Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Australian Big Cats

More news from Australia on large felines being sighted. (News source.)

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Chinese Farmer Sentenced for Tiger Pics

The Chinese farmer who faked pictures of a tiger for reward money has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. (News source.)

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Yowie Tracks

British Columbia is having a resurgence of sasquatch sightings, but here's a report of yowie tracks in Australia.

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Fossil Goose

A goose-like bird fossil has been found in the UK; it had a 16-foot wingspan and a beak full of teeth. (News source.)

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Maryland Manatees

A pair of manatees have been found in a Chesapeake Bay tributary in Baltimore County, Maryland. (News source.)

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Blog Monkey Project

There's an effort to raise money for Dr. Marc van Roosmalen, with the intent of describing a recently discovered woolly monkey as the "blog monkey." Details here.

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Mountain Lions

Brief articles on cougar sightings in Illinois and Maryland.

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Tall Tales in Virginia

Southampton County, VA, residents are falling for conspiracy stories that wildlife officials have released rattlesnakes via helicopter... (News source.)

The same rumors of secretive predator introductions have been spread (whether of rattlesnakes, mountain lions, or coyotes) throughout North America, and even in other parts of the world ("viper introductions" in France, etc.).

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Moe Probably Didn't Survive

No trace of Moe, the escaped chimpanzee in California, for three months, and a new article suggests that he probably didn't survive.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bigfoot in BC

An article here on a British Columbia investigator with a 4-toed foot cast 16 inches long.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Monkey Recaptured

A Japanese macaque loose in Ontario was returned to its home at an exotic animal sanctuary, 11 days after it escaped. (News source.)

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Big Herps

Todd Jurasek has an article out on his research into Australasian sightings of oversized lizards and dinosaur-like reptiles.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Prince Edward Island Carcass

A small decomposing marine animal was found off a Summerside boardwalk. (News source.) Looks like an American anglerfish (Lophius americanus).

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Feline News

The NSW (Australia) premier wants to investigate the ongoing big cat sightings there. (News source.)

Blackstone, Virginia, and its newspaper, the Courier-Record, are investigating sightings of the eastern cougar. (News source.)

A loose tiger is one of the concerns in Galveston County, post-Hurricane Ike. (News source.)

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

2-Legged Snake Mis-ID

An alleged "two-legged snake" turned out to be a snake that had recently eaten a frog; the legs protruded through the snake's skin after the snake was beaten to death, creating an odd chimaeric reptile. (News source.)

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100 New Elasmobranchs

100 new species of sharks and rays have been described from an 18-month survey of Australian waters. A summit will be discussing their conservation. (News source.)

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Toronto: Monkey Loose

A Japanese macaque is on the loose, having escaped from the Bergeron Animal Sanctuary. (News source.)

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Grizzly Study

A study on the grizzlies of northwest Montana estimated the presence of 765 bears, nearly 2 1/2 times previous estimates. (News source.)

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Deadly Leopard

A leopard that had been habituated to a tourism resort in Tanzania, showing up for scraps at the weekly barbecues, eventually killed a young boy there. (News source.)

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Iguana Species

The latest issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B includes the description of a new species of iguana (Brachylophus bulabula) from Ovalau Island, Fiji. (News source.)

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Fluorescent Fish

A new study points out that a good number of marine fish fluoresce red. (News source.)

"It has long been axiomatic that red light is simply not part of the mental universe of marine fish because the sunlight's longest visible wavelengths do not penetrate below a depth of ten metres (30 feet)." ...
"This foreshortening of the color spectrum under the waves was also assumed to correspond to a narrowed field of vision in fish, said the study's lead researcher in an interview." ...
"Looking through a filter while scuba diving that blocked out the brighter green and blue light waves, leaving only red ones, they suddenly saw a whole universe of sea creatures glowing various hues of cherry, crimson, ruby and rust."

