Thursday, June 12, 2008

A real unicorn!

Unicorn Deer
Unicorns are no longer so fanciful, apparently. Discovery, by way of an Associated Press wire, reports on a 'unicorn' deer found in Italy. Particularly interesting is the central position of the horn. Could this have been the source of the legendary unicorn of old?

From the article:

A deer with a single horn in the center of its head -- much like the fabled, mythical unicorn -- has been spotted in a nature preserve in Italy, park officials said Wednesday.

He is believed to have been born with a genetic flaw; his twin has two horns.

Single-horned deer are rare but not unheard of -- but even more unusual is the central positioning of the horn, experts said.

"Generally, the horn is on one side (of the head) rather than being at the center. This looks like a complex case," said Fulvio Fraticelli, scientific director of Rome's zoo. He said the position of the horn could also be the result of a trauma early in the animal's life.