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

Friday, 31 August 2012

Bigfoot (Orangutan) Fingerprints

Uploaded by SUSANFARNS on Feb 10, 2010

Mitchell Waite
One of my cameras got beat up and took pictures of the hands doing the beating. They were not human hands, but more like an orangutan. I fingerprinted the camera and got one good print. The dermal ridges went straight across the print. No loops, no swirls, no waves which means not human. In the video you will see microscope photos across the print. The dermal ridges are as straight as can be. This leads me to believe the photos were not optical illusions, but he real thing.

A handprint shown in the mud at the end is csertainly like an orangutan's hand. Red hairs were said to be afdhering to the camera

This is a comparison of an orangutan hand print with the el Reno (Oklahoma) Henhouse raider's handprint illustrated by Loren Coleman as one of the basic evidences for a North American Ape (NAPE). When I heard of Mitchell's video I remembered this immediately and made up the paste-up. Below is a comparison for reference including a cast hand of a male orangutan and a scientific drawing made of another.

Tracks and track casts of the type include the basic Himalayan Yeti (Far Left) and the Orang Pendek (Right at top), The Chinese Yeren as an extension of the Yeti's range (track shown at lower Left, toes evidently clencheded together rather than being spread out as in the other tracks) and the North American Skunk Apes and Swam Apes (Cast from Pennsylvania shown at Lower Right)
Going by the tracks it is possible to reconstruct the foot as being a groundliving ancestor to the Orangutans, with a foot adapted to walking fl;at on the sole rather than adapted to climbing as in the known modern orangutans. I have unofficially christened this ancestor Protopongo in recognition of its special status and we could very well have fossils of it already but mistakenly referred to as being "Fossil Pongo" (Pongo being the genus of modern orangutans and the mistaken assumption being that they are the same species as modern orangutans) Protopongo is on the left and Pongo on the right: I might well have made the big toe too developed since it is reduced in all of the known tracks. The toe coming out in that location and at that angle is well known in fossil apes and in several genera is thought to be an adaptation to walking bipedally.

Just to show it again, this is the chart I made up when I discovered that the "Smaller Yeti" really was the same as the apefooted version of the Orang Pendek and both of them basically orangutans adapted to living on the groundlow is an amended family tree which I just made up to show te relationships of the known apes together with the Cryptid apes (If your tasrtes run to leaving Homo Sapiens off the chart you may do so without affecting the rest of the chart: s chart by rearranging the Jay Maternes chart also appended below it. I much prefer my verson, naturally)

When I mentioned the orangutan connection in one of the Facebook groups where Mitchell had posted, I mentioned that the more manlike Eastern Bigfoot had a more Neanderthaloid structure: here is a comparison of a Bigfoot hand in mud from Texas to  of a Neanderthal and at Left is the outline of a "Grassman" footprint form Ohio, a very good Neanderthal type track. Other tracks of the same type are narrower, possibly representing females and juveniles.

And both the Apelike type of track and the Neanderthal type are different to the Sasquatch, shown in the form of a couple of casts above and a possible reconstruction of how the foot is structured below. Basically the foot has toes like a gorilla or chimpanzee but aligned as a human being BUT at the same time the toes can spread out much more widely than a human's foot, and you can have cks where the toes are clenched in together or spread widely apart in the same trackway. This arrangement of the toes is beyong anything possible for regular human beings and suggests that the biological identity of the Sasquatch is very different from either the more manlike or the more apelike types. This goes along with the observation that creatures that leave these tracks are very larger and that they have the much smaller, characteristically pointed heads as adults

Best Wishes, Dale D.

Another Example of a Plesiosaurian Taniwha

Matariki 2012 – Maori Rock Art, Stamp issue

Matariki is celebrated throughout New Zealand, but in the south, Puaka (Rigel, part of the Orion constellation) appears in the sky at the same time as Matariki, and is widely acknowledged.

Māori rock art is visible throughout the country and the stamps in this issue depict examples of rock art documented in Te Waipounamu (the South Island) where more than 500 sites have been recorded to date.
Rock art is applied to a variety of stone types, and while the common perception is that rock art was created using a burnt stick, the majority of the ‘drawings’ in Te Waipounamu appear to have been applied as pigment in solution. The style of Māori rock art is similar to that from wider Polynesia, suggesting that it was a practice brought to New Zealand by its earliest people.
Māori rock art gives a glimpse of New Zealand’s history and culture, and the drawings included on the six self-adhesive stamps in this issue portray animals now long extinct, representations of everyday life and depictions of the supernatural.
The rauru (spiral design) on the stamps pays respect to Rangi and Papa, and the light and knowledge that came about from their separation. The colours used in the rauru reflect the land and environment, and the koru represent growth and life and pay respect to the past, present and future.
Source: New Zealand Post
Matariki 2012 - Maori Rock Art, Stamp issue, 3.7 out of 5 based on 7 ratings
published June 1st, 2012

These include further examples of the "Thunderbird" petroglyph (which looks to have a body the size of a human being) and the Plesiosaurian Taniwha once again. The latter does turn out to have a small head indicated by a loop on the front: once again this is a male with a single penis and limbs indicating the plesiosaurian flippers' bone structure. It is much bigger than the two-man canoe and a guess at its total length could be 40 or 50 feet. The eagle's wingspan would be about the size of the canoe.

Best Wishes, Dale D.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Bigfoot With Baby Seen In Florida’s Ocala National Forest

Bigfoot With Baby Seen In Florida’s Ocala National Forest

Friday, August 24, 2012 7:48
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a condensed version of a man’s encounter with a Bigfoot and its baby in the Ocala National Forest in Florida on January 15, 2012. You can read the entire lengthy report (case #34954) at the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization’s website ( We are using the pseudonym “Doug” for the witness.
One of the sandy roads in the Ocala National Forest – The Bigfoot sighting
was about a mile north of the red star on map.

