01 February 2015

Antigonus 53–55: The dangers of scaring a bison shitless, and other animal matters

53(58)[1] They say that the bison [monapos] is found in Paeonia on the mountain of Marsanos [=Messapium] and that it has no upper teeth, like the ox or any other two-horned beast, and in other respects is similar to the bull. [2] When it is pursued, it projects its excrement quite a distance; whenever it does this in fright, its dung burns in such a way that the hounds’ hair falls out, but if it does it free from fear, nothing suffers or is injured.

A monapos (a.k.a. bonasos, bolinthos) adopts a defensive posture ...
54(a)(58[3]) < . . . . . > if [a bull elephant [elephas]] mates with [a female] and makes it pregnant, it does not touch that one again.
(b)(59) They say that the King of Scythia had a noble mare [hippos]: he led a foal born from herself to her so that it might mate, but [the foal] was unwilling. When they led in the mare having first covered her over, he mounted her, but when she had been unveiled and he saw her face, he fled and threw himself off the cliffs.

55(60)[1] Of marine creatures, the dolphin [delphis] is the most gentle—indeed, they comport themselves passionately towards boys, as [happens] around Tarentum, Caria and many other places. [2] In Caria, when a dolphin had been captured and had received many wounds, many of them came into the harbour to its aid until the fisherman let it go.

Cross-references: available

© R. Hardiman 2015

Image Credits
Kongelige Bibliotek, Gl. kgl. S. 1633 4º, f10r (via The Medieval Bestiary)
http://bestiary.ca/beastimage/img155.jpg


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