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Tags abominable snowmen , chupacabra , cryptids

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Old 17th January 2013, 03:39 PM   #41
Dinwar
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Well, new species of apes are found on occasion--so the idea of a new, large species isn't inherently unscientific. It's a question of what those species are that is.

As for Megalodon, I don't hold out any hope. Even if it survived into the Holocene, human predation on whales would have destroyed the only really viable food source for the animal. It did so for another cetacean predator: the orca.
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Old 17th January 2013, 04:45 PM   #42
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Dinwar,

I agree with you. All we have at the moment are eyewitness accounts of alleged Megalodon sightings (with no other data to verify such accounts). And reports of two Megalodon teeth that were dated to quite recently (geologically).

But if I had the choice to spend loads of money (like they did chasing the giant squid) on an expedition to search for an alleged living cryptid, I think my "scales of justice" would tip towards searching for a potential giant shark (previously shown to exist in the fossil record), rather than an alleged pan-dimensional being with red eyeshine, allegedly descending from the skyies in silvery oblate spherioids, has a need to leave alleged large scat piles, walks everywhere so often in the contiguous 48 and Alaska that as a result there have been relatively few alleged discovered footpath trails found over the last 50 years, so tech savvy that it can avoid being conclusively imaged by trail cams and numerous humans with smartphones, yet so stupid that it eats its meals raw--whether fish, deer, rodents, or even beef carcasses hanging up inside storage buildings.

For Squatchery woo, too many clashing alleged data points for me to currently consider it.

But I do have an open mind. South America does have native primate populations that are non-human. North America is indeed attached to it.
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Old 17th January 2013, 04:54 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Zippy Omicron
And reports of two Megalodon teeth that were dated to quite recently (geologically).
That's actually what leads me to believe it's false.

The dating is what you typically get when someone finds a fossil in sediment that can't be radiometrically dated. They know that the sediment is 11 ka to 24 ka, so they assume the fossil is as well. Not a bad assumption, per say--but it means that they haven't actually dated the specimens. I can tell you from personal experience that bioturbation plays merry havoc with dating--critters are CONSTANTLY pulling new stuff into old dirt. You have to be extremely careful to account for that, and simply put dredging operations cannot achieve the level of care necessary to do so. I've done both, so I can speak from experience here.

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But I do have an open mind. South America does have native primate populations that are non-human. North America is indeed attached to it.
Only for now. There WERE three waves (at least) of South American animals into North America, including the giant ground sloths, but no primates made the trip as far as I'm aware. Not enough of the right kinds of habitat, and far too many predators in North America.

If someone put a gun to my head and threatened to shoot me if I didn't look for a cryptid, yeah, I'd go after Megalodon--at least it's within the realm of possibility that one might be floating around. But it's still so far down my list of possible critters that I'd never volunteer for such an expedition.
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Old 17th January 2013, 08:19 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Weak Kitten View Post
Note: I doubt that the whole "rolling around like a hoop" thing is real however. That's just silly and impractical.
But the talking drunkard part is perfectly acceptable, right?
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Old 19th January 2013, 09:06 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Zippy Omicron View Post
...snip... All we have at the moment are eyewitness accounts of alleged Megalodon sightings (with no other data to verify such accounts). And reports of two Megalodon teeth that were dated to quite recently (geologically).

But if I had the choice to spend loads of money (like they did chasing the giant squid) on an expedition to search for an alleged living cryptid, I think my "scales of justice" would tip towards searching for a potential giant shark (previously shown to exist in the fossil record)
Save your money. The giant squid is not a cryptid, it never was - just in the deluded and/or ignorant and/or dishonest minds of cryptozoologists. "Chasing it" is actually a scientific endeavour, even if for a wildlife documentary.

The alleged recent megalodon tooth came from a dredge sampling from the venerable HMS Challenger in the late XIX century and was dated in the late 50's using extremely, highly, incredibly imprecise methods. In other words, this age is unreliable, and its use by cryptozoologists in the XXI century to back megalodons as cryptids is another example of how bogus cryptozoology can be. Even the Monsterquest show downgraded this evidence - they tried carbon dating it, but it failed. Sure, they donwgraded but kept that "what-if-who-knows-maybe-lets-have-hope" attitude. The show gotta make money.

To this fact, add the number of recent whales carcasses being found with bite marks which could be attributed to megalodons -> 0. What do you expect a 11 to 20m-long shark to eat? Humboldt squids?

Sightings? Meh.