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mystery Lake Critter (Though Not For Long)

Reports that a Connecticut woman and photographed a strange creature in a reservoir were quickly followed by people pointing out it was a turtle... (Slide show at second url)

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Australian Big Cat vs Sheep?

Dead sheep are creating more rumors of big cats. (News source.)

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Mistfrog Rediscovery

The tiny armoured mistfrog, believed extinct since 1991 after the chytrid fungus devastated northern Queensland, has been rediscovered. (News source.)

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Skin Vision

More Fortean in nature, a research at Tel Aviv University is proposing an optic-less imaging model, suggested by accounts of blind individuals "seeing" colors and shapes with their skin. (News source.)

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bigfoot in BC

A recent bigfoot sighting in British Columbia is detailed here.

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Okapi Survives in Congo

WCS survey cameras photographed an okapi in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Virunga National Park. (Eurekalert)

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Shimmering Bees

Research on Asian giant honeybees' shimmering behavior continues... (Eurekalert)

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Bat "Discos"

Bats will be singing and swarming, and researchers are at the ready... (News source.)

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Surviving Outer Space

Turns out some tartigrades ("water-bears") can survive exposure to outer space's extreme conditions. (News source.)

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Monday, September 08, 2008

"Big Snake" in Indiana

From Mishawaka, Indiana:

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[It] all started three weeks ago when the Scott family found a mound of sand and gravel in their backyard.
"One member of the family even spotted what they thought was a huge snake head."

They called professionals, who said it might be a large exotic snake or a large native ratsnake. The problem, of course, is that large snakes don't create mounds of sand and gravel. They may take over a burrow, but this sounds like a misidentification, probably not a snake at all. (Offhand don't know if this part of Indiana has bullsnakes, but that would be more likely than a ratsnake.)

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Ugly Bearded Creature?

A Brunei nature documentary on Temburong has a "touch of mystery" to it. No real details, but the news article notes:

"The mystery started when one of our production crews fainted after she saw an ugly bearded creature in the jungle before we even started to climb.
"We have to leave her behind to be looked after by one of the guides."

Lots of known primates in Brunei, so would need better details to determine if this is an actual "mystery" or not.

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Connecticut Mountain Lions?

Another article here on the controversy over whether cougar are in New England.

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Saturday, September 06, 2008

More on Fossil Print

A little bit more on that Tennessee fossil footprint, with better image, here.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Tijuana Lion

A big cat ("African" lion) was reported from Tijuana, near La Presa Dam. (News source.)

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Flora Curiosa: Cryptobotanical Fiction

For those interested in literary cryptobotany, I've put together an anthology (Flora Curiosa) of 20 classic short stories involving all sorts of strange plants and fungi in science fiction and fantasy. An additional story by Louisa May Alcott that I came across too late for this collection was included in my anthology of Egyptian-themed sff stories, Out of the Sand.

Also, I've put together a two-novel collection, Pym, that includes Edgar Allan Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, in which you'll find Poe's zoological speculation on the fauna of the Antarctic (at that point unexplored).

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Software for Sea Serpents

Some details on the software used to capture the Swedish "sea serpent" images here.

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Orkney Carcass

A geneticist is looking into the old Stronsay Beast carcass. Not sure why... (News source.)

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Canada: Bigfoot Sighting?

"We were a half to three-quarters of a mile from the Skiff Lake sign in a densely wooded area when we came around a turn and saw a huge figure on the edge of the road. It looked down towards us then it walked across the road ahead of us just about 250 meters away." (News source.)

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Phika: Folklore of the Mamba?

Botswana folklore has stories of the Phika, or "devilish serpent," with fantastical (and deadly) abilities. When investigating reports, the Department of Wildlife comes up with the same species: the black mamba. (New source.)

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Irish Lion

A big sandy-colored animal spotted roaming the grounds of the Belfast zoo was most likely a stray dog; no big cats were missing from their enclosures. (News source.)

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