The witness, “Doug,” is an executive for a large multinational corporation based in Orlando, Florida who oversees approximately 1,000 employees. To decompress from work stress, he often heads to the wilder parts of Florida on the weekends to hike or canoe.
On Sunday, January 15, 2012, he drove deep into the Ocala National Forest north of Highway 42 and west of Deland, Florida and the St. John’s River. Ultimately his car got impossibly stuck in soft sand. Calls for help were useless, so he began digging away the sand around his tires with his bare hands. After digging for a while, he stood up to stretch his back. That’s when his saga began.
“When I stood up, a rock pelted me and a shooting pain went through the inside of my left thigh near the groin area, which caused me to jump back and yelp in pain,” he later reported.
“I immediately looked toward the forest on the other side of the road from where the rock came, and perceived movement in the bushes. At this point, I did not see the creature, but did see movement in the branches and leaves of the shrubs, grasses and saw palmetto. The movement was enough to convince me that someone or something was there, and that it—whatever it was—was the source of the rock. . . .
“The sound that I heard was the sound of leaves and sticks being crushed on the ground, as if someone took one step and then stopped. The sound appeared to come from about 15 feet in the woods behind me.”
The next sound Doug said was “similar to what you might hear from a feral cat that is being cornered, only much, much louder and deeper. It then started to alternate between a hiss and a vocalization that sounded like haaaaawwwww. So the sound it was making was a protracted hhhiiiiiissssssssssssssss, haaaaawwwwwww, hhhiiiiissssssssssssssss, haaaaawwwwwwww, with an intermittent deeper gurgling sound interspersed throughout.”
At that point, fear overtook Doug and he jumped in his car and locked the doors. Through the windows he saw the creature about 15 feet into the woods as it rose up from a prostrate position behind saw palmettos.
“I would estimate that the creature was about eight feet tall. It was extremely bulky across the bust, with very muscular arms, and I have no doubt that it could have easily busted out the windows and ripped me to shreds if it so desired. . . .
“I also observed what would commonly be described as a “love-handle” around the side of the belly area and back. The creature’s hair was black and gray in color and was slicked down against the lighter skin, which could be seen in some places through what appeared to be wet hair. The hair was very thick on the arms and shoulders but less so around the side, belly and back areas. . . .
“The face of the creature was a dark grey color, with very large dark eyes. It had a very large mouth with extremely large, fat lips. The nose was human-like, with one exception, which was large, slightly flared nostrils. The nose did not protrude off its face in proportion to a human’s, but was flatter and more sunken. The creature looked like an ape, but with facial features—especially the nasal area—that were very similar to those of humans.”

Description of little Bigfoot
“About one minute after disappearing into the tree line, the creature reemerged, this time walking completely upright on two legs, just like a human. It paused at the tree line for a second, and then took one huge step back across the road.
“The creature, to my shock and horror, was carrying along a “child” of the same creature. It had both arms of the smaller creature grasped in its right hand, and was dangling the juvenile along by its side, with the legs of the smaller creature almost touching the ground.
“The smaller creature appeared to be completely limp from the neck down, but its eyes were open and it was moving its head and looking toward the trees to which it was being carried. After crossing the road, the creature paused at the tree line on the opposite side of the road, lifted the juvenile up onto its hip, and continued into the scrub.
Read more @

Mother and Child portrait by Thomas Finley
Original art by Bigfoot Portrait Specialist artist
Made for the upcoming Honobia Bigfoot Conference

Bigfoot Evidence-Chinese Yeren Research

62 Year Old Yeren Researcher Shares The Secret To Finding The Legendary Creature

 Thursday, August 30, 2012

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Bigfoot Chicks, Melissa Adair. As serious researchers, the Bigfoot Chicks are commited to seeking the truth regarding the Bigfoot mystery. You can visit their blog at

In a recent article by Wang Xiaodong in China Daily, 62 year old Li Guohua, Yeren researcher for over three decades, shares the secret to finding the legendary "Wild Man" of the mountains of Shennongjia. Having dedicated almost half his life to finding the creature, he was rewarded with an unforgettable encounter and several sightings
For more of the story Click Here
Chinese Yeren. This is a funny one, it is a colourized verson of an illustration I copied out of Ivan Sanderson's files in the 1970s and I put up in my Yahoo group. It is a representation of Russian sightings from the Caucasus as done for an American magazine. I sure would like to know how it came to represent a Chinese Yeren, although saying Kaptar=Almas=Yeren would help somewhat


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Skunk Ape and Other Ape Updates

Skunk Apes or Swamp Apes are back in the news again. A little new material is available, but I thought it was a good time for a little review. The Skunk Ape or Swamp Ape is an unknown animal which seems to prefer the warmer lowlands of the Southern USA, and sightings overlap with (and are often confused with) more usual Bigfoot-types of reports. The ape type is especially common in parts of Florida and Texas, but in both places there are also more definite sightings of a more humanlike (Neanderthal-like) being. The tracks of both are very distinctive, the human category having human feet and the ape category having ape feet.

Skunk Ape

Myakka skunk ape 2.png

One of the two alleged Myaka Skunk Ape photographs taken in 2000
Sub groupinghominid
CountryUnited States
RegionSoutheastern States
The Skunk Ape is a hominid cryptid said to inhabit the Southern United States,[1] from places such as North Carolina and Arkansas, although reports from Florida are most common. It is named for its appearance and for the unpleasant odor that is said to accompany it. According to the United States National Park Service, the skunk ape exists only as a local myth.[2] Reports of the Skunk ape were particularly common in the 1960s and 1970s. In the fall of 1974, numerous sightings were reported in suburban neighborhoods of Dade County, Florida, of a large, foul-smelling, hairy, ape-like creature, which ran upright on two legs.


Sightings of the skunk ape go back to before Europeans arrived. Indian tribes such as the Creek, Cherokee, and Seminole all told stories of a creature that stood 5–8 feet tall and gave off a pungent odor. When Europeans arrived, they learned of the legends from the Native Americans. They reported that these creatures were dangerous towards white people and friendly towards the Indians. A famous example of this reportedly occurred in the fall of 1822. One cold night, two hunters were awoken by a fierce roar near their camp and fled leaving all of their belongings behind. They made it back to their village and told their friends of their experience. The villagers formed a posse to hunt down the creature. They searched the woods for several days armed with rifles, pistols, swords, and knives. After a week of searching, they reportedly found huge footprints in the mud close to where the hunters had their experience. Encouraged by this new find, they made camp and planned to continue searching the next morning. Later that night however, the creature attacked the camp. The creature was reportedly hit repeatedly but still continued to attack. The posse fought back but the creature killed several of the men before they finally managed to kill it. The survivors examined the creature, which they claimed had jet black hair, was 12–13 feet tall and weighed over 1200 lbs. Fearing that the sounds of the battle would attract other creatures, the survivors fled back to the village without bothering to take any evidence of the creature. Historians and biologists argue whether this event really happened. Some say its just a story passed from generation to generation. Others say it happened, but the animal was possibly an unusually large black bear.

Myaka photographs

In 2000, two photographs of an alleged ape, said to be the Skunk Ape, were taken anonymously and mailed to the Sarasota Sheriff's Department in Florida. They were accompanied by a letter[3] from a woman claiming to have photographed it on the edge of her backyard. The photographer claimed that on three different nights the ape had entered her yard to take apples from a bushel basket on her porch. She was convinced it was an escaped orangutan. The police were dispatched to the house numerous times but when they arrived the Skunk Ape, also known as the stink ape, was gone. The pictures have become known to Bigfoot enthusiasts as the "skunk ape photos".[4]
Loren Coleman is the primary researcher on the photographs, having helped track down the two photographs to an "Eckerd photo lab at the intersection of Fruitville and Tuttle Roads" in Sarasota County, Florida.[5]


Though there are many searches/expeditions for the skunk ape, there is an official skunk ape headquarters in Ochopee, Florida. This skunk ape hotspot is run by David Shealy and his brother, Jack.
Airing in fall 2012, Skunk Ape, starring Dave Shealy will premiere on the travel channel.


