Friday, August 31, 2007

Chinese Mountain Cat

A feline biologist has photographed the rare Chinese mountain cat, and will be publishing a paper on it in an upcoming issue of Science. (News source.)

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Dart Frog


A pic of the new golden dart frog previously mentioned...

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Big Web

A 200-yard stretch along the nature trail at Lake Tawakoni State Park, Texas, has been covered with a sprawling spider web (or rather a massive conglomerate of webbing). The species is unknown, but is creating a lot of internet buzz among bug enthusiasts. (News source.)

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UK Feline Photograph

A daytripper to Great Hucklow, Derbyshire, has photographed a feline that some consider a possible big cat. The cat walked along a wall, giving an estimate of 3 feet in length and 18 inches in height. One investigator suggested it could be a young leopard or a hybrid cat. (News source.)

Personally, I don't believe the photo shown gives enough information to render a verdict.

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Not a Cougar

A motorist in central Florida called 911 to report a dead panther alongside the road. A police officer sent to investigate found only a dead raccoon. (News source.)

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Baiji Video

A Chinese man videotaped a large white animal that was swimming in the Yangtze river, central Ainhu province.

"Wang Kexiong, of the Institute of Hydrobiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said experts at the institute had confirmed the footage was of a baiji."

The baiji, a river dolphin, was believed possibly extinct, as a recent survey failed to locate any. (News source.)

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ghost Lights Distract Ornithologists

A report from India notes that ornithologists studying the birds of the Banni grasslands are running into another mystery:

"Jugal Kishor Tiwari, an ornithologist of Moti-Virani village, who was earlier employed as a BHNS scientist and ecologist for Seawater Foundation of USA, has seen these strange lights several times. 'I first came to know about these during the study of birds in Banni in 1990. We were there to trap some birds for a BNHS project and were distracted by these lights,' said Tiwari.
"'The light, which is as bright as a mercury lamp changes its colour to blue and sometimes red. It is like a moving ball of fire, which sometime stops or moves as fast as an arrow. On November 5, 2005 my team found these lights at seven places. We have shown this phenomenon to several experts including well-known American ornithologist Bill Clark. He was amazed and had no explanation,' Tiwari said. He, however, said that he had not been able to capture this phenomenon on video or a film roll.
"'No, they are not ghosts as is believed by people in this area. It can be anything. Strangely enough, though this has been a part of life of Banni grasslands for centuries together, no one has been able to come up with a suitable explanation. As long as there is no sound explanation, people would assume these to be ghost lights,' he said.
"He said that these lights can only be seen after 8 pm on dark nights and are always 2-feet above the ground to about 8- to 10-feet in the air.
"Tiwari said the lights had not harmed any one so far except that if one followed them one could be misled from the road into the thorny jungles.
"'It’s like the lights playing hide and seek. Even if you decide not to follow them, they can creep up on you. It’s something like the light following you. This is not only mine but has been every body else’s experience here,' he said." (
News source.)

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New Golden Dart Frog

A new golden dart frog has been discovered, endemic to "a 20 hectare area in Colombia’s Cundinamarca region." It was discovered by a group of youth under the Conservation Leadership Programme. Doesn't look like it has been scientifically described yet, but they are calling it the "golden frog of Supatá." (News source.)

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Even Out West...

Cougars can turn out to be housecats. Pullman, WA, police took photos of an alleged cougar to F&W officers, who identified it as a large housecat. (News source.)

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ivorybill Recovery Plan

USFWS has released a recover plan for the Ivorybill Woodpecker.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Does Champ Exist?

The published transcript of this historic 1981 conference in Shelburne, Vermont, is now available. Gary Mangiacopra and Dwight Smith have edited the transcript, created from audio tapes of the conference, with the cooperation of the speakers. Included along with the transcript is a chronology of Champ sightings, notes on the limnology of Lake Champlain, and some reprints of historical newspaper accounts involving Champ-related phenomena. More details at CoachwhipBooks.

