Another manuscript I really like is this 1110-1130 English bestiary, drawn by an artist whose approach to unfamiliar animals was “like a bear, but…”
Like a bear, but pointy.
Like a bear, but wet.
Like a bear, but breathing fire.
Like a bear, but winged. (Yes, the second one does say salamandra. Because it’s a salamander. No problems here.)
And my personal favourite: like a bear, but overcome with the futility of existence in a harsh and uncaring world. Look at the faces on the bottom two. Those lions are so done.
Also featuring some extremely untrustworthy elephants:
[Images from Bodleian Library, MS. Laud Misc. 247]