Guide to Patagonia's Monsters & Mysterious beings

I have written a book on this intriguing subject which has just been published.
In this blog I will post excerpts and other interesting texts on this fascinating subject.

Austin Whittall

Monday, November 23, 2009

Patagonian living dinosaurs


I have read countless books while researching mine. One of them, a charming dictionary on the language of the Patagonian natives (the Tehuelche groups) by the late Patagonian historian Rodolfo Casamiquela [1], has a map which in the Terra Magellanica (i.e. what is now Patagonia) shows a hunting party shooting at a couple of ñandú and some very strange animals.

extant dinosaurs in Patagonia

Strange Patagonian beings on an ancient map. From [1].

There are two groups of these creatures , one on the upper left of the map, just above Villarica volcano and the other to the east of the Desaguadero River.

The first group has a dinosaur look with short front paws and long hind legs and a long neck. They look very “T-Rex” to me.

The second group, with a smaller head and long front legs has a “brontosaurus” look.

Of course, we all know that dinosaurs died over 65 million years ago. But isn’t it surprising that a XVIth engraver drew these animals so clearly?

A few days ago I posted about Desceliers’ 1546 map, and did not include any comment regarding a small portion of it -which can be seen in the upper left corner of the map- because it was too far north to be a part of Patagonia. Today I will post the image, enlarged, (see below):

Desceliers map

Detail of Desceliers 1546 World Map showing Dinosaur(?). From [2]

What is this amazing creature? It looks very reptilian, but does it have wings? is its head wraped around a tree trunk? Or is it the tail?

I love playing around with old maps!


[1] Casamiquela, R., (2008). Diccionario Tehuelche. Va. Adelina: Patagonia Sur Libros.
[2] National Library of Australia. World maps. Early works to 1800. Facsimiles. Australia. Discovery and exploration. Call Number: MAP RM 567.

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Copyright 2009 by Austin Whittall ©

Patagonian Monsters

1 comment:

  1. Amazing. If they were dinosaurs, what species could these creatures be?


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