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

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Swimming otters - mistaken for monsters


In previous posts I mentioned that the Patagonian otter, the huillín could be mistaken for a lake monster by an inexperienced observer.

Their wet fur looks like scales when wet (otter photograph).

And a group of swimming otters may look like a long undulating lake serpent. The following sketch explains this monster-otter likeness.

otter or lake monster

Otters cavorting in a line (bottom) can be mistaken for a “Plesiosaur” (top). Their shiny dark pelt, webbed feet, flippers, long neck, small head and “many humps” are features shared with "lake monsters". Author’s sketch, after Gould (1976, pp. 116) [1]. Also see [2].

I stumbled across the following photographs, which I reproduce below (my thanks to David and Melanie). They show a group of otters (the giant Amazon otter) swimming in a lake.

The uncritical observer would say that the upper photograph shows a long sleek lake monster.

Giant Amazon river otters. From [3].


[1] Gould, R., (1976). The Loch Ness Monster and Others. Secaucus: Citadel Press. pp. 116.
[2] Radford, B. and Nickell, J., (2006). Lake monster mysteries: investigating the world's most elusive creatures. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 118.
[3] The images are copyright © by David and Melanie's Trips. Yasuni Wildlife.

Copyright 2009-2010 by Austin Whittall ©

Patagonian Monsters

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