I have just received the following e-mail and I really have no idea what to make of it. I also have no idea what to reply:
I have been an amateur cryptozoologist for 30 years yet find myself insufficiently informed to answer the intriguing question posed by my youngest grandchild this morning who, despite her few years, will not accept a fairy-story-type explanation. Could you help me at all, please? If a mermaid were to fall ill, would one treat it as a fish or a human? As facile as it sounds, this is a serious question.
Thank you very much
I can only refer Mr Wilson to a section of one of C.S.Lewis's books when he describes centaurs as having both human and horselike metabolisms. However, as I strongly believe that merfolk are all either hoaxes, zooform in nature, or - at best - unidentified sirenians, the answer is probably that they should be treated as any other marine mammal. However, this is a very peculiar question with which to start the day...