PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gesner woodcut with contemporary colouring from "Icones Animalium" Publ. Christof Froschover, Zurich, 1560. Gesner illustrates a creature captured in the forest of Hanesbergium in the diocese of Salzberg."Of a reddish colour verging on blond; of a marked savagery, fleeing from men, and when able hiding in darkness. Keeping him in captivity was not possible because of his need to eat, so he died after a few days. His back feet were different from his front and considerably longer - he was captured in the year of grace 1531". The image clearly shows a female and it is possible Gesner is also referencing a sphinx which in the middle age was represented with a monkey's body and griffin's feet.
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