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Swine

Sea Swine on an explorer's map.

Sea Swine are aquatic creatures said to have been sighted by explorers in the early Modern Era. They are shown on many maps during this time, as well as being mentioned by Conrad Gesner, who is considered the founder of modern zoology. They are giant boar-like aquatic creatures with tusks. Some sightings of Sea Swine happened during the 1800s, but in the 1900s, no Sea Swine were reported.

Sea swine whales

Two sea swine clearly intended to depict a baleen whale and orca, from the Carta Marina

It has been theorized that sea swine may be based on the washed-up, rotten carcasses of baleen whales, whose lower jaw bones appear like tusks when their soft mouth tissue has rotten away. The Ataka carcass clearly shows this effect. Sea swine are often drawn next to fantastic and inaccurate renditions of whales, perhaps suggesting they are the result of artists drawing whales described to them by a secondhand source. Sea swine vary in appearance from very pig-like to fish-like. The English word "porpoise" comes from the Medieval Latin term porcopiscus, which translates to "pig fish". The Harbor Porpoise retains the common name "sea pig" in different regional variations to this day.

In 1658, Étienne de Flacourt would describe the sea boar as a species unique to Madagascar, describing a peculiar ox-sized animal he saw get washed up after a storm.

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