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Old 27th March 2004, 04:52 PM   #1
kittynh
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What did we see in Puerto Rico?

It wasn't big foot, but it certainly was weird looking. My family and I have travelled to Puerto Rico for the past 10 years for vacations. We stay in a fairly untouched area on the West Coast. We've seen lots of different animals over the years, some of which we haven't known what they were. We called the mongoose a "lizardo squirrelo" until we found out what it was.

Anyway, last trip out of the dense growth comes this grey thing with black stripes that looks like some sort of early mammal. It was about the size of a mongoose, but a little longer legs, and didn't have long hair. It had a face kind of like a large red panda in shape, but that was also grey, and it seemed to have something large like a lizard in its mouth. (some legs were sticking out). It wasn't a dog, at least by the way it moved. Basically we are calling it "dino mammal". The black stripes were quite pronounced. There were people tracking something with radio signals while we were there, so we are now thinking something escaped from a top secret lab. Nasty looking thing! Maybe a Tasmanian tiger?

Any guesses?
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Old 27th March 2004, 05:51 PM   #2
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Did it look something like this?



That is an Indian or Javan Mongoose [Herpestes javanicus], which was introduced into the Caribbean. They were apparently brought in to control rats in sugar cane fields, but from your description, I'd say they like the local lizards better.


Herpestes javanicus

Florida Exotic Species
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Old 27th March 2004, 06:07 PM   #3
kittynh
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AUGH!!!!! DINO MAMMAL!!!!!

Ours was a lot more light grey (maybe he had been sunning himself and faded). It's close enough. I consider it a lesson in what you see is never WHAT was there. To us it was HUGE. And had an evil lear....

The other mongoose we had seen were all brown and had fuzzy tails. But I'm guess ing this was it.

Unless it was a Tasmanian tiger!
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Old 27th March 2004, 07:50 PM   #4
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http://www.strangemag.com/mystcreat.html

Quote:
The enigmatic creature can best be described as a cross between one of the "Grey" aliens and a terrestrial animal such as a porcupine or a kangaroo
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Old 27th March 2004, 07:54 PM   #5
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http://www.animalsinneed.net/index2.php
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Old 28th March 2004, 05:16 AM   #6
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The Tasmanian Tiger, or Thylacine, is generally believed to be extinct. However, when alive, they were understood not to have migrated to Puerto Rico or even Miami. They were the size of a labrador and looked like this:

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Old 28th March 2004, 10:04 AM   #7
kittynh
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That's it Zep! That's what we saw!!!!

Only it had a big lizard in its mouth....

wow! I wonder if we should call Steve Irwin.

And it is true Eos, Puerto Ricans think of animals in a different way than the US and Europe. Where we used to stay, the Navy Base (which is now closing) they kept the wild dogs out as they have been known to attack small children. But almost everywhere else there are the most pathetic dogs and puppies. It breaks your heart. this year at the airport we were asked by the tourist board what we didn't like about PR and the only thing we could come up with was the DOGS.The people are wonderful, and the scenery is breath taking. But, they just don't get that the average tourist has trouble seeing a suffering dog. My PR friends say they just look on them like we would a squirrel. It should also be noted that cock fighting arenas are everywhere and very well attended. The PR community thinks we are the ones that are wrong for "confusing animals with people". I'm really not sure who is right, for this is a common belief in many cultures. When Kitten was in Jordan, no one had a pet cat or dog. Not one person she met except a family that had lived in England and they were just humoring their child.
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Old 28th March 2004, 10:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by kittynh
That's it Zep! That's what we saw!!!!
Hmmm... I was worried that my chupacabras eggs had hatched before time...
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Old 28th March 2004, 11:11 AM   #9
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kitty,

Last time I was in PR, the dogs were the primary reason not to but the pork on a stick from the street vendors. ewwww I know.

The west coast of the island has always been my favorite place. I miss it. La Isla Bonita.


Boo (green with envy)
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Old 28th March 2004, 11:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by kittynh
That's it Zep! That's what we saw!!!!

