[Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors

Oconnor, Barry bmoc at umich.edu
Fri Jan 15 13:19:14 CST 2010

Here in Michigan, there's a long tradition of Catholics eating muskrat on Fridays. See http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=23328
All the best! - Barry

-So many mites, so little time!

Barry M. OConnor                    phone: 734-763-4354
Curator & Professor                 fax: 734-763-4080
Museum of Zoology                 e-mail: bmoc at umich.edu
University of Michigan
1109 Geddes Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1079

On 1/15/10 11:05 AM, "Thomas G. Lammers" <lammers at uwosh.edu> wrote:

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

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