The monk drew a a picture of what he thought a camel would have looked liked.
An exhibition to commemorate 750 years since the death of a St Alban monk is opened by a man of the same name.
The display of Matthew Paris who was a monk, historian and artist was opened by Matthew Parris, the journalist, broadcaster and former MP.
The free exhibition shows artwork by the monk including the graphic accounts of St Alban's execution.
It will run until 18 July at St John the Baptist Church in the Bedfordshire village of Flitton.
Matthew Parris opened the display.
The display is on loan from the Fraternity of Friends of St Albans Abbey
Melting Pot presenter on BBC Three Counties, Ian Pearce went to the exhibition opening, he was impressed with what he saw:
"It reflects the brilliance of Paris as an artist," he said.
Matthew made contemporary drawings of elephants which he had seen and camels which he had never seen and drew from his imagination.
The exhibition celebrates the anniversary of the thirteenth century monk who lived at the monastery in St Alban.
The display shows Paris as an illustrious member of the mediaeval monastic community at St Albans and chronicler of Bedfordshire life.
He gave commentaries on the weather and explained why an earthquake was a rare event in Britain, even though the reasons were spurious they were still convincing.
He told the story of everyday life and gave an account of the siege of Bedford Castle.
Paris was also an early map maker, some of which are on display.
The current day Parris who opened the exhibition says that the monk 'was a tabloid chronicler picking up stories from travellers as they were retold at the Abbey'.