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The Mooncalf was a shy magical beast that only came out of its burrow during a full moon.[1]


Mooncalves being fed by a witch or wizard

The Mooncalf had smooth, pale grey skin, and four spindly legs that ended in large flat webbed feet. The Mooncalf also had a very long neck and bulging blue eyes that sat on the top of its head.[1]

Once the Mooncalf was in the moonlight, it performed complicated dance moves while standing on its hind legs. It was believed that this is part of the Mooncalf mating ritual, but also had the side effect of creating geometric patterns in wheat fields that confused Muggles.[1]

Mooncalf dung, if harvested before the sun rose, would make magical plants grow fast and strong.[1]

Hodags feed largely on Mooncalves.[2]



Jacob Kowalski feeding Newt Scamander's Mooncalves

Newt Scamander had a herd of Mooncalves in his suitcase during his visit to New York in 1926.[3] He also kept another small group in the basement of his apartment.[4] However, it is possible that these were part of the same herd.


A Mooncalf lived in the Magical Creatures Reserve during the 1980s. Rubeus Hagrid brought it there after discovering it in a Muggle farmer's field. During the 1987–1988 school year, Jacob's sibling helped take care of it, and discovered that it danced in a square pattern, different from most of its species, who danced with circular formations. The student theorised that it may have been ostracised from its original herd due to this unusual behaviour.[5]

With help from Professor McGonagall and Barnaby Lee, the student taught it to dance in circles, allowing it to be accepted into a Mooncalf herd that lived in the Forbidden Forest.[5]


In modern terminology, a "mooncalf" is a foolish person. The term originally meant a deformed calf born under the malign influence of the full moon. In the 17th century, it came to mean a deformed baby, and later, a hideously deformed individual; as in Shakespeare's Tempest, when Stephano calls Caliban a "mooncalf".


The Harry Potter Wiki has 35 images related to Mooncalf.

Notes and references

Magical creatures by classification
X Flobberworm · Horklump
XX Augurey · Bowtruckle · Chizpurfle · Clabbert · Diricawl · Fairy · Ghoul · Gnome · Grindylow · Imp · Jobberknoll · Mooncalf · Porlock · Puffskein · Ramora · Winged horse
XXX Ashwinder · Billywig · Bundimun · Crup · Doxy · Dugbog · Fire crab · Fwooper · Glumbumble · Hippocampus · Hippogriff · Hodag · Jarvey · Knarl · Kneazle · Leprechaun · Lobalug · Mackled Malaclaw · Moke · Murtlap · Niffler · Nogtail · Pixie · Plimpy · Pogrebin · Red Cap · Salamander · Sea serpent · Shrake · Streeler · Winged horse
XXXX Centaur · Demiguise · Erkling · Erumpent · Golden Snidget · Graphorn · Griffin · Hidebehind · Kappa · Kelpie · Merpeople · Occamy · Phoenix · Re'em · Runespoor · Snallygaster · Sphinx · Tebo · Thestral · Thunderbird · Troll · Unicorn · Winged horse · Yeti
XXXXX Acromantula · Basilisk · Chimaera · Dragon · Horned Serpent · Lethifold · Manticore · Nundu · Quintaped · Wampus cat · Werewolf