Skip to main content

Rabbits with Antlers! And Rabbits with Wings! Are They the Real Things?

On April 29, 2014 I had a post on my other blog Cryptozoology 101 about Jackalopes. Here's part of what I said about the antlered rabbits:

"A jackalope is a mythical animal from American folklore. The jackalope story was popularized in the 1930s in Wyoming after a hunter put deer antlers on a rabbit and sold it to a hotel. Many other fake jackalopes have been made since then, and I have seen one in a restaurant."

Today, I will expand more on the jackalope in this post here on Tyler's Cryptozoo, as well as another weird rabbit (this one with wings) called the skvader.

Jackalope stature


Jackalope postcard from the 1968 Dexter Press,
West Nyack, New York

The name "jackalope" is derived from the words "jackrabbit" and "antelope."  According to Alex Boese on the Museum of Hoaxes site, the jacaklope is:

" antlered species of rabbit unfourtunately rumored to exist, though occassional sightings of this rare creature continue to occur, suggesting that pockets of jackalope populations continue to persist in its native home, the American West.
" The jackalope is an aggressive species, willing to use its antlers to fight. Thus, it is sometimes called the 'warrior rabbit.'"
The post on the jackalope on Museum of Hoaxes continues, describing its ability to mimic human sounds:

" Jackalopes possess an uncanny ability to mimic human sounds. In the old West, when cowboys would gather by their campfires to sing at night, jackalopes would frequently be heard singing back, mimicking the voices of the cowboys. Jackalopes become especially vocal before thunderstorms, perhaps because they mate only when lightning flashes (or so it is theorized.)"
The jackalope is quite well known in the folklore of the American West, but descriptions of animals like them go all the way back to 13th century Persia. A piece of artwork from that area and period shows a rabbit with a horn like that of a unicorn.

Some people think the whole legend about the jackalope is a total hoax (and the mounted jackalope heads with antlers are), but part of the legend may also come from sightings of rabbits with the Shope papiloma virus, which causes horn-like protuberances on the animals. A recent example of this is from Canada, and you can read the story about that on Mysterious Universe. 

A rabbit with Shope papiloma virus.
Could it have inspired stories of the jackalope?


Perhaps even more strange than a rabbit with antlers is a rabbit with wings! This one's called the skvader, and it's just as fake as its cousin the jackalope.
Skvader created by Rudolf Granberg in 1918

The skvader in the picture above was created in the year 1918 by taxidermist Rudolf Granberg, and is on display (permanently) at the museum at Norra Berget in Sundsvall, Sweden. It was created with "forequarters and hind legs of a European hare, and the back, wings and tail of a female wood grouse. It was later jokingly given the Latin name Tetrao lepus pseudo-hybridus raissimus." 

Now, just why and how did the skvader come about? The one in the picture was created in 1918, but the story actually goes back to the beginning of the 20th century. A man named Hakan Dahlmark claimed at a dinner party that he had shot the critter during a hunt in Sundsvall in 1874. In 1907, on Dahlmark's birthday, his housekeeper gave him a painting of the creature he said he had killed over thirty years before.

Just before his death in 1912, Dahlmark donated the painting of the skvader to a museum. While it was begin exhibited in 1916, the museum manager asked taxidermist Rudolf Granberg (mentioned above) to make a re-constructed animal based on Dahlmark's story and painting. Granberg did exactly that, and in 1918 presented it to the museum, where it and the painting remain to this day.

So, not only is the jackalope a fake taxidermy critter, but its winged cousin the skvader is as well. And, even though they are both fake, they sure are cool. You can even find jackalopes for sale online. Maybe I'll get one someday!


Popular posts from this blog

Mountain Monsters - Coming Back in 2018?

Destination America's Mountain Monsters was a huge hit when it premiered in 2013. It's had five seasons through last year.

Season 3 started a "Bigfoot Edition" and season 4 introduced a "rogue team." Last season focused entirely on this "rogue team" and ended with really no conclusion.

Over the past 2 Saturdays, some old season 2 episodes of Mountain Monsters have been playing in the evenings. Could this be a sign that the show might be back for another season this year, or does it have no meaning at all?

If the show does come back, where can they go? Last season made absolutely no sense at all and the whole thing was pretty stupid. If it does come back, I think they should go back to just monster hunting like they did in the first two seasons. Once they went to just "Bigfoot Edition" things went downhill quick.

Some Thoughts on Alaska Monsters: Bigfoot Edition

So far, two episodes of Alaska Monsters: Bigfoot Edition have aired. Here are some of my thoughts on the show.

First off, let's start with the team, the Midnight Sons. There are a few new members on the team this season. The old leader, Little Bear, is gone, and now Crusty (the guy with the bear claw in his beard) is leader of the team. Other members are: Dudley (new guy), the team "forensic expert," Todd, the "trap engineer," Bulldog (new guy), the "survival expert," Rhett, the "greenhorn" (rookie), and of course Face, the "veteran tracker."

Compared to the AIMS Team of Mountain Monsters, Crusty is Trapper, Todd is Willy, Rhett is Buck, Bulldog would probably be Huckleberry, Dudley would probably be Jeff, and Face would be Wild Bill.

I haven't seen the first episode, "Bigfoot of the Arctic Circle: Siberian Giant," but I did watch episode two, "Bigfoot of Denali: Wind Walker" last Saturday. I actually though…

Review - Invasion on Chestnut Ridge

Small Town Monsters' 5th film, Invasion on Chestnut Ridge, comes out soon. STM director Seth Breedlove let me check out an advance copy of the film to put up a review on here. Though I've been quite busy for about the last month and a half, I finally got a chance to check out the film, and these are my thoughts on it.

Invasion is about the strange happenings along the Chestnut Ridge in Pennsylvania. Local residents who have had strange encounters are interviewed, as well as researchers Stan Gordon and Eric Altman.  Along the ridge, witnesses have reported ghost lights, UFOs, Bigfoot, werewolves, thunderbirds, and many, many other odd things.

Many well known sightings happened in the early 1970s, when reports of UFOs and Bigfoot were very frequent. The strangest thing of all this was that sometimes the two would be seen at the same time, or shortly after on another. Some witnesses even saw a white colored Bigfoot that was holding a ball of light.

On another occasion, two Bigfo…