Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Look Ahead, Fun Fact 8/9/2012

First off, check out today's post about the coati, down below!

Here's this weeks "A Look Ahead:"

Friday:  Simba, Pumbaa, and Other Swahili Names From "The Lion King" - Learn what the names of some of your favorite characters mean!

Saturday:  The Light Rail Coyote - All about the coyote who hitched a ride on a train.

Sunday:  Guards of the Fairy Penguin - Guarding the world's smallest penguins with professional snipers! 

Monday:  Shrinky Dink: The Channel Island Fox and The Island Effect - How getting trapped on an island caused these foxes to shrink!

Tuesday:  Stupid People Stealing Turtles - What sounds better than stealing a bunch of turtles from a museum?

Wednesday:  The Sounds of Star Wars - Chewbacca may look like a bear, but was he voiced by one, too?

Thursday:  The Loch Ness Monster....Fact or Fiction? - Spoiler Alert:  It's Fiction
Friday:  Perfume-Loving Lions and Record-Breaking Cheetahs - Lions from the Denver Zoo fawn over the men's perfume "Obsession," while Sarah the cheetah become the world's fastest animal!

A "jackalope."  Photo Credit:  Mona Kamath
 "Scoff," most of you are probably saying.  "This guy is pathetic."  Pathetic I may be, but the jackalope is, in fact, real; just not necessarily in the way you might think.  

Although the first picture is a fake (photo credit: Mona Kamath), the one above, as well as down below, are both real.  Clearly these are not antlers, but what are they?  Well, these "antlers" are actually tumors, caused by the Cottontail Rabbit Papilloma Virus (CRPV).  Many rabbits get by just fine with these growths.  In 2003, a man named Grant VanGilder (a cool last name if there ever was one) took this picture in Mankato, Minnesota, an hour or so outside of Annandale, Minnesota.  According the Mr. VanGilder (awesome), “He is still alive and kicking and is the talk of the neighborhood.”  However, if the tumors grow to big, they could effect the animal in its ability to feed or flee, which would eventually lead to its downfall.  The picture above is of a mounted cottontail rabbit, caught near Topeka, Kansas.

When early settlers would see these animals, they would most likely assume that they were a crossbreed between a deer and a rabbit.  Although most people understand this now, at the time, people also thought that the jackalope was so rare because it would only mate during lightning storms with hail, tasted like lobster, and can mimic the voices of drunk people.

So presumably, settlers, cowboys, and the like would discover these cottontails, dead or alive, and talk about them, show them around.  From this, it has been speculated, and seems most likely, that the jackalope arose.  It seems as if rabbits in Germany get this cancer as well, explaining the origin of Germany's "Wolpertinger."

More recently, people such as Ronald Reagan have used the jackalope as a way to mess with people.  The story goes that during press tours of his house in the '80s, he would show the reporters a mounted jackalope head, and tell them he had caught it himself, when, in actuality, it had been a gift from James Abdnor, a senator for South Dakota.

So next time one of your friends says "There's no such thing as a jackalope!" make sure to set the record straight.  Tell them everything that you have just learned, and they will think you are really smart.  Because you ARE smart.


  1. Replies
    1. I know, it's totally freaky looking! I'm just glad it isn't transmittable to humans!


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