  1. ^ Lennon, Vince (2003-10-22). "Is a Skunk Ape Loose in Campbell County?". WATE 6 News (WorldNow). Retrieved 2006-12-23.
  2. ^ "The abominable swampman". BBC News. 1998-03-06. Retrieved 2006-12-23.
  3. ^ Coleman, Loren. "Myaka Skunk Ape "Letter"".
  4. ^ Newton, Michael (2005). "Skunk Ape". Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology: A Global Guide. McFarland & Company, Inc.. pp. 430–431. ISBN 0-7864-2036-7.
  5. ^ Coleman, Loren. "The Myakka "Skunk Ape" photographs".

Further reading

  • Newton, Michael (2005). "Skunk Ape". Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology: A Global Guide. McFarland & Company, Inc.. ISBN 0-7864-2036-7.
  • Bigfoot!: The True Story of Apes in America (NY: Paraview Pocket-Simon and Schuster, 2003, ISBN 0-7434-6975-5), which contains primary historical material on Apes, Skunk Apes, and the Myakka photographs.
  • The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti, and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide, Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe, Illust. Harry Trumbore, ISBN 0-380-80263-5

External links

The Material from Wikipedia is shared under the same understanding as the rest of the material on Wikipedia, as reference from various sources and free to all for educational purposes. As a comparison, I have added a Skunk Ape drawingon of a rescaled Heuvelmans reconstruction of the Abominable Snowman (the creature he called the small Yeti, more ordinarily called a Mighu or Mi-Gorangutan, the Skunk ape is often said to be particularly like an Orangutan and often reddish in colourore manlike creature also found alongside the Skunk ape (and often called Skunk Ape by mistake) is more usually darker in colour as an adult.

Below is a lifesized Skunk Ape bust outside of the information center in Florida. The teeth and facial features are approximately as they are said to be in many reports: the nose should be smaller and is very flat with two large nostrils like the holes on the end of a pig's snout, but set close together

Skunk Ape Playlist

Since the matter of the Mapinguari came up again recently (Twice) I found an appropriate illustration of an orangutan and modified the facial features into the correct threatening expression. I have NOT changed the position of the head in the artwork. The visual impression is of a headless creature with one eye and a large fanged muzzle coming out of the torso. Reports of "Headless men" had been otherwise coming out of South America since its colonisation by the Spanish in the 1500s. The feet have very long curved toes for climbing and they leave "Circular" tracks when on the ground. The usual creature as reported is nothing like a groundsloth only reports of the more usual groundsloth type are sometimes referred to under this category owing to a confusion in the names. There are two kinds of reports and they are not otherwise similar: the groundsloth type reports specify a quadruped the size of a hose or cow with claws, a thick tail, and a shaggy coat like a wolf's, and then again there is the Mapinguari which is like an ape, tailless, about mansized but with unusual features  including the typical allegation it is headless, a cyclops, and has a fanged muzzle coming out from its torso.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

More on Burus, Druks and such

Illustration of the Buru by Neave Parker of the British Museum of Natural History.

Online Encyclopedia definition for Buru (evidently quoting the Wikipedia)

Buru (cryptozoology)

The Buru was an aquatic reptile said to have lived in Jiro (also spelled and pronounced as Ziro) valley, a small town in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, India, at some undefined time in the past. In 1947, Professor Christopher von Furer-Haimendorf was the first westerner to be told about the Buru. By that time, the animals had reportedly already become extinct in the valley.
According to the Apatani elders, when their forefathers migrated to Jiro valley, the valley was primarily a marsh which was populated by Burus. The Apatani people decided to settle in the valley because of its fertility and good climate. But every now and then they would have confrontations with burus. So they decided to drain the marsh of its water and thus eliminate the Burus. Most of the Burus died because of the drainage, and many supposedly went underground into the springs.
The last Buru was said to be reported by a young woman, who sighted it in a spring one night while she was drawing water. The startled lady told her father about the incident. The next day the whole village helped fill the spring with stones and clay.


Traditionally, there has been speculation that the Buru was an unidentified member of the order crocodilia. Tellingly, crocodiles or alligators are also called "Buru" by the Apatanis. There is large population of crocodiles which live in caves in North Africa, quite far from open water, so an underground existence is not improbable for persecuted Indian crocodiles.
The mere fact that crocodilians are called "Buru" may not however be very significant, since the Buru is described with monitor-like characteristics such as an elongated neck and a forked tongue. The native name of the Komodo dragon is "Land Crocodile". Both Bernard Heuvelmans.[1] and Roy Mackal regard the Buru to be a large Komodo dragon-like monitor lizard, and there are fossils of such a creature to be found in the Indian subcontinent. Heuvelmans notes similar reported creatures from Western India under the name of "jhoors" where they seem to merge into the Iranian traditional dragon or ahi (Azi Dahaka), which in Iranian art is basically a local stylistic adaptation of the Chinese dragon. George Eberhart notes rumors of a similar creature in the Tigris marshes of Iraq, called the afa, possibly the same thing as ahi. Heuvelmans also notes in his checklist of unknown animals that similar reports to the buru also come from Burma, and they might also relate to a reported lizardlike Meikong River monster.
Cryptozoologist Karl Shuker claims that the Buru was a giant lungfish stating that this provides a far more comprehensive, comparable match not only in terms of morphology but also with regard to behaviour. Shuker believes this explains the Buru's alleged ability to survive hidden at the bottom of lakes during the dry season.[2] Shuker's view admittedly does nothing to account for the various other buru-like creatures as cited in this article. It also does not account for the specified features of the long neck and forked tongue.


  1. Heuvelmans,Bernard "Annotated Checklist of Apparently Unknown Animals with which Cryptozoology is Concerned," CRYPTOZOOLOGY, Vol 5, 1986, P.1, ISSN 0736-7023
The Dragon of Persia, from a copy of the Falnama
Note that  accompanied by a Wonderbird evidently equated to the dragon
 and possibly representing  a Firebird from Russia and Central Asia

Heuvelmans in his Checklist entry on the Buru specified it was identical to the dragon represented on the flag of Buthan. This dragon is known as the Druk.(most likely linguistically related to Dragon)

From the Wikipedia:The Druk (Dzongkha: འབྲུག་) is the "Thunder Dragon" of Bhutanese mythology and a Bhutanese national symbol. A druk appears on the Bhutanese Flag, holding jewels to represent wealth. In the Dzongkha language, Bhutan is called Druk Yul, or Land of Druk, and Bhutanese leaders are called Druk Gyalpo, Dragon Kings. During the Bhutanese mock election in 2007, all four mock parties were called the Druk colour Party[1]. The national anthem of Bhutan, Druk tsendhen, translates into English as "The Kingdom of Druk".

