Monday, March 30, 2009

Lions Were Bigger

This isn't new, really, but another study is pointing out that fossil lions in Europe and North America were up to 25% larger than modern lions. (News source.)

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

More California Black Panthers

An article in the SF Examiner on black panther sightings.

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Ohio: Mountain Lion

Warren County, Ohio, has more reports of a mountain lion. Nothing new there, I looked into some sightings there several years back (a possibly released cat from a big cat owner who disappeared, leaving behind a tiger but not the cougar). That particular one wandered south. There are still occasional reports from Preble county, I've heard. (News source.)

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Tasmanian Wolf and Devil News

An article here on a thylacine hunter in Victoria.

A Tasmanian devil was found dead in Victoria, probably the same as one that escaped from a wildlife park. (News source.)


Friday, March 27, 2009

Antpitta Found, But Probably Lost

A new subspecies of antipitta was discovered in an old collection, from a region that has undergone massive habitat loss (so may be extinct). (News source.)


Bigfoot History Paper

Just noticed that Dr. Brian Regal has published another paper on Bigfoot history.

Entering Dubious Realms: Grover Krantz, Science and Sasquatch
Annals of Science 66:1
January, 2009.

A download link to a pdf of the paper is available on his site.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Flying Snakes in KY and Elsewhere

As part of ongoing investigation into the cryptozoological phenomenon of "flying snakes" in North America, Nick Sucik has published a two-part article in a Kentucky newspaper, available online. Part I, and Part II.

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Another Cryptofiction Anthology

Forgot to mention another recent reprint anthology for those who prefer their cryptofiction in book form, Volume 1 of Fantasies of Science, Romance, and the Weird by Robert W. Chambers includes the cryptofiction stories found in Chambers' books In Search of the Unknown and Police!!! Details at Coachwhip Publications.

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Another Big Housecat

A DEC officer in New York went out on a "cougar" call and came back with a photo of the culprit: a very large housecat. (News source.)

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More on Unknown Seals

A bit more from a news article on the recent paper on possible unknown pinnipeds.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Illinois: "Black Panther"

A black feline is reported from Elgin, Illinois. (News source.)

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Pinniped Discovery Potential

Darren Naish has posted details on a new paper on the possibility of new pinnipeds, here.

The paper itself:

Woodley, M. A., Naish, D. & Shanahan, H. P. 2009. How many extant pinniped species remain to be described? Historical Biology doi:10.1080/08912960902830210

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Ivan T. Sanderson's Cryptofiction

Long before Jurassic Park, cryptozoologist Ivan T. Sanderson had his own vision of a world where dinosaurs and other fossil saurians came back to battle with mankind. In a short novella (or better, a long short story), Report on the Status Quo, published as a stand-alone book, Sanderson (under his fiction-writing pseudonym, Terence Roberts) offers an alternate history of a post-WWIII world that finds itself under siege by monstrous creatures from the past.

Sanderson's fiction is not well-known; he wrote a trio of military espionage stories set in the Caribbean and a children's adventure book or two, but despite his wide interest in both cryptozoology and Fortean subjects, this appears to be his only foray into speculative fiction. (I'd be interested in hearing about any that I've not seen.)

Report on the Status Quo
is one story (with full illustrations by Sanderson) now collected in my latest cryptofiction-oriented anthology: Sauria Monstra: Dinosaurs, Pterosaurs, and Other Fossil Saurians in Classic Science Fiction and Fantasy. Further details, contents, and more samples of Sanderson's accompanying sketches at Coachwhip Publications.

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Siberian Rumors Lead to Hunt

Expedition is setting off in search of a wildman. (News source.)


Name a Shrimp

The Australian Marine Conservation Society is auctioning the rights to name a new species of deep sea shrimp. (News source.)


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pink Elephant

A probable albino elephant calf in Botswana is getting attention... (News source.)

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Hurdia Victoria

A new fossil has been (re)identified from the Burgess Shale: Hurdia victoria.

"Like some large shellfish, this underwater predator had a segmented body, a pair of claws and a circular mouth with several layers of overlapping teeth. Its distinguishing feature was a hard carapace that jutted out from its head, the function of which remains something of a mystery since it did not serve as a protective covering for its flesh. ... The scholars speculate that the hurdia 's carapace, which jutted out over its head like the brim of a hat, may have been used to funnel prey into its mouth." (News source.)


Washed Up Mystery

A big animal with at least one horn washed up on a Trinidad beach, leading to all kinds of speculation. Officials eventually said it was a bull from a herd that roams a plantation in the region. (News source.)


"Black Panther" Sightings

New York's Palisades area has sightings of two "black panthers." (News source.)

Indiana DNR doesn't think that a reported "black panther" could actually survive long without being seen more often. (News source.) This may be related, coming from a Chicago area newspaper.

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Fossil Feathers

A heterodontosaurid fossil has features identified as "long feather-like structures sticking up from its body." (News source.)

A new fossil bird has been discovered in China, named Confuciusornis feducciai after the well-known palaeontologist. (News source.)

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BF Misc

A Bigfoot hunting article from Alabama here.

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Big Alien Spider

An Oklahoma grocery found a big spider in the batch of bananas, prompting fears it might be a venomous wandering spider. Tulsa Zoo officials took a look at a photo and said it was probably just a common (and harmless) huntsman spider. (News source.)