Originally Posted by Zippy Omicron View Post
I do have an open mind. South America does have native primate populations that are non-human. North America is indeed attached to it.
Feel free to close your mind. Its a reasonable position, its actully the single only reasonable position. South America has monkeys, not apes. Tree-dwelling monkeys, with big tails. Sure, you can find them in Mexico, bur some barrier avoided them to reach USA. Desert? Not the right type of vegetation (fruits and leaves they require) at these forests? Too cold? Don't know. Maybe a combination of these. Its not predation, since they evolved in environments with jaguars and pumas. Whatever the reasons are, even the largest of those apes, the extinct Caipora bambuirorum, can not be considered as a candidate for bigfoot. They were about the size of a chimp or maybe a 10 years old kid and had big tails.
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Old 19th January 2013, 09:46 AM   #46
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A little bit more on Megalodon

Correo Neto and Dinwar,

Here is some more information about Megalodon that I have found on the Web (I am hopeful that these URL links will register--I guess we'll find out if I posted enough messages now.)

Here is data from a webpage put up by ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research.

This one has boxes of both "pro" and "con" about the existence of Megalodon. It covers prehistoric creature precedent (Coelacanth), how much of the ocean has been explored, dating Megalodon teeth (manganese dioxide deposition), eyewitness accounts, other large sea animal discovery precedent, and strangely enough, mention of mangled ocean fishing nets.

http://www.elasmo-research.org/educa...odon_lives.htm


The following is a cached webpage for the Megalodon discussion on "monsterfishkeepers.com" website. (There are 11 pages of subsequent postings apparently also.)

http://72.30.186.176/search/srpcache...PcD00bVksXTA--

This includes the 1918 sighting off of Australia, as well as a super large unidentified creature seen in the Marianas trench by Japanese researchers via video recording, although I dont' know the exact date, as it doesn't say in the posting.

Anyway, some food for thought.

One other alleged cryptid I'd like to see catalogued--as to whether it definitively exists or not, and if so, what type of creature it is. The mokele mbembe of the Congo region.
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Old 19th January 2013, 10:52 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Zippy Omicron View Post
The mokele mbembe of the Congo region.
It's a rhino.

This is a cultural memory from the time when the are was savannah prior to being rainforest. I have been to the area myself and asked the locals about it in French, and also through an interpreter. They say that it is a rhino, and they point to a rhino in mammal field-guides. There are a couple of TV programmes kicking around somewhere where the same thing happens....a big picture of a rhino is shown and the locals (who will never have seen a rhino, because they don't live there any more) call out....."mokele mbembe".

Anyone familiar with rhinos will also fully understand the long-neck description, too. Northern white rhino, I assume, given the area.

File this one away as solved. Mokele mbembe is a rhino. Sorry.

Mike
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Old 19th January 2013, 12:24 PM   #48
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Here is a list of alleged cryptids, some possible, many fanciful.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cryptids
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Old 19th January 2013, 12:30 PM   #49
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MikeG,

Thanks for your response.

So you ID'ed a creature that is called Mokele Mbembe = Northern White Rhino.

But what about these other creatures that Mackal was told about? (URL link at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mokele_mbembe) I remember him writing about this in his volume about his expedition to the Congo back in the 1980s.

Were you able to link these up to identified animals as well?

Emel-ntouka?

Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu?

Nguma-moene?

Ndendeki?

Mahamba?

Ngoima?

If you have, I am all ears. Let me know if you broached asking about these creatures as well.
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Old 19th January 2013, 01:15 PM   #50
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Megalodon, and the Mariana Trench story

I have spent some time today attempting to track down an original source for the story alleging that a Japanese oceanographic expedition videotaped an unknown creature in the Mariana Trench, which was allegedly measured to be over 100 feet long as it traveled in front of the camera. I have not been able to do so.

It may be a story that isn't based on anything real or accurate. It could be made up.

I even visited the Wikipedia entry for Megalodon, and all it says is that fossil Megalodon teeth were dredged up from the Trench.

So as things stand, there is nothing to the Marianas Trench story and a huge, unidentified creature that was videotaped.
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Old 19th January 2013, 02:12 PM   #51
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In New Zealand we had a an Ostrich-like flightless bird called the moa (pronounced "mowah") which had several species of various sizes, the largest two of which were the Giant Moa (Dinornis robustus and Dinornis novaezelandiae) that were about 3.6 m tall and about 280 kg in weight

All moa had been hunted to extinction by the Maori by about 1400 AD, resulting in Harpagornis, the giant NZ "Haasts Eagle" also becoming extinct because the Moa was virtually its only food source. However, there have been persistent reports of Moa sightings in remote corners of New Zealand.

