Evidence: Scattered Sightings, some dating back hundreds of years
Possible Population size: Indistinguisable.
My thoughts and theories: Considered by many modern paranormal researchers to be an alternate (or regional) name for the more traditional hairy-hominid known as Sasquatch, the Wendigo is considered by most Native American tribes (particularly the Inuits) to be another - and infinitely more dangerous - breed of beast altogether. Known to different North American tribal groups by the names Witigo, Witiko and Wee-Tee-Go, this animal is almost universally described as being a lanky, 15-foot tall, beast-like phantasm, with glowing eyes, long, yellowed canine teeth, and a hyper-extended tongue. This quasi-animal is almost always depicted with a coat of matted fur, but there are some eyewitness accounts which insist that the creature is hairless and covered with a sallow, jaundiced skin. Based upon these descriptions it is not surprising that this being has inspired terror in all who have encountered it. Achieving international acclaim in Algernon Blackwood's 1907 short story called "The Wendigo", legends of this animal date back for centuries, and have almost always been associated with the act of cannibalism. In fact, one persistent tale details the Wendingo's origin as being that of a human who was forced to resort to consuming his peers (no doubt in an unfortunate Donner Party-esque situation) in order to survive a particularly brutal Canadian winter. The sole survivor of this ordeal was corrupted by his actions and possessed by evil spirits who transformed him into this hideous monstrosity. The legend insists that all those who have participated in the act of cannibalism (even in order to survive) risk the chance that they themselves may be transformed into a member of this bloodthirsty, half-corporeal, species. Legends such as these have persisted (especially in northern Ontario) even into the 20th century, assuming almost the same position that Werewolves once dominated in Europe throughout the middle ages. There is even one intriguing case which hails from October of 1907 (a popular year for the Wendingo), which involved a Cree man named Jack Fiddler, who had claimed to have killed 14 of these monsters during his lifetime. The story garnered international attention when the then 87 year-old men was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a Cree woman, whom he claimed was on the verge of transforming completely into a ravenous member of the Wendingo clan. Neither Fiddler, nor his son Joseph, hesitated in pleading guilty to the crime, but both insisted that their decisive action averted what could have quickly become a profound tragedy for the other members of their tribe. Until the end of his days this Native American "Van Helsing" held true to his conviction that the sacrifice he and his son had made was indeed a noble one. Closing statement: Although the creature seems to mostly exist in legend with little to no proof of it's existance, I've always been told that there is a little truth to every tall tale. This one in particular may be easily be denounced as someone retelling his whitness to the ghoulish sight one might find when stumbling across an individual enguageing in the act of cannibalism. Possibly, a lone man with weeks of hair growth, driven insane by his deeds, perched over the remains of peers and growling like an animal might very much so look more monster than human to us. On the other hand, with so much of the Canadian fronteer unexplored, it is also possible that a horrific creature like the Wendego may exist. Even our own bodies could hide ressive geans that, when triggered could revert us back to a more primal state. After all, every culture around the world has at least one legend revolving around humans acheving in-human transformation. File End. Cryptid Files: [link]
"Ciro" - Scipionyx samniticus eating its second prey, a Derasmosaurus.
acrylics by brush and airbrush on cardboard
8,4 x 11,88 inches / 21 x 29,7 cm
Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Sauropsida Superorder: Dinosauria Order: Saurischia Suborder: Theropoda (unranked): Coelurosauria Genus: Scipionyx dal Sasso & Signore, 1998 Species S. samniticus dal Sasso & Signore, 1998
Scipionyx is a very small genus of theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Italy, around 113 million years ago. There has been only one skeleton discovered, which is notable for the preservation of soft tissue and internal organs. It is the fossil of a juvenile only a few inches long. Adult size is estimated to be 2 metres (approx. 6 feet). The name Scipionyx comes from the Latin word Scipio and the Greek onyx, meaning "Scipio's claw", and for Scipione Breislak, the geologist who wrote the first description of the formation in which the fossil was found. The specific name samniticus means "From the Samnium", the Latin name of the region around Pietraroja. The specimen is also popularly nicknamed "Skippy, or "Doggy" Scipionyx was discovered in the spring of 1981 by Giovanni Todesco, an amateur paleontologist, near Pietraroja, approximately 50 kilometers from Naples. The fossils were preserved in the Pietraroia limestone formation, well known for unusually well-preserved fossils. Todesco thought the remains belonged to that of a fossil bird. Unaware of the importance of his findings, he kept the strange fossil in the basement of his house until 1992 when he met two paleontologists, Cristiano dal Sasso of the Natural History Museum of Milan and Marco Signore of the University of Naples Federico II, who identified it as the first Italian dinosaur. The magazine Oggi gave the tiny dinosaur the nickname Ciro, a typical Neapolitan name. In 1998, Scipionyx made the front cover of Nature.
