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Pard
AberdeenBestiaryFolio008vLeopardDetail.jpg
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Background
Type Feline, Mythology
First Sighting N/A
Last Sighting N/A
Country Unknown
Habitat Where Lions Live
Possible Population N/A

The Pard is a feline mythological creature mentioned in Medieval bestiaries.

Description

The Pard has many different depictions. There are often depicted as large felines with mottled coats "like a giraffe". Other depictions have them with or without a mane and a similar appearance to a lion. Pards were thought to be bloodthirsty creatures that would kill their prey with a single leap. [1]

In the Byzantine poem "An Entertaining Tale of Quadrupeds," Pards are described as being resistant to fleas thus making their pelts good for bedspreads. They also have "comically" short tails like a lynx and live in quarries.[1]

Pards would mate with a lioness to create a leopard, which were thought to be hybrids. When a male lion smells the strong scent of the Pard on a lioness, he would be thrown into a rage and kill the lioness. To prevent this, the lioness would wash the Pard's scent off her or follow from a distance. [2]

History

The earliest know reference to the Pard comes from Pliny the Elder's book Natural History. In this book, he described the mating habits of the Pard and lioness.[2] Pards would then be featured in many Medieval books and artworks.

In the 13th century Bestiary, Pards were given their ferocious and bloodthirsty reputation. They were described as signifying "either the devil, full of a diversity of vices, or the sinner, spotted with crimes and a variety of wrongdoings." The Antichrist was known to be a Pard as well. [1]

However in the Aberdeen Bestiary, Pards are described as beautiful and gentle creatures. Their only enemy is the dragon and their roar is said to terrify the dragon into its den. They were said to sleep for three days after filling it's stomach and carrying a sweet scent in its mouth when awakened. This would attract all animals except the dragon. [3]

Explanation

In the 1750s, it became clear to biologists that leopards were not a hybrid species.[1] Pard is also the Greek word for leopard. The Pard is now mythological and a fantasy, having never existed in the first place.

Gallery

Sources

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