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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Sample Comparisons for Latin-American Cryptids

 This is my recent pasteup to indicate the size of the head in a Gigantic Boa (Sucuriju) Based on Titanoboa.
I had done this with the idea I was showing "The Black Boa" but I cannot be certain that the sightings I am using for scale did not belong to the more usual Sucuriju Gigante. In particular I wanted to illustrate how big and heavy the head is if it is as large as the reports say, and also the vey large size of the eye as reported ("The size of plates" or larger). If the snakes really are this big then about the only prey animals large enough to sustain them would have to be caimans

I also did a composite showing a basilisk lizard running in comparison to a repoted "Chupacabras" from a company that prints it as a logo onto t-shirts and such.This type of "Chupa" reports extend from Texas and the SW USA through Mexico and Central America, Colombia and Venezuela to Brazil, and to Northern Argentina and Chile. They not only correspond to descriptions given iin Conquistadore days and traditionally, they are similar to depictions made in Pre-Columbian Art where even some of the given names sound similar to "Chupacabras" : and Chupacabras (goat-sucker) is also the name given to certain large lizards (and snakes) in the belief that they drink the goat's milk. This legend is also verifiably traditional in Mexico and most of the rest of Latin America.

Just as a reminder, all of these points have been discussed on this blog before.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

History: "The first reported attacks occurred in March 1995 in Puerto Rico...In 1975, similar killings in the small town of Moca, were attributed to El Vampiro de Moca (The Vampire of Moca)..[At about that same time, mutilations of sheep and goats were being attributed to a creature described as a "Snake on its (hind) legs" with a sawtoothed ridge down its back, which was called by the Comanche name Timbo (Hairless) as well as other names of other traditional figures from Native Folklore according to region, the Navajo name Kleesto also being used, but probably improperly-DD] ...Puerto Rican comedian and entrepreneur Silverio Pérez is credited with coining the term chupacabras soon after the first incidents were reported in the press. Shortly after the first reported incidents in Puerto Rico, [similar reported creatures and] other animal deaths were reported in other countries, such as the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Brazil, United States, and Mexico.[5]
5^ a b c d Stephen Wagner. "On the trail of the Chupacabras". Retrieved October 5, 2007
[Silviero Perez at best only recycled the pre-existing name for the Folkloric "Milk Snake/Lizard" which otherwise has been the subject of legends running as far back as Roman times, at least-DD]

Appearance: The most common description of chupacabras is a reptile-like being, appearing to have leathery or scaly greenish-gray skin and sharp spines or quills running down its back.[40] This form stands approximately 3 to 4 feet (1 to 1.2 m) high, and stands and [runs on its hind legs or] hops in a similar fashion to a kangaroo.[41] In at least one sighting, the creature was reported to hop[jump] 20 feet (6 m). This variety is said to have a dog or lizard-like nose and face, a forked tongue, and large fangs. It is said to hiss and screech when alarmed, as well as leave behind a sulfuric stench.[41] ...Some reports assert that the chupacabras' eyes are coloured an unusual red [and the stench from the bowels] gives the witnesses nausea.
[This form is also said to climb rocks and trees well and to leap down out of trees when disturbed. it also dives into water where it can swim away rapidly and it is sometimes referred to under traditional names for water-monsters as well. Its total legth including the tail usually ranges from 6 to 10 or 12 feet long-DD]
41^ a b c Stephen Wagner. "The Top 10 Most Mysterious Creatures of Modern Times". Retrieved October 5, 2007.

....Another description of chupacabras, although not as common, describes a strange breed of wild dog.[41] This form is mostly hairless and has a pronounced spinal ridge, unusually pronounced eye sockets, fangs, and claws. It is claimed that this breed might be an example of a dog-like reptile...
[This latter kind is most definitely based on feral dogs and sometimes foxes or coyotes, diseased with scabies and the mange, and generally in a bad way when they are found. several examples of the type have been killed or produced as corpses: they are invariably hairless canids or canids with the hair reduced to a ridge along the spine. Almost all of the supposed "Animal Mutilation" cases can also be attributed to them]
[The Wikipedia article also says the Chilean Peuchen are analogous to Chupacabras, but that creature is more definitely a giant vampire bat. There are several other creatures in Chilean lore that are better fits and much more like the modern Chupacabras reports: Currently the term Chupacabras is used anyway-DD]

