An exploration of our Earth's ever-captivating fauna through musings on the bizarre side of Zoology, Cryptozoology, Paleontology, and Paleoanthropology

Monday, December 30, 2013

Hagan Carcass Comparison Images (Part 5—Conclusions)

Eyewitness sketch of the Hagan carcass (middle) and images of the two most plausible identities (above and below).
(Part 4 can be found here)
In this, the final installment of the Hagan Carcass Comparison Series, I will review two possible hypotheses which I have formulated after researching possible identities for the enigmatic carcass reported by Ms. Julie Hagan. The first hypothesis involves a scenario of misidentification: the carcass being that of a known species. Commenters have suggested a wide variety of animal species which could have been misidentified in this case, from oddly decomposed sturgeons to false catsharks. While many aspects of sturgeon morphology are in disagreement with those described for the Hagan Carcass, false catsharks can grow to a length of ten feet and can have a similar appearance to the carcass with their wide angular heads and other body features1. These sharks are also rare deep-water fish1, and thus would likely not be identified by the average person if found swollen and slightly decomposed on shore.
Comparison between Ms. Hagan's sketches of the Hagan carcass (middle), an image of a false catshark carcass (top), and several images of decomposing sturgeon carcasses (bottom).
(False catshark image is from here, sturgeon carcass image at upper left is from here, sturgeon carcass image at upper right is from here, and sturgeon carcass image at the bottom is from here)
Please click to enlarge

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas and a Zoological New Year

Once again, I bring you the photoshopped mess that is the Bizarre Zoology Christmas card; this year with Heuvelmans' peculiar
 long-necked pinniped, a Sordes in flight, and everyone's favorite European bestiary Wildman. Those white dots in the image are snow,
not pixellations due to a horrible photoshopping job...yeah...
(Please click to enlarge)
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the greatly appreciated viewers of this blog! Thanks to you, I have achieved a successful tally of over 100,000 views since November of 2012! I had never thought that this blog would go so far in that amount of time, so thank you for helping my dream become a reality. Have a great time with family and friends, and please pray for those who are less fortunate.

Also, and this was a last minute creation, Merry Christmas from the festive merhorse!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Discovery of New Tapir Species Confirms Native Testimony

Photographs of the newly discovered Kabomani tapir (Image Source is here)
The discovery of the largest new terrestrial mammal species since the Vu Quang Ox (found in 1992) was just announced this past Monday. This breaking finding involved a new species of tapir being discovered in Brazil and Colombia by a team of scientists which had been investigating reports of the animal by local indigenous tribes since ten years ago. The description of the previously unknown perissodactyl named Tapirus kabomani, or the Kabomani tapir, has been published in the Journal of Mammology with the lead author being paleontologist Mario Cozzuol. The Kabomani tapir is regularly hunted by the Karitiana tribe and lives in open grasslands and rainforests. In comparison to its closest relative, the Brazilian tapir, the Kabomani tapir weighs around 110 kilograms and has darker hair, shorter legs, a distinctly-shaped skull, and a less prominent crest. Genetic research conducted by the authors shows that the Kabomani tapir and Brazilian tapir separated around 300,000 years ago, and it has been hypothesized that the species may have evolved during dry periods of the Pleistocene which were associated with forest fragmentation. While the discovery of this new member of the modern megafauna is exciting in itself, details of how the discovery of this animal came to be make it even more compelling.