Catoblepas Picture

The Catoblepas or Katoblepon is a rather melancholy monster whose name literally means "Down-looking." or "Heavy-headed". This beast has been mentioned many times in Medieval folklore and the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder first described it in it's home on the Nile river in Ethiopia.

The Catoblepas is about the size of a large horse or bull, it moves very slowly because of the weight of its head and enormous horns which are usually held low to the ground. In some interpretations it has the snout, head and tusks of a wild boar, while in others it has a more cow like appearance.

Although not vicious unless provoked, it has dangerous noxious breath and eyes like a basilisks which are able to turn anyone who looks right at them into stone. The Catoblepas's skin is covered in thick fur and protective scales. It is said to have a heavy mane of hair on its muscular neck and over its eyes. This monster is usually content to graze but if an intruder wanders into its territory its mane will bristle uncovering its eyes and sealing the fate of anyone nearby.

Today it is thought that the Catoblepas might actually have been based on second hand accounts of the Wildebeest or the Gnu which have been greatly exaggerated over time.

Third submission for the Alphabeastiary.

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