[Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors

Thomas G. Lammers lammers at uwosh.edu
Fri Jan 15 10:05:36 CST 2010

At 09:39 AM 1/15/2010, Oconnor, Barry wrote:
>I recall that in the days of meatless Fridays during Lent, the Catholic 
>church made muskrats honorary fish.

I think you're thinking of capybaras:

"During the Christian observation of 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki//wiki/Lent>Lent, capybara meat is especially 
popular as it is claimed that the 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki//wiki/Catholic>Catholic church, in a special 
dispensation, classified the animal as a fish in the 16th century. (cf. 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki//wiki/Barnacle_goose#Folklore>Barnacle goose) 
There are differing accounts of how the dispensation arose. The most cited 
refers to a group of 16th Century missionaries who made a request which 
implied that the semi-aquatic capybara might be a "fish" and also hinted 
that there would be an issue with starvation if the animal weren't 
classified as suitable for Lent."  [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capybara]

'Twould be interesting to find out the actual church documentation for 
this.  Jensen!  You're at a church school!  Get right on that!  It'd be a 
good research project for a student!!

Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Curator of the Neil A. Harriman Herbarium (OSH)
Department of Biology and Microbiology
800 Algoma Blvd.
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA

e-mail:       lammers at uwosh.edu
phone:      920-424-1002
fax:           920-424-1101

Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and 
biogeography of the Campanulaceae s. lat.

"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
                                                               -- Anonymous

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