Thursday, October 19, 2017
“THIS IS A MERMAID? WELL, THAT’S WHAT SCIENCE SAYS.” - BIODIVERSITY
According to LIFE: “Some ancient mariners, historians say, went away on a long voyage and came back reporting that they had seen creatures which were women to the waist and fishtail below. The mariners called them mermaids, but modern science claims they were specimen’s of the manatee, or sea-cow, a legless aquatic mammal of which one species, Trichechus manatus latirostris, is found mostly in river mouths along the east coast of Florida.
… It resembles a mermaid only in the fact that it has a fish tail and that the female has a vaguely ladylike bust. Just possibly this was enough to delude a few very ancient and very lonely mariners. The manatee pictured here is named George (also called Winston due to his "fancied resemblance to Britain’s premier), snuggling up to a friendly Biologist, Roswell Bushnell in South Daytona, Fla.
From the Sept. 15, 1952 Animals feature
Credit: Robert W. Kelley—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images