Book XII, Chapter XXXVIII
Of the aserrador or sawing animal.
Translated by Kristine (Kasey) Drake ’23
One of the animals that has come to my notice and that is therefore included in this General History is the one that the Christians and soldiers who have been in these Indies found in the northern land called Florida, when the Adelantado Hernando de Soto conquered and died in said land. Men were amazed by such a beast and its properties, never having heard of a similar thing. Those who spent time in that land say that there is an animal similar to the badger, but with shorter legs and wider loins, that has a tail like a saw, and wherever it dwells it saws all the trees, as if they were cut down with a saw. This is found in chapter XXX of book XVII.
 Most likely a beaver, Castor canadensis carolinensis, common in the streams, swamps, lakes and bayous of Florida. [Editor’s note, English edition]
 See note at the end of Chapter XXVIII of book XVII. Editor’s note.
Image: Scientific drawing of a beaver by Anselm Boëtius dated to the 16th century.