Similar lake monster reports come from the Brahmaputra drainage over the border into Tibet.

The Buru as represented by "Wolf's Den" for the Cryptid Fieldbook

I had formerly reposted my opinions about the Buru on this blog in the article

I did just find a link to this while googling:

Heuvelmans Checklist of Apparantly Unknown Animals, CRYPTOZOOLOGY, vol. 5, 1986, p. 20

"Amphibious animals, probably huge monitor lizards, some up to 20 feet in length-- and thus larger than the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis)-- currently reported in India and neighboring countries. In the Gir area (Kathiawar Penninsula), where they are called jhoor, they are largely mythicized, but they have been fairly well observed in the Sundabarans (mouths of the Ganges), where, strangely enough, they live in symbiosis with the Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
In Assam, where they are known as the Buru to the Apa Thanis,seem to have been exterminated in modern times (Izzard 1951, Mackal 1980), in Buthan, however, some have been sin one of the Northern lakes and once even by the king himself (referring to an issue of National Geographic but not cited by Heuvelmans) they have also been reported in Burma (as the Bu-Rin, again not cirted by Heuvelmans directly). There is even a historical reference extantof their existance in Sumatra in the 16th Century (Heuvelmans 1965)"

What is stiking to me at this point is the large size, up to 20 feet long, and the part about the symbiosis with C. porosus. Both of those things are in contrast with the Buru on the one hand and the other purported giany monitors on the other.

At this point in time, what I propose now is this:

There is a true Crocodile monitor seen in New Guinea often confused with the Tree crocodile monitor but at approximately double the length. It is amphibious, at home on land and in the water, and can tolerate both saltwater and freshwater. It has evolved some sort of a symbiosis with C. porosus. It therefore (my inference) is possibly found throughout the same range as C. porosus. (This is the "Aha!" part) Therefore the larger creature found at the Sundabarans, in the Andaman Islands and down to Sumatra, and in other places, is the same as the Guanjan or snake-crocodile in New Guinea and Melanesia and the Ngarara of Fiji-to-New Zealand, probably in its occasional and not its regular range. It is not the Buru, it is much longer and especially has a much longer tail. It possibly ranged as far as the Persian Gulf at one time, as C. porosus seems to have done.

It s still my feeling that the Buru is another giant monitor and especially since its description and measurements match exactly those given for "Dragons" in Burma, the Meikong and Southern China (probably as far as Taiwan, but the ones in the Phillipines seem to match the ones in New Zealand instead. More information on this score would be very helpful!)

At present, officially the Sea-crocodile lizard has been assumed to be the same as the New Guinean Tree-crocodile lizard or Atrellia. Provisionally, the species could be referred to as Varanus cf-salvadorii. Hopefully, somebody with access to museum specimens might be able to come up with already-collected specimens. The length of 20 feet at least matches Roman-era reports of Dragons in India.

Hope this helps. Best Wishes, Dale D.

The following two photos of Komodo dragons were used to illutrate different internet articles on these South-Asian dragons, including reports from Southern China.  While they are are not in themselves authoritative representations of such creatures directly, they do indicate what people think they are talking about. These creatures are always generally given the same size and body shape with four legs, usually stating ith separate clawed digits, a long tail and a scaly fat body with a distinct longer neck to the front of it. The fact that most of the descriptions match as far as body shape goes is significant: Exceptions contrary to the general run of the reports are recorded for Burus but are noted to come from an interview with a single esteemed member of society but unfortunately somebody with whom there was a very difficult language barrier. This same individual stated that the teeth were like a wild boar's teeth, the young were born in wayter, and that the legs were like "Flanges" on the side of the body. ALL of these statements must be viewed with suspicion and this was noted in Izzard's initial reports.

Unknown LIZARD of the Middle East.
Etymology: Madan (Marsh Arab) word.
Physical description: Large lizard.
Distribution: Marshes at the mouth of the
Tigris River, Iraq.
Possible explanation: An undescribed species
of Monitor lizard (Family Varanidae), large car-
nivorous reptiles that live in tropical areas.
Source: Wilfred Thesiger, The Marsh Arabs
(New York: Dutton, 1964), p. 115.
Unknown Lizard of Central Asia.
Etymology: Apatani and Nisi (Sino-Tibetan)
word, possibly from its call.
Physical  description:  Roundish,  elongated
body. Length, 11–14 feet. Mottled blue-black
above.  Broad  white  band  on  the  underside.
Head, 20 inches. One account gives it three
plates on the head, one on the top and on each
side. Eyes are close behind a flat-tipped snout.
Flat  teeth,  except  for  a  single  pair  of  large,
pointed teeth in both the upper and lower jaws.
Forked  tongue.  Neck,  3  feet. Three  lines  of
short spines run down its back and sides. Back,
18 inches wide. One account said it has legs 20
inches long with clawed feet, while another only
gave it paired lateral flanges. Round, tapering
tail 3–5 feet long and fringed at the base.
Behavior: Completely aquatic. Raises its head
out of the water occasionally. Basks in the sun
on the bank in the summer. Remains in the
mud when the swamps dry up. Makes a hoarse,
bellowing noise. Does not eat fishes. Young are
born alive in the water. Can grab a man with its
tail and drag him underwater.
Distribution:Swamps and lakes near Ziro in the
Apatani Valley, Arunachal Pradesh Union Terri-
tory, India; 50 miles to the southwest in the Dafla
hills, Arunachal Pradesh Union Territory, India.
Significant sightings:In 1945 and 1946, James
Phillip Mills and Charles Stonor collected de-
scriptions of the Buru from the Apatani people,
who are said to have killed the last of them in
their area when they were draining swamps for
rice cultivation.
In 1948, Ralph Izzard and Charles Stonor vis-
ited a swamp in the Dafla hills near Chemgeng in
the hopes of finding a living Buru but returned
with conflicting stories from the Nisi people.
Present status: It may still be possible to find
skeletal remains of the animals in the Apatani
Valley, since the precise kill spots are still known.
Possible explanations:
(1) A surviving dinosaur of some type, sug-
gested by Ralph Izzard.
(2) An unknown species of Monitor lizard
(Varanus sp.), suggested by Roy Mackal.
(3) An unknown species of Crocodile (Order
Crocodylia), suggested by Tim Dinsdale.
(4) A large, swamp-dwelling Lungfish
(Order Lepidosireniformes) would explain
the Buru’s ability to keep submerged in
mud, according to Karl Shuker. The body
structure also matches a lungfish more than
a reptile. Its bellow might be caused by its
ventilating air.
(5) An unknown species of Bonytongue fish
similar to the Pirarucu (Arapaima gigas) of
South America, which also has an air blad-
der fashioned into a lung.
Sources: Christopher von Fürer-Haimendorf,
“The Valley of the Unknown,” Illustrated
London News 121 (November 8, 1947):
526–530; Ralph Izzard,The Hunt for the Buru
(London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1951);
Desmond Doig, “Bhutan,” National
Geographic 120 (September 1961): 384,
391–392; Tim Dinsdale,The Leviathans
(London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966),
pp. 105–110; Roy P. Mackal, Searching for
Hidden Animals (Garden City, N.Y.:
Doubleday, 1980), pp. 79–98; Karl Shuker,
Extraordinary Animals Worldwide (London:
Robert Hale, 1991), pp. 54–61. [Karl Shuker's assertions that the estivation indicates a lungfish better than a crocodile or lizard is incorrect: both crocodiles and lizards are known to hibernate in the winter and estivate in the summer, and the lungfishes most like his model for the Buru live in permanent pools so they do not estivate. Furthermotre his assertion that a lungfish fits the description of the body shape better is simply false. The described body shape specifies a long flexible neck which the lungfish would never have.-DD]
Giant Snake of Southeast Asia.
Physical description: Length, 40–50 feet.
Behavior: Aquatic. Aggressive. Attacks swim-
mers and small boats.
Distribution: Near Putao, Myanmar.
Source: Alan Rabinowitz, Beyond the Last
Village: A Journey of Discovery in Asia’s
Forbidden Wilderness (Washington, D.C.:
Island Press, 2001), p. 116.

