Study Guide

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Chapter 27: An A-Z of Fantastic Beasts - S

By J.K. Rowling

Chapter 27: An A-Z of Fantastic Beasts - S


  • Salamanders are small blue or red lizards that are born from flames. 
  • They can live outside a fire for a few hours if you keep giving them pepper, otherwise, they die off once the fire dies off.

Sea Serpent

  • Muggles might be afraid of sea serpents, but they've never been known to kill any human.
  • These creatures live in bodies of water and have horselike heads and bodies that are bit like snakes'.


  • Shrakes are just fish that are covered totally in spines.
  • Wizards created Sharkes back in the early 1800's to get back at some Muggle fishermen who had insulted some sailing wizards. 
  • The sharp little Shrakes put holes in all their nets. That'll teach 'em.


  • This extremely rare bird has a long, thin beak and eyes that look like jewels. It also flies really fast and can change directions on a dime.
  • Sound familiar? Back when Quidditch was first invented, it was played with a Golden Snidget instead of a Golden Snitch, but its popularity meant that wizards were hunting the bird almost to extinction. 
  • Thus, the Quidditch powers that be wisely decided that it was better to chase an inanimate object than to kill a whole magical species. Smart move.


  • With a human head and a lion's body, the sphinx is the perfect guardian for treasures and secret passageways.
  • It loves puzzles and riddles, but if you get them wrong—watch out. The sphinx can get a little bit violent.
  • (Harry Potter book shout out: A sphinx was stationed in the maze during the third task of the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire making you really wonder—was anyone worried about how close these kids actually came to dying in this tournament?)


  • These giant snails change colors every hour…and leave a trail of venom that kills all the plants that they touched.
  • Not so great for gardens. But the colors are nice. And their venom can kill Horklumps, so if you've got a Horklump problem, who you gonna call?