Posted 6 days ago
Posted 1 week ago

From the Spearboard.com forums:

We are commercial divers for sea cucumbers. My friend and I rode out from San Pedro to San Clemente yesterday. About 4 miles away from San Pedro, my friend was controlling the boat and called me to look at this monster creature. I had enough time to take a few pictures. The measurements of the head was like 3 feet long and 2 feet wide and about 2 feet high. In the first picture, from the right side, that is the nose. In the middle, it is the eye which was about 4 inches long. And to the left, is the back of the head. We did not see the body. To me, it looked like a mix of a horse, camel, and hippopotamus. It rose out of the water, just its head, and slowly went down into the water again as we were 15 feet away. Does anybody know what this THING is? This is not fake. Does anybody know who I can refer to or contact for more information to find out more about it? Thanks.

As other posters pointed out, this is clearly a Northern Elephant Seal (Mirounga angustirostris). In response, the eyewitness stated:

Maybe you’re right. I checked Google and the top of the head looks like it. It’s a bit different, but also a bit similar. Are Elephant Seals even located here and do they come to this area?

As a person interested in cryptozoology, this is a goldmine. Everybody knows anecdotes can be faulty but it’s hard to test just what sort of description a person will give to an unfamiliar animal. It’s once in a blue moon that somebody will include photographs with their descriptions… which demonstrate just how wrong their descriptions are.

Most ‘True Believer’ types will argue that a person identifying as a commercial diver” will be experienced with everything and pretty much infallible. And surely nobody only 15 feet away from an animal could misidentify it, right? Yeah… not so much. It’s interesting that even after looking up pictures of an elephant seal, the eyewitness found it "a bit different". Comparing an elephant seal to a horse, camel, and hippopotamus” seems a bit counter-intuitive and it’s interesting that the cryptid ‘Cadborosaurus’ is often also compared to the first two. The dimensions of the head and eye also seem to be exaggerated.

Posted 1 week ago

Homo floresiensis: scientists clash over claims 'hobbit man' was modern human with Down's syndrome

"This is an outrageous abuse of the peer review process."

"This is just cronyism,"

Posted 2 weeks ago

A reconstruction of Spinosaurus by Luis V. Rey based on a new version by Paul Sereno.

It would appear that new material has been discovered and not yet published — however, even Rey himself is uncertain of this. The extremely short legs and near-quadrupedal posture just… could not look weirder.

From the art blog of Luis V. Rey (which also has a picture of what appears to be a skeletal mount with similar proportions).

Posted 3 weeks ago

Trawler bycatch of a juvenile Nile Softshell Turtle (Trionyx triunguis) from the mouth of the Seyhan and Ceyhan Rivers, Turkey (top); and an adult from Hisaronu Bay, Turkey that was observed at a depth of 15 meters, which moved to 22 m when disturbed (bottom). Not pictured — unfortunately — was an enormous individual (over a meter in carapace length) accidentally trawled up from a depth of 55 m in Iskenderun Bay, Turkey. It would appear that while mainly freshwater and estuarine, this species is capable of surviving and thriving in marine environments. Curiously, two other giant softshells (Pelochelys cantori, P. bibroni) have been observed at sea as well.

Taskavak, E. & Akcinar, S. (2009) Marine records of the Nile soft-shelled turtle, Trionyx triunguis from Turkey. Marine Biodiversity Records 2 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1755267208000092 

Posted 1 month ago

accordingtocryptozoologist:

According to Cryptozoologists Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe, Lakes Bear, Utah and Powell (all in Utah) and some other places in North America are haunted by giant beavers. Only one sighting from man-made Lake Powell is explicitly of a giant beaver, the rest are vague, remarkably un-beaver-like (“alligator-like jaws”, “reptilian”, etc.), or legends. Even among cryptozoologists, this doesn’t seem to be a very popular cryptid.

There were real giant beavers (Castoroides), which weren’t towering sloth-like beasts.

Coleman, L. & Huyghe, P. (2003) The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and Other Mystery Denizens of the Deep.

I read lots of bizarre hypotheses by cryptozoologists, so much so, I’ve started another blog. The (Internet) world needs to know about the Giant Beaver Hypothesis. 

Posted 1 month ago

Fan-art of a recently (semi-) published hypothesis: that the bizarre internal structures on beaked whale skulls may be used for ‘visual’ sexual display, despite being surrounded by soft tissue. Apparently this bone — some of which is the most dense known — could still be detectable to an echo-locating beaked whale. The title of Gol’din’s article rather memorably calls them ‘antlers inside’ and… I sorta ran with it.

Gol’din P. (2014) ‘Antlers inside’: are the skull structures of beaked whales (Cetacea: Ziphiidae) used for echoic imaging and visual display? Biological Journal of the Linnean Society DOI: 10.1111/bij.12337

Posted 1 month ago

Humans among the primates | Tetrapod Zoology, Scientific American Blog Network

Humans finally get the Tet Zoo treatment! 

Posted 1 month ago

Cephalopod* phylogeny according to Fuchs et al. (2013). Contrary to conventional wisdom, belemnoids were not found to be extinct, rather, there appears to be a transitional taxa (Longibelus) between them and decabrachians (squids, cuttlefish, Spirula). True squid are thus a surprisingly young group and amazingly, lack a fossil record; fossils previously regarded as squid are now thought to be vampyropods (vampire squid and octopuses).

Fuchs, D. et al. (2013) Longibelus gen. nov., a new Cretaceous coleoid genus linking Belemnoidea and early Decabrachia. Palaeontology 56(5) 1081–1106.


* More specifically, covering crown-coleoids and one stem-coleoid, not all cephalopods.

Posted 1 month ago

Stepanov N.P and the Penza Specimen in 1929. This huge, partial skull was recently assigned to Mosasaurus hoffmani; measuring over 1.7 meters in length, it is from one of the largest known mosasaur specimens. The arrows are pointing to an incorrectly placed left angular.

Grigoriev, D. (2014) Giant Mosasaurus hoffmani (Squamata, Mosasauridae) from the Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) of Penza, Russia. Proceedings of the Zoological Institute RAS (318) 2 148–167.