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Saturday, 7 December 2013

Surviving South American MegaReptiles

In a recent blog I included artwork by Tim Morris depicting a "Sachamama" as a giant turtle. It seems that in certain Cryptozoological circles the name "Sachamama" has become attached to both a giant snake Cryptid and then again something much more mysterious, a "Snail Demon" known Archaeologically from old pottery in Peru at various dates probably between AD 600 and 1600 broadly. The actual name this design had originally was unknown. However the idea is that it was supposed to be a snakelike creature with a shell and snail-like tentacles attached to the head, Karl Shuker equates the creature to the Minhocao for that reason.

Tim Morris' suggestion is that the "Snake with a shell" should be a giant turtle, and we can assume that it has mata mata turtle like growths on the head and throat.
 It would be of a type known as a Snakenecked turtle (Side-necked turtle), common in South America. It would presumably be a survival of the gigantic South American terrapin Stupendemys.

Stupendemys was part of the same ecosystem that included Titanoboa and also the enormous alligatorid Purusaurus. Among other Cryptids mentioned by Harold T Wilkins in his books on the Secrets of Old South America is an enormous alligator with huge crushing jaws able to crunch up small boats and eat up the tough old gomparos as if they were nothing. I included this creature on my Amended Checklist of Unknown Animals. It would be at least ten meters long and allegations are it could get to twice that length "A Tremendous saurian from the age of the Dinosaurs"

Then again many people think that Titanoboa itself lives on as the basis for stories of the Sucuriju Gigante (Museum display below, and then illustration "Titanoboa and Sucurijiu" from Deviant Art )

And as I have remarked before, the Black Boa, Barking Boa, Snorer (El Dormidor) or Mysterious Beast is a different kind of Cryptid from the Sucuriju Gigante, "Gigantic" more by virtue of its great thickness rather than because of its length (Gigantic by girth): It is also said to growl instead of hiss. 

The other possibility is that the Minhocao or the Snake in a Shell represents the supposedly extinct Glyptodon, a kind of a giant armadillo (and a mammal): however, most Cryptozoologists are against that idea.

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