Lake and River Monster Sightings

Jigme Dorji National Park, lake in. Former king
Jigme Dorji Wangchuck saw a white, fast-swim-
ming  animal  in  a  lake  in  this  park.  Desmond
Doig, “Bhutan,” National Geographic 120 (Sep-
tember 1961): 384, 391–392.
Lake Changhai [Long Lake], Sichuan Province.
A Chinese scientist saw a 10-foot “miracle animal”
with a horse’s head and a huge body on October
12, 1984. Janet and Colin Bord,Unexplained Mys-
teries of the 20th Century (Chicago: Contemporary
Books, 1989), p. 355; UNEP-WCMC, Protected
Areas  Programme,
 Jianzhuhai  Lake,  Sichuan  Province.  UNEP-
WCMC,  Protected  Areas  Programme,
Nuorilang  Lakes,  Sichuan  Province.  UNEP-
WCMC,  Protected  Areas  Programme,
 Wuhan, lake near, Hubei Province. In 1987, a
group of biologists led by Chen Mok Chun re-
ported seeing three large, grayish-white, toadlike an-
imals with mouths 6 feet wide and huge eyes swim-
ming toward them. One of the creatures extended
an  enormous  tongue  that  grabbed  their  tripod-
mounted  cameras.  Karl  Shuker,  “Lesser-Known
Lake Monsters,” Fate43 (September 1990): 75–86.
[This is badly exaggerated but the creatures are short-snouted crocodilelike animals with protrusable tongues. The descriptions match a type of giant monitor lizard better than anything else. The sizes are badly exaggerated but only the width of the mouth is specifically given a measure-DD]
Tasek Bera, Pahang State.
Tasek Chini, Pahang State. Snakelike or long-
necked monsters, born at the top of the Gunong
Chini  Mountain,  are  said  to  guard  an  ancient
Khmer city submerged in the lake. Phyllis Ben-
jamin, “Making Waves in the Cryptozoo,” INFO
Journal, no. 57 (July 1989): 29; Harold Stephens,
Return  to  Adventure  Southeast  Asia (Miranda,
Calif.: Wolfenden, 2000), pp. 11, 14.
Lake Wenbu [also Wembo or Menbu]. In June
1980, farmers and party officials saw an animal
with a long neck and big head. It was held respon-
sible for the disappearance of a yak and a villager
who had been rowing in the lake. Karl Shuker,
 “Lesser-Known Lake Monsters,” Fate 43 (September 1990): 75–86.
Mekong  River.  Lizardlike Water Monster
Mottled green, brown, and yellow. Length, 15
feet. PURSUIT articles quoting: Peter R. Kann,
“Vietnam Journey,” Wall Street Journal, Novem-
ber 10, 1969, p. 1; Wall Street Journal, October
21,  1992;  “Making  for  the  Mekong,”  Fortean

Lake Patenggang, southwest of Bandung, Java.
Giant fish, turtle, or reptile 18 feet long. Times
(London), February 7, 1977; Karl Shuker, “Lesser-
Known  Lake  Monsters,”  Fate 43  (September
1990): 75–86.
 Definitions are from Eberhart, George, Mysterious Creatures, 2002

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Lord Geekington on Giant Catfishes

Top: Mekong giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas) portrayed at hypothetical 3 m length. Source image

Left: Giant pangasius (Pangasius sanitwongsei) at hypothetical 2.75 m length. Source image

Piraiba (Brachyplatystoma filamentosum) at record 2.37 m length. Source image

Right: Wels (Silurus glanis) at record 2.78 m length. Source image
Soldatov's catfish (Silurus soldatovi) length unknown, portrayed at 2.5 m. Source image
Wallago (Wallago attu) portrayed at 2 m. Source image
Center: And of course, a puny human at 1.74 m tall.
[Lord Geekington (Cameron McCormick) once wrote an exellent summary about what is taken to be reasonable in the stories of giant catfishes and since we are keen on the topic here, I thought it would be a good idea to qote the article for reference. As a rule of thumb, reports of giant catfishes at half again these lemngths atre just marginally possible, but ones twice the given lengths most probably are not. And that is being generous-DD]

 Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Megafishes: Catfishes
Dear Constant Readers,

Fortunately this is not a very obscure group of animals, so there is plenty of popular literature to go on. Well, for the basic information at least. The Wikipedia page on catfishes actually makes a decent primer (for once), but I'd recommend the Tree of Life page even more. This is a huge group of fish with over 3000 species and 36 families, one of which was described as recently as 2005. Apparently 1 in 4 freshwater fishes, 1 in 10 fishes, and one in 20 vertebrate species is a catfish. On the Palaeos catfishes are closely grouped with knifefish and electric eels* in the clade "Siluriphysi" which is defined partially by the re-evolution of electroreception. Click here to see their relative position in the colossal Teleost radiation. Aside from electroreception, catfishes often have a benthic habitat, scaleless skin, small eyes (reliant on tactile barbels, chemosensitivity, oflaction), an adipose fin, and so forth. Some however are covered in armor plates, have sucker mouths, breathe air, have spinous fins, drink blood, and even digest wood. The Tree of Life suggest modification of the upper jaw for barbels and locking fin spines are good synapomorphies, although Fishbase "remarks" on more technical characters. Phew.

