The mouse-goat crocodile chimera

TwilightBeasts

A small family of Myotragus balearicus enjoying a brief moment of luscious grass. (Illuastration by Tabitha Paterson) A small family of Myotragus balearicus enjoying a brief moment of luscious grass. (Art by Tabitha Paterson)

Lets be honest, size really does matter. Especially when it comes to being noticed. An ‘average sized’ creature would really make an impressive headline; ‘Mammoth discovered, the most average one yet’. Crowd pleasing adjectives such as ‘the biggest’, ‘the largest’, ‘the longest’ and even opposites like ‘the smallest’ and ‘the shortest’ will win the day. Even if the creature is pretty mediocre, quirky traits, or witty scientific names, will bring an otherwise inconspicuous beast to the public eye (recently demonstrated by ‘Pinocchio Rex’ an averaged-sized relative of Tyrannosaurus rex that had an unusually long snout).

Rarely, very rarely, something truly remarkable is discovered that fits all the above.

When the great TrowelBlazerDorothea Bate received a letter in 1909 telling her of bones discovered in a cave in Majorca, she could never…

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