Various not-quite-human creatures, both real (if long extinct) and mythological

  • Creatures


    Bigfoot. Sasquatch. A man-like animal long rumored to live in North America’s Pacific Northwest.   Find out more Guardian article

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    Would you believe there’s actually a name for the study of “hidden animals” (animals “which might possibly exist in nature but whose existence has not yet been accepted by modern science”)? It’s even got its own peer-reviewed scientific journal: The Journal of Cryptozoology. You can read more about the journal in an article in The Scientist. The journal also has a presence on facebook. Here’s a few more links if you want to find out more: Cryptozoo’s Missing Links Primate Center: British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club: There’s also a “reference guide” — I haven’t read it, but it sounds intriguing: The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti…

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    Yeti. The Abominable Snowman. A bear-like primate long rumored to exist in the Himalayas. Are they the last surviving remnants of a hominid species close to our own? An unknown species of bear, shyly avoiding man, eluding capture by virtue of the good fortune of living in one of the most difficult terrains on Earth? Or simply fevered imaginings? News reports 29 November 2017 DNA analysis of nine samples supposedly from yeti, has found that while most of the samples came from known animals, two samples are more mysterious. These samples are from Bhutan and the Indian Himalayas, and the genetic analysis suggests they might be from an unknown species…

  • Creatures

    Flores Man

    or more formally, Homo floresiensis The discovery of Homo floresiensis raises hopes for yeti hunters and, says Henry Gee, poses thorny questions about the uniqueness of Homo sapiens. If another species of humans existed so recently, perhaps stories of other human-like creatures might be founded on grains of truth? Henry Gee: Flores, God and Cryptozoology, 27 Oct 2004 Flores is an island in Indonesia. For years, archaeologists have been excavating a cave on the island, where human bones have been found. More recently, as the dig has gone deeper, new bones have been found. These bones, while human-looking, belong to people who were very small (around 3 foot 3)…

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    Neanderthal Man

    or Homo neanderthalensis Neanderthals have been a much-maligned species: a beetle-browed, hulking brute, incapable of much thought and condemned to be replaced by the much superior Homo sapiens. Part of the reason for this is that the first specimen found was not typical of his species, but the main reason is of course the whole “Man is superior” thing. Let’s start by noting that Neanderthals survived successfully for at least 200,000 years (perhaps 400-500,000 years) — a longer period of time than the 125,000-150,000 years Homo sapiens can lay claim to. Then let’s note that their brains were if anything slightly bigger than our own! They did have heavier brows,…

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    The Hominid bush

    It seemed a simple story once. Out of the mud, God shaped a man. Or, life grew, and the millennia passed, and life grew more complex, from bacteria to sponges to trilobites to dinosaurs (omitting myriad steps!), until at last, a primate stood on its two feet and started growing a bigger and bigger brain. What a work of art is Man! (that was irony). Bad enough we had to look at chimpanzees as distant cousins with whom we once shared a distant ancestor, but clearly no one ever came close to our own perfection. The story turns out rather more complex (though if you put human arrogance aside, rather…

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    The Pack

    Here’s a couple of quotes I have always regarded as justifying my “discovery” of the Pack: “If there’s one thing of which we can be pretty certain, it is that during the last million years there was a lot more going on in human evolution than we have yet been able to discern.” Ian Tattersall: Becoming human: Evolution and human uniqueness, p145 “the fossils and artefacts are sparse nonetheless relative to the number and variety of peoples from whom they derive, and the intricacies of their lives. It is entirely possible that pivotal events and populations have disappeared without any trace, and that we will never have direct knowledge of…

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    Nearly human

    Here Be Monsters Werewolves, vampires, elves, fairies, yeti, Bigfoot … Since the dawn of time, humans have told tales of people that were not people. Nowadays, most of us are pretty damn sure there’s not such things as elves or fairies. We’re fairly sure there’s no such thing as werewolves or vampires (during daytime, anyway!). Yeti and Bigfoot … well, they could exist, couldn’t they? Indeed, they could. And indeed, only a few months ago, newspapers all around the world were proclaiming the finding of recent fossils (that’s recent in archaeological terms) of “hobbits” – a somewhat undersize, humanly speaking, hominid species that appears to have lived on an Indonesian…

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