*This species apparently can get over 2 meters in length, however it is not considered a "Megafish", perhaps due to its eel-like shape? At the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, they did have a specimen there that did seem to be around 2 meters, so I don't think 2.5m is a "fish story".

Now there is no ambiguity as to what a "catfish" entails, I should discuss the more impressive members of the group, their contributions to the "Megafishes". Out of the 20 species of Megafishes, 6 of them were Siluriformes. Even more remarkably, 3 of these species live in the Mekong River of Southeast Asia. I should also mention that most catfishes are small to moderately sized (5-20 cm or 2-8") with some species reaching maturity at below 1 cm. This gives a roughly 300-fold length difference between the smallest and largest species, and perhaps a weight difference a million-fold or over. I'll leave ridiculous size differences for later, here are the Megafishes:

Family: Silururidae

This family is defined by a lack of an adipose fin and occasionally pelvic and dorsal fins, a very long anal fin, no nasal barbels, et cetera. As you can tell from the name, these are very archetypal catfish in appearance. While most of you familiar will be correct in assuming the wels (Silurus glanis) will be discussed, according to the Megafishes article in Science, there is another giant catfish in the genus.

Silurus soldatovi, Nikolskii & Soin, 1948
Northern Sheatfish
Soldatov's Catfish

Not even graced with a Wikipedia article, information is hard to come by for this species. There were journal articles on the genetics, reproduction, and eggs of this fish, but I could find nothing on morphology. This fish lives in the Amur river basin, so like the Chinese paddlefish, there is the problem of most information being in languages I can't begin to understand (Russian and Chinese). What is astounding is that the Science article gives it an incredible length of 4 m (13'), yet the Fishbase page gives a weight (from the same source) at an astoundingly low 40 kg (88 lbs) at the same length. Perhaps the source itself was composed of two different specimens...or it was just another "big fish" story. It is odd how warning bells didn't go off for the author for such jarring figures. This Chinese page has a picture of what does indeed seem to be a wels-sized silurid catfish, although exact size is difficult to determine...or if it actually is this species (see also bears a resemblance to the Megamouth, oddly). Pages seemed pretty adamant about the size, but it will have to be regarded as large but unknown for now. Unsurprisingly the Science article mentions it was not evaluated by the IUCN, but is probably being threatened by harvest, habitat, and pollution. Given how people seem obsessed by large fish, I find it exceedingly odd how this species apparently slipped under the radar.

Silurus glanis, Linneaus 1758

At the exact opposite of the popularity spectrum (imaginary) is this large Eurasian species. Mercifully, I don't have to go digging through technical literature to find the basic information. I should note that uniquely among Megafishes, this species is not threatened and is in fact regarded as least concern by the IUCN. Fishbase even regards this as potentially being a pest species. So it looks like this is one Megafish we shouldn't be overly worried about. It is also worth mentioning that this species was capable of entering the saltwater Aral Sea (note...was); making it all the more mysterious why sturgeons weren't considered "Megafish". By looking at Fishbase, you probably would have noticed something very strange as far the reported size. It, the Tree of Life and Science all report an astounding 5 m maximum size with variously given weights (306 and 300 kg --- 327 in Wood, 1982). This is a rather widely cited figure, a fact which I find unfortunate. For once thing, the Science article reported a stingray of the same length at 600 kg...shouldn't that set off warning bells for both figures there? A wels that size should weight 7-800 kg or even more, but I don't think they ever got that big.

So, how big does the wels get?

Gerald Wood mentioned several claims of excessive size (200 kg is "normal"?!), but I trust Markus Bühler/Sordes much more on this subject. The Wels grows larger in Southern Europe (Wood has no claims from there) due to warmer temperatures and a lack of parasites; the world record is an Italian specimen that measured 2.78 m (9'1.5") and weighed 144 kg (317 lbs). Compare this to the record German specimen which was 2.47 m and 89 kg (8'1" and ~200 lbs)

You can even see a Youtube video (what isn't on there?) of a catfish of nearly the same size (I'm not sure from where).

I haven't found any specific average size figure for this species, but Wikipedia (translated from European articles) suggests 1.3 to 1.6 m, which would make a 2.7-something meter fish a genuine monster...and make larger sizes quite unbelievable. Perhaps before exploitation I could imagine some 3-meter leviathans roaming around, but 5 meters is stretching things far beyond credibility. Perhaps they were confused with sturgeons (like Chinese Paddlefish), or maybe like many of these claims they were exaggerations or fabrications. But as you can tell by the video, the wels is a monster that doesn't need exaggerating.

Wallago attu, Bloch & Schneider 1801
Great White Sheatfish
Ikan Tapah

That's right, the Sheatfish family has a third member of allegedly gigantic size and a representative from the Mekong river basin. Fishbase describes this sheatfish as being a large, predatory species capable of delivering traumatic bites to humans. This species dwells mostly in rivers and lakes (streams in flood season), but apparently can tolerate brackish water as well. They also aren't limited to Southeast Asia, and can be found in Pakistan and possibly Afghanistan as well. Giri et al (2002) describe this sheatfish as being a fairly good candidate for captive rearing since it grows fast and has palatable flesh. The wels, in comparison, tastes bad at large sizes and apparently has poisonous eggs. The size reported for this fish is somewhat confusing. Giri et al give a maximum length of 2 m and a weight of "more than" 45 kg (6'6" and 100 lbs), which is around 10 kg less than the non-Megafish Blue and Flathead catfish of America, for instance. This badly translated abstract gives a weight of 25 kg for a 2 meter catfish and this page shows a rather large looking catfish that weighs only 9 kg. It also reported a 2.4 m specimen weighing 18.6 kg, a length (not weight) repeated in Fishbase and Science. If a fish that long weighed 18.6 kg, then a 9 kg fish would have to be 1.9 m long (6'3"), and I don't think the fellow in the picture is pushing 8 feet tall. The Science article lists this fish as being "not evaluated", but Fishbase reports it being "near-threatened" in Western Ghats, India and "lower risk" elsewhere. I do not see why length should be a more important measure than weight when it comes to fish, so either the definition of a "Megafish" should be broadened or this low-risk fish should be excluded.

Family: Pimelodidae
Brachyplatystoma filamentosum, Lichtenstein 1819

Yet another surprisingly poorly known species (to the public) of very large catfish. Petrere et al 2004 note that catfish over 1.6 m and 50 kg (5'3" 110 lbs) and are given the name "Piraiba" and there have been suggestion that smaller fish are in fact a different species. This species is a top predator of the Amazon River channel, mostly inhabits whitewater areas, and is migratory. Petrere et al note that this species used to make up a huge proportion of the catch in the Amazon (94% !) in 1977, but now makes up only5% of the total catch. This was apparently the most important fishery of any catfish, and the authors draw parallels to the over-exploitation of sharks in marine waters. In addition to over-exploitation, the breeding waters of this fish are being disrupted by mining and land degradation, although the location of breeding grounds (headwaters of the Amazon) are apparently not known with certainty. Oh yes, and this species is also capable of living in brackish water, specifically river mouths.

