The Gemara in Sanhedrin 108b says the following:

(Source from Sefaria.org)

(בראשית ו, יב) כי השחית כל בשר את דרכו על הארץ א"ר יוחנן מלמד שהרביעו בהמה על חיה וחיה על בהמה והכל על אדם ואדם על הכל א"ר אבא בר כהנא וכולם חזרו חוץ מתושלמי

[With regard to the verse:] “For all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth” (Genesis 6:12), Rabbi Yoḥanan says: [This] teaches that [the people of the generation of the flood] mated domesticated animals with undomesticated animals, and undomesticated animals domesticated animals, and all animals with humans, and humans with all animals. Rabbi Abba bar Kahana says: And after the flood all of the creatures returned [to mate with their own species], except for the bird called tushlami, [which continued to mate with other species].

What type of bird is the tushlami? What does it look like? Where is it found?

  • 2
    Wouldn't there need to be two species that did this for any to? #russellsparadox
    – Double AA
    Aug 24, 2018 at 16:07
  • @DoubleAA Isn't the Gemara talking about both tushlami birds? I see no reason to see why not. It could be that both birds (male and female) did not mate with one another to create more tushlami birds, and instead went separate ways and mated with other birds. (Also, birds can mate more than once before they die.)
    – ezra
    Aug 24, 2018 at 17:32
  • @ezra if tushlami birds mate with other species, than they can't be the only species that mates with other species. That's like saying John Smith is the only player who plays doubles tennis.
    – Double AA
    Aug 24, 2018 at 17:35
  • 1
    @DoubleAA maybe just the male birds Aug 24, 2018 at 17:59

1 Answer 1


Chullin 62b (as cited by Rashi on the amud you quoted) also mentions the tushlami, and there the Soncino Talmud has a note possibly identifying the bird as a wood-lark:

Possibly the crested lark, the lark, the wren, the mountain chaffinch, the wood lark, the moor-hen, the black woodpecker, and the partridge respectively. V. Lewysohn. It must be pointed out that these identifications are extremely doubtful. The suggestions can hardly be more than guesses. (Emphasis mine)

But it seems the exact identity of the tushlami is unknown. It should be noted that when you search "tushlami" into Google the first result is the Wikipedia page for the Water rail. I have no idea where the connection is made though.

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