Scipionyx is classified as a coelurosaurian theropod. Because the only remains recovered belong to that of a juvenile, it has not been possible to assign this dinosaur to a more specific group. Coelurosaur characteristics included a sacrum (a series of vertebrae that attach to the hips) longer than in other dinosaurs, a tail stiffened towards the tip, and a bowed ulna (lower arm bone). The tibia (lower leg bone) is also characteristically longer than the femur (upper leg bone) in coelurosaurs. Fossil evidence indicates that most coelurosaurs were probably feathered.
Evidence: Beyond eyewitness sightings, there remains little to no physical evidence of the creatures existence.
Possible Population size: Unknown
The Term Lizard Men is not specific to one specific cryptid; instead it is used to describe a broad spectrum of bipedal hominid like lizard men, sometimes referred to as Homo-subterreptus. Sightings of Lizard Men are reported all over the globe, including the Intulo of South Africa, the South Carolina Lizard Man, the New Jersey Gator Man and the Loveland Frogmen of Ohio. Out of all of the many lizard men stories, one of the most well known is the story of the South Carolina lizard man. Native Americans that called the Carolinas home used to talk about a race or lizard or fish men who lived in the area they called the Inzignanin. Reports by modern man of the South Carolina Lizard Man started around 1972, however the first official documented sighting on the creature occurred on June 29th 1988. The encounter took place on a back woods road near Scape Ore Swamp, outside of Bishopville, South Carolina at around 2 a.m. 17 year old Christopher Davis had just finished changing his flat tire, while putting the jack into the trunk of his car Davis reported the following encounter: I looked back and saw something running across the field towards me. It was about 25 yards away and I saw red eyes glowing. I ran into the car and as I locked it, the thing grabbed the door handle. I could see him from the neck down; it had three big fingers, long black nails and green rough skin. It was strong and angry. I looked in my mirror and saw a blur of green running. I could see his toes and then he jumped on the roof of my car. I thought I heard a grunt and then I could see his fingers through the front windshield, where they curled around on the roof. I sped up and swerved to shake the creature off. The creature eventually lost its grip and was flung off the rooftop and onto the side of the road. Understandable Davis did not turn back to assess the well being of the beast but upon making it home he noticed that his side view mirror and roof top suffered considerable damage. Throughout what remained of that year, numerous witnesses came forth with their own frightening tales of the aggressive creature and several strange 3 toe foot prints where cast in the area. The latest encounter with the South Carolina Lizard Man occurred in 2004 when it reportedly tried to pull a young girl into the river she was walking by.
Not much is known about the Intulo of South Africa, thought to dwell in the province of KwaZulu Natal this so called lizard man is described as mostly reptilian with human characteristics. This description of the Intulo is similar to other so called New World Lizard Men like the Gator Man of the American South East, the New Jersey Gator Man and the Lizard Man of South Carolina. There are some researchers who believe that the Intulo is a form of primate with reptilian like features, a description which matches some accounts of the Honey Island Swamp Monster. The Intulo is also a Lizard Man like creature in both Xosa and Zulu Mythology. Sightings of the Intulo have only taken place in the KwaZulu Natal region of South Africa; at least the ones that have been brought forward. Most translations state that the sightings are referred to in past tense meaning that modern day stories may be describing older tales but other argue this is not true. Very little is known about these creatures and few modern day sightings on the Intulo exist.
