Mythical horned beasts, 17th century

Mythical horned beasts, 17th century

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mythical horned beasts, 17th century. Illustration of a mythical two-horned beast (top), named as a combination of an onager (an Asian wild ass) and a 'Wald Esel' (German for 'forest donkey'), together with two types of unicorns (middle and bottom). These varied creatures were still being included as potentially real animals in natural history books despite the revelation that the horn came from the narwhal (Monodon monoceros). This illustration is by Swiss-born German engraver Matthaus Merian the Elder (1593-1650). It is a hand-coloured copperplate engravings from 'Historiae Naturalis' (John Jonston, Amsterdam, 1657-65).

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Keywords: 1600s, 17th century, 3 animals, animal, beast, biological, biology, color, colour, fabulous, fauna, forest donkey, historiae naturalis, historical, history, horn, horned, illustration, john jonston, legendary, matthaus merian, merian, monoceros, myth, mythical, mythological, narwhal, natural history, nature, no-one, nobody, onager, three, trio, unicorn, wald esel, white, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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