Precolumbian statue showing giant iguanid lizard with characteristic boss at angle of jaw, dewlap under chin and spiny crest down back: similar to other such depictions from Mexico to Peru, all depictions varying a great deal in artistic quality of course. The scale represented in such depictions is consistent with the recent reports. From the Larousse Mythology  reference encyclopedia. [DD Personal Files]

Chart comparing the various known apes and man at the top, from appendix to Time-Life Nature Library book Evolution.
Bottom row shows reported size range for both Mono Grande and Mono Rey in different parts of South America. Males only shown. The Mono Rey comes in sizes from about the size of a standard siamang to the size of a small and slender chimpanzee: the Mono Rey comes from chimpanzee to gorilla sizes basically, although the larger sizes might be much exaggerated (perhaps doubled).

Both Mono Grande and Mono Rey appear to be variations on recognisable types of ASIATIC apes.Colours are very diverse but smaller ones tend to be dark or black and larger ones more reddish brown. I suspect that the standard "Yeti" sizes are much like the Mono Rey.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

DALE DRINNON: Looking at the Chupacabra (Part One)

Knowing of our involvement with things apertaining to the Puerto Rican goatsuckers, Dale sent us several of his musings on the nature of the chupacabra, which we read with great interest. We have condensed them into a two-part article.

Early on in the Frontiers of Zoology group I had posted a link to a site that said that chupacabras depradations were being caused by giant vampire bats. All well and good; Shuker had mentioned reports of these giant vampire bats, and the website specified that they ranged from a wingspan of a foot to a few feet, walked on all fours on the ground and the largest ones were the size of a small dog on the ground. This is generally comparable with reports and traditions elsewhere in Latin America.

But there is a complication; there are different types of giant bats in the New World being reported and their characteristics are quite different.

While I was working for the Anthropology department at IUPUI I came across some photographs of some stone statues from Colombia, illustrating something that reminded me strikingly of Ivan Sanderson's Ahool drawing from Investigating the Unexplained. These reference photos were on file at the department and the captions stated that such 'Bat-effigies' were found occasionally from the American southwest to northern Argentina. Later I realised that these same figures were well known in Mesoamerica and related to the Mayan Kamazotz (Camazotz): in some of the UFO books, Kamazotz stories are ascribed to the Ikhals. They were said to stand on their hind legs as tall as a small child (2-3 feet or so) but were still regular bats, and ordinarily fish-eaters. And they are still being reported as chupacabras in some regions (notable examples from the southwest and illustrated on Cryptomundo, but known in 'Big Bird' lore from Texas in the mid-1970s, as bat-winged and monkey-faced, differing from the usual 'Big Bird' reports)

Moreover, the typical vampires of South American lore are chonchons, said to be a human head flying on ears transformed into batwings a fathom wide. Eberhart's Mysterious Creatures has entries on all of these giant bats, and the usual explanation given is they are all giant vampre bats.

est 1 meter tall, wingspan at least 3.5m

It is not that simple: you have a small, medium-sized and a very large giant bat species emerging from these reports, and the medium-sized one is on a scale comparable to an Old-World flying fox (fruit-eating mega-bat) The largest is pretty much exactly comparable to an Ahool. The smallest reported unknown bat would be the giant vampire bat, the medium-sized one would be a giant false vampire bat, the chonchon. It is the size of a flying fox and the body of a flying fox is about the apparant size of a human's head.
So the smallest one is the bat with a wingspan of a foot or two, but it is the blood-drinker. The others are innocent but get the blame; however, false vampire bats are still predatory and one that size might give a human a bad mauling if it was very frightened or rabid. And while the biggest one gets blamed for such things as haunting graveyards and kidnapping children, it would much rather keep to itself. The big one is at least comparable in size to a big owl or a big eagle, unless stories are very much exaggerated

Cryptid Bat Photo, 2003 in Brazil; estimated as Eagle-sized

Best Wishes, Dale D.

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