Catoblepas

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Catoblepas

Post  Admin on 10/27/2008, 12:05 am

Catoblepas


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.




The catoblepas (from the Greek καταβλέπω, 'to look downwards') is a legendary creature from Ethiopia, described first by Pliny the Elder and later by Claudius Aelianus. It has the body of a buffalo and a head of a hog. Its stare or breath can either turn people into stone, or kill them.
Pliny (Natural History, 8.77) described it as a mid-sized creature, sluggish, with a heavy head and a face always turned to the ground. He thought its gaze, like that of the basilisk, was lethal, making the heaviness of its head quite fortunate.
Claudius Aelianus (On the Nature of Animals, 7.6) provided a fuller description: the creature was a mid-sized herbivore, about the size of a domestic bull, with a heavy mane, narrow, bloodshot eyes, and shaggy eyebrows. In his description, the animal's gaze was not lethal, but its breath was poison, since it ate only poisonous vegetation.
Both authors were probably referring to the gnu.

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