In the 1820s sightings were reported from the Otago region, Western Southland and Fiordland. In the 1850's the members of an expedition claim to have seen two "Emu-like birds" on a hillside in South-Westland. In 1861 story from the Nelson Examiner told of three-toed footprints measuring 36 cm between Takaka and Riwaka (not far from where I live) found by a surveying party, and in 1878 the Otago Witness published an account from a farmer and his shepherd. During the 19th and 20th centuries, as late as the 1940's, whalers and sealers in the Marlborough sounds claim to have regularly seen enormous birds along the coastal inlets. The last eye-witness sighting I know of was in 1993...

http://www.firstlighttravel.com/blog...ves-it-exists/

...and as far as I know, there are still cryptidots out looking for them....

http://www.newzealand.com/travel/med...essrelease.cfm
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Old 19th January 2013, 03:02 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Zippy Omicron View Post
So you ID'ed a creature that is called Mokele Mbembe = Northern White Rhino.
Well, let's be accurate. I assume that when the locals told me it was a rhino, and picked a picture of a rhino out of my book, that it must be the northern white rhino. However, that is just my assumption. It is virtually impossible to tell the NWR from other varieties, so it is an academic point anyway, and it is now believed to be extinct in the wild anyway, I believe. Furthermore, it isn't just me that has come to this conclusion, and nor was I anywhere near the first to come to it. Locals picking out a rhino from a picture book and calling it mokele mbembe has been shown on TV at least twice that I have seen.

Originally Posted by Zippy Omicron View Post
But what about these other creatures that Mackal was told about? (URL link at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mokele_mbembe) I remember him writing about this in his volume about his expedition to the Congo back in the 1980s.

Were you able to link these up to identified animals as well?

Emel-ntouka?

Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu?

Nguma-moene?

Ndendeki?

Mahamba?

Ngoima?

If you have, I am all ears. Let me know if you broached asking about these creatures as well.
I have never asked about these, and I have never heard of them, nor of Mackal. Do you know what language these names are in? (DRC has about 900 languages). I will ask my contacts in the area if they know anything about any of them.

It is also worth approaching many of these African stories with scepticism. You are talking about people who believe in shape-shifting, witches, ghosts, spirits of the ancestors and so on. It pays to be cautious.

Mike

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Old 19th January 2013, 06:00 PM   #53
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Its not just "people who believe in shape-shifting, witches, ghosts, spirits of the ancestors and so on". Its worse. Its about people who usually resort to second, third and fourth-hands accounts of these tales (quite often found at unreliable sources such as woo sites) and then proceed to distort and twist these folk tales and myths, removing them from their original contexts. Their goals, their methdos are grabbing a spooky tale and force-fit it in to the preconceived idea of a real "monster" of some sort being the origin of the tale. I bet these people only do armchair research and have no idea of how the places they talk about actually are and are also quite ignorant of actual biology. If they were not ignorant, they would not be proposing living dinosaurs in Africa and South America. Some do this out of a combination of naïvety, enthusiasm and ignorance, while others are in it only for profit.

That's why I think these lists of cryptids are useless, just products of fantasies. No real unknown-to-science animal will ever come out of them, no real unknown-to-science animal will ever come out from cryptozoologists. They come out, however, on a regular basis, from real biologists' efforts. Nothing as glamorous as living dinosaur, only rodents, amphibians, insects...
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Old 19th January 2013, 07:01 PM   #54
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None of the above. You forgot the loveland frog. That doesn't exist either.
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Old 19th January 2013, 07:05 PM   #55
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Of all the cryptids I wish did exist I would want it to be bigfoot. Then various and sundry strange little jungle men and then the loveland frog. I'd also like to for the dire wolf to exist and then theres a strange dog like creature in the swamps of Georgia and Northern florida.
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Old 19th January 2013, 08:04 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
But what about other cryptids?

