Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Red Serpent

I want to make one of these.



This is what I was drawing in the margins of my meeting agenda.  I have no idea whether the "red serpent" is a real animal or if Topsell made it up.  I have an idea that Topsell knew a lot of the animals in his book didn't really exist, but he put them in anyway.  The History of Four Footed Beasts and Serpents is kind of old fashioned even for its time in that it often uses animals to illustrate religious precepts.  It's more interested in imparting moral lessons than what we would call natural history, and it's interesting to compare it with Conrad Gesner's Historiae Animalium from the 1550s, or Linnaeus' Systema Naturae from 1735.

So, back to the Red Serpent.  Topsell says it has a smallish mouth and lots of little teeth like a saw, and that's what I've started with.




It'll look like a serpent soon, I promise.