Part IV, Chapter XXIII = XCVIII: On Strange Animals.
f90b f354a 2054 In the introduction the author states that in this chapter only those animals are mentioned of which accounts are found in the books of the old Greek philosophers and physicians, but which are rarely to be seen; while there is another class of animals like <Arabic> whose skins and furs are used by people, and which are only known through their produce.
      How Galen witnessed a fight between two natural enemies, a serpent and a weasel, and cured the weasel with an antidote prepared by him. (See above, p. 98).
f91a f354a 2055 A similar fight witnessed by Rufus of Ephesus, called the Great, and the earliest discovery of Ḥabbu’l-Fár as an antidote for snake-poison. The Author’s versified recipe for preparing the antidote. (See above, p. 98). Then the Author proceeds to mention the various species of furs and the fur-producing countries, which are little inhabited. (Cf. al-Khwárazmí, Mafátiḥu’l-‘Ulúm ed. van Vloten, p. 176, for the Tiryáqu’l-Arba‘ and Ḥabbu’l-Fár).
f354b 2056 The various opinions about the rhinoceros; according to al-Jáḥiẓ, a very rare animal, but it is to be found in numbers in India, where the Author had seen it; and he gives a description of the animal in verse. (Cf. D. H. H. pt. II, p. 321: s. v. Karkand i. e. Karkadan).
f91b 2057 The description of the animal Shérú or Sharw of the rhinoceros type; taken from Abú Rayḥán [al-Bírúní’s Kitábu’l-Hind]. (See above, p. 37).
f355a 2058 The Rukh: camel-like and poisonous animal. (Cf. D. H. H. pt. I, pp. 456—7, where an account of the fabulous Rukh is given, but in ‘Awfí it is mentioned as a real animal).
2059 The Giraffe: structure of the body, various theories about its origin and birth, supposed to be an animal of mixed breeds, hence the Persians call it camel-ox-leopard. Refutation of this theory by the great naturalist, al-Jáḥiẓ. (Cf. J. K. H. pt. I, p. 65, pt. VII, p. 76; Q. A. M. pp. 449—50; see above, p. 97).
f92a 2060 <Arabic> or <Arabic>: a very curious animal mentioned by Aristotle, having a double row of teeth; and another of the same species found in India described by the Greek philosophers as having three rows of teeth, resem­bling a tiger, having a curved tail with a sting at the end, emitting a sound like that of a reed, and of carnivorous habits. (See above, p. 98, n. 9).
2061 <Arabic> or <Arabic>: an animal resembling a bear in features and producing a sound like the voice of a man; its peculiar habit of decoying school-children and carrying them away.
f92b 2062 A goat-like animal having a long pointed and erect horn at the top of its head, and very fierce; but it can be hunted by coaxing it with the breast of a girl, which it sucks and becomes senseless.
2063 <Arabic>: an animal resembling a man in colour, and having legs projecting from its shoulders, with a long tail, and fond of men’s company and of dancing. The Greeks call it by this name because some people have sexual inter­course with the female of the animal.
2064 <Arabic>’s description of a curious animal having a broad tail, like a peacock, whîch it uses as a shade and fan. (See above, p. 98, n. 10).
2065 <Arabic>: i. e. “Looking towards the ground”, an animal emitting fire from its eyes and nostrils.
2066 An animal of weasel type, a destroyer of bee-hives and eater of young owls.
      The chapter ends with a short note directing the attention of his patron to the diversity and comprehensive naturo of the work.