This article is about the imaginary animal. For other uses, see Jackalope.
The jackalope is an imaginary animal of North American folklore (a so-called "fearsome critter") described as a jackrabbit with antelope horns or deerantlers and sometimes a pheasant's tail (and often hind legs). The word jackalope is a portmanteau of "jackrabbit" and "antalope", an archaic spelling of antelope.
It is possible that the tales of jackalopes were inspired by sightings of rabbits infected with the Shope papilloma virus also known as Epidermodysplasia verruciformis, which causes the growth of horn- and antler-like tumors in various places on the rabbit's head and body. However, the concept of an animal hybrid occurs in many cultures, for example as the griffin and the chimera. Indeed, the term 'chimera' has become the categorical term for such composites within the English language.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)