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Arizona: "Black Panther"

The story sounds a bit imaginative, and details don't suggest a very large cat, but someone records their sighting of a "black panther" here.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

UK: Blue Morph Pheasant

Just an odd color morph of a pheasant noted in Lincolnshire. (News source)

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Range Extension News

More info on sea otters seen off the Oregon coast, here.

The Sierra Pacific wolverine has been photographed again.


Fossil Octopus

Interesting fossil, very similar to living species.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Fossils: Tiny Dinos, Predator X

North America has a new tiniest dinosaur, Hesperonychus. (News source, and here.)

A giant pliosaur, nicknamed Predator X, had a hefty bite. (News source.)

And, some info here on a trapped herd of young dinosaurs fossilized together.


Saturday, March 14, 2009


Trace fossils from the UK stir speculation on a "large" extinct worm. (News source.)

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New Bird: Solomon Islands

Note on a new bird, the Vanikoro White-eye, discovered recently, here, along with brief discussion on as yet undiscovered species.

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An old newspaper account from Arizona illustrates that even widely different animals can be confused by some people.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Shark Debate Stirred Again

Was Megalodon closer to great whites or makos? A new fossil brings up the debate again. (Eurekalert.)

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Conservation Tech

3D computer generated "skins" created from photos are being used to track tigers in conservation work. The software is free and available for similar purposes. (News source.)

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Coastal Wolves Distinctive

An interesting study suggests that the wolves found on the west coast from southern Alaska to Vancouver Island are "unique in behaviour, looks, diet and genetic makeup." (News source.)


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hyena Owner Busted

Yep, hyenas are just one of many exotic animals bred in the exotic animal trade. (News source.)


"Dracula" Fish

A small fish discovered in Burma has a pair of small fangs. (News source.)

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Clone Colony

A 12-meter patch of amoebic clones (Dictyostelium discoideum) was found in a Texas cow pasture. It's the largest such colony to have been discovered. (Eurekalert)

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Piebald Moose

Story here on an odd moose encountered in Alaska.


Small Whale Shark

A baby whale shark was discovered being offered for sale in the Philippines. NG has photos of the shark, which was freed.


Giraffes: Splitting Species?

An interview here that notes the ongoing research into whether the single recognized giraffe species should be split into several species...

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Premeditated Actions in a Chimp

Current Biology has a new article about "a male chimpanzee calmly collecting stones and fashioning concrete discs that he would later use to hurl at zoo visitors." (Eurekalert.)

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Condor Release

Four more young California condors were released in Arizona near the Utah border. (News source.)

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DNA Article

An article here on investigating ancient bones (from Homo floresiensis to moas) through clues in the DNA.

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Humboldt Squid

The range for these giant squid has been expanding over the last several years, and they are more common along the California coast. (News source.)


Javan Rhino Footage

New infra-red camera footage of the rare Javan rhino in its natural habitat, here or here.

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Saturday, March 07, 2009

Feline News

WI DNR confirms the presence of a mountain lion in that state. They're attempting to capture and tag it, without success so far. (News source.)

An Alabama outdoors columnist opines on the presence of "long-tail cats" in that state.

A Tucson newspaper blog notes an old story of a "black panther" or perhaps a jaguar killing dogs back in the 1970s.

Sri Lanka has a melanistic leopard ("black panther") carcass; not sure why they say it "might be a new species." Doesn't sound like there's any basis for that from the description and history of similar reports on the island. (It appears that some news sources are incorrectly identifying this feline as a black tiger.)

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Pakistan: Predator

An unidentified predator has been killing livestock in Pakistan, along the River Indus. Lots of possible known predators, but they do bring in the "leopard escaped from circus" theory. (News source.)


Termite Fishing

More field research results on chimps fashioning basic tools (sticks for termite fishing), here.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Iowa: Hairy Biped Sightings

"It's big, it's hairy, and it's been sighted in Jefferson County. Just don't call it bigfoot." [Not certain why the article is appearing, nothing new seems to be noted.] (News source.)


Quail Rediscovery

Worcester’s buttonquail (Turnix worcesteri) was rediscovered in the Philippines, after it was photographed by a documentary crew who didn't realize it was very rare; the bird was caught, then sold in a market and eaten. (News source.)

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Pink Dolphin

An albino bottlenose dolphin (with a distinctive pink hue) has shown up in Louisiana's Lake Calcasieu, an inland saltwater estuary. (News source, and here.)

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Monday, March 02, 2009


Cryptofiction author Lee Murphy has come out with a book in a different genre altogether: YGOR.

The book's description: "Casting new light upon the oft-told story, YGOR is not so much a horror novel, as a character piece depicting the co-dependent relationship between the insane scientist and the famous deformed lab assistant. Told first-person by Ygor, this novel chronicles the four-year odyssey from the moment these two men first meet, to the fruition of their ultimate goal: to resurrect human life from dead bodies. Ygor suffers countless abuses and many run-ins with evil through his years of tireless service, ultimately to discover the great value of his own unacknowledged sensibilites and intelligence."


Sunday, March 01, 2009

Tiger Catching

Sumatran forest rangers and conservationists try to catch problem tigers, fit them with tracking equipment, and release them elsewhere. (News source.)

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Ohio: Zebra on Loose

A zebra is roaming the Little Hocking area in Ohio. (News here, and here.)