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Monday, 12 March 2012

Some Speculations on the Freshwater Monkey Anatomy

After several behind-the-scenes and Online discussions with Tyer Stone on the matter, I have a few suggestions on what the skeletal anatomy of the Freshwater Monkeys are like. They are basically large macaques on a par with the bigger macaques such as the bear monkeys o Southeast Asia, and there are big males which are about normal human size seen commonly in the USA. This may be a geographical variation or it may be a new development triggered in response to environmental disturbances by humans. Traditionally, the creatures are usually small (3-5 feet tall being a common general range of estimations) they are very powerful swimmers and divers relying primarily upon their very developed hind legs and large flipperlike feet, either of which are often compared to the legs and feet of frogs. It would seem that their feet are disproportionately large in conparison with most human beings and even bigfoot: whereas a human being's height might commonly be seven times the length of the foot and a Bigfoot's height more like a sixth, in the case of the Freshwater monkeys it is probably more like a fifth of the height or even larger. The crreatures are also possessed of very large, bulging, glassy and reflective eyes, usually heavily lidded in daylight, which also remind witnesses of frogs or lizards. The head is surrounded by a prominent ruff or mane of hair all around, but coming out in all directions from the center of the top of the head, which therefore has something which looks like a depression or a bald spot.
 These are the skulls of South American owl mokeys which I chose as most likely representing the proportionate size of the eye sockets. The owl monkeys are New World monkeys and the Freshwater monkeys areOld World monkeys and so there are some differences between them, including the number of teeth. The Freshwater monkeys also seem to have cheek-pouches which they use to store food, which is one of the characteristics of the Old World Monkeys.

                        (Images of Macaques taking to Water)

 Here is my initial diagram comparing the track of Momo (one of the "Frogfoot" series of tracks common in the midwest: some of these are also counted as "Devil Monkey" sightings) to a large macaque monkey. It was in this diagram I first pointed out what looked to me like the stump of the hallux (big toe) on the inside. Further examoination of depictions of Japanese Kappas made it seem more likely that the first and fifth toes were vestigial but variably expressed in the living animals, but that even if a fairly obvious stub of a big toe was seen by witnesses, it was situated in such a way that it did not imprint upon the track. Therefore I made up a hypothetical diagram for the bone structure of the webbed "Flipper" foot and it is reproduced below. In this case it is the other foot from the original diagram shown above, in both cases the reduced hallux is on the medial side of the track.

I would imagine that the weight of a FW monkey that left a humansized track would be less than half the weight of the human, the actual weightbearing part of the foot is quite small in comparison. So if you had a 12 inch FW monkey track it would go with a five foot tall FW Monkey and it would weigh less than a chimpanzee at the same height, perhaps 75 to 85 pounds. The usual FW Monkeys  would be smaller than that and range usually 15 to 30 kg or 30 to 60 pounds approx.

BTW, if I am correct in my re-assessment of the proportions, "Momo" would be closer to five feet tall rather than the reported seven feet or more. In discussing  similar reports, Loren Coleman also noticed that the common run of NAPES sightings were less than human size but some sightings said seven feet or more. He then quoted Heuvelmans as saying 'A hair-covered creature always seems larger than it really is' in regards a report of a 7-foot-tall monster that had left a 10-inch track: we are dealing with exactly that situation again in the case of Momo and the Fouke Monster. In other words, the North American variant of Freshwater Monkeys might not actually be outsized as compared to other populations, only reported as being so.


..And just because I had it handy, a cast of one of those lopsided coyote tracks I was talking about.
PS, for convenience I have concocted the Latin genus name "Hydromacaca" to refer to the FW Monkey. It is only provisional and only time can tell if it shall become an accepted genus in the official Taxonomic catalogues.

Best Wishes, Dale D.


  1. In this case, I think the only change would be the eyes. I doubt that they are quite that big. And I really like the foot skeleton. My guess is that digits 4 and 5 are held so close together that they usually only show up as one toe. And this is good because it doesn't contradict the fact that all other primates have 5 toes.

    In the end though, I think that between the two of us we've got the category nailed down.

    Best regards,
    Tyler Stone

  2. There were two points which are kind of contradictory in the body of evidence when comparing the "Froggy" reports with the "Monkey" reports: the size of the eyes and the length of the legs. I will admit I may not have made the best choices in either category but if so then the model can be refined some more. And thank you for all of your own work and useful suggestions on the topic.

    Best Wishes, Dale D.

  3. I think the model is good as is, and the work ison really not a problem. As Loren Coleman has said before, if we do not search, we shall not discover.

    And I like the genus name btw. Hopefully the fact that these guys live near lakes will mean that there are fossil ancestors of them waiting to be discovered somewhere. Lake beds are good for preserving fossils.


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