Member of The Crypto Crew:

Please Also Visit our Sister Blog, Frontiers of Anthropology:

And the new group for trying out fictional projects (Includes Cryptofiction Projects):

And Kyle Germann's Blog

And Jay's Blog, Bizarre Zoology

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Doing the Scales Again

This time around I thought I would do some Cryptozoology recaps from this site because we have been reviewing several Cryptids that are not on such things as the Checklists done by Heuvelmans and Shuker. These are Cryptids that for the most part are not adequately covered b the other sources. The one above is a revised version of the comparative chart from the article Whale Scale and it includes, top, the Emu carcass creature, possibly a type of beaked whale built along the lines of a zueglodon: Charcharodon megalodon in the midle and then the Tusked Whale below. The Southern Narwhal and Southern Walrus might or might not be identical to this last species: my feeling currently is that they are each distinct. Below is my set of true Sea-serpents derived from Heuvelmans' book and deleting the forms which I thought were invalid: it is still also possible that the Yellow-belly is a peculiar shark, but it remains poorly defined and poorly supported by reports. This version replaces Gambo with a shortnecked Plesiosaur after Tyler Stone's interpretation.

Since we just ran the Longnecked reconstructions chart here last time, I thought it was appropriate to include it along with the last chart. I also do support the Longnecked big sealion of Heuvelmans under his name of "Megalotaria", but some question persist as to exactly how long-necked it might be. There is only very fragmentary evidence for it, and some of the reports could refer only to a fairly standard type of sealion nor fur seal. There is also evidence for a North Atlantic elephant seal, but more definite evidence is needed before we can say it would be an unidentified species. The credit for identifying the type as a distinct Cryptid category probably goes to Roy Mackal.

Another largely ignored Cryptid category is a kind of giant grouper, here illustrated by Tim Morris

The very large and spidery Giant Spiders of Africa are more likely to be giant spidery land-crabs if there is any substance to the story at all. Along with this are several reports of coconut crabs turning up in various tropical locations "Where they are not supposed to be"

 On the article about Tatzelwurms, it became evident that multiple creatures were also being included under that heading in the various sightings. Some of the reports sounded like Ulrich Magin's candidate, a kind of giant salamander, which is known from the Orient but is rumored as a "Water Monster" from all over the Northern hemisphere including also North America. The more unusual Tatzelwurm seems to be a large two-legged burrowing Amphisbaena lizard suspected of being venomous (the Mongolian Death Worm could be something similar but is more likely a kind of conventional venomous snake) and some of the reports are "Chupacabras"-in this case meaning foxes that had lost most of their hair. The lizards are perhaps a yard long and the salamanders at one or two yards long for the most part (yards being about 90 cm each)

A distinctive type of "Marine Saurian" turns out to be the same as the Medcroc (probably including Tarasque) and the "Great Horned alligator" of the Mississippi delta and associated areas. It is like a larger version of Crocodylus porosis at double the dimensions and better adapted to swimming at the high seas, although it still must go into freshwaters to breed. As a parallel to this, there seems to be another kind of "Crocodile monitor" at double the usual dimensions, that shares the range of the more standard C. porosis. It is illustrated in the table below. Since there are claims for specimens much larger than the accepted maxima in both the accepted crocodile and monitor lizard categories, there is a slight chance we have mislabelled specimens from both species in our collections already.

Below is a more elaborate mockup chart for unknown species of monitor lizards, mostly using komodo dragons staged to the correct relative sizes. The really big one at top is the Australian Varanus priscus, more commonly (but erroneously) called"Megalania." The "Congo Dragon"  (monitor) might be as long but more thinly built throughout. There are also other (?Komodo-dragon-sized) monitors rumoured in both Madagascar and New Zealand, but the information is not good enough to determine if they are distinct species. The "Buru" (shown on the chart) might also be a separate, cold-adapted, highlands Asiatic species. Heuvelmans counts it as the same species as the "Sea Crocodile monitor" (shown at the bottom of this chart) but there is some room for doubt.

As far as the New World unknown lizards go, for the most part we might be dealing with one wide-ranging species of really big iguanas which tends to have different appearance and different habits at each growth-stage, also becoming very much larger through the various growth stages, and possibly with some variation betyween different geographic populations. The small ones are hardly any larger than a common iguana and greatly resembles that species (they could be cogeneric) but is more prone to running on its hind limbs like some other species of Iguanids (and not Iguana) The best evidence  is that large ones are albout the same length as large Komodo dragons, but not as heavily built: however there is also a set of reports of "Water Monsters" and "Dinosaurs" especially in Latin America but also including the Southwest of the USA, which are said to grow up to 20 feet long or more. All of these creatures have a row of spines down the back and red eyes in the males.