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NC: Cougar Sighting

Two Morganton, NC, men reported seeing "a four-foot, fawn-colored cat, its long tail down and curled at the tip, cross N.C. 181 as they came down the mountain on motorcycles Monday. They were near the Barkhouse Picnic Area between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m." A wildlife technician who was interviewed was skeptical; another wildlife biologist claimed she had found cougar scat in West Virginia, so not as skeptical. (News source, via Chip Ashley)

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Manitoba Sasquatch Hoaxter

Manitoba Mounties responded to a call near Whiteshell Provincial Park about a creature that scared a camper. From the news:

"'This was further to about 10 calls we had last year of the same incident in the Whiteshell Provincial Park, so the members were aware of the type of person we were looking for,' Staff Sgt. Glen Reitlo told CBC News Wednesday.
"'A couple of our members attended and ended up finding the sasquatch.'
"The creature turned out to be an 18-year-old Winnipeg man wearing a hairy gorilla mask, which Reitlo described as 'ugly' and 'scary.' ...

"Reitlo said the man was not intoxicated when nabbed by officers; he apparently had been camping in the area over the past two summers and simply enjoyed the prank."

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Island "Black Panther"

Not much of a description, but a visitor to Sunset Beach, NC, saw what is being reported as a "black panther." No size was given, other than the man thought it was too large to be a normal cat. (News source.)

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Reggie Escapes Again

Reggie, the alligator that was finally captured in a Los Angeles lake, escaped from his pen at the L. A. Zoo, only to be recaptured. His pen is being modified so that the gator can't shimmy up the wall again. A staff worker will also be keeping an eye on him. (News source.)

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Feline Fur was Fox

A fur sample collected by a witness in Maine turned out to be red fox, not mountain lion. The witness is still adamant that the animal he saw was feline. (News source.)

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Vancouver Island Lake Monster?

A news story notes several "strange stories" in regard to Cameron Lake on Vancouver Island. Most recently:

"Bridgette Horvath ... says she saw something very odd in the water when driving by the swimming area recently," ...
"Horvath said she was driving past the lake with a friend on the afternoon of July 30 when she noticed a strange wake in the water. There was no boat making the wake, which she said appeared to be made by something large under the water.
"She pulled her vehicle over and got out to look.
"In all, she said, there appeared to be three objects or creatures in the water.
"'They were going in a circle, like when whales school up fish,' she said.
"Horvath is mystified, but, says Cameron Lake resort owner Louis Verheyen, this was not the first sighting of something strange in Cameron Lake." ...

"'A couple of weeks ago someone said they saw something that looked like a row of car tires or something. Another time, a guy was fishing and he said he saw something really big on his depth sounder. It scared him and he left.'"

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Thailand "Mystery Turtle"

Villagers near Pattaya, Thailand, called the local newspaper to report a strange turtle caught by a local fisherman. The turtle was unknown to them, and had the "tail of a crocodile." Turned out to be a snapping turtle (North American), probably a farm escapee. Pictures at news site.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Notes on the Minhocão

Latest article added to BioFortean Review.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Cryptofic Remake

A remake of the cryptofiction classic film, Creature from the Black Lagoon, is currently in pre-production, with a planned release date in 2008. What does this mean? For starters, be a little more wary than usual of alleged photographs from South America showing bipedal aquatic creatures with scaly skin...

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Mysterious Kentucky


Bart Nunnelly (one of the contributors to Cryptozoology and the Investigation of Lesser-Known Mystery Animals) has just published Mysterious Kentucky with Whitechapel Press. It includes discussion of many biological, archaeological, historical, and anthropological (including folkloric) anomalies, with subjects of interest to cryptozoology, UFOlogy, and paranormal enthusiasts.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Mississippi "Kangaroo"

A kangaroo-like marsupial (let's be honest, most likely someone's pet wallaby) has been reported along U.S. 90 near Bay St. Louis, MS. I'd print more details, but it looks like most of the news article was lifted from a Wikipedia article on kangaroos.

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Africa: Lost Forest, New Species

Wildlife Conservation Society has sent out a press release on some minor species discoveries in a remote eastern section of the Democratic Republic of Congo: "a bat, a rodent, two shrews, and two frogs."

