The parandrus or tarandos was an animal from medieval bestiaries. They were ox-sized, long-haired, with antlers and cloven hooves, but could change the colour of their fur to obtain camouflage.[1] The scientific name of the reindeer, Rangifer tarandus, is derived from the name tarandos. Tarandos and its ability to change fur colour is mentioned in the pseudo-Aristotelian paradoxography On Wondrous Things Heard. There it is described as an extremely rare animal found among the Scythians who are known as Geloni, and note is taken of the fact that it is their hair and not skin which changes colour.

Parandrus (Bestiary Harley MS 3244, 13th century, British Library)


  1. ^ "Parandrus". The Medieval Bestiary. Retrieved 2008-12-28.