The PR community thinks we are the ones that are wrong for "confusing animals with people". I'm really not sure who is right, for this is a common belief in many cultures. When Kitten was in Jordan, no one had a pet cat or dog. Not one person she met except a family that had lived in England and they were just humoring their child.
Aw phooey, now I'm all sad. The dogs did look quite pathetic.

Thylacine hey? It looks neat. Kinda dog like still. The one in the pic there isn't grey is it?

I wonder if Thylacine can mate with the dogs

Very interesting. We never get to see anything mysterious around here. We get moose in our front yard, but they are very identifiable.
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Old 28th March 2004, 11:18 AM   #11
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We would go because we could stay for about nothing on the Navy Base, big room with a kitchen and eating area for $50 a night. Also, lots of quiet beaches, and during the weekday you will have the beach to yourself. We would always end the day with a long walk listening to the coqui frogs and thinking how to catch the big tasty crabs that freeze when you shine your flashlight on them. With the Navy Base closing we have to look for another cheap warm weather getaway, because the prices of hotel rooms are out of sight on the West Coast.

I'm really going to miss it. And the people were the best. They loved the children. And the baseball! Now I'm sad...
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Old 28th March 2004, 02:11 PM   #12
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Just look at this mysterious creature I saw on my deck a few days ago...



Obviously, some evil minion sent from hell by Satan himself. The green glowing eyes are a dead giveaway.

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Old 28th March 2004, 07:48 PM   #13
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LOL Wildcat!

Quote:
Originally posted by kittynh

I'm really going to miss it. And the people were the best. They loved the children. And the baseball! Now I'm sad...

Aw, don't be sad, you know you have all those great memories that are making me green with jealousy
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Old 28th March 2004, 08:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by kittynh
That's it Zep! That's what we saw!!!!

Only it had a big lizard in its mouth....

wow! I wonder if we should call Steve Irwin.
I see. So do they grow GOOD herb in Puerto Rico? I suspect you saw some wild dogs, not this chappy. Anyway, if you DID see a real TT, biologists across the world would rate such a discovery on par of that of the coelocanth.

No, Eos, the Tasmanian Tiger would not (and could not) have mated with a dog. It was actually a marsupial, with a pouch for young and all, so any attempt would have resulted in some animal getting a right mauling (such is the fate of so much inter-species rapine, sadly). It's nearest living relative is the Tasmanian Devil (very real, and NOT a Disney cartoon character), which lives exclusively in the highlands of Tasmania.

Please call Steve Irwin...anything you like. We do!
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Old 28th March 2004, 11:45 PM   #15
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Being a rabid thylacine nut, I will gladly refer you to here (think I got the URL right), a good site for all those interested.

If it was a thylacine (and it wasn't ), then it would prove a very interesting theory on thylacine orgins.

Thylacines were found exclusively in tasmania, thus their common appelations of tasmanian tiger, or tasmanian wolf. Later work turned up fossil remains in Australia, where the thylacine was almost certainly pushed out by Aboriginies and the dogs (the feral ones becoming today's dingoes) they brought with them.

A few other reamins show the genus thylacinus lived as far as new guinea.

The thylacine seems to have evolved in a vacuum of placental predators, and lived as far as we can tell, a lifestyle simmilar to a placental canid's. The dentation is even fairly simmilar, and it clearly looked quite doglike in life, even though it was more closely related to a koala.

*Sniff* poor thylacine, exterminated by the hands of man for killing sheep on Tasmania... and there wasn't even any solid evidence that it had a huge impact on sheep anyway. The teeth show it was probably better suited for snapping up small game than for taking down large stuff.

Anyway, thylacine orgins... where was I... ah, yes. The orgins of the thylacine were unknown, the nearest thing to it is of course a tasmanian devil (genus sarcophilus) or any of the various quolls that still live in Australia. These small animals with their fat bodies and short limbs are still pretty far from a graceful thylacine, but they are the largest extant marsupial predators.

