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Saturday, April 24, 2010


Yesterday morning there was an email in my inbox from Tony Lucas. Well, I always like getting emails from Tony; he is an eminently reasonable cove and furthermore, someone who on the whole is on the same wavelength as me. He is also interested in nuts and bolts natural history as well as crypto stuff (like I am) and we are both more or less disabled. But this email promised even more:


it said.

Bloody Hell, I thought. At last! A living specimen of Hoplodactylus delcourti has been found. For those of you not in the know (and it has to be said that the story has been mentioned serveral times in these hallowed pages), H.delcourti is an enormous gecko known from one specimen now in a French museum. It is the largest gecko known to man and has been linked in many people's minds with a legendary beast known from Maori folklore. It is probably the Holy Grail for most New Zealand herpetologists.

So has it been rediscovered? Well, no. The lizard in question is a much smaller species that has not been seen on the mainland since about 1920, but it is an interesting story and well done to everyone involved.


To make things even more difficult, the commentary is in French and I don't know which part of the world it is. Over to you chaps.

LINDSAY SELBY: Florida Lake Monsters in the news

Florida Lake monsters have been in the news:

'In the United States alone, researchers list 222 lakes and rivers as alleged cryptid habitats,' Michael Newton wrote in “Florida’s Unexpected Wildlife.”

“It was green and black and a yellowish mingled colors, and they watched it crawl to the sea,” Emily Bell wrote of an encounter in Jupiter in “My Pioneer Days in Florida, 1876-1898.” “It raised its head and looked all around till it turned their way. Then they said it looked like a human face. It stood up about three or four feet. They measured to where its tail was and to where the head was and it was about 30 feet long and looked the size of a small nail keg.” “In 1885, a ship moored in the New River inlet found that its anchor had snagged on something. When the crew finally brought the heavy anchor up, they saw that it had hooked a dead serpent-like carcass,” Charlie Carlson wrote in “Weird Florida.” “The creature was described as being over 40 feet long and six feet wide, with two front flippers and a long skinny neck. It was in a bad state of decomposition and was never scientifically studied, but it would sure smell like a dead plesiosaur to a cryptozoologist.”

Some of Florida’s monsters have even earned names. “Pinky,” for instance, is said to haunt the St. John’s River near Jacksonville, while the “Astor Monster” in Lake County has been the subject of reports for more than a century. “In the late 1960s fishing guide Buck Dillard and two of his clients encountered a beast ‘the size of an elephant’ while trolling on the St. Johns River near Lake Dexter,” Newton wrote of the Astor Monster. “Dillard says the creature walked along the river bottom, thus presumably eliminating possible confusion with a manatee.”

Extracts from Source:


Interestingly enough there is something in Lake County:

Teenager Talks About Battle With Alligator POSTED: 8:21 am EDT July 25, 2006

DELAND, Fla. -- A Central Florida boy was released from a hospital Monday after being attacked by an alligator. Officials said they believe the alligator was about 11 feet long, and the teenager was able to fight off the attack, WESH 2 News reported. Corey Workman, 16, said he learned what to do to escape by watching television. He suffered puncture wounds on his leg and nerve damage. "At first it was just a reaction. I just kept punching, and I pulled myself together. I kept on thinking, 'I'm not going to die this way,'" Workman said. Workman and some friends were on the water's edge near Astor in Lake County Saturday night when he felt something grab his left ankle. He said he instinctively started throwing punches, and then when he realized it was an alligator, he remembered what he had seen many times on the Discovery Channel. "I grabbed its jaw, and I put all my weight back so it would roll over, and I could get closer to it. I put my right thumb in its eye, and as I did that, it let go," Workman said. A trapper sent out Sunday to look for the reptile caught an 11-foot alligator. It will now be up to a forensic tooth expert to compare the bite marks on Workman's leg with the teeth of the alligator. If they can confirm it is the alligator that bit Workman, the teenager said he would love to have it. "I'll probably use it as a trophy. I'll stuff its head or something and keep it," Workman said. Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said even though it's the fourth alligator attack this summer, they are very rare. They said the best way to protect yourself is to avoid hanging out in vegetated areas of water, especially this time of year.



So it appears the tales may have some truth in them but in this case it may be a known creature rather than an unknown one. That isn’t to say there aren’t any unknown creatures out there .


A video purporting to be an almasty has been uploaded to Facebook video. Richard Freeman, who in 2008 led an expedition to Russia in search of the creature, writes:

'The film seems un-naturally blurry. Even film taken on a mobile phone at a distance could surely be cleaned up more than this. If this had been taken a few decades ago on cine film it would have been more believable. Look at the way the figure moves. It is walking slowly and gingerly along the cliff edge. Almasty witnesses have comented on the creatures' agility and climbing skills, scaling cliff faces that would be impossible for a human.

This looks to me like a man in a costume. He could be walking slowly due to fear of falling off the cliff or not being able to see well through the mask. From time to time he seems to pause. This could indicate he is looking about him to get his bearings, but it could also mean he is pausing to allow the person taking the film to shoot enough footage of him.

It reminds me of a more blurry vertion of the 'snow-walker' footage from a few years back: someone floudering about in a clumsy manner, in an ape suit. Compare it to the highly convincing Patterson footage and you will see how poor this film is. I think the almasty exists but that this is not film of one.'

HERON CONTROVERSY RAGES (Well, sort of rages)

The heron bloggo I posted the other day continues to provoke interest, mostly in the form of emails. However, a great egret has most votes (see piccie of one taken by Max last summer in Somerset), although grey herons, and blue herons have also been fingered.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 2008 Humphrey Lyttelton died. He was a jazz musician of great repute but in his later years known as the host of I’m sorry I haven’t a clue.

And now, the news:

Mysterious Desert Lines Were Animal Traps
Vanished: 'Chupacabra' walks away from Fiesta booth
"4.5m croc terrorising fishos "
Meet the Genius Bird: Crafty Crows Use Tools to Solve a Three-Step Problem
White ants ‘ate’ 24 kg charas (cannabis): Prosecution tells court

“Thanks ants.”