Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

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Monday, April 27, 2009


Anyone who knows me, and many who don't will realise that I have somewhat of an obsession with chickens and their relatives. Last week I used a flimsy excuse to show a video of a lesser prairie chicken, and was rewarded by some comments of a distinctly cryptozoological nature. Now, I am chancing my arm even further because I can think of absolutely no justification whatsoever for showing you this video, except for the fact that this is an even more magnificently absurd fowl than the one I showed you last week. Now someone please justify this for me...

1 comment:

Retrieverman said...

North America is to grouse what Asia is to pheasants. We have so many different species.

I remember watching a lek of greater sage grouse on a nature documentary when I was probably 5 or 6 years old, and just being transfixed. It was like these birds had poached eggs on their breasts-- the air sacks.

The Gunnison sage grouse, a close relative of the ones in the clip, is losing ground. Just as the red grouse of Britain require heather to live, the sage grouse require sage brush. (We call our subspecies of Lagopus lagopus a "willow ptarmigan." Ours turns white in the winter, while your red grouse do not.)

However, the Gunnison sage grouse has yet to be added to the Endangered Species list, because it lives in areas where there are reserves of oil and gas. To add it to the list would encumber this exploration, and since our previous government was essentially a political wing of the petroleum and natural gas industry, the Gunnison wasn't added. Further, it would close off some lands for cattle grazing, and that is one thing the US government doesn't like to do.

Further, the Gunnison is of some interest to those looking for new species. Until 2000, it was listed as a subspecies of the Greater sage grouse. It was discovered that it was genetically quite distinct from the greater sage grouse, so the American Ornithological Union classified it as a distinct species.

In fact, there is some movement toward calling the greater sage grouse the "sage grouse" and calling the Gunnison sage grouse the "Gunnison grouse." To further reflect their separate species status.

You can find out more about the Gunnison here: http://www.sagebrushsea.org/sp_gunnison_grouse.htm