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

Sunday, June 29, 2014

More On The 2013 Maine 'Sea Serpent' Report: Persistence of Unidentified Marine Animals?

Thomas Finley's sketch depicting kayakers' run-in with two long-necked mystery animals at Lake Champlain. Could a similar scenario have occured in Somes Sound on August 22, 2013?
Last August, cryptozoological Loren Coleman made a brief mention of kayakers off Somes Sound, Maine allegedly observing a 'sea serpent' just weeks before. As the common person generally considers 'sea serpent' sightings to be a matter of the past, I was quite thrilled to hear about such recent allegations. I wrote about the report here, and have been meaning to add a sort of an update to it ever since. Due to my expectations of further data arising, I delayed publishing an amendment. I had hoped that the witnesses would come forward with more details, possibly giving us a better idea of what was supposedly observed. However, my own investigation attempts into this report have yielded a much dreaded dead-end. Still, the information that I have uncovered is of importance as pertaining to this case.
Illustration by Thomas Finley depicting a composite based off of reports of 'sea serpents' with large eyes and manes. Essentially a rendition of Heuvelmans' merhorse but modified with additional features inferred from reports. While many researchers such as myself now consider such a model to not be entirely consistent with reports, horse-headed 'sea serpents' continue to be described by witnesses.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Scrutinizing Alleged Photographs of the 'Bristol Crocodile'

Duckbilled Sea Crocodile by Pristichampsus
Crocodile-like unknown aquatic animals have been reported in the past; while the 'Bristol crocodile' reports are unlikely to reflect
observations of genuinely unknown animals, could they indicate crocodilians in areas where they are unverified to inhabit? The
 illustration depicts a form of 'marine saurian' reported in the Indo-Pacific and is by Tim Morris.
Ever since a bus driver in Bristol claimed to have spotted a six-foot crocodile under the Bedminster Bridge, the media has been very active in producing news articles regarding the matter. The aforementioned report launched a police investigation to no avail. The concept of a pet crocodile being accidentally or purposefully released is plausible and such a reptile could survive brief periods of cold temperatures, but how does the evidence for a crocodilian in the River Avon stand up to scrutiny? The few reports of the alleged animal aren't spectacularly compelling in their details, and although there are alleged videos and photographs of the animal, they are not anywhere near conclusive either.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

On The Matter of Alleged Civil War Pterosaur Photographs And Modern Day Reports

Following a year’s worth of undergraduate education in Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation, I have embarked on yet another intellectual journey, resulting in my third and hopefully final blog relocation. Please head to “Animal in the Mirror" to read my new writing on humankind's relationship with nonhuman animals, and our denial of our animal nature.
Illustration by Thomas Finley depicting the form of animal which has been proposed to be the inspiration for reports of mystery bat-like animals in Africa and the Americas. 
Although it is common knowledge among serious cryptozoological researchers that such images are mere hoaxes, photographs alleging to portray the bodies of relict pterosaurs surrounded by soldiers or hunters have been circulating on the Internet once again. These images often come in compilations such as the one which was featured on the They Live Among Us Facebook page. As it appears that my leaving of comments has still not helped to hinder such innocent misinformation, I thought that it would be best to formally address these photographs here.
A highly misinformed, spurious image compilation from the They Live Among Us page on Facebook.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

An Alleged Florida 'Sea Monster' Video And A Review of Sunshine State Reports

Alleged 'sea serpent' evidence rarely makes it into the attention of the general public, but when it does, I scrutinize it in light of my extensive research. (Artwork by Thomas Finley which, interestingly, bears some resemblance to a series of particular reports described in this article)
A YouTube video alleging to show a 'Loch Ness monster'-like animal in the shallow bay area of Sanibel Island, Florida has been making the rounds lately and puzzling those who have seen it. According to the individual who posted the footage, he was on a fishing boat with his fiancé when they witnessed what looked almost like a bus speeding through the water. Although they originally suspected it to be a manatee, it is stated in the video's description that the animal had a head which "resembled a sea otter" and a body which "looked like a giant 20 foot plus snake". Its length and width was likened to "a cement utility poll laying down horizontally". This video is quite ambiguous owing to its poor quality, thus the reason why viewers have been without a certain explanation for the animal's identity, but I have shared it below for readers to examine.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Data From Great White Shark Tag Causes Rampant Speculation

Mysterious shark deaths do not necessarily indicate the presence of a massive, unknown marine predator. There are other, more mundane explanations. (Artwork by Thomas Finley)
I have been short on time lately due to the ending of the school year, but an oft-posted news item has caught my attention. Australian scientists recently reported that a tracking tag which they placed on a nine foot great white shark washed ashore with some "weird data". The tag recorded a rapid temperature rise and a sudden dive to depths of 1,900 feet. The device stayed in this state for quite some time, although occasionally fluctuating in depth, leading scientists to allegedly suspect that a predator had eaten the shark. As could surely have been expected due to the effect of mockumentaries from Animal Planet and Discovery Channel, people have started speculating in unfounded and unlikely directions. Rather than some kind of unknown apex predator, the shark in question may have been consumed or partially eaten by an orca, sperm whale, or even a larger shark. Or, as I suspect, the tag may have been brought into greater depths by scavengers. Either way, the speculation which has been rapidly occurring is unnecessary. As much as I'd like this to be evidence for the presence of some sort of macropredatory 'sea serpent', such as a giant abyssal pinniped or relict pliosaur if you want me to follow the current status-quo of rampant speculation, I feel that there are much simpler and more plausible explanations.

As was expected, it seems that the shark's predator has been identified as a larger shark. So much for all of the premature and wild speculation. Thanks to cryptozoological researcher Dale Drinnon, who has refrained from any sort of irregular speculation towards this case as a proper investigator of unverified animals should, for bringing this to my attention.