Beast

Sources : Starfish

Aristotle [ca. 350 BCE] (De animalibus, Book 5, 13.10): The nature of the aster [starfish] is so hot, that if it is captured immediately after swallowing anything, its food is found digested; and they say that it is very troublesome in the Pyrrean Euripus. Its form is like the paintings of a star. - [Cresswell translation, 1887]

Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 9, 86): Besides these cases I observe that authors renowned for their wisdom express surprise at there being a star in the sea: that is the shape of the fish, which has rather little flesh inside it but a rather hard rind outside. They say that this fish contains such fiery heat that it scorches all the things it touches in the sea, and digests all food immediately. I cannot readily say by what experiments this has been ascertained, and I should consider a fact that there is daily opportunity of experiencing to be much more worth recording. - [Rackham translation]

Thomas of Cantimpré [circa 1200-1272 CE] (Liber de natura rerum, Fish 7.75): There is a starfish [stella piscis] in the western sea, in the shape of a star. It has flesh on the inside, but the callus on the outside is very hard. Aristotle and Pliny report that it has a fiery heat inside, so that everything it touches in the sea burns. When it has eaten some animal, it is soon found in its stomach as hard as hardtack bread. - [Badke translation/paraphrase]

Albertus Magnus [ca. 1200-1280 CE] (De animalibus, Book 24, 112): Stincus is a marine animal which represents an intermediate form between the plant and animal kingdoms. It has a pentagonal shape like a star, a reddish outer covering, and at its center a series of fissures through which it absorbs nutrients. - [Scanlan]