Skip to main content
175 votes
Accepted

What is the first recorded dog name?

A hunting dog (tesem) named Akbaru is depicted in the tomb of the Fourth Dynasty pharaoh Khufu (died c. 2566 BC). There is a stone relief dated to circa 2400 BC from the Fifth Dynasty showing a dog ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
28 votes
Accepted

What is the oldest recorded cat name?

The Guinness Book of World Records says: The first known cat with a name was called Nedjem meaning 'sweet' or 'pleasant' and dates from the reign of Thutmose III (1479-1425 BC). This is also ...
Brian Z's user avatar
  • 20.9k
27 votes
Accepted

Have there been any plausible reports of killing polar bears with a bone spring?

Yes. Looking for 19th century sources this comes up in the Bulletin of the United States National Museum, Volume 27, 1884: 21 SPRING TRAPS- ANIMAL TRAPS BEAR TRAPS Made of whalebone strips bent and ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 40k
24 votes
Accepted

What are all fantastic creatures on The Nile mosaic of Palestrina?

There’s a detailed description of the mosaic in Meyboom’s The Nile Mosaic of Palestrina, and in this answer I will be mostly quoting from this work. Organization of the mosaic It has always been ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
23 votes

What is the first recorded dog name?

Somebody has compiled info about Roman dogs, mostly literary (Ovid) but also a few real ones, although sources for 'real' dogs may be questionable. https://www.unrv.com/culture/names-for-roman-dogs....
Luiz's user avatar
  • 4,438
20 votes

What is the first recorded dog name?

Long before well known Cerberus from Greek mythology the Mesopotamian goddess Bau, later named Gula, is depicted with a dog's head: Bau seems originally to have been goddess of the dog; as ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
18 votes

Were beaches red with lobsters upon arrival of Columbus?

Adding to what @Alex said "typical" lobsters (i.e., the lobsters that humans eat and the ones that turn red when you cook them) don't even extend as far south as Hispaniola. They are a cold-...
user2352714's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

How "successful" were WWII pigeon-guided missiles?

In a 1960 article Pigeons in a Pelican, B. F. Skinner gave an account of his experiments, the problems he encountered and how they were overcome. The details are too lengthy to cite in full here, but ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

How would one muzzle a full grown polar bear in the 13th century?

Short answer Although we don't have much detail on how this large animal was handled beyond "muzzled and chained" and "collar and a ‘stout cord’", it is likely that the white bear was relatively tame ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

When did Aurochs (large wild cattle) become extinct in Britain?

According to Five thousand years of livestock in Britain Biological Journal of Linnean Society (1989), 38: 31-37 : There may also have been some interbreeding between domestic and wild cattle in ...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 3,484
10 votes
Accepted

Did the ancient Egyptians dress living cats in jewelry?

Cats in ancient Egypt were certainly revered, and there are suggestions that they may have been regarded as "demi-gods in their own right". In later periods, the cat came to be associated with the ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.3k
10 votes

How "successful" were WWII pigeon-guided missiles?

Skinner's work was pretty good, but in his analysis on why it was discarded he might be ignoring several factors outside of his area of expertise. First of all - while in his " Pigeons in Pelican" ...
Danila Smirnov's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Bears on Bicycles - What are early examples of photographs or paintings showing bicycles used with animals in circus acts?

This is somewhat difficult to pinpoint to a single date. But from the basics to narrow the search: wild animals have been used for entertainment from pre-history, bears or tame-bears being among the ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.8k
8 votes
Accepted

What is the source for the Arabic name of the penguin and when it is first used?

The name al-batriq was first used by bishara zalzal in the article named al-batriq. The article is published in al-muktatef magazine on june 1878. In that article he talked about the penguin and he ...
Mr.lock's user avatar
  • 1,071
8 votes

What is Street’s Jorrocks?

T.E.D. is right here. It is mentioned that Jorrocks "trotted home". A "trot" is a type of horse gait. Therefore, Jorrocks is most likely a horse, and presumably Street was the owner of Jorrocks. ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
  • 3,717
8 votes

Besides the Hebrews, were there any other ancient cults that used salt in animal sacrifices?

"Any other society in history" is a bit broad of a term to search for, but thus also easily found, when asking for example Pliny: In ancient Roman religion, mola salsa ("salted flour&...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.8k
7 votes
Accepted

What were whale brains used for?

I'm betting they don't really mean brains, that they are talking instead about the spermaceti organ in sperm whale's head. Spermaceti was valuable. They certainly wouldn't skip collecting the ...
AlaskaRon's user avatar
  • 1,764
7 votes

How does the cost-benefit relationship of owning a horse differ today from the Middle Ages or Early Industrial Revolution?

The people who invented this proverb had somewhat different lifestyle from yours. And lived in different environment. They worked the land. For them a horse was not a liability but an asset. And ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 38.8k
7 votes

Six bulls for ship's provisions

As a supplement to Schwern's answer, from Janet MacDonald's book on provisioning ships during the Napoleonic period What is noticiable when studying these log reports of killing cattle is the great ...
Steve Bird's user avatar
  • 19.8k
7 votes

Six bulls for ship's provisions

First, to get an idea of what a ship might be provisioned with, here's the meat the British Sloop Alert in 1777 carried with her for 60 men. Beef 462 pieces in 6 barrels weighing 2238 lbs Pork 777 ...
Schwern's user avatar
  • 55.1k
7 votes
Accepted

Did horse sacrifice persist in Christian Europe?

No. Evidence seems to suggest that the 1781 incident was highly irregular as the sources point towards one specific incident. There is also no corroborative evidence to suggest that there was an ...
gktscrk's user avatar
  • 10.8k
7 votes
Accepted

Was slaughtering cows in Kamchatka prohibited in the 1820s?

Apparently the rule did exist. John Dundas Cochrane clarified its origin in his Narrative of a pedestrian journey through Russia and Siberian Tartary, from the frontiers of China to the Frozen sea and ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.5k
7 votes

How would one muzzle a full grown polar bear in the 13th century?

An accessible source for the story of the "White Bear", which is presumed to be a polar bear, is to be found in Thomas Maddox's The history and antiquities of the Exchequer of the kings of England. ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.3k
7 votes
Accepted

Why did China hate dogs? Why were dogs abject creatures in China?

It's not true that dogs have traditionally been hated in China. China is a big place, and its history is very long. The Chinese have had a variety of attitudes about dogs, and they've used dogs for a ...
dkfjhsgdfjk's user avatar
6 votes

What was the largest place to be named after a specific, individual animal (i.e. not a species)?

HISTORICAL (NAMED) ANIMALS Alexander the Great, in addition to naming numerous cities after himself, also named cities after his horse, Bucephalus, (example: Alexandria Bucephalous and Phalia), and ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
6 votes

What is Street’s Jorrocks?

This got to be a bit long for comments, so I'm moving the content here. farmers sent away their hunters to be trained for harness work. Many riding horses took badly to this humble duty, but ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 119k
6 votes
Accepted

What evidence do we have to claim the Ancient Romans kept African grey parrots as pets?

I'm going to go with 'There is no evidence'. Parrots (psittaci).—Varro mentions them among rare birds exhibited at public shows. The increase of trade between Egypt and India in the time of Augustus ...
gktscrk's user avatar
  • 10.8k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible