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This article is about the legendary creature. For the constellation, see Monoceros.
The Monocerus (above) as pictured in the Bodleian Library, Ashmole Bestiary, Folio 21r.

The monocerus" or "monoceros is a legendary animal with only one horn.


It derives from the Greek word Μονόκερος, a compound word from μόνος (monos) which means one and κέρας (neuter gender, keras) which means horn.

The monoceros was first described in Pliny the Elder's Natural History as a creature with the body of a horse, the head of a stag, the feet of an Elephant, and the tail of a boar. It has one black horn in the middle of its forehead, which is two cubits in length and is impossible to capture alive.[1] In today's English language, the term monoceros typically refers to a unicorn or similar one-horned creature.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ introduction, Pliny the Elder ; translated with an; Healy, notes by John F. (1991). Natural history. London, England: Penguin Books. ISBN 9780140444131. 
  2. ^ "monoceros". OED Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 30 October 2014.