Photograph of a Jackalope model.
|Year First Seen||N/A|
It is possible that the tales of jackalopes were inspired by sightings of rabbits infected with the Shope papilloma virus, which causes the growth of horn- and antler-like tumors in various places on the rabbit's head and body. However, the concept of an animal hybrid occurs in many cultures, for example as the griffin and the chimera.
Indeed, the term chimera has become the categorical term for such composites within the English language.
A common southwestern U.S. species of jackrabbit is called the antelope jackrabbit, because of its ability to run quickly like an antelope.
It is easily imagined that this species might be humorously misconstrued to possess horns and represent a jackrabbit-antelope cross.
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