jackrabbit + antelope
Jackalope (source: SedesGhobani/Wikipedia, Public Domain)
The jackalope: half jackrabbit, half antelope. Or so the story goes. Created in the 1930’s by Douglas Herrick and his brother, taxidermists and hunters, from a jackrabbit’s body and a deer’s antlers, they sold the first one to a hotel in Douglas, Wyoming. The Herrick Brothers are gone now, but other taxidermists still make them, and you see them all over in bars and restaurants. The Wyoming Legislature once had a resolution naming the jackalope the state’s official mythical creature. It’s related to the Bavarian Wolpertinger, which has wings as well and is said to inhabit the forests there.
There’s considerable folklore associated with the jackalope. In Central America, fo example, the story goes that a deer mated with a jackalope and that’s where the deer got its horns from.
Have you heard of other mythical animals that are improbable combinations of other animals? I know in the Uncle Wiggily series, there’s the Pipsisewah, who has a rhinoceros’s head with a giraffe’s body and a lion’s tale, and the Chinese Shen Lung is a dragon with a camel’s head, rabbit’s eyes, stag’s horns, bull’s ears, tiger paws and eagle claws. What else?