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

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Scales? no, just wet fur - Otters are not lake monsters


North American River Otters, Lontra canadensis (per Schreber, 1777. More commonly used, but allegedly incorrect latin name: Lutra canadensis). Photo taken in San Francisco Zoo on 08/29/2005. Copyright by Dmitry Azovtsev [1]

Scales or hair?

Most lake monster sightings report "scaly" reptilian creatures. Sleek, shiny scales are reported in almost every sighting.

We have mentioned before that there are many simple explanations for most "lake monster" sightings, among which (besides logs, waves and birds), are otters.

As you can see in the photograph, otter fur when wet clumps together and gives the impression of being scales.

But otters are not monsters nor reptiles, they are furry mammals. Though the photograph shows Canadian otters, Patagonian otters (huillín) are virtually identical and can therefore explain many of the "plesiosaur" reptile-looking monsters seen in Patagonia.

[1] Credits and Copyright of image. Copyright by Dmitry Azovtsev
Permission is granted to use this image under the terms of the the Creative Commons Attribution License. The attribution is to be given to Dmitry Azovtsev. When using on the Web, a link to is appreciated, but not required.

Copyright 2009 by Austin Whittall ©

Patagonian Monsters

1 comment:

  1. I am aware of reports of an egg-laying mammal in Patagonia lakes.
    Could you contact me through my website ( click on "contact")


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