A Mouse-chicken Hybrid?

Mus musculus × Gallus gallus

Hybrids out of History

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EUGENE M. MCCARTHY, PHD GENETICS

     
A diligent scholar is like a bee who takes honey from many different flowers and stores it in his hive.
John Amos Comenius
mouse-chicken hybridA reconstruction of the alleged hybrid
Image: E.M. McCarthy

An ostensible mouse-chicken hybrid was reported on page 2, column 7, of the August 20, 1915, issue of the Essex County Herald, a newspaper published in Guildhall, Vermont (source). The following is a transcript of the report:

    Selectman George M. Rood, of Woodstock, is showing a weird freak of animal life in the shape of a white mouse with a chicken’s head and bill. The thing was dead when found by Mrs. C. A. J. White in her hen yard, having been caught by a cat, and, therefore, must probably have had life. The body is that of a well-formed mouse with four feet and tail, and the head is that of a chicken with a well developed bill.
Note: It has been my policy in listing reports of hybrids to include all serious allegations, especially those of scholars, whether or not the hybrid alleged seems possible or likely to me. This policy, I think, helps to eliminate subjective judgment on my part, and therefore should remove at least one source of systematic bias from my work. It also helps to fulfill the ethical obligation of telling not just the truth, but the whole truth.

A combination of a chicken and a mouse? This must have been a timid creature indeed!

Table of contents >>

Bibliography >>

Biology Dictionary >>

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


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