Which, of them, might actually pan out to be real?
The Boreal Helmanon is most likely to be real.
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Old 19th January 2013, 09:16 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Agreed. Actually finding a new species takes careful study of the known species, to the point where you can draw them more or less accurately from memory. Then you spend a lot of time figuring out where to look--examining habitats (or, in my case, outcrops), looking for where in the habitat to look, etc., based on knowledge of related species. Then you go to the site and take samples (photos, specimens, rocks). Then you go back to the lab and pour over the stuff until you can draw THAT stuff from memory. Then you compare what you've found with what you have, in excruciating detail. There's a reason I focus on drawing: I was trained that that's the way to really look at something. Sure, you can take a photo, but drawing it forces you to think about what you're seeing in much more fine detail, which is necessary for taxonomy. The line drawings in monographs are useful for interpretation, yes (I defy anyone to look at the photos of a Cambrian Explosion critter and reproduce the line drawings in the monographs), but they're also a tool for extremely accurate description.

The process is long, it's tedious, it requires a lot of effort, it requires you to read thousands of pages of the most arcane text anyone has ever even conceived of (seriously, scientists think this stuff is too tedious to put into regular journals), most of it occurs in stuffy offices where the most dangerous thing is the coffee maker (seriously, scientists get some REALLY weird ideas about coffee)--it's nothing like what a Bigfoot advocate would have you believe. You won't be trampsing through the woods with your buddies; you'll be spending evenings looking at photos and tracking down references. Frankly, almost everyone will find this sort of thing mind-numbingly boring. It takes a unique person to do taxonomy.

The rewards are far greater, though. The thing about focusing on reality is, the skills are transferable in almost every case. The skills you learn in examining species allow you to notice--and, more importantly, remember--nuances of morphology that most miss. Name a single cryptozoologist that has revised a single clade due to their research. In contrast, I can't name anyone who's named more than a handful of species that hasn't. Most revise taxa outside of the clade they work with--for example, a professor of mine that focused on decapod paleontology also developed a morphospace model for decapod evolution, revising our understanding of the mechanisms by which these animals evolved. Gould studied mollusks, and changed how we view evolution itself. You also get to have fun moments like I had yesterday, when you see something that to others is perfectly ordinary, and suddenly numerous connections click into place and you can see the history of the groups spread out before you.
So if it takes a "unqiue person" and one is not that unique, then, well, how does that go insofar as one's ability to focus on reality and not fantasy? How can we ever hope to keep the majority away from fantasy? What is the ramification of the fact that most miss those things?

And if it takes this much work to find a new species, then how would you respond to the Bigfoot-believer's argument that "aha! Nobody's done all the work needed to discover it! So it might be out there!"? How can "cryptozoology" be disbanded and its woo-mill shut down?
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Old 19th January 2013, 11:32 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by mike3
So if it takes a "unqiue person" and one is not that unique, then, well, how does that go insofar as one's ability to focus on reality and not fantasy?
Honestly, it's not an issue. 99 times out of 100, a new species is only slightly different from one already described--your average person will simply assume it's one of the species they already know. It's a common human trait (the colors you can name has a demonstrable and profound impact on the colors you can perceive, for example). The unique part isn't seeing how the species fits into what's already known, but rather is in the ability to accurately describe the organism to the point where the differences become concrete and demonstrable.

Quote:
And if it takes this much work to find a new species, then how would you respond to the Bigfoot-believer's argument that "aha! Nobody's done all the work needed to discover it! So it might be out there!"?
That's easy: I say "When you've done the work, I'll give a rat's back side what you have to say." The effort I described isn't extra stuff--it's the MINIMUM necessary to establish a new species. Unlike Bigfoot believers, I've actually gone through this process--I'm not asking them to do anything I haven't proven I'm willing to do. And until they do what I did, I have absolutely no reason to take them seriously.

And I do mean that this is the minimum. I was at a small, informal conference of malocologists today and met some people who really put a lot of effort into this sort of thing--as in, one guy had 8,136 references for a single genus compiled, after 3 years' worth of work, and didn't consider himself ready to start revising that genus. I don't expect someone looking at, say, Titanocarcinus to put that much effort in (I happen to know that there was a monograph revising that genus within the past 10 years, so someone's already done that work)--but I DO expect them to do the minimum.

Quote:
How can "cryptozoology" be disbanded and its woo-mill shut down?
Again, what I described isn't optional--it's the minimum standards necessary to establish a new species. Once people realize the amount of work necessary to establish a new species, cryptozoology will self-destruct.

Originally Posted by Correa Neto
If they were not ignorant, they would not be proposing living dinosaurs in Africa and South America.
Oh, come, now! You and I both know that living dinosaurs are present in all the former Gondwana continents. And the northern hemisphere continents. In fact, I believe they're present on ALL continents. It's just that they're a bit more feathery than people generally accept.