Closing Statement: Many theories have been presented in relation to the identity of the Lizard men, theories such as Aliens, Living Dinosaurs, and even off shoots of evolution in which the reptilian hierarchy continued to evolve along the same path as early primates. At one point in time reptiles ruled the earth, it is not out of the realm of possibility that the most dominate species on the planet could continue to evolve in small numbers unseen by mankind. Although no reptilian species known to man have shown signs of such advanced evolution, the reptile is the oldest and most successful species on the plant and could hold secrets that have yet come to light. Another theory in regards to lizard men is that they may be reptilian aliens. Many UFO and alien abduction cases have made note of aliens being reptile like and since have been declared "reptilians". Many cryptozoology related reptilian sightings may have a tie to the possible alien race. Although this theory tends to loose credibility when various conspiricy theories are shoehorned into the mix.
The genus Pteranodon consists out of several large pterosaurs of the Cretaceous of North America. Pteranodon had a crested skull and a spanwide of 7,5 meter with a relatively small body. The hindlegs were small and weak. The bones hollow and only 1 mm thick creating a reducing of the total weight.
Evidence: Sightings, pictures exist which appear to show a snake in excess of 100 feet however these photos often do not contain any point of reference to base the creatures size and are dismissed as inconclusive.
Possible Population size: Unknown. Ultimately every anaconda has the potential to become a giant.
It's fairly general knowledge that reptiles continue to grow all of their lives. On average, anacondas can grow to roughly thirty feet, however some explorers and native peoples of the Amazon River basin have reported sightings of anacondas in exess of fifty to a hundred+ feet. One of the first reported sightings from explorers occurred in 1907 by adventurer Major Percy H. Fawcett. Major Fawcett was sent by the Royal Geographic Society to survey the Rio Abuna and Acre Rivers when he and a group of natives were drifting along the Rio Negro River. At one point in the trip he spotted a great triangular serpentine head appearing at the bow of his boat, Fawcett opened fire hitting the creature in the spine. The giant snake thrashed the water into a foamy frenzy all around the boat as it violently died from its wounds. According to Fawcett, the snake measured 45 feet out of the water and 17 feet in the water, a total of 62 feet. Though this massive snake was remarkably long the diameter was relatively small, only 12 inches. Unfortunately Fawcett had no way to carry the massive creature back from the interior of the Amazon, once publicized his account was received with ridicule even though he insisted his account was both truthful and accurate. Herpetologist Raymond Ditmars rejected Fawcetts story on the grounds that anacondas where not thought to get much longer than 19 feet, a number that was soon increased to 30 feet. Decades after Fawcetts encounter Bernard Heuvelmans came to his defense arguing that Fawcetts writings where generally honest and reliable. Heuvelmans also noted in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals that American herpetologist Thomas Barboor, Brazilian expert Dr. Afranio do Amaral of the Institute at Butantan and Doctor Jose Condido de Melo of the Rio de Janeiro Zoo all agreed that 45 feet should be the accepted maximum length. In an article which appeared in the International Society of Cryptozoology newsletter J. Richard Greenwell mentions that a 1944 petroleum expedition in Columbia claimed to have measured a 37 foot long anaconda, however this claim is not always regarded as reliable. Perhaps a more credible report came from scientist Vincent Roth who claimed to have shot and killed an anaconda in British Guiana that measured 34 feet. Closing statement: Though these two encounters are generally dismissed by modern science there are plenty of researchers who still believe that the Giant Anaconda swims the waters of the Amazon to this day, and if you wanted to hide a giant snake anywhere in the world, the Amazon River might just be the perfect place to do so.
really old piece of Fabio pastori paleoart ecoline with airbrush on card board
Marine Reptiles Rulers of the acient seas
During the Mesozoicperiod when dinosaurs ruled life on land, sea reptiles were the absolute rulers of the seas and oceans. Some of these animals were 14 meters in length Plesiosaurs appeared during the Triassic, later they split up into two superfamilies, the Plesiosauroidae that looked liked dolfines with lang necks en snakelike heads, and the Pliosauroidae with there stubby body's, short necks en crocodile-like heads.
