Science: Monstrous Beaste

The strange animal that Explorer Vicente Yañez Pinzón brought home from the new world in 1500 astonished the Spanish court. Their Majesties Ferdinand and Isabella ran their royal fingers through the soft-furred pouch on the beast's belly and marveled at such a freak of nature. In that age of exaggerations, the little cat-sized creature grew into weird shapes in the minds of men. To the Venetian court reporter, Peter Martyr, it looked like a "monstrous beaste with a snowte lyke a foxe, a tayle lyke a marmasette, eares lyke a batte, handes lyke a man, and feete lyke an ape ....

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