For years, it was generally assumed that Thylacines and Tasmanian devils were related. Then, in South America, fossil remains from the miocene, pliocene and perhaps even the very begining of the pleistocene (ice age) or large marsupial predators called borhyeanids opened a very interesting possibility.

Being that borhyeanids were themselves rather dog-like, or rather thylacine like (are dogs thylacine like or are thylacines dog-like? Their ancestral forms show up inthe fossil record at about the same time), it seemed to many far more likely that borhyeanids were the ancestors of thylacines rather than some small quoll ancestor (dasyurids).

Today, with some older thylacine material and other evidence, including thylacinus potens, a large miocene thylacine, it would appear that dasyurids, not borhyeanids are the real thylacine ancestors. The issue is still up for debate, however, though it is a major headache figuring out how to get basal thylacines across the Pacific Ocean without any other mammals from South America leaking into Australian faunas, or vice versa.

If, however a thylacine turned up in the vicinity of South America, it would go a long way in proving a link with the borhyeanids, as well as being a huge boon to thylacine lovers such as myself. There are every now and then sightings in Tasmania, as well as the occasional one in mainland Australia. The animal features prominently on the Tasmanian coat of arms, but alas, there is no solid evidence that it is anything but extinct. An expediation several years after 1936, the "official" extinction date for the animal, turned up what might have been footprints, but thylacine footprints also mimmic those of dogs', so I see a good chance here to emply Occam's razor.

I do hold hope that somewhere, be it Tasmania, mainland Australia, New Guinea or even Puerto Rico, a sustainable thylacine population will turn up, but for now that seems unlikely.

There is that attempt on the clone the beast from an embryo perserved in alcohol, however...
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Old 28th March 2004, 11:50 PM   #16
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neutrino, you gotta get out more...
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Old 28th March 2004, 11:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zep
neutrino, you gotta get out more...
I'll have you know, I get out to the library on a quite frequent basis!

I could keep going on about the pleistocene paleofaunas of Australia, if that would make you feel worse.
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Old 29th March 2004, 06:55 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by WildCat
Just look at this mysterious creature I saw on my deck a few days ago...



Obviously, some evil minion sent from hell by Satan himself. The green glowing eyes are a dead giveaway.

What wattage bulb does your cat lamp take?
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Old 29th March 2004, 11:10 AM   #19
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My 13 year old daughter knows all about cloning a tasmanian tiger! There was some show about it on tv, and she's super excited about the possibility. That and the Wooly Mammoth (where would we put it?). No interest in cloning a Dodo bird, my first choice (but then I'm an Alice fan). Really, you clone a Dodo and you can keep it as a pet. I'd love one, or a bunch. A tiger or mammoth, you are asking for trouble.
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Old 29th March 2004, 03:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bluegill


What wattage bulb does your cat lamp take?
Just Science Diet and Fancy Feast. Makes the eyes glow real good in the camera flash.
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Old 29th March 2004, 05:08 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by kittynh
My 13 year old daughter knows all about cloning a tasmanian tiger! There was some show about it on tv, and she's super excited about the possibility. That and the Wooly Mammoth (where would we put it?). No interest in cloning a Dodo bird, my first choice (but then I'm an Alice fan). Really, you clone a Dodo and you can keep it as a pet. I'd love one, or a bunch. A tiger or mammoth, you are asking for trouble.
I suspect you get more and better meat off a dodo. Mammoth meat would be a bit tougher.

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Old 29th March 2004, 07:35 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by WildCat
Just Science Diet and Fancy Feast.
And, apparently, quite a lot of both. Yon feline's girth looks like it could give Garfield a run for his money.
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Old 29th March 2004, 08:24 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zep
I suspect you get more and better meat off a dodo. Mammoth meat would be a bit tougher.
Actually, I saw a show that put forth the theory that dodo's tasted disgusting, they searched through the scrap heaps of all the people living on the island of the dodo's and not a single dodo bone was to be found. They also had a parchment or something that was written by someone who tried to eat one, and apparently they have very little meat at all, most of their bulk was in their arse, and it was a horrible fatty mess that what unpalatable to humans.

