Q:

Are jackalopes real?

A:

Quick Answer

Although jackalopes are a common figure in American folklore, they do not really exist. The myth is hundreds of years old, but it was popularized in 1932 when a Wyoming taxidermist named Douglas Herrick grafted deer antlers onto a jackrabbit specimen and exhibited it publicly.

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Full Answer

The myth of the jackalope most likely stems from sightings of rabbits suffering from a disease known as Shope papilloma virus, also known as the cottontail rabbit papilloma virus. This virus causes large tumors to grow around the infected rabbit's head, and in some cases these tumors resemble horns. Despite this scientific explanation, a rich mythology developed around the jackalope, and fake specimens are still popular display items in the western United States.

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