|Faux-Alligator or Giant Lizard, from Turn-of-the-20th-Century necklace for sale on Ebay|
The woman who gave me the sketches of the "Monster Lizard" tracks last time also pointed out to me that similar tracks were represented on the internet, mistakenly identified as alligator tracks. While there is a small area of overlap between the actual alligators and the faux-alligators in the Arkansas-Northern Louisiana area, the faux-Alligator Water Monsters are seen from the Mississippi westwards, including some desert territories and not at all where you would expect to find regular alligators. A Folklore map printed by LIFE magazine in the 1950s identified these creatures as "Water Monsters" but gave no more identifying characteristics. From the information at hand, I take these to be the Whangdoodles and Gowrows of the Ozarks area, and possibly some old books would so identify these tracks. The main outstanding characteristic of such reports we have (and the corresponding artwork) is that the creatures have a row of spines down the middle of the back exactly like the row of spines belonging to the large male iguana lizards and these creatures are otherwise stated to look like big iguanas generally
ProTrails trcking reference for Alligator tracks: note that the individual back foot prints are indicated as being ten inches long. This is a "Dinosaur" trackway cited as representing an ordinary alligator trail from a work dealing with animal tracks and referenced on the internet.individual tracks look nothing like the actual Alligator trackway shown below (the trackway in the photo is running to the bottom of the page in the opposite direction of the trackway in the sketch, but the difference in the tracks should be reaily apparent)
Such "Dinosaur" trackways are allegedly associatted with the Chan in Mexico and then the "Dinosaurs" (up to including "Diplodocus") in Northwestern South America (Eastern front of the Andes down as far as Bolivia), but I find no such definite illustrations or photographs of them. The three-toed tracks are on the other hand well-attested. Note tail drag marks
Zander’s first task as Zookeeper is to track down the alligator, but he needs your help. From now until May 25th, download and print the gator tracks from the Make-A-Wish website. Cut them out and put them around your house, your place of work, your school, or in a public place. Then take photos and add them to the Make a Wish North Texas Facebook page. Don’t forget to write something and tag the Facebook page so Zander can find the alligator and bring him to his new home at the Dallas Zoo. For example, “Hi Zander and @Make-A-Wish North Texas – I was out at the park today and found these alligator tracks!”
Everyone is invited to join Zander, enjoy music, food and entertainment in Downtown Dallas on May 26th for the live 7000th Wish Party:
- Visit the sign station and make signs to greet Zander upon his arrival
- Interact with animals from the Dallas Zoo
- Be an active part of a wish – participate in Zander’s rescue of the alligator and help send-off the two for a fun filled day at the Dallas Zoo.
About the Make-A-Wish Foundation – Founded in 1980, the foundation has assisted children with life-threatening medical conditions create hope and joy by granting wishes with the help of volunteers and donors.
There is still a continuing series of faux-alligator sightings reported as "Water Monsters" and "Errant crocodilians" in Arizona and particularly in the sources of the Colorado River, the track templates used in the Texas Make-a-Wish project seem to have been provided from the service below (links for forefoot and hindfoot stencils):
Once again, real alligator tracks look nothing like that, real alligator feet have four toes and not five, the heels on the back prints are narrower and more pointed, and the five-toed footprints even show more joints on both the fore and rear footprints th would have. Genuine Alligator tracks shown below.Somehow, the original illustrator had gotten hold of drawings of the unknown alligatorlike monster (whose tracks match these, except they are not webbed) ands as if they were regular alligator tracks. These are also not crocodile tracks, which are also more like the alligator tracks.