So obviously this can be a rather large fish, reported at being 3.6 m and 200 kg (11'10" and 440 lbs) in Science, although Fishbase once again demonstrates that the length and weight are from different sources. Gerald Wood, who normally simplifies these matters, instead confuses them greatly. He insists that B. filamentosum (lau-lau) is indeed the longest catfish in the Amazon, but there is a heavier species called the..."pirahyba" (Piratinga piraiba), hmm. This turned up a negative result on Fishbase, although there is a synonym (Piratinga piraaiba) that is awfully close. Wood reported that the latter "species" weighed 159 kg at 1.85 m (6'1" and 350 lbs) and was estimated at a maximum size of 2.1 m and 181 kg (7' and 400 lbs). The conversions are Wood's and not mine. It should also be noted that the figures are much heavier than what would be expected from Petrere's figure; it is normally the opposite of that and it is possible that these fish to get bulkier as they increase length. None other than Teddy Roosevelt related a tale of a 3 m catfish getting killed after attacking a canoe, but this is of course rather dubious. As for the actual species, none other than William Beebe caught specimens, the largest of which was 2.11 m without the tail measured and presumably about 2.4 m (8') with. Judging by the weights reported by the "pirahyba", it is possible that this or a similar sized specimen is responsible for the 200 kg figure. A 3.7 meter+ claim (Wood's figure differs) is probably not realistic for a pre-exploitation animal...and would dwarf every other Megafish at a presumed weight of over 1 ton/tonne. But don't worry, the largest species has yet to be covered...

Family: Pangasiidae

Now here's a problem: 2 different fish species in the same family are reported to reach the same size (3m and 300kg)! Now that the wels and the paraiba have been downsized, what is the largest species of catfish? Well, I never fully discounted the reported 4 m size of the Soldatov's Catfish, but let's assume it's an exaggeration. Considering that every single reported size by the Science article appears to be wrong, I don't think that would be unjust.

Pangasius sanitwongsei, Smith 1931
Giant Pangasius
Dog-eating Catfish

Like a few other species, this one seems seldom mentioned despite its apparently gigantic size. This one is "Data Deficient", but the Science article mentions that many locals are surprised that this fish even still exists. 2 meter specimens were no longer caught in Thailand by World War II, and it may very well be extinct there and going extinct in the Mekong River valley. This could be another "so long we hardly knew thee" situation as with the Chinese paddlefish. Fishbase oddly claims that this species is often referred to in popular material and textbooks, but this has to be confusion with the upcoming species. There are people who claim to be keeping this species in captivity under the name "Paroon shark", but I can't help but wonder if it is a different species in the same genus; perhaps P. hypothalamus. Selling one of the world's biggest species of freshwater fish sounds a bit improbable to me, and from experience I know that pet stores and dealers often don't go by orthodox taxonomy. So how big does this fish get? Zeb Hogan in a previous paper describes this species as getting "slightly less gigantic" than the next species, and gives a length of 2.75 m maximum (9 feet). It is not known to what size 300 kg is supposed to go with, or even if the fish can actually get this big at all. Due to a huge gap in information, it looks like this fish too will have to remain a mystery.

Pangasianodon gigas, Chevey 1931
Mekong Giant Catfish
Pa beuk

In the Guinness Book of World Records this is the biggest species of freshwater fish. There is quite unambiguous of a 2.7 m female that weighed 293 kg (~9' and 646 lbs) caught in 2005, although record keeping for the species has only been going on since 1981. Gerald Wood comments upon a source in the 20's claiming a size of 3 m (~10 feet) for this species, and this has been a generally accepted figure despite the dubious corresponding weight of 240 kg. The weight has normally been reported at 300 kg for this size, but---do I even need to say this?---it Fishbase shows it came from a different source. Fishbase also states that this fish can grow 150-200 kg in 6 years, apparently making it one of the fastest growing known fish as well. Wood also remarked that only 14 specimens were caught in 1974, and the population has been estimated to have fallen 80% in the last 13 years according to the IUCN! It is no surprise that this fish is regarded as "Critically Endangered".

So let's see what happens here. Once again we have a species that is critically endangered, so can we save it this time? Hopefully Zeb Hogan can draw even more publicity to this species and save it from the apparent fate of the Chinese paddlefish. But, what about the more obscure species. I never heard about Soldatov's Catfish until a few days ago and I only heard vague mentions of the giant pangasius, and after looking for information the situation was hardly better! I somewhat doubt the public is more aware of these species and their plight than I do, and it may already be too late. The giant pangasius appears to be in an even worse situation than the Mekong giant catfish, which is quite alarming. But then, according to Hogan, we really don't know anything about this species. While discovering new species is one thing, I think that knowing so little about described species is nearly as surprising.

There's still a lot I'm curious about regarding these catfish. How are they capable of getting so large anyways? The Pangasiids are certainly not typical looking or behaving catfish (e.g. predatory giant pangasius and herbivorous Mekong giant catfish), so is it something other than niche occupation? Do the old records actually indicate that these species "shrunk" with exploitation. Were there even large Pleistocene cousins? I always seem to have a lot of questions here.

I'm not certain if I'll do more Megafish or not. My summer and blogging-spree is coming to an alarming stop here. Dang.


Saturday, 25 August 2012

South African Sasquatch

South African Sasquatch
(Forewarded by Bigfoot Lunch Club)


