MS M.890, fols. 5v–6r

Download image: 

Fountains Abbey bestiary

England, probably North Yorkshire
ca. 1325–1350
227 x 152 mm

Gift of Alastair Bradley Martin, 1958

MS M.890, fols. 5v–6r
Page description: 

Left Page (Fol. 5v)
Crocodile: A hulking, furry, man-eating beast meant to represent a crocodile hunches over its victim. Crocodiles were thought to shed tears over their prey and were thus considered a symbol of hypocrisy.

Right Page (Fol. 6r)
Manticore: A deadly manticore—which has the head of a man, the body of a lion, and the segmented tail of a scorpion—was often associated with Jews; in bestiaries its facial features might embody ugly anti-Jewish stereotypes.

Parandrus: The longhaired and prancing parandrus is said to live in Ethiopia.

Fox: A fox plays dead, its tongue hanging from its mouth, to lure crows into its devouring jaws.

Yale: The fierce yale was thought to be able to move its dangerous horns independently.