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Æthiopia produces the lynx1 in abundance, and the sphinx, which has brown hair and two mammæ on the breast,2 as well as many monstrous kinds of a similar nature; horses with wings, and armed with horns, which are called pegasi;3 the crocotta, an animal which looks as though it had been produced by the union of the wolf and the dog,4 for it can break any thing with its teeth, and instantly on swallowing it digest it with the stomach; monkeys, too, with black heads, the hair of the ass, and a voice quite unlike that of any other animal.5 There are oxen, too, like those of India, some with one horn, and others with three; the leucrocotta, a wild beast of extraordinary swiftness, the size of the wild ass, with the legs of a stag, the neck, tail, and breast of a lion, the head of a badger, a cloven hoof, the mouth slit up as far as the ears, and one continuous bone instead of teeth;6 it is said, too, that this animal can imitate the human voice. Among the same people, there is also found an animal called eale; it is the size of the river-horse, has the tail of the elephant, and is of a black or tawny colour.7 It has also the jaws of the wild boar, and horns that are moveable, and more than a cubit in length, so that, in fighting, it can employ them alternately, and vary their position by presenting them directly or obliquely, according as necessity may dictate. But the wild bulls which this country produces are the fiercest of all; they are larger than our domestic bull, and exceed all the others in swiftness; are of a tawny colour, with azure eyes, and the hair turned the contrary way; while the jaws open as far as the ears, and the horns are as moveable as those of the eale. The hide of this animal is as hard as flint, and effectually resists all wounds. These creatures pursue all the other wild beasts, while they themselves can only be taken in pitfalls, where they always perish from excess of rage. Ctesias informs us, that among these same Æthiopians, there is an animal found, which he calls the mantichora;8 it has a triple row of teeth, which fit into each other like those of a comb, the face and ears of a man, and azure eyes, is of the colour of blood, has the body of the lion, and a tail ending in a sting, like that of the scorpion. Its voice resembles the union of the sound of the flute and the trumpet; it is of excessive swiftness, and is particularly fond of human flesh.

1 According to Cuvier, the lynx of Pliny is the Felis caracal of Lin- næus: it is common in many parts of Asia and Africa, in the retired forest districts, and still exists in the Pyrenees and the mountains of Naples.—B.

2 As far as the accounts of the sphinx are to be regarded as not entirely fabulous, we must suppose it to have originated in some species of the monkey tribe; perhaps the Sinlia troglodytes or chimpanzé.—B.

3 Of course the winged horse is an imaginary being, nor does it appear what is the origin of the fable; the horns are an unusual appendage to the pegasus.—B. The pegasus and the rhinoceros together may have given rise to that fabulous animal, the unicorn. See, however, the Monoceros, mentioned in c. 31.

4 Although a hybrid animal is produced by the union of the wolf and the dog, it does not form a permanent species. But, as Cuvier remarks, by the insertion of "velut," Pliny seems to imply that the crocotta unites the physical properties of the two animals. Ctesias, Indic. c. 32, gives an account of the cynolycus, or "dog-wolf," from which Pliny seems to have taken his crocotta.—B.

5 It does not seem possible to determine what species of monkey is here designated; it is most probable that he himself had no accurate knowledge.—B.

6 We may here refer to the judicious remarks of Cuvier, Ajasson, vol. vi. pp. 427, 428, and Lemaire, vol. iii. p. 399, on the leucrocotta. It seems impossible to identify Pliny's description with any known animal, and it is not unlikely that he has confused the accounts of authors who were speaking of different animals. Some of the characteristics of the leucrocotta agree with those of the Indian antelope, while others seem to resemble those of the hyæna.—B.

7 Perhaps the eale may have been the two-horned rhinoceros, as some naturalists say that there is a degree of mobility in the horns of that animal; the same observation has been made with respect to the wild or forest bulls, the description of which animal, in Pliny, is probably from Diodorus Siculus.—B.

8 This description of the mantichora appears to be taken from the Indica of Ctesias; it has been also adopted by Aristotle and Ælian, but they have qualified their accounts by some expressions of doubt, which are omitted by Pliny. It has been conjectured, that Ctesias took his description from the hieroglyphic figures in his time, probably common in the East, and still found in the ruins of the Assyrian and Persian cities, Nineveh and Persepolis, for instance.—B.

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