Advertisement

Zoomorph Identification

  • Elizabeth E. Flaherty
  • Arthur O. Tucker
  • Jules Janick
Chapter
Part of the Fascinating Life Sciences book series (FLS)

Abstract

Twenty-one animal illustrations (zoomorphs) were identified in the Voynich Codex and the geographical location of their origins was determined. The species included invertebrates (jellyfish, crayfish), amphibians (frog or toad, caecilian), reptiles (three lizards), birds, and mammals (armadillo, coatimundi, jaguarundi, ocelot, paca, cattle, and sheep). All animals were present in Mesoamerica in the sixteenth century as either Spanish introductions (cattle and possibly sheep) or as native or indigenous New World species. Four images of animals – alligator gar, armadillo, coatimundi, and jaguarundi – clearly depict unique animals only found in Mexico and Central America. Presented together with other animals, plants, and a mineral, this information provides support for a Mesoamerican origin of the Voynich Codex.

Keywords

Alligator gar Armadillo Coatimundi Eagle Jaguarundi Mexican crayfish Ocelot Paca Voynich 

Literature Cited

  1. Brand, D.D. 1961. The early history of the range cattle industry in northern Mexico. Agricultural History 35: 132–139.Google Scholar
  2. Clutton-Brock, J. 1999. Natural history of domesticated mammals. Cambridge, UK: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge.Google Scholar
  3. De Oliveira, T.G. 1998. Herpailurus yagouaroundi. Mammalian Species 578: 1–6.Google Scholar
  4. De Sahagún, B. 1963. Florentine Codex. General history of the things of New Spain. Book 11—Earthly things. Trans. C.E. Dibble, and A.J.O. Anderson. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.Google Scholar
  5. Echelle, A.A., and L. Grande. 2014. Lepisosteidae: Gars. In Freshwater fishes of North America, ed. M.L. Warren Jr. and B.M. Burr, 243–278. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Fedosenko, A.K., and D.A. Blank. 2005. Ovis ammon. Mammalian Species 773: 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Feldhamer, G.A., L.C. Drickhamer, S.H. Vessey, J.F. Merritt, and C. Krajewski. 2007. Mammalogy: Adaptation, diversity, ecology. 3rd ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Flores-Villela, O., and L. Canseco-Márquez. 2004. Nuevas especies y cambios taxonómicos para la herpetofauna de México. Acta Zoologica, Mexico 20: 115–144.Google Scholar
  9. Fragoso, C., S.W. James, and S. Borges. 1994. Native earthworms of the north neotropical region: Current status and controversies. In Earthworm ecology and biogeography in North America, ed. P.F. Hendrix. Boca Raton: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  10. García de León, F.J., L. Gonzáles-García, J.M. Herrera-Castillo, K. Winemiller, and A. Banda-Valdéz. 2001. Ecology of the alligator gar, Atractosteus spatula, in the Vicente Guerrero Reservoir, Tamulipas, México. Southwestern Naturalist 46: 151–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gompper, M.E. 1995. Nasua narica. Mammalian Species 487: 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gompper, M.E., and D. Decker. 1998. Nasua nasua. Mammalian Species 580: 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gutiérrez-Yurrita, P.J. 2004. The use of crayfish fauna in México: Past, present…and future? Freshwater Crayfish 14: 30–36.Google Scholar
  14. Haemig, P.D. 1978. Aztec emperor Auitzotl and the great-tailed grackle. Biotropica 10: 11–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Howell, S.N.G., and S. Webb. 1995. A guide to the birds of Mexico and Northern Central America. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Keane, A.H. 1908. The world’s peoples: A popular account of their bodily and mental characters, beliefs, traditions, political and social institutions. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.Google Scholar
  17. Kelley, D.H. 1960. Calendar animals and deities. Southwest. Journal of Anthropology 16: 317–337.Google Scholar
  18. Kennedy, G., and R. Churchill. 2006. The Vonich manuscript: the mysterious code that has defied interpretations for centuries. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions. (First published in 2004 by Orion press, London).Google Scholar
  19. Lee, J.C. 2000. A field guide to the amphibians and reptiles of the Maya world: The lowlands of Mexico, northern Guatemala, and Belize. Ithaca/New York: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Leopold, A.S. 1959. Wildlife of Mexico: The game birds and mammals. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  21. López Piñero, J.M. 1992. The Pomar codex (ca 1590): Plants and animals of the old word and from the Hernandez expedition to America. Nuncius/Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza 7: 35–52.Google Scholar
