Encyclopaedia of Cryptozoology
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Merhorse

The merhorse by Monique Watteau.

System Heuvelmans system (1965)
Proposed scientific names Halshippus olai-magni (Heuvelmans, 1965)
Other names Beruang ayer, maner
Sightings range Pacific and Atlantic Oceans
Proposed identification Pinniped (Heuvelmans, 1965; Woodley, 2008)

The merhorse (Halshippus olai-magni; French: cheval marin) is a Heuvelmans type of sea serpent, equivalent to the maner in the Mangiacopra system.[1] 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.[2]

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,[2] an identity often still supported.[3] Although Heuvelmans argued that they were distinct types, several later cryptozoologists have suggested that the merhorse is the same species as the longneck,[4] and the Coleman-Huyghe and Marshall systems synonymise the two types as the waterhorse and great sea horse.[5][6] Heuvelmans classified Caddy as a merhorse; some recent cryptozoologists support this,[3][7] while Paul H. LeBlond found the Heuvelmans system inapplicable to Caddy.[8]

Notes and references[]

  1. Eberhart, George M. (2002) Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology, ABC-CLIO, Inc., ISBN 1576072835
  2. 2.0 2.1 Heuvelmans, Bernard (1968) In the Wake of the Sea-Serpents, Hart-Davis, ISBN 9780246643124
  3. 3.0 3.1 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
  4. Costello, Peter (1974) In Search of Lake Monsters, Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 9780698106130
  5. Coleman, Loren & Huyghe, Patrick (2003) The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents and Other Mystery Denizens of the Deep, TarcherPerigree, ISBN 978-1585422524
  6. Marshall, Carl "21st Century Sea Serpents," Animals & Men, No. 64–65 (June 2018)
  7. Woodley, Michael & Naish, Darren & Shanahan, Hugh P. "How Many Extant Pinniped Species Remain to be Described?," Historical Biology (December 2008)
  8. LeBlond, Paul & Sibert, John R. "Observations of Large Unidentified Marine Animals in British Columbia and Adjacent Waters," Manuscript Report 28 (1973)
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