Domenechs Pseudo Goat

An odd, goatlike Hoofed Mam m alseen once in Texas.

Physical description: Size of a cat. White, glossy fur. Rose-colored, goatlike horns. Claws instead of hooves.

Distribution: Central Texas. Significant sighting: Around 1850 in Fredericksburg, Texas, the French missionary Emmanuel Domenech talked to an American offi domenech's pseudo-goat 139

cer who told him that a Comanche woman kept one of these animals and that they were found wild in the woods.

Possible explanation: If described accurately, a taxonomic anomaly. An unusual array of ungulate mammals evolved in the Cenozoic of South America, which was an island during much of that era. Among them was a family of notoungu-lates known as homalodotheriids, robust forest browsers with clawlike toes instead of hooves that lived in Argentina until about 9 million years ago. None of them, however, had true horns; only the distantly related toxodonts developed dermal horns like those of rhinos. The combination of horns and claws makes it nearly impossible to find a match for this animal in the fossil record.

Sources: Emmanuel Domenech, Missionary Adventures in Texas and Mexico: A Personal Narrative ofSix Years' Sojourn in Those Regions (London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, and Roberts, 1858), pp. 122-123; Karl Shuker, "A Rose-Horned, Snow-Furred, Claw-Footed Controversy," Fate 45 (April 1992): 59-60.

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