Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman and Fortean researcher
Patrick Huyghe devote a whole chapter to "Merbeings,"and summarize a
number of actual "Merbeing" sighting reports, in The Field Guide to
Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates (Anomalist Books, 2006). Coleman
and Huyghe list the "Merbeing" as the ninth and last of their nine basic
categories of possibly real unknown primates sharing our planet
with us, including also the Neo-Giant (including the "classic" or
"standard" North American Bigfoot/Sasquatch and Himalayan Yeti), True
Giant, Marked Hominid, Neandertaloid, Erectus Hominid, Proto-Pygmy
(including Sumatra's Orang pendek and Flores Island's Ebu gogo),
Unknown Pongid, and Giant Monkey. They further subdivide the "Merbeing"
into two distinct subtypes, a more fishlike, fully aquatic sea-going
marine variety including the traditional "Mermaids" of Western legend,
and a bipedal semi-aquatic freshwater variety including the Latin
American Chupacabras, Japanese Kappa, Madagascar Kalanoro,
and North American "Lizard-men."
"The Merbeing, or water creature," Coleman and Huyghe note at the
beginning of their "Merbeing" chapter in The Field Guide to
Bigfoot..., is "perhaps the most traditional of all the undiscovered
nonhuman primates" (Loren Coleman & Patrick Huyghe, **The Field Guide
to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates**, p. 37). "Perhaps
surprisingly," however, "the Mermaids and Mermen of ancient lore are
still being seen today," though in seemingly far fewer numbers than
formerly. Yet this group of aquatic beings "ranges far beyond the
Merpeople of yore" and also includes creatures like "the Sea Ape of the
Bering Sea, the scaly-looking but actually hairy and misnamed Lizard
Men, and the fiery-eyed Latino phenomenon known as the Chupacabras."
Likewise, "Asians have been aware of their Kappa and other Merbeings
for centuries" (Coleman & Huyghe, The Field Guide to Bigfoot..., p. 37).
Merbeings, Coleman and Huyghe note, "appear to come in two varieties,"
marine and freshwater. The "marine subclass" is "distinguished by a
finlike appendage," while the freshwater subclass is "characterized by
an angular foot with a high instep and three pointed toes." The
Chupacabras, Kalanoro, and "Lizard Man" freshwater merbeings are
"often found venturing onto land" and are "far more aggressive and
dangerous, being carnivorous," than the "calmer" marine type** (Coleman
& Huyghe, The Field Guide to Bigfoot, p. 37).
[Personally I do not count the Kalaorno, either]
Merbeings vary in height, according to Coleman and Huyghe, from dwarf to
human-sized. Their bodies are "strong, bit not stocky or bulky." Marine
Merbeings have smooth skin, sometimes with a very short "fur," while the
freshwater type sometimes has patchy hair growths that appear "like
leaves" or "scaly," giving a reptilian impression responsible for the
popular name "Lizard Men." In both types, the hair is often "maned,"
though "some exhibit almost complete hair cover, especially in the
Chupacabras kin." Merbeings generally have oval or almond-shaped
eyes, "perhaps due to their watery origins." These "mostly nocturnal
creatures" have a "singsong vocalization," which has been "reported
almost universally from Eurasia to Africa" (**Coleman & Huyghe, The
Field Guide to Bigfoot, pp. 37-38).
**Coleman and Huyghe suggest a relationship of the freshwater Merbeings--the
Chupacabras, Kappa, "Giant Frog", and "Lizard Man" types--to the
"prosimians" (primitive primates) known as the loris and potto,
especially the potto. Freshwater primates, they point out, often display
a row of spikes along their backs, a "rather unknown but not[?Completely] unknown
feature among primates." In the potto, a cat-sized African loris, the
spines of the last neck vertebra and first thoracic vertebra penetrate
the skin and are capped with horny spines. When the potto is threatened,
the spines stand up so that a predator can't bite it on the neck.
Also--while freshwater Merbeings appear to be three-toed, the potto has
an enormous big toe pointing in the opposite direction from its third,
fourth, and fifth toes, and a vestigial second toe reduced to a lump
bearing a cleaning claw. "So much for primates not having weird digits
and spines on their backs," they remark **Coleman & Huyghe, The Field
Guide to Bigfoot..., p. 38).*
*The "whole body of lore on Merbeings," Coleman and Huyghe believe,
"appears to have basis in reality and is not all myth," as "Credible
sightings have occurred." On the other hand, they feel, the "increased
activity or visibility of the _/chupcabras/_" and the decreased reports
of oceanic Mermaids and Mermen may "signal a shift toward the successful
survival of the more aggressive freshwater, land-oriented sublass" of
Merbeings. Sightings of Louisiana's "scary, triple-toed Honey Island
swamp monster," Canada's "three-fingered and three-toed Thetis Lake
monster," South Carolina's "similarly digited Scape Ore Swamp Lizard
Man." and the Latin American Chupacabras suggest that "the most
dangerous Merbeing variety is presently at the head of its class."
**(**Coleman & Huyghe, The Field Guide to Bigfoot_, p. 38).
I find that Tyler Stone's revision of the Freshwater Monkey category was constructed as a substitute for Coleman and Huyghe's freshwater Merbeing. the Fit is usually good enough, but the understanding about the Chupacabras in particular needs more clarification. My impression is that we have identified the "Freshwater Merbeing" pretty well but it is NOT what is being sighted and called a "Chupacabras." and there is a question about how frequently they are called "Swamp Monsters" and/or if the "Lizardmen" really belong with the rest of the sightings of basically smaller creatures. I have been finding more sightings of the "Thetis Lake Monster" types in other lakes in British Columbia as well, so there is evidently indirect indication that the tradition does exist locally and some of the sightings could be legitimate at Thetis Lake. The Freshwater monkeys do NOT have spines but they have longer hair on the head and back, called a mane, and locks of it can stick together to be called spines or scales