Quote:
They come out, however, on a regular basis, from real biologists' efforts. Nothing as glamorous as living dinosaur, only rodents, amphibians, insects...
One of the talks I heard today illustrates just how unsexy this work is to non-biologists: A researcher looked at the genetic code for three mollusk populations (2 species) and found that Hawaiian populations of 2 different species were more similar than 2 populations ostensibly of the same species found in Hawaii and the western coast of the Americas. From a genetic standpoint, that means that the west-coast population is a new species (the Hawaiian one is the one that was used to name the species). We're talking glorified slugs here--and not the pretty ones (which, believe it or not, do exist).

On the flip side, there's some debate about sponges found in some SoCal rocks: in microstructure they're all identical, but the gross morphology is extremely diverse. Does this represent multiple species? Or a single species adapting its morphology to various ecological pressures? Years of effort have failed to answer that question (though we ARE moving forward--we all agree that they are not corals, which is a major advancement!).

Originally Posted by Zippy Omicron
So as things stand, there is nothing to the Marianas Trench story and a huge, unidentified creature that was videotaped.
That's one place to look for new species. We don't know very much about the deep ocean, to be honest--we've only explored an extremely small amount of it. We DO know that enormous critters can live down there, thanks to the giant squids and their ilk that have washed up, so it's not unlikely that other giant critters live down there. Doesn't mean you don't need to do that legwork I described earlier, though--to prove it's a new species you still need to do all of that.
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Old 20th January 2013, 12:20 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Honestly, it's not an issue. 99 times out of 100, a new species is only slightly different from one already described--your average person will simply assume it's one of the species they already know. It's a common human trait (the colors you can name has a demonstrable and profound impact on the colors you can perceive, for example). The unique part isn't seeing how the species fits into what's already known, but rather is in the ability to accurately describe the organism to the point where the differences become concrete and demonstrable.

That's easy: I say "When you've done the work, I'll give a rat's back side what you have to say." The effort I described isn't extra stuff--it's the MINIMUM necessary to establish a new species. Unlike Bigfoot believers, I've actually gone through this process--I'm not asking them to do anything I haven't proven I'm willing to do. And until they do what I did, I have absolutely no reason to take them seriously.

And I do mean that this is the minimum. I was at a small, informal conference of malocologists today and met some people who really put a lot of effort into this sort of thing--as in, one guy had 8,136 references for a single genus compiled, after 3 years' worth of work, and didn't consider himself ready to start revising that genus. I don't expect someone looking at, say, Titanocarcinus to put that much effort in (I happen to know that there was a monograph revising that genus within the past 10 years, so someone's already done that work)--but I DO expect them to do the minimum.

Again, what I described isn't optional--it's the minimum standards necessary to establish a new species. Once people realize the amount of work necessary to establish a new species, cryptozoology will self-destruct.
So, if Bigfoot really did exist, would we know about it by now? And if it takes a "unique kind of person", then that implies that the vast majority of Bigfoot researchers would not be able to do this work, right, even if BF did exist? In other words, they would not be able to prove BF's existence, even if it did in fact exist. So then if you ask a layman(!) for proof of their BF claim, what do you expect them to give?
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Old 20th January 2013, 01:20 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by mike3 View Post
So, if Bigfoot really did exist, would we know about it by now? And if it takes a "unique kind of person", then that implies that the vast majority of Bigfoot researchers would not be able to do this work, right, even if BF did exist? In other words, they would not be able to prove BF's existence, even if it did in fact exist. So then if you ask a layman(!) for proof of their BF claim, what do you expect them to give?
We may be overcomplicating things.

A well placed bullet or some road kill is all it would take to establish that this species exists, (presuming that it isn't visually identical to some other species). Frankly, it doesn't seem a lot to ask.

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Old 20th January 2013, 02:07 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
We may be overcomplicating things.

A well placed bullet or some road kill is all it would take to establish that this species exists, (presuming that it isn't visually identical to some other species). Frankly, it doesn't seem a lot to ask.

Mike
And I suspect such a discovery would provide motivation for some scientists to do all the other work if necessary.
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Old 20th January 2013, 09:18 AM   #62
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Wait a minute... It doesn't take a roadkill or a hunter's bullet to bring scientists in to studying bigfoot or any other cryptid.

