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Giotto's Bat

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This agreeable cryptid, the only one associated with Italy, was distinguished by an unusually narrow choice of habitat, only roosting within those Tuscan and Umbrian churches decorated with excellent frescoes and with a good restaurant within a few hundred yards. It flourished from the Romanesque to the Renaissance periods but was believed to have become extinct during the Baroque. Several years ago however it was tentatively identified with a small bat in the corner of a picture painted by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones during his tour of Italy in the mid-nineteenth century. Though it is impossible to identify the precise location at which Burne-Jones worked, and though this identification remains the only evidence for its continued existence, its sympathetic choice of habitat make it a favourite subject for the less intrepid cryptozoological explorer.

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