Of the Crocodile

In this province are found snakes and great serpents of such vast size as to strike fear into those who see them, and so hideous that the very account of them must excite the wonder of those to hear it. (...) They have two forelegs near the head, but for foot nothing but a claw like the claw of a hawk or that of a lion. The head is very big, and the eyes are bigger than a great loaf of bread. The mouth is large enough to swallow a man whole, and is garnished with great [pointed] teeth. And in short they are so fierce−looking and so hideously ugly, that every man and beast must stand in fear and trembling of them.(...) You must know that by day they live underground because of the great heat, and in the night they go out to feed, and devour every animal they can catch. (...) [T]heir weight is so great that when they travel in search of food or drink, as they do by night, the tail makes a great furrow in the soil as if a full ton of liquor had been dragged along.

Marco Polo, ~ 1298


From: The Travels of Marco Polo
The complete Yule-Cordier Edition
Including the unabridged third edition (1903) of Henry Yule's annotated translation, as revised by Henri Cordier; together with Cordier's later volume of notes and addenda (1920)
In two Volumes
Volume II
E-text prepared by Charles Franks, Robert Connal, John Williams,
and Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders
http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/12410