Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pegasus takes flight! Or how a trick of the eye created a mythical creature in the wild


Just an illusion: it might look like a mythical creature at first glance, but the crane is behind the antelope

At first glance it looks like Pegasus, a winged divine horse from Greek mythology, or something out of a Harry Potter movie.

However this extraordinary mutation of antelope and bird is actually a clever optical illusion.

The picture was taken as the antelope was being pursued by an Indian Sarus Crane, the tallest flying bird in the world.

The Indian Sarus Crane, the tallest flying bird in the world, as it looks without an antelope in front of it

The animal had stumbled upon the bird's nest and had quickly been shooed away by the protective mother.

As the chase ensued, amused onlookers at the Keoladeo National Park, in Rajasthan, India, noticed the animals appeared to blend in to one.

The spectacle was caught on camera by photographer Jagdeep Rajput, who said people had compared the mutation to Pegasus, a mythical winged horse.

Mr Rajput, 49, from Delhi, added: 'The crane had laid a single egg and when the bull got close she chased it away.

'I was hoping to get a picture of the interaction between the two animals but I never expected I'd get anything like this.

'When I show people the photograph their first reaction is that it must be Photoshopped.

'Other say it looks like some new species of mammal or a bovine version of Pegasus.'
Pegasus was a mystical horse-god creature from Greek mythology.

Usually portrayed as white in colour he has been used in illustrations and literature throughout the centuries.

From the Middle Ages until the 17th century, Pegasus was a symbol for wisdom and fame.

He later became a symbol of poetry and still appears in movies and video games today.
In the 1997 Disney cartoon Hercules, Pegasus was portrayed as the hero's sidekick although the pair never encountered each other in Greek mythology.

source: dailymail

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