There are lots of scientists working right now in the field at the supposed habitats of many a cryptid. Biologists and geologists are the first that came to my mind. Anyone of them - among the many other people who regularly work out there in the woods - can potentially find them, but only if they exist. A bigfoot, chupacabra or cryptic feline would not be missed by an orninthologist, a botanic or someone studying bears. "Oh, they are not looking for it" is a lame excuse, borne out of some combination of despair, ignorance, bias and maybe dishonesty. Finding a bigfoot would mean an instant extreme professional achievement. Fame, fortune and glory (OK, within the limits scientists can reach). Even that guy studying fungus from the Pacific Northwest rainforests would stop his work and dedicate himself to describe this outstanding discovery and publish a pile of papers about it.

A common fallacy among cryptozoology circles is that a given cryptid is not found just because scientists are not looking for it, instead they spend their lives isolated in ivory towers. No. Scientists are doing their works pretty well in the fields (a place some of them spend much more time than the most daring footer) and in the lab. Bigfoots, chupacabras, mokele mbembes, etc. are not being found just because they are not there.
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Old 20th January 2013, 09:22 AM   #63
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More Mackal

Mike,

Certainly can provide more data on this person.

Mackal = Dr. Roy Mackal (of the University of Chicago), biochemist/virologist, PhD 1953

Here's his biography, which is fairly complete, including a publication listing of his journal articles as well (99% non-cryptozoological):

http://www.chemeurope.com/en/encyclo...oy_Mackal.html

Here's a relevant excerpt about his efforts in the Congo region:

"....

During the 1980s, Mackal turned his attention to another legendary creature, the Mokele-mbembe, an alleged living dinosaur in the Likouala swamp region of the Republic of Congo. Accompanied by University of Arizona ecologist Richard Greenwell and Congolese biologist Marcellin Agnagna, Mackal undertook two expeditions, the first in 1980 and the second in 1981, to find and photograph the creature. Mackal himself did not actually see the creature, but he and his colleagues did collect multiple firsthand reports from Congo natives, who, according to Mackal, consistently described a creature similar to a long-necked sauropod. During his interviews with the natives, Mackal also heard anecdotes about the Emela-ntouka, another possible living dinosaur which supposedly resembles a Monoclonius or Centrosaurus, the Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu that resembles a Kentrosaurus, and the snake- or lizardlike Nguma-monene.

In 1987, Mackal wrote a book about his adventures in the Likouala swamps called A Living Dinosaur? In Search of Mokele-Mbembe. He had tried to obtain funds for a third expedition to the region, but his plans were never realized, and the mystery of the Congolese “living dinosaurs” remains unsolved.

..."

I read the book a good while back. If my dim memory serves, he included some photography of actual foot tracks that he tentatively identified as the alleged Mokele Mbembe. There are also artists' renditions of some of the other creatures in the volume as well. Overall, I found the book quite fascinating and interesting.

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Old 20th January 2013, 10:25 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
The Boreal Helmanon is most likely to be real.
Am I the only one smiling at this, and thinking that WP has a subtle sense of humour? You see, I think this one is a makey-uppey cryptid, which makes it from all the................er..............wait a minute.......

Mike
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Old 20th January 2013, 12:20 PM   #65
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Watching a Nat Geo about tigers in the Bhutan mountains. Maybe they'll run into a Yeti.

So far, just golden langurs . . .

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Old 20th January 2013, 06:39 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Correa Neto View Post
Wait a minute... It doesn't take a roadkill or a hunter's bullet to bring scientists in to studying bigfoot or any other cryptid.

There are lots of scientists working right now in the field at the supposed habitats of many a cryptid. Biologists and geologists are the first that came to my mind. Anyone of them - among the many other people who regularly work out there in the woods - can potentially find them, but only if they exist. A bigfoot, chupacabra or cryptic feline would not be missed by an orninthologist, a botanic or someone studying bears. "Oh, they are not looking for it" is a lame excuse, borne out of some combination of despair, ignorance, bias and maybe dishonesty. Finding a bigfoot would mean an instant extreme professional achievement. Fame, fortune and glory (OK, within the limits scientists can reach). Even that guy studying fungus from the Pacific Northwest rainforests would stop his work and dedicate himself to describe this outstanding discovery and publish a pile of papers about it.

