This is a submission for the Anatomically Correct Series

This is the latest in a long series of questions I've asked on my fantasy world which contains many mythical and folkloric creatures. I won't link the other questions since at this stage the series has become huge.

The Isitoq is a creature from Inuit mythology. This book describes it like so:

The Isitoq . . . is covered in coarse hair. Its eyes are divided by a large mouth containing one tooth flanked on either side by a short one.

A Book of Creatures illustrates the Isitoq like this:

enter image description here

What could this creature plausibly be, in terms of ancestry and relation to real animals? A few criteria;

  • Rely on the written account more than the picture, which is vulnerable to extra stuff added on by the artist
  • I'd prefer if it didn't have a really early POD (e.g. it's a surviving dinosaur), because that would cause many other changes due to the Butterfly Effect
  • It has to be something which could realistically exist in the Arctic, from a biogeographical standpoint. As a random example, penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere and have always lived there, so no penguins please.

If you can find other reliable accounts of the Isitoq's appearance as told in traditional folklore, you can use them as well.

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    $\begingroup$ Four eyeballs are not going to happen with terrestrial-vertebrate ancestry, I'm afraid... $\endgroup$ Apr 7, 2019 at 16:56
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    $\begingroup$ The tooth arrangement depicted in the image is also going to be a nightmare to justify - both in terms of plausible ancestors (the side teeth are getting in the way of where the jaws would normally be), and in terms of how the creature is actually going to use them. $\endgroup$ Apr 7, 2019 at 16:58
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    $\begingroup$ Are you sure it doeasn't mean that the two eyes are on either side of the mouth, and the smaller teeth on either side of the long one, as in eye-mouth-eye and tooth-TOOTH-tooth? $\endgroup$
    – nzaman
    Apr 7, 2019 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ As to the eyes migrating downwards - it should be possible, but I can see no benefit to it. Also, where's the nose? $\endgroup$ Apr 7, 2019 at 17:05
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnDvorak: Probably referring to a beak of some sort. I looked through the book the OP refers to from the preview on the Amazon page; the author appears to confuse sources. Seriously, "Ababil" referring to Arabic birds, sourced from Korean mythology? $\endgroup$
    – nzaman
    Apr 7, 2019 at 17:12

3 Answers 3


They are hominids, displaced to the far north by Homo neanderthalis and then Homo sapients.

I am reminded of Clark Ashton Smiths Gnophkehs - hairy cannibal humanoids occupying the far north. They are part of the Lovecraft mythos now and appear in one or two of his stories also.

The Isitoq have fur, as is helpful for cold climates. These hominids, because of inbreeding / evolutionary bottleneck, have fused incisors. Depicted are the front two fused in a member of our species. The Isitoq have all 4 incisors fused, and these are flanked by the canines. The molars are set farther back and out of sight.

Otherwise these relics have much in common with other hominids, including cooperation, culture and so on. Of course they eat humans if necessity requires it. So do humans when the go wendigo. Starvation is always around the corner in the far north.

fused incisors http://forum.dentalxp.com/case/details/treatment-options-fused-anterior-maxillary-teeth-number-8/2873


The Isitoq could have evolved from a predatory jawed leech that increased in size to allow it to feed on larger prey. They may become more intelligent to find prey, and so also become endothermic. They would also evolve larger frontal eyes, due to needing to find prey at longer ranges. They may also need larger, more specialised teeth, such as a long tooth for killing prey and 2 shorter canines/molars that can tear up meat. Competition may increase, and so they might move into colder areas. To keep warm, they might start to wear the pelts of their prey, sticking them on with their slime.


You asked for anatomically correctness not how did they evolve or why but still I will try to make them as most earthly possible.

4 eyes

The isitoq actually has only 2 eyeballs but 4 total eyes, how?

Some people are born with more than one pupil in each eye, it is a dissease but people born with this rare condition are fertile which means that if it was to be to useful then it would eventually be selected over having one pupil per eyeball.

As it happened with the four eyed fish Anableps.

** vertical face splitting mouth**

Thats just orofacial cleft a not so rare mutation that happens in humans with a 0.02% chance and it causes the upper lip to to be split, vertically and sometimes it can go even beyond and split the skull and fusing the nose and mouth into one hole.

The isitoq is just a more extreme variation of that dissease that, this can be obtained by inbreeding.

Inbreeding in humans has happened many times in history and created some strange looking humans... Blue people exist because of Inbreeding so the idea that humans with that particular dissease taken to the extreme could evolve is not too far from reality.

teeth to the side of the mouth

This is easy, almost every person on earth ishas some teeth deformities and some the most extreme ones can result in teeth pointing forward and poking the lips or inward. You can either explain it as another teeth deformation that got worse through evolution, and this can actually happen and has happened.

Just look at warthogs, elephants and narvals.... They all started off with normal teeth and became freak animals.

Or you can explain them as being just exposed bones of the nose.

Living in the artic

This creature is perfect for that, it's short and fat which means it's really good at maintaining heat

Tall and skinny people lose heat easier, that's why Neanderthals where chonky and short kings. The fact that it they are covered in fur makes it even more realistic.


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