Beast Index - Alphabetic

The alphabet bands allow you to jump to the first item sorted under the letter you click. These links will take you to web-pages, so make sure you are connected to the Internet.

For an article about Bestiary Beasts on Romanesque arches, click here.

This index includes all of the beasts found in Bestiaries and the Physiologus, as well as some from other sources. It does not include beasts from non-European sources unless those animals are the basis of Bestiary, Physiologus, or other Western beast legends. Many Bestiary beasts had no fixed name; different sources often used slightly or radically different names for the same animal.

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

A Senmurv confronts a human-headed lion at Arles-sur-Tech (Pyrénées-Orientales)

photo by Julianna Lees

Amazing winged and wolf-headed serpents with long, similarly-headed tongues
at L'Ile Bouchard (Indre-et-Loire)

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