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Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Freshwater Monkeys

I just got this message in from Tyler Stone, who has been on vacation these past few weeks:

I just read your Merfolk post on the FOZ Blog and found it very interesting. So now my simple question is whether you think some of the freshwater merbeings from Coleman and Huyghe's field guide could be monkeys evolved in a similar fashion?

My personal theory is that the freshwater merbeing category really only includes the Kappa from Japan and the Loveland Frogmen and other "Lizardmen" from North America (there are accounts on record which describe Frogmen with stringy hair on their heads). Basically, my theory is that they are descended from short-tailed Macaque monkeys, which have evolved to have webbed hands and feet. The idea is that the ancestors of the freshwater merbeings only had short tails, making them more suited to evolving webbed digits, and that modern freshwater merbeings retain a semi-aquatic lifestyle. The marine ones evolved from long-tailed macaques and thus modified the anatomy of their tails and hind legs, and are fully aquatic.

One thing about freshwater sightings that I find interesting is the description of three-digited hands. The possibilities I have considered are that either a) the witnesses are unable to clearly see the number of digits on the creature due the webbing of the hands, or b) some of the digits have been reduced to small claws for grooming and are not normally seen.

That being said, I think the idea that "lizardmen" are descended from short-tailed macaques is a good one, and I would like your opinion on it. Actually, the Robert Dumont illustration of an Aquatic Ape that you used on the blog is a fairly good depiction of the kind of animal that I think is behind "Kappa" and "Lizardman" reports

Hope everything is alright with you.

Best regards,

Tyler Stone

BTW, the basic distribution for the Freshwater Monkeys follows the Sasquatch and kin, with populations in Western Asia and North America, except of course in swamps and rivers.

I am putting this up as Tyler's suggestion because I believe it has merit. The lizardmen and frogmen represented in such reports would be nowhere near as cosmopolitan as Coleman and Huyghe have it, but some areas do sound as if they have such creatures in residence. One such prominent example would be the Japanese Kappas (photo ref from Dale's collection at the yahoo group)

[The number of webbed fingers/toes in this series of reports is not determined and is nowhere near a consistent allegation of only three digits]

Having said that, I think it is wise to post the link to the story of the Thetis Lake Monster on Wikipedia:

Thetis Lake Monster Hoax

The Thetis Lake monster is a reptilian humanoid cryptid claimed by many proponents of cryptozoology to have been seen in 1972 by Thetis Lake, outside of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The legend has been attributed to the mistaken identification of an escaped Tegu lizard, and remains mostly unknown to locals and cryptozoologists. However, one of the original "witnesses" of this monster recently came forward and admitted that the entire thing had been a hoax.

--Best Wishes, Dale D.


  1. In the later blog entry about Gargoyles, the side issue of traditional European "Water sprites" came up under the name of Nixes or Nixies (called Dracs in France) which are also just about the same description as Kappas. It may be important that the descriptions are so similar in places so far apart.

    Best Wishes, Dale D.

  2. Aquatic apes don't exist nor did they exist. Mammals can not develop gills, especially apes.

    1. You misread the specifications. The theory does not state that they actually have gills nor is that part even necessary. Additionally, the original author of this article has retired from writing Cryptozoology articles at all and so ordinarily you would not have gotten any reply to your comment. I just thought I should clear that up for you.


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