Both superfamilies lived troughout the Mesozoic period. Plesiosaurs are from origin landanimals, which adapted to live in the sea, there legs changhed in to swimmingpeddals and instead of five they developed ten finger- and toobones. They moved trough the water by flapping there peddals up and down, so it looked as if they flew trough the water as birds .
The pelvis and shoulderbones were deformed to massive boneplates, a unique characteristic for plesiosaurs. Ichtyosaurs were the highest specialised marine reptiles of there time, they were verry similar to modern dolphins. Thanks to their build they could swim with a speed of 40 km/h. Ichtyosaurs used tunlike the plesiosaurs their tail fin for movement.
They were so adapted to water that they couldn't go on shore anymore. Ichthyosaurs were viviparous animals and they lived for more then 100 milion years on earth. The earliest fossil records of ichthyosaurs are dated from the Early Triassic and the latest from the Middle Cretaceous, the greatest diversity among these animals appeared during the Jurassic.
Mosasaurs were flesh eating land animals that returned to sea to take over the gape that the ichthyosaurs left after they disappeared. They quickly spread and evolved into twenty different families with more than seventy genera.
There lifespan was a relatively short one, twenty-five million years after their entrance and even before the end of the Cretaceous they were already disappeared from the Earth leaving their place to marine mammals. [link]
Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Sauropsida Superorder: Dinosauria Order: Saurischia Suborder: Theropoda Superfamily: Tyrannosauroidea Family: Tyrannosauridae Subfamily: Tyrannosaurinae Genus: Tyrannosaurus Osborn, 1905 Species T. rex (type) Osborn, 1905 Synonyms Manospondylus Cope, 1892 Dynamosaurus Osborn, 1905 ?Nanotyrannus Bakker, Williams & Currie, 1988 Stygivenator Olshevsky, 1995 Dinotyrannus Olshevsky, 1995 Tyrannosaurus (pronounced /tɨˌrænəˈsɔːrəs/ or /taɪˌrænoʊˈsɔːrəs/, meaning 'tyrant lizard' is a genus of theropod dinosaur. The famous species Tyrannosaurus rex ('rex' meaning 'king' in Latin), commonly abbreviated to T. rex, is a fixture in popular culture around the world. It lived throughout what is now western North America, with a much wider range than other tyrannosaurids. Fossils of T. rex are found in a variety of rock formations dating to the last three million years of the Cretaceous Period, approximately 68 to 65 million years ago; it was among the last non-avian dinosaurs to exist prior to the CretaceousTertiary extinction event. Like other tyrannosaurids, Tyrannosaurus was a bipedal carnivore with a massive skull balanced by a long, heavy tail. Relative to the large and powerful hindlimbs, Tyrannosaurus forelimbs were small, though unusually powerful for their size, and bore two primary digits, along with a possible third vestigial digit. Although other theropods rivaled or exceeded T. rex in size, it was the largest known tyrannosaurid and one of the largest known land predators, measuring up to 13 metres (43 ft) in length, up to 4 metres (13 ft) tall at the hips, and up to 6.8 metric tons (7.5 short tons) in weight. By far the largest carnivore in its environment, T. rex may have been an apex predator, preying upon hadrosaurs and ceratopsians, although some experts have suggested it was primarily a scavenger. More than 30 specimens of T. rex have been identified, some of which are nearly complete skeletons. Soft tissue and proteins have been reported in at least one of these specimens. The abundance of fossil material has allowed significant research into many aspects of its biology, including life history and biomechanics. The feeding habits, physiology and potential speed of T. rex are a few subjects of debate. Its taxonomy is also controversial, with some scientists considering Tarbosaurus bataar from Asia to represent a second species of Tyrannosaurus and others maintaining Tarbosaurus as a separate genus. Several other genera of North American tyrannosaurids have also been synonymized with Tyrannosaurus. Tyrannosaurus rex was one of the largest land carnivores of all time; the largest complete specimen, FMNH PR2081 ("Sue"), measured 12.8 metres (42 ft) long, and was 4.0 metres (13 ft) tall at the hips. Mass estimates have varied widely over the years, from more than 7.2 metric tons (7.9 short tons), to less than 4.5 metric tons (5.0 short tons), with most modern estimates ranging between 5.4 and 6.8 metric tons (6.0 and 7.5 short tons). Although Tyrannosaurus rex was larger than the well known Jurassic theropod Allosaurus, it was slightly smaller than Cretaceous carnivores Spinosaurus and Giganotosaurus. The neck of T. rex formed a natural S-shaped curve