Saturday, January 30, 2010

Misidentifications

A woman new to Texas thought she had a lemur in her backyard; turned out to be a native ringtail cat. (News source.)

A video of a black "big cat" in Australia looks like a large domestic feline. (News source.)

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jaguars

An interesting Op Ed from biologist Alan Rabinowitz showing why advocacy groups like the Center for Biological Diversity are doing more harm than good by forcing the USFWS to preserve "jaguar habitat."

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Mokele-Mbembe Book Title Poll

I'm running a quick poll today on my StrangeArk mailing list on a soon-to-be published book by Bill Gibbons on mokele-mbembe and the various expeditions. Three potential subtitles, take a quick vote if you're a listmember, or join the list to vote.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bosom Serpents

A weird Fortean phenomenon, have to wonder if it has any relationship to Münchausen syndrome.

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Museum Exhibit

What sounds like an interesting museum exhibit on Bigfoot is being held at the Washington State History Museum. (News source.)

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

TX Tiger Lost & Found

A tiger that escaped from its cage in Van Zandt Co., TX, has been recaptured. (News source.)

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ivorybill Fiasco Brewing?

Someone claims to have photographed a living ivorybill woodpecker. The manner in which this information is being promoted has some birding folks skeptical; certainly doesn't raise much hope on the crypto side, either.

Here's a suggestion for anyone fortunate enough to acquire real evidence of a mystery animal in the future: a) have your evidence firmly and scientifically substantiated prior to your announcement, or b) provide the evidence for open and thorough examination immediately at the announcement.

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Oversized Black Jaguar?

In the Explorer's Club article I just posted, I note the statement:

"It’s no use returning from a stroll through the jungle and saying you have seen a huge black jaguar twice the size of other jaguars – as a Catholic missionary working in Amazonian Peru did recently – unless you have some physical evidence."

Now, I'm wondering where this was reported, if anywhere, as I don't recall seeing it before. (And, of course, am wondering if there's any connection to Hocking's mystery cats from the same region.) If someone knows the original source, please forward or comment here.

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Searching for New Species

A very interesting article here on scientists in search of rare and new species.

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Hairless Raccoon

A "chupacabra" body in Texas turned out to be a hairless raccoon. (News source.)

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Tropical Whale in Puget Sound

What may be a Bryde's whale has washed ashore in Washington state. (News source.)

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Inbreeding

Some are speculating that the sighting of a brown-and-white giant panda indicates inbreeding in the population. (News source.)

Research on thylacine specimens suggest that inbreeding was high prior to their extinction. (News source.)

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Dinosaur "Death-trap" Footprints

Interesting speculation on what may have been giant footprints that trapped smaller dinosaurs, here.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Another Jurassic Park Trilogy

I suppose it's too much to hope for some sort of cryptozoological take... (News source.)

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Jaguar Protection

Federal officials are now supporting jaguar habitat protection. (News source.) And a Louisiana newspaper chimes in with stories of jaguars from the past there.

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Auk Bones Museum Find

A museum at Glasgow University discovered they had great auk bones in their uncatalogued archaeological specimens. (News source.)

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Thylacine Travel Guide

A somewhat generic travel article on Australia focusing on thylacines, here.

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OT: Raptors of the Northeast

For birders and wildlife enthusiasts in the northeastern US, I've recently published Dr. Thomas Bosakowski and Dr. Dwight G. Smith's Raptors of the Northeast. Full color, 30 species covered, 200 pages.

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UK Killer Whales

There are two forms of killer whale that are found off the coast of the UK, according to researchers. (News source.)

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New Bird from Borneo

A new bird has been photographed in Borneo, but not yet described. (News source.)

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Weird Invertebrates

A sea slug has been discovered to apparently swipe genes from algae, allowing it to produce its own chlorophyll. (News source.)

An orchid-pollinating cricket has been discovered in Madagascar. (News source.)

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"Extinct" Tortoise Found in Captivity

Nine captive Galapagos Island tortoises are descendants of an "extinct" species from Floreana Island, according to new genetic research. (News source.)

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Couple of New Species

A new chameleon from Tanzania, and a "strawberry" colored (not flavored) crab from Taiwan.

[Edit: Also, via Kevin Stewart, Arapaima may be more than one species.]

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Monday, January 04, 2010

Bigfoot in Georgia

The publisher recently sent me a copy of Jeffery Wells' Bigfoot in Georgia, so I'll note a few things here for potential readers. First the basics:

Bigfoot in Georgia
Jeffery Wells
Pine Winds Press (Idyll Arbor); 2010
ISBN 978-0-937663-17-2
165 pp., retails for $18.00

Let me start off pointing out that Amazon currently has the book discounted (on pre-order) to a bit over $12, so don't be afraid of the $18 price tag.

The book covers Bigfoot sightings in Georgia, including regional Native American tales, some early newspaper accounts, and other stories up to the present day. There is discussion in the first chapter on the overall history of Bigfoot sightings, another chapter discusses the Elkins Creek cast, and he devotes a fair bit of text to specific organizations or researchers (for example, a chapter on journalist Wayne Ford).

The author is a professor at Georgia Military College (Atlanta campus), and his ability to write is certainly above par for the subject. This is a decent state guide on the topic, and the author handles it objectively. It looks like most of the reports come from other researchers and organizations, so the scope of sightings may be familiar to the more well-versed Bigfoot enthusiasts. That's not a bad thing -- if anything, more regional Bigfoot organizations need to seek out individuals like Wells to organize and write up their files in a professional manner. Too many guides (or websites) are haphazard or don't convey an objective approach to the subject. I would have liked to have seen a more thorough survey of sightings in this book, but I suspect it would be too difficult to manage that while dealing with the various personalities in Bigfoot research. That's one reason I don't bother with this topic much myself.

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sacramento Valley Fox

A new subspecies of native red fox has been determined in the Sacramento Valley (CA). (News source, via Kevin Stewart)

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