Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Bibliotheca Herpetologica 14(1)

Malm, T. 2020. A Footnote to Scandinavian Herpetology: Gunnar Olof Hyltén-Cavallius and his Quest for the Dragon or Lindworm. Bibliotheca Herpetologica 14(1): 1-11. Published October 7, 2020.

. Gunnar Olof Hyltén-Cavallius (1818–1889) was a pioneer in Swedish ethnology. His booklet Om Draken eller Lindormen [On the Dragon or Lindworm], a memorandum to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, first printed in 1884 with a second revised edition in 1885, was intended as a contribution to natural science as well as ethnology. After having collected numerous eyewitness accounts, he concluded that a snake, known for hundreds of years as a drake [dragon], lindorm [lindworm], or hjulorm [hoop snake], up to six meters long and "thick as a man's leg," sometimes also with long hair or scales on its neck looking like a horse's mane, still existed in the Swedish forests. This article describes his unsuccessful attempts to obtain a type specimen and interest naturalists in his project.

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