like that of other theropods, but was short and muscular to support the massive head. The forelimbs were long thought to bear only two digits, but there is an unpublished report of a third, vestigial digit in one specimen. In contrast the hind limbs were among the longest in proportion to body size of any theropod. The tail was heavy and long, sometimes containing over forty vertebrae, in order to balance the massive head and torso. To compensate for the immense bulk of the animal, many bones throughout the skeleton were hollow, reducing its weight without significant loss of strength. The largest known T. rex skulls measure up to 5 feet (1.5 m) in length. Large fenestrae (openings) in the skull reduced weight and provided areas for muscle attachment, as in all carnivorous theropods. But in other respects Tyrannosaurus skull was significantly different from those of large non-tyrannosauroid theropods. It was extremely wide at the rear but had a narrow snout, allowing unusually good binocular vision. The skull bones were massive and the nasals and some other bones were fused, preventing movement between them; but many were pneumatized (contained a "honeycomb" of tiny air spaces) which may have made the bones more flexible as well as lighter. These and other skull-strengthening features are part of the tyrannosaurid trend towards an increasingly powerful bite, which easily surpassed that of all non-tyrannosaurids. The tip of the upper jaw was U-shaped (most non-tyrannosauroid carnivores had V-shaped upper jaws), which increased the amount of tissue and bone a tyrannosaur could rip out with one bite, although it also increased the stresses on the front teeth.
Life restoration of a Tyrannosaurus rex. The teeth of T. rex displayed marked heterodonty (differences in shape). The premaxillary teeth at the front of the upper jaw were closely packed, D-shaped in cross-section, had reinforcing ridges on the rear surface, were incisiform (their tips were chisel-like blades) and curved backwards. The D-shaped cross-section, reinforcing ridges and backwards curve reduced the risk that the teeth would snap when Tyrannosaurus bit and pulled. The remaining teeth were robust, like "lethal bananas" rather than daggers; more widely spaced and also had reinforcing ridges. Those in the upper jaw were larger than those in all but the rear of the lower jaw. The largest found so far is estimated to have been 30 centimetres (12 in) long including the root when the animal was alive, making it the largest tooth of any carnivorous dinosaur. [link]
Evidence: Sightings by credable sorces and tribesmen alike.
Possible Population size: Unknown
Some 65 million years ago, starting in the Jurassic and lasting into the Cretaceous, there existed a powerful flying reptile known as the Pterosaurs. The majority of fossils found have been in marine deposits, which means they probably were fish eaters and spent most of their time over coastal waters. These Pterosaurs apparently managed to fly with no feathers, their main aerodynamic feature where wings of membrane supported by an enormously elongated fourth finger. They had hollow limb bones and a large keeled breastbone attached to strong wing muscles which where needed for true flight, not just gliding. The large expenditure of energy required to remain in flight for long periods of time, and the resulting loss of heat caused by the surface of their wings exposed to moving air, means that they must have had some method of regulating body heat, although it is doubtful they were truly warm blooded as mammals are. The majority of the Pterosaurs species where anywhere from the size of a sparrow to the size of an eagle, however some larger species have been discovered. The Pteranodon with a wingspan of 27 ft. and the colossal Quetzalcoatlus, with a wingspan of 50 ft, possibly 60 ft. are two examples of these larger species. Some pterosaurs even had fur, although they are in now way related to mammals. It would seem impossible that these creatures could have survived to the present day. After all, if they existed surely people would see them flying about as they hunted for food. How could a flying population of reptiles remain hidden? There are reports that people have been seeing flying creatures that match the description of pterosaurs for a hundreds of years. People have even been reportedly killed by these ancient flying creatures. In 1923 a traveler by the name of Frank H. Melland worked for a time in Zambia. He gathered native reports of ferocious flying reptiles. The natives called this creature Kongamato which translated into overwhelmer of boats". The Kongamato was said to have lived in the Jiundu swamps in the Mwinilunga District of western Zambia, near the border of Congo and