[Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors

Thomas Simonsen t.simonsen at nhm.ac.uk
Mon Jan 18 01:48:58 CST 2010

Well, one just have to remember how the Barnacle Goose got its name...
Thomas J. Simonsen, PhD. 
Researcher in Lepidoptera 
Department of Entomology 
The Natural History Museum 
Cromwell Road, London 
SW7 5BD, United Kingdom 
+44 020-7942-6548


From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu on behalf of Oconnor, Barry
Sent: Fri 15/01/2010 19:19
To: Thomas G. Lammers; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors

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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