Dr KARL SHUKER

Zoologist, media consultant, and science writer, Dr Karl Shuker is also one of the best known cryptozoologists in the world. Author of such seminal works as Mystery Cats of the World (1989), The Lost Ark: New and Rediscovered Animals of the 20th Century (1993; greatly expanded in 2012 as The Encyclopaedia of New and Rediscovered Animals), In Search of Prehistoric Survivors (1995), and more recently Extraordinary Animals Revisited (2007), Dr Shuker's Casebook (2008), Karl Shuker's Alien Zoo: From the Pages of Fortean Times (2010), Cats of Magic, Mythology, and Mystery (2012), and Mirabilis: A Carnival of Cryptozoology and Unnatural History (2013), his many fans have been badgering him to join the blogosphere for years. The CFZ Blog Network is proud to have finally persuaded him to do so.

Dr Karl Shuker's Official Website - http://www.karlshuker.com

IMPORTANT: To view a complete, regularly-updated listing of my ShukerNature blog's articles (each one instantly clickable), please click HERE!

IMPORTANT: To view a complete, regularly-updated listing of my published books (each one instantly clickable), please click HERE!

IMPORTANT: To view a complete, regularly-updated listing of my Eclectarium blog's articles (each one instantly clickable), please click HERE!

IMPORTANT: To view a complete, regularly-updated listing of my Starsteeds blog's poetry and other lyrical writings (each one instantly clickable), please click HERE!

Search This Blog

Loading...

PLEASE COME IN, I'VE BEEN EXPECTING YOU...

PLEASE COME IN, I'VE BEEN EXPECTING YOU...
WELCOME TO SHUKERNATURE - ENJOY YOUR VISIT - BEWARE OF THE RAPTOR!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

WHEN JULIUS CAESAR MET THE HERCYNIAN UNICORN


The Hercynian unicorn if indeed a uni-stag (© Markus Bühler)

Germany has long been associated with unicorn traditions, in particular with the supposed occurrence of dainty white unicorns in the Harz Mountains. In addition, a far more exotic, bizarre version was allegedly sighted in Germany's Hercynian Forest by no less eminent an eyewitness than Julius Caesar.

He described it as being an ox but shaped like a stag, the centre of whose brow, between its ears, bore a single horn, taller and straighter than normal horns. Moreover, later eyewitnesses claimed that a series of branches sprouted forth from the tip of this creature's horn.

Bust of Julius Caesar in the National Archaeological Museum, Naples (public domain)

Long forgotten, the case of this very curious, atypical unicorn has lately been re-examined by German cryptozoologist Markus Bühler, who has proposed a very ingenious, plausible explanation for it.

Occasionally, a freak deer is born, bearing a single horn-like structure upon the centre of its skull, instead of its species' normal paired laterally-sited antlers. One recently-recorded example, pictured above, is a roe deer Capreolus capreolus 'uni-stag' aptly dubbed 'Unicorn' and born during 2007 in a park belonging to the Center of Natural Sciences in Prato, near Florence, Italy.

Unicorn, the uni-stag roe deer (© Center of Natural Sciences, Prata, Italy)

But what if, as speculated by Markus, some rudimentary antlers develop at the tip of this aberrant central horn?

The result would be a creature bearing a very similar appearance to the extraordinary Hercynian unicorn. So perhaps the latter beast, if truly real, was not a unicorn at all, but merely a freak uni-stag!


This ShukerNature post is excerpted from my book Mirabilis: A Carnival ofCryptozoology and Unnatural History (Anomalist Books: New York, 2013)






No comments:

Post a Comment