  22. Lydekker, R. 1908. A guide to the domesticated animals (other than horses) exhibited in the central and north halls of the British museum (natural history). London: British Museum.Google Scholar
  23. McBee, K., and R.J. Baker. 1982. Dasypus novemcinctus. Mammalian Species 162: 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. McClane, A.J. 1978. McClane’s field guide to freshwater fishes of North America. New York: Henry Holt and Company.Google Scholar
  25. Melville, E.G.K. 1997. A plague of sheep: Environmental consequences of the conquest of Mexico. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Mooring, M.S., T.A. Fitzpatrick, J.E. Benjamin, I.C. Fraser, T.T. Nishihira, D.D. Reisig, and E.M. Rominger. 2003. Sexual segregation in desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana). Behaviour 140: 183–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Morrill, P.C. 2014. The casa del Deán: New world imagery in a sixteenth century Mexican mural cycle. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  28. Murray, J.L., and G.L. Gardner. 1997. Leopardus pardalis. Mammalian Species 548: 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Nussbaum, R.A., and M. Wilkinson. 1989. On the classification and phylogeny of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona), a critical review. Herpetology Monographs 3: 1–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pearson, T.G. 1917. Caracara, the Mexican eagle. Art World 3: 264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pérez, E.M. 1992. Agouti paca. Mammalian Species 404: 1–7.Google Scholar
  32. Pianka, E.R., and Parker, W.S. 1975. Ecology of horned lizards: A review with special reference to Phrynosoma platyrhinos. Copeia 1975:141–162.Google Scholar
  33. Reid, F.A. 1997. A field guide to the mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico. 1st ed. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Rodero, A., J.V. Delgado, and E. Rodero. 1992. Primitive Andalusian livestock and their implication in the discovery of America. Archivos de Zootecnia 41: 383–400.Google Scholar
  35. Savage, J.M., and M.H. Wake. 2001. Reevaluation of the status of taxa of Central American caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) with comments on their origins and evolution. Copeia 2001: 52–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Scarnecchia, D.L. 1992. A reappraisal of gars and bowfins in fishery management. Fisheries 17: 6–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Seymour, K.L. 1989. Panthera onco. Mammalian Species 340: 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Shakleton, D.M. 1985. Ovis canadensis. Mammalian Species 230: 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sherbrooke, W.C. 2003. Introduction to horned lizards of North America. California Natural History Guide No. 64. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  40. Singer, F.J., C.M. Papouchis, and K.K. Symonds. 2001. Translocation as a tool for restoring populations of bighorn sheep. Restoration Ecology 8: 6–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sponenberg, D.P., and T.A. Olson. 1992. Colonial Spanish cattle in the USA: History and present status. Archivos de Zootechnia 41: 401–414.Google Scholar
  42. Summers, A.P., and J.C. O’Reilly. 1997. A comparative study of locomotion in the caecilians Dermophis mexicanus and Typhlonectes natans (Amphibia: Gymnophiona). Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society 121: 65–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Tucker, A.O., and J. Janick. 2016. Identification of phytomorphs in the Voynich codex. Horticultural Reviews 44: 1–64.Google Scholar
  44. Tucker, A.O., and R.H. Talbert. 2013. A preliminary analysis of the botany, zoology, and mineralogy of the Voynich manuscript. HerbalGram 100: 70–75.Google Scholar
  45. Wake, W.H. 2003. Tailless caecilians (Caeciliidae). In Grzimek’s animal life encyclopedia, ed. Hutchins M., Duellman, W.E., Schlager N., vol. 6, 435–441. Amphibians. 2nd ed. Farmington Hills (MI): Gale Group.Google Scholar
  46. Watson, W.A. 1984. The import and export of sheep and goats. British Veterinary Journal 140: 1–21.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Wyllie, C. 2010. The mural paintings of El Zapotal, Veracruz, Mexico. Ancient Mesoamerica 21: 209–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Young, K.V., E.D. Brodie Jr., and E.D. Brodie III. 2004. How the horned lizard got its horns. Science 304: 65.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth E. Flaherty
    • 1
  • Arthur O. Tucker
    • 2
  • Jules Janick
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Forestry and Natural ResourcesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Department of Agriculture & Natural ResourcesDelaware State UniversityDoverUSA
  3. 3.Department of Horticulture & Landscape ArchitecturePurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

Personalised recommendations