The Da Vinci Notebooks at sacred-texts.com
This animal is the mortal enemy of the asp. It is a native of Egypt and when it sees an asp near its place, it runs at once to the bed or mud of the Nile and with this makes itself muddy all over, then it dries
itself in the sun, smears itself again with mud, and thus, drying one after the other, it makes itself three or four coatings like a coat of mail. Then it attacks the asp, and fights well with him, so that, taking its time it catches him in the throat and destroys him.
This is found in the Nile, it has four feet and lives on land and in water. No other terrestrial creature but this is found to have no tongue, and it only bites by moving its upper jaw. It grows to a length of forty feet and has claws and is armed with a hide that will take any blow. By day it is on land and at night in the water. It feeds on fishes, and going to sleep on the bank of the Nile with its mouth open, a bird called