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

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

DALE DRINNON: Variations in Cryptid Homind Sightings In Accordance With Recognized Biological Laws

In general, reports dealing with Sasquatches, Wildmen and other types of what Ivan Sanderson called ABSMs follow along the lines of two well-known biological laws: Bergman's law and Gloger's law. To put this as simply as possible, this means that the reports from more northerly climes are creatures that are larger in size but lighter in color, while the ones in tropical cimes are smaller and darker in colouration. Using the definitions from Wikipedia:

'In zoology, Bergmann's rule is an ecogeographic rule that correlates latitude with body mass in animals. Broadly it asserts that within a species the body mass increases with latitude and colder climate, or that within closely related species that differ only in relation to size that one would expect the larger species to be found at the higher latitude. The rule is named after a nineteenth-century German biologist, Christian Bergmann, who first formulated the rule in 1847. The rule is often applied only to mammals and birds (endotherms), but some researchers have also found evidence for the rule in studies of ectothermic species. Bergmann's rule is controversial amongst researchers and its validity has been called into question, and there is division amongst scientists about whether the rule should be interpreted to be within species variation or among species variation.'


Gloger's Rule is a zoological rule that states that within a species of endotherms, more heavily pigmented forms tend to be found in more humid environments, e.g. near the equator. It was named after the zoologist Constantin Wilhelm Lambert Gloger, who first remarked upon this phenomenon in 1833 in a review of covariation of climate and avian plumage colour. (Stresemann notes that the idea was already expressed by Pallas in Zoographia Rosso-Asiatica (1811)). Gloger found that birds in more humid habitats tended to be darker than their relatives from regions with higher aridity. Over 90% of the species researched conform to this rule.


Earlier publications have noted the pattern for Sasquatches in the Western part of North America follow both rules, with generally the reported sizes decreasing from North-to-South from Southern Alaska to California, with the average recorded track sizes in direct correlation to this, while the trend in colouration is harder to tell right off, but the California reports are markedly darker (more often black by percentage) in compared to Sasquatches reported in British Columbia (including more 'Blondes and Redheads' as the Native Americans put it)

Back when Ivan Sanderson was still alive I sent in a message to him saying that I thought the categories of Protopygmy and Sub-human as presented in his book Abominable Snowmen might merely be a size difference in the same general category. He did not reply directly, but I was sent a back issue of Pursuit, which included a review of Odette Tcherne's book, then newly released, and the review contained the map of 'ABSM' traditions world-wide with some interesting additional notes. Among these was the note that stated that the sub-humans reported in Malaysia might well be the same species as the Orang Pendek with a size difference. [This would be the small-homind, longhaired Orang Pendek that leaves small Neanderthal-like tracks] More recently and furthering the same notion, I made up these maps of various presumed categories of cryptid-hominids and added them to the Frontiers of Zoology group together with these captions:

Erectus Hominids, Protopygmys

Marked Hominids, Neandertaloids

Map 1: Coleman-Hughye Field Guide Maps, Little Modified. The main maps show an obvious latitudinal cline in types
Map 2: Coleman-Hughye Field Guide Maps Little Modified,Added Tropical categories in Africa And South America not in Field Guide. Little People are ubiquitous and their omission in areas like Siberia is suspicious.

- And the last comment was because the reports from North America and (traditionally) Europe seem to be that the smaller ones were the young of the bigger ones (which was Ivan Sanderson's suggestion) - otherwise by Bergman's law, the Protopygmys tend to the Tropics, in the same zone where we find human Pygmys.
I had a couple of comparative size charts that I had made up for a series of articles submitted to Pursuit but ultimately unpublished by the time of that magazine's demise. I attach them here. In figuring the enlargement or shrinking of human beings, it should be remembered that the proportions are not exactly constant. Bigger humans have proportionately smaller and more rugged skulls while smaller humans have proportionately larger and more rounded skulls. That too tends to go along with the reported cryptid-hominds.

In the case of other presumed differences, the Marked Hominid is marked by the specific trait of having lighter-coloured hair, in patches and all over. That the colour of the hair on the head and body of the Central-Asian Almas could be reported as mismatched was one of the observations made by Porshnev. The fact that larger and more rugged types seem to have more 'primitive' skulls may be discounted as an effect of allometry. That certain reports are 'too primitive to be Neandertals' is not a valid deciding feature. The reports are 'too primitive' to be erectus also by the same token. In any event the features do not have to be as primitive as the rumours have it simply because they are rumours and not scientific observations. I find that the fact that the primitive and animalistic features of the reports matching the earlier misconceptions about the Neanderthals is a continuance of the same tradition and may not reflect an actual reality, but does go to confirm that the current rumours are talking about the same thing as the earlier (mistaken) descriptions of Neanderthal men were talking about.

Wildmen and others


Richard King said...

Neat charts-you made them yourself? I suppose the reason that the Marked Hominids are big and partially blond because they live farther north and the Protos are little and dark on the equator?
What you say makes sense, no reason for a whole zoo full of halfhumans running around if most of the reports are about in usual human range of size variation

TooRisky said...

Well first of all Wikipedia is NOT a reliable source of information and any college educated person can attest to this... Also a law of nature has to follow course to all creatures, not just ones to make the writers paper look good to the uneducated... Bats are an exception to the rule, as well as insects, fresh and salt water fish, apes, elephants, rhinos, and on and on and on... So maybe redefine this "Law" as possibly a "general rule of thumb" and incorporate reliable sources and we will stand up and listen.

C0-Founder WA. Sasquatch Research Team (WASRT.com)

Dale Drinnon said...

Unfortunately for your statement, toorisky, these biological laws are indeed well-attested and should be outlined in any basic text on Biology: I only referred to the Wikipedia definition because it was immediately accessable. While I agree that Wikipedia is not reliable in all instances, a sampling of other internet sources on the definitions of these terms results in nearly identical definitions. As to youyr exceptions to the rules, I contest that statement and submit thatwe are speaking primarily of Terestrial mammals in particular, and that fossil elephants and rhinos, and modern apes (Using altitude clines instead of latitude ones)Do indeed conform to the laws in question and confirm the construuction I have presented here rather than contradict it