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

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Rare Carnivore discovered in Madagascar

A team of scientists has discovered a new carnivore mammal species in Madagascar. It was first sighted swimming in the largest lake of the Island in 2004. It was photographed in an attempt to identify it. In 2005 one was captured.

This extremely rare animal is a mongoose-like animal, which has been named Durrell's vontsira (Salanoia durrelli), in honour of British conservationist Gerald Durrell (1925-1995). [1]

Madagascar is the world's fourth largest island and is about 1.600 km long (1,000 mi.) and 570 km (350 mi.) wide. It is located close to Africa, in the Indian Ocean. Its isolation led it to develop an endemic fauna as the Mozambique Channel 400 km (250 mi.) wide separates it from Africa.

I posted this, because despite being totally unrelated to Patagonia and its cryptids, it clearly shows us that there are 'critters' out there still waiting to be discovered by science in the early years of the twenty-first century. Perhaps Patagonia also harbors unknown animals in its lonely forests.

Just consider that Madagascar is densely populated (19,448,815 inhabitants living on a surface area of 587,041 km2): 33.13 persons/km2 (85.8 persons/sq. mi.). While Patagonia with a larger surface area of one million km2 (403,000 sq. mi.) and a scanty population of barely 2 million inhabitants has a population density which is 15 times smaller: 2 persons/km2 (5.2 persons/sq.mi.). If new mammals crop up on that densely packed island, what can be expected in Patagonia?


[1] Victoria Gill, (2010) New carnivorous mammal species found in Madagascar. BBC. 11.10.2010

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Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia
2010 International Year of Biodiversity Copyright 2009-2010 by Austin Whittall © 

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