"Monstrous" Cougar Killed in Idaho

A fascinating find in Idaho. 

Deformed mountain lion mystery - CNN.com: "the big cat had another set of fully-formed teeth and whiskers growing out of the top of its head. Wildlife officials say they have never seen a deformity like that -- but have offered up several theories."


  1. The article says:
    "It's possible the teeth could be the remnants of a conjoined twin that died in the womb and was absorbed into the other fetus. They then grew on their own. Another explanation is a so-called "teratoma" tumor. This type of abnormality, whose Greek name translates to "monster tumor," can grow teeth and hair. In humans, it can grow fingers and toes".
    Now, I wonder if famous mythological monsters with more heads (for example: the Lernaean Hydra, killed by Heracles; and the hound Cerberus) or other strange characteristics (for example, the Chimera) had not in fact animals suffering from "teratoma" or animals whose body had indeed "the remnants of a conjoined twin absorbed into the other fetus".
    Could be an explanation of how these myths were born or not?
    What's your opinion, Gordon?

    1. That’s an intriguing possibility, Max. Besides the myths you mention, this cougar’s deformity reminds me of those depictions of the Scylla as having multiple dog-mouths.

  2. I forgot Scylla.
    Yes, it also could have been a "teratomous" animal.
    According to some theories, Scylla was instead a giant squid or a giant octopus.

    1. If I remember right, Homer's account of the Scylla sounds a lot like an octopus. I'll have to dig that out and read it again.

  3. From Wiki:
    "...they writhed
    gasping as Scylla swung them up her cliff and there
    at the cavern's mouth she bolthed them down raw
    screaming out, flinging their arms toward me,
    lost in that mortal struggle."
    In fact, words like "cavern", "arms", "struggle" made me come to mind an octopus.

    1. Cool lines. I'll definitely have to revisit this.


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