The merhorse (Halshippus olai-magni; French: cheval marin) is a Heuvelmans type of sea serpent, equivalent to the maner in the Mangiacopra system. One of the system's most common types, Bernard Heuvelmans classified seventy-one sightings as merhorses, of which thirty-seven were certain and thirty-four probable, giving it an almost cosmopolitan distribution, being absent only from the Indian Ocean and the polar seas.
Distinguished by its mane and large eyes, Heuvelmans identified the merhorse as a species of large, relatively long-necked pinniped adapted either to life at semi-abyssal depths, or to a nocturnal lifestyle, an identity often still supported. Although Heuvelmans argued that they were distinct types, several later cryptozoologists have suggested that the merhorse is the same species as the longneck, and the Coleman-Huyghe and Marshall systems synonymise the two types as the waterhorse and great sea horse. Heuvelmans classified Caddy as a merhorse; some recent cryptozoologists support this, while Paul H. LeBlond found the Heuvelmans system inapplicable to Caddy.
Notes and references
- Eberhart, George M. (2002) Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology, ABC-CLIO, Inc., ISBN 1576072835
- Heuvelmans, Bernard (1968) In the Wake of the Sea-Serpents, Hart-Davis, ISBN 9780246643124
- Woodley, Michael (2008) In the Wake of Bernard Heuvelmans: An Introduction to the History and Future of Sea Serpent Classification, CFZ Press, ISBN 978-1905723201
- Costello, Peter (1974) In Search of Lake Monsters, Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 9780698106130
- Coleman, Loren & Huyghe, Patrick (2003) The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents and Other Mystery Denizens of the Deep, TarcherPerigree, ISBN 978-1585422524
- Marshall, Carl "21st Century Sea Serpents," Animals & Men, No. 64–65 (June 2018)
- Woodley, Michael & Naish, Darren & Shanahan, Hugh P. "How Many Extant Pinniped Species Remain to be Described?," Historical Biology (December 2008)
- LeBlond, Paul & Sibert, John R. "Observations of Large Unidentified Marine Animals in British Columbia and Adjacent Waters," Manuscript Report 28 (1973)