Friday, February 7, 2014

Lepus Cornutus - Jackalopes, Wolpherfingers, Skvaders

The actual history of antlered rabbits or Lepus cornutus goes down the centuries. The descriptions and drawings of similar animals can be found as far back in time as 16th century (Albrecht Durer). Those animals as a separate species were included in the encyclopedias of different European countries through 18th century. Horny rabbits were seen in Germany (as wolpertinger and rasselbock), Austria (as raurackl), Sweden (as skvader) and Switzerland (as dilldapp).
It is quite possible that immigrants from those countries brought their creatures with them in America, at least in legends.
Lepus Cornutu

The lepus cornutus or horned hare is a type of hare or rabbit that in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries was believed to exist

Horned hares were described in medieval and early Renaissance texts, both as real creatures and as farcical or mythological ones, e.g. by Rabelais in his Gargantua and Pantagruel. But the first mention of the lepus cornutus as described here as a real animal comes from Conrad Gessner in his Historiae animalium, mentioning that they live in Saxony.
Many other scientific works on animals repeated this or similar claims, often with the same depictions. These include John Jonston's "Historiae naturalis de quadrupetibus libri" from 1655, whose illustrations were reused in e.g. the 1718 "Theatrum universale omnium animalium, piscium, avium, quadrupedum, exanguium, aquaticorum, insectorum et angium" by Ruysch.

The Jackalope

The jackalope is an antlered species of rabbit, unfortunately rumored to be extinct, though occasional sightings of this rare creature continue to occur, suggesting that pockets of jackalope populations continue to persist in its native home, the American West.

The jackalope is an aggressive species, willing to use its antlers to fight. Thus, it is also sometimes called the "warrior rabbit."

Jackalopes possess an uncanny ability to mimic human sounds. In the old West, when cowboys would gather by their campfires to sing at night, jackalopes would frequently be heard singing back, mimicking the voices of the cowboys. Jackalopes become especially vocal before thunderstorms, perhaps because they mate only when lightning flashes (or so it is theorized).

When chased, the jackalope will use its vocal abilities to elude capture. For instance, when chased by people it will call out phrases such as, "There he goes, over there," in order to throw pursuers off its track. The best way to catch a jackalope is to lure it with whiskey, as they have a particular fondness for this drink. Once intoxicated, the animal becomes slower and easier to hunt.

Jackalope milk is particularly sought after because it is believed to be a powerful aphrodisiac (for which reason, the jackalope is also sometimes referred to as the 'horny rabbit'). However, it can be incredibly dangerous to milk a jackalope, and any attempt to do so is not advised. A peculiar feature of the milk is that it comes from the animal already homogenized on account of the creature's powerful leaps.

The jackalope is now most commonly sighted in the states of Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska. However, the jackalope does appear to have a European cousin, which in Germany is known as the wolperdinger. In Sweden, a related species is called the skvader.

Bavarian folklore tells of the wolpertinger (also called wolperdinger, poontinger or woiperdinger), an animal allegedly inhabiting the alpine forests of Bavaria in Germany. It has a body comprised from various animal parts — generally wings, antlers, tails and fangs, all attached to the body of a small mammal. The most widespread description portrays a horned rabbit or a horned squirrel.
Stuffed "wolpertingers", composed of parts of actual stuffed animals, are often displayed in inns or sold to tourists as souvenirs in the animals' "native regions". The Deutsches Jagd- und Fischereimuseum in Munich, Germany features a permanent exhibit on the creature.
It resembles other creatures from German folklore, such as the Rasselbock of the Thuringian Forest, or the Elwedritsche of the Palatinate region, which accounts describe as a chicken-like creature with antlers; additionally the American Jackalope as well as the Swedish Skvader somewhat resemble the wolpertinger. The Austrian counterpart of the wolpertinger is the raurakl.


Skvader- Part Bird/ Part Rabit
Skvader- Part Bird/ Part Rabit
The skvader originates from a tall tale hunting story told by a man named Håkan Dahlmark during a dinner at a restaurant in Sundsvall in the beginning of the 20th century. To the amusement of the other guests, Dahlmark claimed that he in 1874 had shot such an animal during a hunt north of Sundsvall. On his birthday in 1907, his housekeeper jokingly
presented him with a painting of the animal, made by her nephew and shortly before his death in 1912, Dahlmark donated the painting to a local museum. During an exhibition in Örnsköldsvik in 1916 the manager of the museum became acquainted with the taxidermist Rudolf Granberg. He then mentioned the hunting story and the painting and asked Granberg if he could re-construct the animal. In 1918 Granberg had completed the skvader and it has since then been a very popular exhibition item at the museum, which also has the painting on displ

Real Life Jackalope

Jackalopes Actually Do EXIST in Nature!!

The most curious thing about antlered rabbits or Jackalopes is that they do exist. The cause of the “antlers” like growths in rabbits is a Shopa papilloma virus. This disease is very common in rabbits and is called papillomatosis. 
These sick rabbits might be as much responsible for the legends and stories in European and American folklore.

Real Life Jackalope

Real life Jackalope - Poor bunny infected with Papillomatosis.
Check out the WunderKabinett online Store for your very own replica Jackalope

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