The giant snakes of South America are commonly acknowledged as Cryptids, hoever a distinction must be made between the very large Sucuriju Gigante (here represented by a forced-perspective photograph) and the standard-Anaconda-length but very much thicker Black Boa

"Flying Serpent" reports seem to fall into three major subsections by geographic area. Alarge creatures: there is a sort of large Draco type lizard in Africa and South Asia, possibly Australia as well, and something more like a flying gecko that is called a Flying Serpent centered in Mexico and Central America but also occasionally in the US SW and in Northern South America. Both of these are reported in a size range of three feet long minimum, six feet long maximum, and the minimum is more likely than the maximum. The Draco lizard type has a probable "Wingspan" at the ribs of two feet when the total length is three feet: it has once also been reported in Japan.

The European Flying Serpent, Wyvern or Cockatrice appears to be a very large pheasant with some small still-persisting populations. A typical size given for this is nine feet long: it is a true bird with feathered wings, two scaled and clawed feet, and a beak. I recently posted some more artwork which seems to pertain to it. Superstitions  about the Evil Eye were evidently attached to it in ancient times
The Boobrie seems to have been at one time a much larger form of swimming bird much resembling the Great auk at twice its size. It is still being reported as a "Penguin" at various places around the Arctic Ocean and particularly noting Alaska, but not often. The large form is supposed to reach about human height.
In mentioning the matter of living moas, it is not usually emphasized how many species must be involved due to the reported variance in suzes. The actually seem to come in three sizes: small, medium and large, with the medium sized one resembling an emu (but heavier and living in a different habitat) mentioned mostly by Roy Mackal, the smaller size spoken of more often by Cryptozoologuists, but also some reports of a much larger bird, presumably Dinornis.

Thunderbirds seem pretty definitely sorts of Teratorns and their average reported wingspan is about twenty feet. At one point they inhabited the entire range of mountains in the West, from Alaska to Terra del Fuego, and could fly over any points Eastward. In more recent times their rabnge seems to have fallen off and they are seen much less often. I imagine their distribution still centers in the mountains out West.
A type of large dark-coloured Eagle with a feathered head is the origin of some reports but it is a "Known" species. John James Audubon recorded it as Washington's eagle. It is not unknown, but its existance as a separate species is disputed.

Similarly the Ivory-billed woodpecker is not an unknown animal, but its continued existance has been disputed. When such a thing is merely disputed, it falls outside of my definition for Cryptozoology (Although they are still on the "Frontiers of Zoology")

Some reports of "Thunderbirds" that seem to spend their lives over water and especially including the Arctic Ocean near Alaska and Siberia might well be a kind of black-backed Albatross. The wings of this creature are reported as extremely wide-spanning but very thin.

Partially tied in to "Ropen" reports, but also definitely established as a separate category of Cryptid, is the Kusa Kap or Giant hornbill.on its head but the shape of the crest is unclear from witness' testimony: the tail feathers are also rather long. There is a similar giant hornbill also reported in Japan as the Dragon Bird.
Another bird which may be involved in "Pterodactyl" reports and which seems to have a worldwide distribution but flying primarily over tropical waters (including New Guinea and Australia, and the South Pacific, but also the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean) is a kind of a "Toothed" bird with a spiky beak. Its wingspan might also top twenty feet broad and its head is also quite large in an actual sense. This would be a survival of such "Toothed" birds common throughout the Age of Mammals and they are prehistoric-looking enough that witnesses could be forgiven for describing them as actually being Pterosaurs.

The Giant Bats as reported in the New World are staged out by sizes and the equivalent in size and behaviour to the Old World Ahools. The unknown bats of the Old World and the New World presumably be unrelated members developing in parallel out of different original families.An "Old World vampire bat" mentioned by Karl Shuker could be another Old World bat developed in parallel to the New World kinds.

Above is a pasteup comparing  possibly persisting Ground Sloths: there are three kinds specified in reports and these correspond to animals known to have been living as recently as the Colonial age in the West Indies. The smallest one is compared to a "Monkey" or a small chimpanzee with claws, the nmedium sized one to a "Bear" with a dragging tail and the largest sized one is said to be the size of a cow but clothed in the thichk coarse coat like a wolf's hide. Ivan Sanderson heard of this last kind in Belize in the 1930s, where they were called "Cave Cows" and more recent reports come from the deeper forests of South America. These are NOT "Mapinguaris", there are separate names for them.

Below is a comparison for the "Water-Rhino" or Emela-Ntouka with an African elephant: when all of the more exaggerated folklore is dealt with (including the notion that the horn is made of ivory), this seems to be simply a large rhinoceros much like the INDIAN variety that somehow found its way into Central Africa. Older sources called this the African Unicorn.

Below are representations for the Siberian (and Alaskan) wooly Mammoth and two kinds of "Unicorns" of Central and South Asia. The "Unicorn" rumours persisted up into the late 1800s but were never confirmed. Surprlsingly Wooly Mammoth reports continued in Siberia up into the WWII period and legends still persist, but there is no good recent evidence of tracks, feces or the like.