A common fallacy among cryptozoology circles is that a given cryptid is not found just because scientists are not looking for it, instead they spend their lives isolated in ivory towers. No. Scientists are doing their works pretty well in the fields (a place some of them spend much more time than the most daring footer) and in the lab. Bigfoots, chupacabras, mokele mbembes, etc. are not being found just because they are not there.
One argument I heard relating to that issue is that if a field biologist sights a bigfoot than he/she can't tell his boss since nobody would believe him/her.
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Old 20th January 2013, 06:49 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
One argument I heard relating to that issue is that if a field biologist sights a bigfoot than he/she can't tell his boss since nobody would believe him/her.
Yeah, field biologists can't be bothered with discovering new species.
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Old 21st January 2013, 01:21 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Correa Neto View Post
.......Even that guy studying fungus from the Pacific Northwest rainforests would stop his work and dedicate himself to describe this outstanding discovery and publish a pile of papers about it..........
I would agree with you 100%, if he managed to obtain verifiable physical evidence. A body or body part, for instance. But what if he just had a sighting? Even say a 20 minute long close-quarters visual encounter. What then? Wouldn't he just be another nutter with an unverified and unverifiable claim? Or are you perhaps going to rely on an argument from authority? (A mycologist would have greater weight given to his claimed observation than a member of the general public in this scenario).

I have seen testimony from at least 2 biologists of encounters with Sasquatch, so I suggest that the idea that field scientists observing the creature bring it's description any nearer, is fallacious. We're back to a well placed bullet or some road kill, in my view.

Mike
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Old 21st January 2013, 05:08 AM   #69
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Well, I disagree. That's the sort of argument that may stick within the ranks of cryptozoology enthusiasts, but actually has too many holes. 20 minutes seeing it and not a single picture? No cameras, biologists in the woods? Riiiiight. Saw unidentified animals, not a glimpse, not something just a bit different from some known species and that's it? The chance of a lifetime and let it go? See, these people are there, working hard, collecting evidence and they have the right gizmos and gadgets. Fungus guy will have a camera. Fungus guy after seeing a bigfoot will find a way to set camera traps, for example, thus collecting more evidence. Not to mention biologists working out there are very methodic. If working with fauna census, for example, they usually establish a set of trails crossing the woods, set camera traps and observation sites at privileged spots. They will search and collect evidence - imagery, hairs, scat, footprints, specimens, etc.

If bigfoots were there, those guys would find it. Sure, it could as well be the truck driver or ther hunter. Now, consider this- no single piece of reliable evidence backing the existence of these animals has been found since science start to study animals. This is not because scientists are not doing their jobs, its because these animals are not there. This is valid for other cryptids too. Take Africa, for example. Centuries of trading ivory and animals, living or dead. Countless elephant tusks and rhino horns, but not a single ceratopsian horn, sauropod head or carnosaurus skull.
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Old 21st January 2013, 05:27 AM   #70
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Yeah, hear what you say, but think on this.

My daughter studied civets in South Africa for 4 months. She set sand traps to survey the population of prey in the area. She collected scat. She set game cameras and captured some great photos. I am sure she did all sorts of other very clever things too (including going out looking for them every day).......

....and in the 4 months, the only civet that any one in the team of 6 actually saw was sitting on the roof of the kitchen block whilst my daughter was sitting on the toilet in the toilet tent. Clearly, visiting the toilet, she had nothing with her other than her toiletries. Her observation, albeit for half an hour and in reasonable sighting conditions from fairly close range, remains anecdotal, and forms no part of the study they were undertaking.

Biologists in the field aren't always on duty and prepared.

You musn't take my answer as any sort of suggestion that sasquatch is out there, BTW, or any excuse for why it hasn't been described if it is out there. It is simply to point out that biologists being in the field doesn't mean anything, really, unless they bring back a body or body part.

Mike

PS Toilet tents obviously make good hides. On another occasion, in an entirely different part of Africa, she had a Thompson's gazelle run through the toilet shelter whilst she was sitting on the toilet, followed by 3 African wild dogs. They caught and killed it in the kitchen tent.

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Old 21st January 2013, 07:09 AM   #71
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Oh, but there are civet specimens in museums, zoos, etc. Not to mention the pictures - good pictures with good provenance. This means some zoologists managed to get them. Some teams did not, as expected, but other did. I even bet some teams grabbed civets while looking for something else, while other were looking for civets and found some other critter.

In the meanwhile, still no bigfoot, living dinosaurs (other than birds), chupacabras, lake monsters... They are just not out there. Note also the size difference between bigfoots, living dinosaurs and civets.

