ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia

cockatrice

the medieval name (a corruption of “crocodile”) of a fabulous serpent supposed to be produced from a cock’s egg

It is generally supposed to denote the cerastes, or “horned viper,” a very poisonous serpent about a foot long. Others think it to be the yellow viper (Daboia xanthina), one of the most dangerous vipers, from its size and its nocturnal habits (Isaiah 11:8; 14:29; 59:5; Jeremiah 8:17; in all which the Revised King James Version renders the Hebrew tziph'oni by “basilisk”). In Proverbs 23:32 the Hebrew tzeph'a is rendered both in the King James Version and the Revised King James Version by “adder;” margin of Revised King James Version “basilisk,” and of King James Version “cockatrice.”