Deer × Hare

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EUGENE M. MCCARTHY, PHD GENETICS, ΦΒΚ

     
I am obliged to report that which is reported, but not to believe it.
Herodotus, The History, VII, 152.
deer-hare hybrid A horned hare (detail from Hoefnagel, Animalia Qvadrvpedia et Reptilia, Terra Volume: Plate XLVII, from Four Elements, 1575).

Caution! The evidence for this cross is extremely poor.

A hybrid very similar to those pictured on this page has been very frequently hoaxed. Known as the jackalope, it has been mass produced by taxidermists and is usually assembled from the antlers of a pronghorn attached to the body of a jackrabbit. However, deer antlers are also sometimes used. Strictly speaking, a jackrabbit is not a rabbit, but a hare.

In its article on the jackalope (accessed 2/3/2018), Wikipedia states that “early scientific texts described and illustrated [these] hybrids as though they were real creatures, but by the end of the 18th century scientists generally rejected the idea of horned hares as a biological species.” An example of such an early scientific illustration of a deer-hare hybrid is shown above.

According to a 1913 news report, an animal with the body of a jackrabbit and the antlers of a deer was shot in southern Texas. A screenshot of the report appears below. It appeared on page 2, column 1, of the April 12, 1913, issue of The Sea Coast Echo, a newspaper published in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi (source).

deer-hare hybrid

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By the same author: Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World, Oxford University Press (2006).