Monday, June 11, 2007

They're REAL, I tell you!

Just like how there used to be buffallo as far south as New Mexico, but now they're pretty much limited to the Dakotas, there used to be more jackalopes in Arizona- at least accordinng to the fossil record, , even though Wyoming claims that they're native of THAT state.

The jackalope — also called an antelabbit, aunt benny, Wyoming thistled hare or stagbunny — in folklore is said to be a cross between a jackrabbit and an antelope (hence the name), goat, or deer, and is usually portrayed as a rabbit with antlers. Some believe that the tales of jackalopes were inspired by sightings of rabbits infected with the Shope papillomavirus, which causes the growth of horn- and antler-like tumors in various places on the rabbit's head and body. However, the griffin and the chimera perhaps suggest the concept of an animal hybrid is recurrent and requires little reasoning. One common southwestern species of jackrabbit is called the antelope jackrabbit, because of its ability to run quickly like an antelope; it would have been easy enough to imagine instead (for comic effect) that this jackrabbit had the horns of an antelope.

The legend of Horned hares also abounded in European and, particularly, German and Austrian, legends as the Raurackl, Rasselbock and Wolpertinger. These legends were possibly inspired by Shope papilloma virus-infected rabbits with fibrous growths which can resemble horns when they occur on the animal's head. The many illustrations of horned hares shown in scholarly works by European naturalists in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, may have been similarly inspired.

Lepus cornutus from Bonnaterre's Tableau Encyclopedique et Methodique, 1789

It is said to be a hybrid of the pygmy-deer and a species of "killer-rabbit". Reportedly, jackalopes are extremely shy unless approached. Legend also has it that female jackalopes can be milked as they sleep belly up and that the milk can be used for a variety of medicinal reasons. It has also been said that the jackalope can convincingly imitate any sound, including the human voice. It uses this ability to elude pursuers, chiefly by using phrases such as "There he goes! That way!". It is said that a jackalope may be caught by putting a flask of whiskey out at night. The jackalope will drink its fill of whiskey and its intoxication will make it easier to hunt. In some parts of the United States it is said that jackalope meat has a taste similar to lobster. It has also been said that jackalopes will only breed during electrical storms with hail, explaining its rarity.

*All information above is from Wikipedia;
Okay, I made up the part about there being a "fossil record." So sue me.
PS- I love you Christina Hernandez!!!

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