Continuing the list of large unknown animals that might have survived down to the present day  are several more animals usuall associated with living in the water or wallowing around in water-holes: the Toxodons or Water-Bulls of South America; The  Giraffid Sivatheres still reported in Western and North-Central Africa but apparently once widespread also in the Middle-East; The tralia, thought to be the basis of some "Bunip" stories; and large hyracoids once evidently common in parts of China and called "Water-horses" there (Historically). To the right are represented the Gazeka of New Guinea, possibly  a local equivalent of the Australian Bunyips, and the Pygmy hippopotamus of Madagascar, possibly persisting under the name of Water-cow-not-cow or Tsy-Aomby-Aomby
(Latest reports in 1976: )
Two different sorts of large aquatic fur-bearing mammals are lumped into one category by Loren Coleman: Giant Beavers and Giant Otters. The giant beavers are well known from Ice-age fossils in North America but the Giant Otter is only known from one incomplete specimen. Nevertheless, the Giant otter is also well-attested in Europe and in the Orient as well as in North America: the European sort is also known as the Master-Otter. The North American kind is known traditionally as the Water-Panther since it is about the same size and shape as a puma. There also seems to be an unrelated giant otter in tropica Africa of much the same size and shape. The giant otter of South America is a "Known" animal.

Recent photo of  an oddly-coloured leopard. This is my reminder that oddly-coloured or out-of-place big cats of known species are NOT UNKNOWN ANIMALS!

Sabertoothed cats, suspected by Bernard Heuvelmans as surviving in parts of Africa and South America, and living on mainly as an ambush predator that lurks at water holes.

Arctodus the Shortfaced bear, possibl surviving in different forms from Eastern Siberia and Alaska all the way down to Patagonia, including forms also called "Bigfoot" and "Ucu"

Above is my recently-published chart illustration showing continuit between Orang Pendek and Yeatis of Central asia, which are in turn also like erens and Hibagons of China and Japan, and the North American Apes/"Skunk Apes" of the New World.

Above is my comparison illustrating why the Brazilian Mapinguari  is an Orangutan-like ape, and below, a photo of siamangs and an orangutan on Sumatra, my parallels for the Mono Grande and Mono Rey of South America. (in English, Big Monkey and King Monkey)

Keeping things in order we are also incorporating Tyler Stone's and my composite catalogue of the various types of Cryptid hominids. Above are my Australopithecines from Central Africa, out of Heuvelmans' information (much of it still not published in English)

Here once again is the comparison of normal Homo sapiens and H. heidelbergensis skeletons, and at the right, Western Vs. Eastern Bigfoot witness' drawings. And below once again we have "the Lineup" of the various mystery primates Ivan Sanderson called "ABSMs" including Tyler Stone's Freshwater Monkey type [The well-known "Merfolk" type is left off this chart, but reports continue to come in from various places where "Manatees are not supposed to be"]

And just for comparison, here is the "Frogman" figurine by Santani that corresponds to the reports of the Freshwater Monkey: a little too wall-eyed, but otherwise a good effect.

Best Wishes, Dale D.

PS, If anybody sees a Cryptid missing from this page they would like to have represented in a future discussion, please leave a message below.


  1. This is really good! There's just one correction: Varanus prisca should be Varanus priscus. Since the name changes from the feminine Megalania to the masculine Varanus, prisca then changes to it's masculine form, priscus. Besides that, though, this is a fantastic article!

  2. Me and my two years of straight-A College Latin courses...It's Fixed now!!

  3. No worries, it happens to the best of us.

  4. You know, I'm writing a book on unknown marine animals.

    Best Wishes,

    Noah Eckenrode,

    Amateur Cryptozoologist

  5. Well then go for it. But be careful, the mistaken reports are more common than most researchers realise and they throw the sorting into proper categories off every time.

    Best Wishes, Dale D.

  6. Just a disclaimer,Dale. This book is only about marine species, no freshwater ones.

    Best Wishes,

    Noah Eckenrode,

    Amateur Cryptozoologist

  7. No problem with that, Heuvelmans did it that way himself: personally I prefer to sort by apparent species even if that means including freshwater reports with the saltwater ones. My main caution would be, don't include any of the string-of-buoy reports, they are caused by standing wave action.

    Best Wishes, Dale D.

  8. A friend of my parents once told me that during WWII he was on an island in the South Pacific and came "face to face" with a large lizard (described like a monitor) that raised on it's front legs had a head that came up to about 6'. I do wonder if this could have been a monitor standing on hind legs and the front legs might not have been noticed. It certainly scared him and he quickly turned and ran.

    1. This is extremely interesting. Which island would this be? I know of such reports in certain larger ones of the islands in Melanesia, was this one of the Melanesian islands by any chance?


This blog does NOT allow anonymous comments. All comments are moderated to filter out abusive and vulgar language and any posts indulging in abusive and insulting language shall be deleted without any further discussion.