Reader Mark Hitch sends us the following:
The dreaded Chupacowbra. I found this specimen along the South Platte River near Sterling, CO. I think this is the male because of the crest. The female looked identical, but without the give-away crest. Now, with this irrefutable evidence, will the scientific community name it after me? Chupacowbra shamicus hitchii, perhaps.
So, we should have taken a cruise to Colorado instead...
Of course, we did find something a bit odd in Mexico. Is this El Chupacabra? No, this is La Jenny Haniver. Barbara "Kitty" Mervine spotted this in a small shop. The owner did not want to sell it to her, as it wasn't "appropriate for a woman to buy." A bit more money finally convinced the owner that he was making a poor decision. (BTW Kitty.. you got a GREAT deal.)
So what is this thing? A Jenny Haniver is an animal that is cut up or modified to look like another fictious animal. P.T. Barnum had a famous "Feejee Mermaid" that was actually a monkey sewn onto a fish. Other examples include the jackalope, fur-bearing trout, and the mugwump. (Can't find a mugwump of the sort I've seen online. It's the rear end of a deer with eyes on the rump and coyote teeth under the tail.)
This particular Jenny Hanniver is called a "devil fish." It's a skate or ray cut up to resemble a semi-human form, and there are drawings of them from the 15th century.
So no, no chupacabras here. We'll keep looking...