Jumar

Supposed Hooked MAMMALof Western Europe. Etymology: From the French jument, "mare." Physical description: Mulelike. Head is like a bull's. Said to have small, knobby horns. Black eyes.

Distribution: Southern France; Italy. Significant sighting: Neapolitan physicist Gi-ambattista della Porta saw apparent mule x bull hybrids in Ferrara, Italy, in the sixteenth century.

Possible explanations: (1) Konrad Gesner's suggestion that the Jumar is a Donkey (Equus asinus) x Bull (Bos taurus) hybrid is impossible, since the offspring would involve a mating between two separate ungulate orders, the artiodactyls and perissodactyls.

(2) The comte de Buffon supervised the dissection of two alleged Jumars but found them to be small donkeys. Sources: Konrad Gesner, Historiae animalium (Zurich, Switzerland: Christ. Froschoverum, 1551-1587); Giambattista della Porta, Natural Magick [1558] (London: T. Young and S. Speed, 1658), ii. 9; Georges, comte de Buffon, "De la dégénération des animaux" [1766], in Œuvres complètes de Buffon (Paris: Rapet, 1817- 1818).

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