Angola. It was described as having no feathers, smooth black or red skin, a wingspan between 4 ft. and 7 ft., and possessing a beak full of teeth. It had a reputation for capsizing canoes and causing death to anyone who merely looked at it. When showed drawings of pterosaurs the native people present immediately and unhesitatingly picked it out and identified it as a Kongamato. Among the natives who did so was a rather wild and quite unsophisticated headman from the Jiundu country, where the Kongamato is supposed to be most active. In 1925, a distinguished English newspaper correspondent, G. Ward Price, was with the future Duke of Windsor on an official visit to Rhodesia. He reported a story that a civil servant told them of the wounding of a man who entered a feared swamp in Rhodesia known to be the home of demons. The brave native entered the swamp, determined to explore it in spite of the dangers. When he returned he was on the verge of death from a great wound in his chest. He recounted how a strange huge bird with a long beak attacked him. When the civil servant showed the man a picture of a pterosaur, from a book of prehistoric animals, the man screamed in terror and fled from the servant's home In 1942 Colonel C. R. S. Pitman reported stories the natives told him of a large bat - bird like creature that lived the dense swampy regions of Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia. Tracks of the creatures were seen, with evidence of a large tail dragging the ground. These reports were not limited to Zambia, but also came from other locations in Africa such as Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. Skeptics suggest that these fantastic sounding tales derived from the fanciful imaginations of natives who were hired to work on archeological digs where fossilized pterosaurs were uncovered in Tendagaru, Tanzania, in the years prior to World War I. These digs, however, took place over 900 miles from Zambia. Why did no reports of living pterosaurs come from Tanzania, where these imaginative natives lived? Perhaps the most striking report of living pterosaurs comes not from natives, but from white explorers in the employment of the British Museum. In 1932 through 1933 the Percy Sladen Expedition ventured deep into West Africa. In charge of the team was Ivan T. Sanderson, a well-known zoologist and writer. While in the Assumbo Mountains in the Cameroons, they made camp in a wooded valley near a steep banked river. They were out hunting near the river when Sanderson shot a large fruit-eating bat. Upon being shot the creature fell into the swift moving river below, as Sanderson was carefully making his way in the fast moving current, he lost his balance and fell in. He had just regained his balance when his companion suddenly shouted "Look out!" "And I looked. Then I let out a shout also and instantly bobbed down under the water, because, coming straight at me only a few feet above the water was a black thing the size of an eagle. I had only a glimpse of its face, yet that was quite sufficient, for its lower jaw hung open and bore a semicircle of pointed white teeth set about their own width apart from each other. When I emerged, it was gone. George was facing the other way blazing off his second barrel. I arrived dripping on my rock and we looked at each other. "Will it come back?" we chorused. And just before it became too dark to see, it came again, hurtling back down the river, its teeth chattering, the air "shss-shssing" as it was cleft by the great, black, dracula-like wings. We were both off-guard, my gun was unloaded, and the brute made straight for George. He ducked. The animal soared over him and was at once swallowed up in the night." When Sanderson and George returned to camp they asked the natives about the creature. Sanderson asked them, spreading his arms, what kind of bat is this large and is all black? "Olitiau!" was the response. The natives asked Sanderson where they had seen this creature, to which Sanderson pointed back at the river. The natives fled in terror in the opposite direction, taking only their guns and leaving their valuables behind. In 1956 in Zambia along the Luapula River, engineer J.P.F. Brown was driving back to Salisbury from a visit to Kasenga in Zaire. He stopped at a location called Fort Rosebery, just to the west of Lake Bangweulu, for a break. It was about 6:00 p.m. when he saw two creatures flying slowly and silently directly overhead. Bewildered he observed that these creatures looked prehistoric. He estimated a wingspan of about 3-3 1/2 feet, a long thin tail, and a narrow head, which he likened to an elongated snout of a dog. One of them opened its mouth in which he saw a large number of pointed teeth. He gave the beak to tail