The area involved: the "forested region—including the Misotshi-Kabogo Forest (formerly Mt. Kabobo)—and nearby Marunga Massif is located just west of Lake Tanganyika and has been off limits to scientists since 1960 as a result of continued instability in the area."

"In spite of the conflict and related degradation in the area, the survey team found that some 1,000 square kilometers have remained intact, from the shores of Lake Tanganyika up to elevations of 2,725 meters above sea level. In addition to the new animal species, the survey found that the region of gallery forests and woodlands is extremely rich in biodiversity, containing a number of large mammals such as chimpanzees, bongos, buffalo, elephants, leopards, several types of monkey including a subspecies of colobus only found here, and others, although most of these large-bodied species were found at low densities, probably due to poaching. The survey also found a high diversity of birds, reptile, and amphibian species."

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Albino Nurse Shark

An albino grey nurse shark was photographed off Australia's Fish Rock in New South Wales. It was a 2.2 meter male. From the news:

"Despite albinos having a lower chance of survival because they are visible to prey, Mr Cragg said this shark was 'fighting fit'.
"'It looks like an active male and it was hanging out with the other sharks quite peacefully,' he said. " ...

"The sighting comes as South West Rocks residents wait to hear if Fish Rock will become a 'no-fishing' zone.
"The Nature Conservation Council (NCC) is pushing for more exclusion zones in NSW such as Fish Rock on the grounds the grey nurse shark species is nearly extinct, with fewer than 500 on the east coast. However, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest up to 6000 grey nurses are out there."

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Marc Van Roosmalen Freed on Appeal

Biologist Marc Van Roosmalen (well-known for his new species discoveries) has been released by a Brazilian judge, pending appeal for trumped-up charges.

From the Washington Post:

"On Tuesday, Roosmalen was ordered released pending an appeal, according to a court official who spoke on condition of anonymity in accordance with court policy. Roosmalen's lawyer confirmed the ruling.
"Over the past decade, Roosmalen, a naturalized Brazilian, has described seven new monkey species in the Amazon and has garnered a number of international awards for his research and defense of the Amazon. In 2000, Time magazine named him one of its 'Heroes for the Planet.'
"He tried to auction off the rights to name the new species over the Internet, with the proceeds going to help preserve their habitats. But the court ruled that since he was working for a government agency when the monkeys were found, only federal officials were entitled to decide on the names."

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Vulture Rumors

An interesting news review on "attacking vulture" stories now current over in Europe.

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Ontario Black Panther Sighting

A sighting reported from Nipissing (news source):

"A Civic holiday weekend visit to Nipissing Township will be memorable for one family renting a cottage on Lake Nipissing's South Shore.
"Teri Hart, 33, was jogging on Muskeg Road Friday evening when she was cut off by a large, black cat which bolted across the road. To make matters worse, the Barrie woman was with her two sons, aged 5 and 6, who were riding their bikes." ...
"The family called authorities Friday night and was told by the Ontario Provincial Police to call the Ministry of Natural Resources. A ministry official, in turn, told Thompson a conservation officer would be sent today to track the animal." ...
"There have been numerous unconfirmed black panther sightings in the Bonfield, Rutherglen, Verner and South Shore areas in the past month."

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Beast of Dartmoor photo may show Newfoundland

A common visitor to Dartmoor thinks that recent pictures of a "Beast" taken there may show her large black dog, a Newfoundland. The photographer says the beast's coat was a different texture, and that it wasn't a dog. (News source.)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

"Cougar" Print was Canine

The Pennsylvania "mountain lion" track recently in the news turned out to be canine, game officials and eastern cougar enthusiasts agreed. The farmer still wasn't certain. (News source.)

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Penn Cougar?

The Williamsport Sun-Gazette notes the finding of some large paw prints (as yet unidentified, so could be canine, no photo of the tracks is included online) a few miles from Montoursville, PA:

"The most recent tracks consist of mud on the paved road. Each print is roughly 3 inches long by 2 inches wide. From the back of the hind paw to the front of the lead paw, there’s a separation of about 21 inches. The tracks run east to west, from one cornfield to another."

A few other sightings are noted in the article.

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