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From: "James Wynn" 
Subject: RE: (urth) The leatherskin
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2003 09:54:17 -0600

William  Ansley responded to Crush:
Oh happy day! Finally, someone is arguing with my conclusions!

If I am to buy your argument, I have to believe that Horn doesn't
know the difference between flippers and legs. Maybe he doesn't.
Maybe he has never seen any creature with fins or flippers on the
Whorl, so he calls all such appendages "legs." But, until you can
show me a quote where Horn or some other former Whorl denizen talks
about fish legs, I will remain doubtful.

Crush takes another whack at it:
Hmmm, I wouldn't want you to remain in doubt, so I'll make a feeble attempt
to calm your disquiet.

My first inclination was to say, "William, William, you're troubling
yourself over nothing. Flippers **are** legs for an aquatic mammal."

But then I remembered that Pausanias' "Description of Greece" is the
inspiration for the leatherskin (I'm quite certain of this). Pausanias said
the triton has "hands, fingers, and nails like the shells of the murex." So
it is reasonable to assume the leatherskin would too.

So I must amend my description, The leatherskin does not have flippers. It
has clawed "hands." Considering the leatherskin's apparent clumsiness in
getting on the boat, I'm guessing it did not have "arms". The point is that
it did NOT have true flippers.

-- Crush


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