And if we take in to account other factors such as the area these animals would need to forage and the need for a minimum number of breeding specimens for population survival, "they are not there" becomes the unescapable answer to the question "why there are no reliable pieces of evidence?"
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Old 21st January 2013, 07:13 AM   #72
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Sure Mike, but the difference is that the anecdote you provided is that of one biologist on one study. While I'm sure we could amass lots of similar stories from biologists of the rare thing they saw that they can't prove, Correa Neto is alluding to the thousands of biologists, geologists, etc. who are in the field, worldwide, all the time. Those people have been doing that kind of natural history work for, conservatively, a good 200 years.
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Old 21st January 2013, 07:16 AM   #73
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You miss my point. All I am saying is that if a biologist saw a cryptid, any cryptid, then there is still no evidence for its existence. Until or unless they get hold of a dead one, of whatever it is, the species can't be described, and the biologist's observation is of little consequence.

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Old 21st January 2013, 07:19 AM   #74
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If the cryptid Bigfoot were distributed as alleged (everywhere and nowhere) wouldn't there necessarily have to be be a lot more sightings made by field biologists?
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Old 21st January 2013, 07:33 AM   #75
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Not just sightings, but also reliable evidence. If not a specimen, pictures, DNA from scat, etc. This is my point. If these animals were around, we would have something better than sighting reports.

And this is also valid for living dinosaurs (other than birds), chupacabras, yetis, strange felines, megalodons, lake monsters, thunderbirds, living pterosaurs, etc. I think probably I would even extend this to thylacines, unfortunately.
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Old 21st January 2013, 07:47 AM   #76
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In the case of something like a thylacine (a smallish mammal in a huge habitat with other smallish mammals), it is perfectly possible that evidence could be overlooked because it is simply so similar to other known animals. Their scat may (or may not be, I have no idea) similar to dingoes or feral domestic dogs, and so perfectly good evidence might be being overlooked simply because no-one is on the look-out for any oddities in the area. Any footprints or hairs might be similarly overlooked. Even a decayed corpse might be dismissed as a dog, perhaps, unless seen by a specialist.

Talking of scat and DNA, as Correo was, it is my understanding that only very fresh scat is of any use for obtaining DNA of the source animal, in that a few cell from the wall of the gut come away with each dropping, but are soon degraded (sun, rain, microbes etc). Can someone tell me if this is right, and how fresh it has to be before scat ceases being of any use for DNA sampling purposes?

Mike

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Old 21st January 2013, 09:02 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Now, Giant Squid have panned out to be real.
On that note, I believe that many sea-based cryptids stand a decent chance of being real. Obviously not sirens or mermaids, but the sea is vast and largely unexplored so maybe we might find a sea serpent somewhere or maybe even a meglodon.
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Old 21st January 2013, 09:15 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by Mike! View Post
But the talking drunkard part is perfectly acceptable, right?
Of course! But not singing drunkard. Everyone knows that snakes can't carry a tune.

Actually, I missed that part of the myth. It's amazing how a sighting of what may have just been a pregnant or cancerous snake can be embellished by the tellers over the years. Quite a few cryptid photographs have turned out to simply be ordinary animals who lost their fur due to illness.
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Old 21st January 2013, 09:33 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
We may be overcomplicating things.

A well placed bullet or some road kill is all it would take to establish that this species exists, (presuming that it isn't visually identical to some other species). Frankly, it doesn't seem a lot to ask.

Mike
One of the very few sightings of the Night Parrot was as roadkill in 1990. I think they've only been seen 3 or 4 times since. They're probably the least known bird in all of Australia.
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Old 21st January 2013, 09:43 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
In the case of something like a thylacine (a smallish mammal in a huge habitat with other smallish mammals), it is perfectly possible that evidence could be overlooked because it is simply so similar to other known animals. Their scat may (or may not be, I have no idea) similar to dingoes or feral domestic dogs, and so perfectly good evidence might be being overlooked simply because no-one is on the look-out for any oddities in the area. Any footprints or hairs might be similarly overlooked. Even a decayed corpse might be dismissed as a dog, perhaps, unless seen by a specialist.

Talking of scat and DNA, as Correo was, it is my understanding that only very fresh scat is of any use for obtaining DNA of the source animal, in that a few cell from the wall of the gut come away with each dropping, but are soon degraded (sun, rain, microbes etc). Can someone tell me if this is right, and how fresh it has to be before scat ceases being of any use for DNA sampling purposes?

Mike
Thylacines aren't small, they were the size of a large Dog, about 60 centimetres at the shoulder and 25 or so kilograms on average.

Dingos never made it to Tasmania, I have no idea what the prevalence of feral dogs is though.

Bones would be almost impossible for the layman to distinguish from a dog but an intact corpse would be reasonably easy, no dog has the sort of markings the Thylacine had.
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