Collection : musée Fragonard de l'École nationale vétérinaire de Maisons-Alfort / Photo Olivier Jourdanet / MCC

Skull of a jumart

This horse head is that of a jumart, a fabled cross between a mare and a bull which was rampantly believed to exist in the 18th century. The animal was small, with a short face, bent back and knocky limbs. This specimen dates to 1766 and was presented by Claude Bourgelat to the French Academy of Sciences. The case caused a great stir since it called into question the principle of such distant species’ inability to interbreed.