The Yale was described as a large goat-like beast with long horns which it was capable of swivelling to point in any direction it chose, and even rolling up when not in use. It was usually attributed with possessing a long tail.
However, differing accounts portray it as having a body more akin to that of a lion, with a stubby, boar-like snout and sharp tusks.
The first accounts of the Yale were recorded by Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder in his Natural History series of writings, where he claimed it was an animal native to Ethiopia. From there, the creature passed into many medieval bestiaries and heraldic crests - including that of the British royal family - where it has become a symbol of proud defence.