Member of The Crypto Crew:

Please Also Visit our Sister Blog, Frontiers of Anthropology:

And the new group for trying out fictional projects (Includes Cryptofiction Projects):

And Kyle Germann's Blog

And Jay's Blog, Bizarre Zoology

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Pristichampsus Procamptoceras

Procamptoceras Is a favourite candidate as an original creature to have inspired "Unicorn" myths in Midieval Europe among certain Cryptozoologists, most prominently naming Karl Shuker, and the matter has been discussed on this blog before. I mentioned there actually were no really good reconstructions of the animal that I knew about, and Tim Morris (AKA Pristichampsus on Deviant Art) volunteered to give a reconstruction of the creature a go. I just got a copy of his reconstruction in last night's email and so here it is now. My version differed in that it had a beard. I was considering that this animal might account for the European Unicorn sightings. A similar creature might be represented on one of the 7500 year old Tartaria Tablets, thought to have been one of the earliest types of writing known:

 So is this a good candidate for the real creature behind the Unicorn tales of Midieval Europe?
Please decide for yourself, I prefer to remain neutral.

"The Princess and The Unicorn" by Ken Barr


  1. Unicorns, like dragons are proboblly based on a number of different animals. Procamptoceras has always been top of my list for the origin of the legend.

  2. To be brutally honest about it, Procamptoceras has always seemed to me like a fifth wheel as far as Unicorn reports go...basically you have a situation where there are very sound reasons for ranking other candidates such as oryx as more likely. And the grown-together-horns effect also occurs in ordinary goats (as illustrated before) which makes the goats just as likely as candidates. Goats are much more common more recently and by that reasoning would also hold the priority; and furthermore to me that kind of horn just does not look like a unicorn horn. An oryx horn DOES look like a unicorn, once you have the belief they only had one and you change the orientation: and we have evidence from bestiaries that people used to think that oryxes had only one horn and they believed that the one horn was pointed ahead, as is shown on representations of unicorns.

    But within the confines of Europe itself, oryxes do not occur. Therefore when you have reports of such creatures inhabiting Europe itself, then you can make a case for persisting Procamptoceras. As I read the evidence, two places to look for that would be in the Pyrennes and the Carpathians. And the Tartaria tablet happens to be associated with the Carpathian area where there were later reports of Unicorns. So there actually is a case for this contender, going on just that much.

    Best Wishes, Dale D.


This blog does NOT allow anonymous comments. All comments are moderated to filter out abusive and vulgar language and any posts indulging in abusive and insulting language shall be deleted without any further discussion.