length at about 4 1/2 feet. In 1957, at a hospital at Fort Rosebery, the same location J. P. F. Brown had reported seeing strange flying creatures the year before, a patient came in with a severe wound in his chest. The doctor asked him what had happened and the native claimed that a great bird had attacked him in the Bangweulu Swamps. When asked to sketch the bird, the native drew a picture of a creature that resembled a pterosaur. The most recent sighting was in 1988. Professor Roy Mackal led an expedition to Namibia where reports of a creature with a wingspan of up to 30 ft were collected. The avian cryptid usually glided through the air, but also was capable of true flight. It was usually seen at dusk, gliding between crevices between two hills about a mile apart. Although the expedition was not successful in getting solid evidence, one team member, James Kosi, reportedly saw the creature from about 1000 ft. away. He described it as a giant glider shape, black with white markings. But could ancient prehistoric flying reptiles thought to have died out 65 million years ago still be roaming the dense swampy areas and hot desert mountain regions of Africa, or could there be a simpler explanation for these sightings. There are two species of birds that live in the swampy areas of Zambia that could possibly be mistaken for some kind of prehistoric apparition, especially under low light conditions or at nighttime. The shoebill stork is a dark colored bird with an 8 ft. wingspan and a decidedly prehistoric appearance. They have become rare, and can only be found in the deep recesses of swamps in Zambia and neighboring countries. However, there is no evidence of the shoebill behaving aggressively towards humans, and in fact they try to avoid humans as much as possible. They have large bills, but they are not pointed, and they do not have teeth, in fact no known bird living today has real teeth. Another odd-looking bird that lives in the area is the saddle billed stork. These rather beautiful birds have a wingspan of up to 8½ feet, a long bright red bill with a horizontal black stripe ¾ up from the tip and with a yellow blaze from the eyes down and into the stripe, with additional orange stripes on the sides of the head. Their overall coloration is black and white with a black head, featherless red feet, and a beak that is long and pointed. Although it would be difficult to confuse this bird with a featherless, monotone colored pterosaur, its beak is similar. It also is not beyond the realm of possibility that perhaps a deranged, sick, threatened, or confused saddle-billed stork could attack a human and plunge its beak into a man's chest. Both of these candidates are rather poor substitutes for pterosaurs, although they probably do account for some of the reports. Many of the natives are very superstitious, and fervently believe in the stories of monsters in the swamps waiting to attack intruders. It is not difficult to imagine that a quick flyby of one of these large birds in the dark could send one running back to camp with a story of a near miss by a flying demon. Whether the reports are of actual sightings of pterosaur related creatures, or if it they represent some unknown huge sort of bat or bird, perhaps time will tell. Of all the remote, inaccessible locations in the world where unknown creatures could still exist, probably the best candidates would have to be the deep enormous swamps in Africa. These swamps are so overgrown with vines and undergrowth that human travel is next to impossible. In addition, the ground is often so soft that humans could not even stand without sinking, and the many rivers and waterlogged areas block many avenues of penetration. Vicious insects and other critters that can cause sickness from disease or death from venom accompany the hostile terrain. The area is racked with political instability, patrolled by guerillas and armed bandits with little respect for non-native intruders, which provides a powerful disincentive to would-be explorers. Over flights by aircraft are ineffective since the treetops are so thick in the deep swamps that little or nothing can been seen underneath. Africa is hiding its secrets well. If there are living dinosaurs alive today, these dense over grown swampy areas of Africa are a prime candidate for harboring them.
Closing statement: Despite many sightings by credible eye-witnesses the Kongamato has left behind no physical evidence to prove that it actually exists. Natives, close to death after a run in with the creature, do not prove anything other than an attack of some kind did happen. As with the majority of crypid it will take a body, alive or dead, to prove to the world that the Kongamato exists in reality not in just myth and legend.