It looks like we have no hope for cloning a delicious extinct animal. Which is a shame, I love eating the flesh of animals. Maybe the mammoths won't taste that bad.
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Old 29th March 2004, 08:39 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by SquishyDave
Actually, I saw a show that put forth the theory that dodo's tasted disgusting, they searched through the scrap heaps of all the people living on the island of the dodo's and not a single dodo bone was to be found. They also had a parchment or something that was written by someone who tried to eat one, and apparently they have very little meat at all, most of their bulk was in their arse, and it was a horrible fatty mess that what unpalatable to humans.

It looks like we have no hope for cloning a delicious extinct animal. Which is a shame, I love eating the flesh of animals. Maybe the mammoths won't taste that bad.
I remember that one frozen Siberian mammoth was partially eaten in the form of mammoth burger at a scientific meeting.

No info on how it tasted.

The dodo, being a member of the columbaformes (pigeons), and not a particularly vigorous creature may well have had lots of fat on it. typically, however, lots of fat makes an animal tastier.

I also thought that there were no people on Mauritius, and in fact no predators. What happened is that the dodos were killed off so fast there was no major preservation of the slaughter.

Makes sense when you look at how few animals actually get perserved for any given circumstance.

Unfortuanatly we may never know. A suprising amount of the literature that was ever written on the dodo was done so after it went extinct.

According to the website, there isn't a whole lot going on with the thylacine cloning right now. There's lots that needs to be learned before that can happen, and they've focused their attention to other species right now, that aren't extinct.

If we could ever find a way to resurect species with very scrappy genetic material, I'd love to see a phorusrhacid and a diprotodont.
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Old 29th March 2004, 10:11 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by neutrino_cannon
The dodo, being a member of the columbaformes (pigeons), and not a particularly vigorous creature may well have had lots of fat on it. typically, however, lots of fat makes an animal tastier.
True, but I understand you need fat in with muscle to make it delicious, the dodo apparently stored all it's fat in its arse, so there was no meat to go with it, so it would just be fat, with no meat flavour imparted to it.
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Old 29th March 2004, 10:46 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by SquishyDave
True, but I understand you need fat in with muscle to make it delicious, the dodo apparently stored all it's fat in its arse, so there was no meat to go with it, so it would just be fat, with no meat flavour imparted to it.
Not to mention that it was a stupid bird, which apparently contributed to its demise as well.

Which segues neatly back to the topic: KittyNH, did you see any dodoes in Puerto Rico by any chance?
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Old 30th March 2004, 06:43 PM   #27
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no Dodo, but we did see a Jabberwocky.

but Pool Boys vorpal blade went snicker-snack, and he came galumphing back to the hotel with it's head.
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Old 1st April 2004, 04:57 AM   #28
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Originally posted by kittynh
no Dodo, but we did see a Jabberwocky.

but Pool Boys vorpal blade went snicker-snack, and he came galumphing back to the hotel with it's head.
Right.


Note to self: Avoid local rum in Puerto Rico...tick!
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Old 1st April 2004, 07:49 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zep
It's nearest living relative is the Tasmanian Devil (very real, and NOT a Disney cartoon character)...
Sorry for the pedantry, but Warner Brothers cartoon character is the comment you're looking for.
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Old 2nd April 2004, 05:49 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by UnrepentantSinner
Sorry for the pedantry, but Warner Brothers cartoon character is the comment you're looking for.
Pedant.


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Old 2nd April 2004, 10:39 AM   #31
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The first time I saw actual footage of the Tasmanian Devil on tv as a child, I was amazed how much it really is like Taz!

It even sounds like him!
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Old 2nd April 2004, 02:53 PM   #32
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The first time I saw actual footage of the Tasmanian Devil on tv as a child, I was amazed how much it really is like Taz!

It even sounds like him!
If you stand between me and food when I'm starving, I sound like him!
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Old 2nd April 2004, 03:17 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by UnrepentantSinner


Sorry for the pedantry, but Warner Brothers cartoon character is the comment you're looking for.
Crap. Beat me to it.
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