Have you ever wondered if Unicorns or Pegasus ever existed? Well very likely one did not, but the other might have. Let us find out more about these two legendary equines and discover which one might have been real and which had no chance.
Pegasus was a flying horse, often a specific animal rather than a type of animal. He was borne of Greek myth and legend. Always depicted as white, and usually shown as a male, this flying horse is now used on many logos. But, could there have really been such an animal?
To date and throughout fossil history there are no known mammals with three sets of limbs. In fact there are no known reptiles, amphibians, or birds, with six limbs be they wings or legs. While horses have been born with two limbs, or none at all, none have been born with wings. It is doubtful that such an animal could survive live birth (or at least its parent couldn’t), and as such I would have no doubt that this animal, beautiful as it were, never existed, nor could it.
Unicorns are horse-like animals, typically shown as being white, with a single, straight, horn in the middle of their head. They have existed, at least in fable, for thousands of years. Their horns, said to hold magical powers, were reportedly sold throughout ancient history. We now believe that actually what people were buying and selling were narwhal horns, a whale that grows straight horn-like tusks, and lives in northern oceans.
No horse ever has been found to have horns, but in fact the Unicorn was not a horse. Since the middle ages they are often illustrated with a goat beard, and lions tail, the most important feature is the cloven hooves. This is important, because only animals with cloven hooves have horns.
It may have been that an animal did exist with two horns, but when seen in profile appeared to have one. This is a possibility suggested by a prehistoric cave painting in Lascaux, France, where an animal with two straight horns appears to be one horn due to the perspective of the drawing. It is very likely that such an animal did exist and was hunted to extinction or died out on its own, as many other species of that time have.
According to legend Unicorns went extinct when the Biblical figure, Noah, failed to load them onto the ark, (a story I personally disbelieve).
People have manipulated horn buds on other animals, such as goats, and cattle, to have them grow a horn in the middle of the head, but natural occurrences are pretty much unknown.
Could they have existed? Yes, but if so they were cloven animals, and not related to horses. Therefore it is also likely their representation through art as being horse-like may not be accurate. They were probably smaller and more deer like.