Monday, March 3, 2014
The Hugag is a "fearsome critter" of the Great Lakes region. Superficially resembling a moose, this hairy quadruped can weigh in excess of three tons. It has toes instead of hooves, and a long, horselike tail. But there all comparison to normal creatures must end. The Hugag has a number of bizarre traits not seen in other mammals. For one, its head is completely bald -- though the rest of its body is shaggy. For another, its ears are corrugated like the tail of an Anhinga. The purpose of these features is completely unknown.
The Hugag's strangeness does not end there. Also unusual is the animal's upper lip -- which is swollen to such proportions that it hangs near the ground. This lip is used to scrape needles and twigs off of pine trees. The Hugag eats some of these needles, while covering itself with others in place of hair. These needles are held in place by pine-sap, which oozes from the Hugag's pores.
This beast's most unusual feature is the jointlessness of its legs. All four are completely rigid, unable to bend in any direction. The Hugag is thus an extremely awkward traveler, rocking back and forth as it waddles through the forest. If it ever lay down, the Hugag could not stand again -- and so it is forced to sleep standing up. To accomplish this, it leans against one of the pine trees off which it feeds.
Hunters, noticing this habit, developed a method to hunt the creature. They would pay attention to which trees the Hugag frequented -- identifiable due to their lack of pine-needles and bent posture. These trees would be sawed partially in half, so that they remained standing but were extremely unstable. When the Hugag next leaned against one of these trees, trunk and animal would both crash to the ground. The hunters, lying in wait, would then slaughter the helpless beast.
Read more about the Hugag:
Image (public domain) from http://www.fearsomecreaturesofthelumberwoods.com/images/hugag.jpg