Native South African Roland Jaffe, 35, is on a mission. A University graduate from Johannesburg with a degree in zoology, he immediately gravitated to the field of cryptozoology, or the study of strange and scientifically unknown animals. Early on in his career he was pursued by enigmatic cryptozoology financier Mario Pellington (no photo available), who has bankrolled his search for what has been described as the "African Bigfoot."
Roland Jaffe: African Wild Man Tracks the African Wildman
Unlike it's herbivorous American cousin, the "Waterbobbejan," as it's come to be know in South Africa has been accused of terrorizing people (even killing a few), as well as all kinds of livestock terror -- Ripping cattle, goats, chicken, and anything else it could catch.
The name Waterbobbejan literally means "water baboon," and it has been described as everything from pygmy sized to seven feet tall. Its fur is sometimes red, sometimes as black as scorched earth. There are numerous eyewitness sightings of the beast from the deep woods to the rural outskirts of African cities. I was able to interview Jaffe, the worlds preeminent expert on this subject, over the phone in late April of this year. D: What brought you to this kind of research? J: Vanity I suppose. Vanity and stubbornness. When I was young my schoolmate s frightened me with stories of the Waterbobbejan, and I fought back by telling them I would defeat the beast one day. They all grew out of it and I didn't. I read every book on the subject and ultimately began to learn about zoology in general. As you can imagine, I didn't have too many dates when I was in school! D: You're married now, though. J: My wife Nadine and I met at University, and even though she didn't know about these creatures, I was able to teach her basically what I knew... Colloquial stories, and frightened tribesmen. After we graduated, we went to different parts of the continent and talked to natives, city dwellers. This creature is all over the country in some form. The best known ones are reported in Guinea, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast, and the Congo Basin. I've heard stories in Namibia, Kenya, and as far north as Egypt. D: Egypt? J: I should probably leave it at that. It's part of our ongoing research at the moment. I have to say I'm a bit skeptical about that one, though, but you have to take them all seriously. D: Did bigfoot build the pyramids, then? J: (Laughs) Maybe, maybe. You never know with those big feet. D: Tell me about Mario Pellington. J: Not much for me to tell, really. I've never seen the man face to face. I've spoken to him on the phone. What's there to say about Mister Pellington? Deep pockets. He believes that some of these creatures exist. I had to sign a contract with him telling him that whatever we find, it'll be named after him. Homo Pellingtonus or Homo Marius or something like that. He seems to be quite a character, financing all us kooks out there looking for Waterbobbejans and Plesiosaurs. I think the man knows that eventually one of us will succeed, and that'll be his gift to the world! D: Have you ever seen one of these creatures yourself? J: Not in the flesh, no. I've examined a genetic sequence taken from what one witness claimed was a tuft of its fur. The sequence was similar to a human's, with one extra chromosome. The fur itself was thick like a dog's. I wish I could see one just once and know for sure it really exists! Then maybe my life wouldn't feel like a potential waste of time (laughs). D: Why do you think this creature doesn't seem to appear in the fossil record? J: There are plenty of gaps in the fossil record. It is possible that this animal has only been around as long as us, and the remains might be eaten or god knows what. It is a good question, however, and one that does little to bolster my arguments. I just refuse to believe that something so commonly seen could be a figment of our species' imagination. I'll give you an example: We went into a remote village near Tanzania. The natives there had never seen white people. We showed them pictures of animals, illustrated next to a human being for scale. We showed them a picture of a giraffe, and they recognized it. We showed them zebras, Rhinos, apes, as well as animals they never would have seen like Komodo Dragons and Camels. They did not recognize these strange animals, but did recognize a picture of the Waterbobbejan, known in that area as the "Agogue," [Sic-Meaning the Kikomba instead, the larger apeman of the two rather than the smaller one] pictured as an oversized human with a pointed head, unusually long arms, and a thick coat of black fur. D: Does that by itself convince you? J: Not by itself, no. But in light of the other eye-witness sightings, I think it begins to add up. I believe the thing is out there, and I will find it if it is. If not, I'll eventually find something else to do like go back into the jungle with pictures of dinosaurs! sources
"Tarzan need not apply," International Explorer Magazine, volume 5 issue 78, International Explorer Press 1998 Interview with Roland Jaffe April 28, 1999 Photo credit Tessa Robison, Nadine Parks-Jaffe From what I can tell, these Waterbobbejan reports lead us right back to the same problem with the mansized manbeasts of Africa as before: there is a more apelike form that leaves a track with an opposed toe and a more humanlike one without the toe in opposition, and the two are regularly confounded and called by the same name. The Egyptian report seems to conform to the Woad el-Uma, which has an opposed big toe and therefore is a kind of large amphibious monkey or ape

WILDMAN of North Africa.
Etymology: Arabic, “son of the mother.”
Variant names: Amanit.
Physical description: Size of a human. Covered
in reddish-brown hair. Females have breasts.
Behavior:Aquatic. Walks erect. Said to live in
the river or adjacent lakes and go on land only
before the periodic floods. Eats fruits.
Tracks: Length, 10 inches. Four long, narrow
toes and a large, fully opposed toe. Prints are 3
feet apart, but the feet are pointed at a 70-degree
angle oblique to the direction of travel, as if it
progressed by lateral leaps. [Quadrupedal chimpanzees
 are also known to travel in a slantwise direction rather
 than taking the direct path straight ahead ]                                                    
Distribution: Nile River, northern Sudan.
Significant  sighting: On  June  17,  1832,
Joseph Russegger found unusual tracks made
during the previous night in the sand along the
Nile  River  near  the  third  cataract.  They
emerged from the water, approached Russeg-
ger’s camp, and returned to the river after tra-
versing some rough and marshy terrain.
Sources: Joseph Russegger, Reisen in Europa,
Asien und Afrika (Stuttgart, Germany: E.
Schweizerbart, 1841–1849), vol. 2, pp. 53–56;
Baron Johann Wilhelm von Müller, Fliegende
Blätter aus meinem Tagebuche (Stuttgart,
Germany: Hofbuchdruckerei zu Gutenberg,
1851), pp. 57–61.

 In the Sudan this is known as the Wa'ab:
GIANT HOMINID of North Africa.
Etymology: Bedawi (Cushitic) word.
Physical description: Very tall. Covered with
red hair. Has no joints.
Behavior: Speaks several languages.
Distribution: Southern Sudan.
Sources: “Jointless Waab, of African Sudan:
One of World’s Fabulous Creatures,” National
Geographic News Bulletin, April 25, 1950;
“Reward for a Waab,” Western Folklore 9
(1950): 387–388.

And here is the definition for Waterbobbejan:
Unknown PRIMATE of South Africa.
Etymology: Afrikaans, “water baboon.”
Variant name: Fudu (Tswana/Bantu).
Physical  description:  Baboonlike  animal.
Height, 6 feet. Reddish hair. Long, powerful
Behavior: Shy and solitary. Prowls the out-
skirts of farms, raiding livestock. Strips oranges
off the trees.
Habitat: Near water, in caves or behind wa-
Distribution: Northern South Africa.
Significant sighting:In 1965, two boys saw the
animal on the Leeufontein farm between Koster
and Swartruggens, North-West Province, South
Present status: Rumors about the animal have
existed since the 1880s.
Possible explanations:
(1) The Chacma baboon (Papio cynocephalus
ursinus) is well known in the area but only
grows to about 2 feet 6 inches long.
(2) The Samango monkey (Cercopithecus
mitis labiatus) is even smaller. However, in
at least one instance, a farmer shot and
killed a samango, claiming it was a
Source: Sian Hall, “Rumble in the Jungle,”
Fortean Times, no. 111 (June 1998): 24–27.

All definitions transcribed from George Eberhart, Mysterious Creatures, 2002