cleaning
Squatus A fish with sharp scales
Squid A multitude of squid can sink ships
Swordfish A fish with a pointed beak it uses to sink ships
Thymallus A fish named after a flower
Torpedo A fish whose touch numbs the strongest arms and swiftest feet
Tortoise The tortoise is a fish with a back covered in a shell
Tuna Fish that sees better with the right eye
Unguis A fish named from its similarity to fingernails
Walrus Large sea beast with tusks
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
Bibiones Insects that are generated in wine
Buprestis A venomous beetle that attacks cows
Butterfly An insect that generates small worms from its dung
Cicada An insect born from the saliva of the cuckoo
Cricket A creature that likes to sing, forgetting all else
Dragonfly A long thin insect with four wings
Fly An insect that can revive after being drowned
Glow-worm An insect that gives off light
Gnat An insect that sucks blood
Hornet Hornets are born from the flesh of the horse
Horse-fly A stinging insect associanted with cattle
Moth An insect that cannot bear the light
Sciniphes A tiny, troublesome fly
Scorpion The scorpion is a worm that stings with its tail
Wasp A stinging insect
Weevil An insect that is almost nothing but a throat
Plants
Cedar Tree Symbol of Mary and of the transfiguration of Christ
Mandrake A plant with human-shaped roots, that shrieks when it is pulled from the earth
Palm Tree Palm tree
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
Botrax A serpent with the face of a frog
Cenchris A serpent that cannot bend
Centipede A serpent with many feet
Centris An inflexible serpent
Cerastes An exceptionally flexible serpent with horns
Chameleon An animal that can change its color
Chelydros Land and water serpent
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 An enemy of the snake
Jaculus A flying serpent
Leviathan An enormous sea-dragon
Lizard When the lizard goes blind, it looks to the rising sun
Natrix A snake that contaminates water
Newt A lizard with spots like stars on its back
Ophites A serpent the color of sand
Parias A serpent that walks on its tail
Rinatrix A serpent that poisons water
Salamander Salamanders are so cold they can extinguish any fire
Salpuga A snake that is invisible
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
Stones and Gems
Agate Can be used to find pearls
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
Magnet Magnet or lodestone attracts iron
Pearl-oyster Pearls are produced by a stone called an oyster
Worms
Caterpillar A worm that eats foliage
Dog-fly A type of fly
Leech A blood sucking aquatic worm
Millipede A worm with a multitude of feet
Moth-worm A worm that eats clothes
Silkworm Silkworms weave cloth from leaves
Slug Slugs are born out of mud
Spider The spider is an aerial worm that takes its nourishment from the air
Terido Wood worms that are generated when trees are cut at the wrong time
Worm Worms are born from flesh without intercourse