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Abominable Science!Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids$
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Donald Prothero and Daniel Loxton

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153201

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153201.001.0001

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The Evolution of the Sea Serpent

The Evolution of the Sea Serpent

From Hippocamp to Cadborosaurus

Chapter:
(p.176) 5 The Evolution of the Sea Serpent
Source:
Abominable Science!
Author(s):

Daniel Loxton

Donald R. Prothero

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231153201.003.0005

This chapter discusses the existence of sea serpents. The seas of the ancient imagination swarmed with a teeming variety of powerful, malevolent monsters. Many were inspired by true-life animals filtered through folklore, mythology, and tales of travelers returned from distant lands, blending real and folkloric creatures, such as sea monsters, whales, dragons, and snakes into one another. A pivotal classical example of a sea serpent-like creature is the hippokampos or hippocamp. An imaginary mer-creature, the hippocamp combines the fore-parts of a horse with a looping, coiled tail inspired by fish or dolphins. On the other hand, the Cadborosaurus, the best-known modern iteration of the hippocamp-inspired Norwegian serpent is seen in the Pacific Northwest of North America. According to legend, it was a huge serpent with fore-flippers, a lobed tail, a mane, and a head something like that of a camel or horse.

Keywords:   sea serpents, sea monsters, hippocamp, Cadborosaurus, Norwegian serpent

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