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

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cieza de Leon and his hairy beings

Charcas South America, map

Pedro Cieza de León, (c.1520 - 1554), was a Spanish explorer, born in a well-to-do family who set off at the young age of fifteen on a voyage to the newly discovered continent of America.
He stayed there, taking part in several expeditions in Colombia and Peru. After his return to Spain in 1551, he became a historian and geographer and wrote an account on his adventures (Crónica del Peru), he died shortly after at the age of thirty four.

His "Peruvian Chronicle" (that is the meaning of its title in English) is very interesting and is a good source of information for historians and researchers delving into the first days of the American conquest and the way of life of the American natives.

The Ape-men

I have found some sources that mention Cieza de León's account saying that in it he includes a reference about ape-men that went around in pairs and had a very sharp moan or howl. I decided to check out the "real" and original sources, his Cronicle. Below is the relevant text:

In these mountains and jungles they assert that there are people so wild that they do not have home or clothes and go around like animals, killing birds and animlas with arrows which they eat.
That they do not have lords or captains and that they live in the hollows and boughs of trees in most of which, they also say (though I have not seen them), are female monkeys so large that they move about the trees, and with whom, tempted by the devil, (who always seeks the ways and places for men to commit the worst and gravest sins), these men use them as wives.
And it is said that some give birth th monsters with the heads and limbs like those of men and the hands and feet ape-like. They are, they say, small bodied and with monstrous proportions, and hairy. It seems, alas, they resemble (if it true that they exist) the devil, their father.

He goes on writing that he can not understand why ignorant men “soil themselves” with other beasts, and then mentions that while visitng the region of Charcas in 1549, he spent one night in the tent of a Spanish nobleman who told him the following:

That he had seen with his own eyes, in the mountains, one of these monsters, dead, its shape and sizes as described [above]. And Juan Vargas, a neighbor of La Paz [Bolivia. See map] told him that at Guanuco the Indians told him that they heard the howling of these demons or female monkeys”[1]


We can clearly see that he is mentioning primitive men (maybe H. Sapiens) native Americans that lived just like they do until this day in the Amazonian jungle, hunting with bows and arrows. These primitive people however lacked huts and lived in the trees.

Furthermore it seems that he is attempting to explain the existence of some odd sightings of dead ape-men reported by the natives to the Spaniards. His explanation: unnatural mating between men and female apes resulting in ape-men offspring. Of course a sixteenth Century Spaniard would blame the devil for these sins.

Finally the howling and moaning part may be true if applied to monkeys: they may well be howler monkeys, which belong to the (genus Alouatta) and comprise fifteen species. They are one of the largest monkeys of South America. They measure up to 90 cm (3 ft.) long and have a prehensile tail. There is no other fit ape in America to play the part of seductress she-monkey.

I guess that the natives had some myth regarding ape-men and that they were the outcome of cross species mating between apes and men. This probably points at some relict homind group of men living in secluded jungle areas of South America during the early days of the Spanish Conquest.


[1] Pedro de Cieza de León. (1552) Obras completas CSIC, 1984 pp. 120.

The quote above is shown below in Spanish:

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia Copyright 2009-2017 by Austin Whittall © 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More on the Blemye in Guyana

Blemye in Hondius Map of Guyana
Blemye in Hondius map of Guyana 1598. See below link to the full map

My most recent posts have focused on South America once again, and taken a look at "hominds" sighted here after its discovery. The idea of these posts is to see if there is evidence of "primitive humans" (i.e. Neanderthals) inhabiting South America before the European explorers caused mayhem, killing off tens of millions natives (and perhaps also unknown hominids) with the diseases, war and enslavement they brought to the New World.

I have mentioned Piri Reis 1513 map, depicting a "headless" (acephali) or Blemye in Northern South America.

I have also posted about Sir Walter Raleigh's 1595 account on similar creatures in Guyana.

Closer in time I have mentioned ape-men in Guyana, reported in the eighteenth and ninetheenth centuries.

All of them from English Language sources. Now I am checking the Spanish sources (Columbus sailed along the coast of South America one hundred years before Sir Walter sighted the coasts of Guyana), which may offer more information on the subject:

Spanish Accounts

Before proceeding, I have not found the original source by Vera e Ibargoyen (or Ibargoien) quoted by Ojer below. I did find a "Memoria" or report written by him about his expedition, but it does not mention any Blemyes (full text available at [2]).

Having said that, I copy a text below that states that during his expedition into Guyana, in 1593, the Guariaramacoto natives told Vera e Ibargoyen that towards the south, in the Orinoco mountain ranges lived a "nation that spoke the Ypurgota language" whose sholders were so high that they were level with their heads (Vera e Ibargoyen in Ojer, 1966:150 [1]).

Soon European map makers would include these headless beings in their maps, as can be seen in a map by Jodocus Hondius, which depicted a Blemye in Guyana (his Nieuwe caerte van het Wonderbaer ende Goudrjcke Landt Guiana (1598), below is a detail of the map, which can be seen in full online, clicking on the previous link.


[1] Ojer, P. (1960) La Formación del Oriente venezolano. Caracas. Biblioteca de Estudios Universitarios:

[2] Colección de documentos inéditos relativos al descubrimiento, conquista y colonización de las posesiones españolas en América y Oceanía... (Google eBook). Imprenta de M.B. de Quirós, 1866. Which contains: Memoria Del Descubrimiento Del Dorado Por El Maestre De Campo Domingo De Ibargoien Y Vera, Lugarteniente Por S. M., T En Nombre De Antonio Berrio Gobernador. pp. 561

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia Copyright 2009-2011 by Austin Whittall © 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Blemye on Piri Reis map

Blemye on Piri Reis map
Pir Reis 1513 map showing a Blemye (inside blue circle; enlarged on the right side). Copyright © 2012 by Austin Whittall

My previous post mentioned Blemyes as reported by English explorer, nobleman, adventurer and sailor, Sir Walter Raleigh in 1596, along the Northeastern coasts of South America, in Guyana.

These creatures lacked a head, and had their hair sprout from their shoulders and their face set in their chests. They are obviously mythical beings and had been mentioned previously by Pliny the elder and several medieval sources. So it is quite likely that Sir Walter included them in his accounts to add a touch of spice to Guyana. Nevertheless, they do appear in South America, in another unexpected source: Admiral Piri Reis map.

Note: Othello, by William Shakespeare, written c. 1603 in Act 1, Scene 3, Page 7, has Othello say: "The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads. Grew beneath their shoulders. These things to hear. Would Desdemona seriously incline." (Bold mine). Perhaps Shakespeare was inspired by Sir Walter's book.

Piri Reis Map

This map was drawn c. 1513 by a Turkish Admiral named Piri Reis and I have already posted on other strange creatures depicted in it (unicorns, monkeys and dog-faced men).

This map shows a Blemye and as can be seen in the image above, it is located in the right place, in Northern South America, between two large rivers, one to the north, the other to the south, which must surely be the Orinoco and Amazon rivers respectively. Exactly where Raleigh would place it 83 years later, in Guyana.

The red-haired creature sports a beard and holds something in his right hand. There is an Arabic caption above his head... but I have not found out yet what it says. (Will do some research on that caption).

Interestingly Neanderthals seem to have had red hair [1] (but they also had other colors according to a recent controversial article that suggested that in the sample studied, all three Neandertals had brown eyes and a dark complexion, and two had brown hair while one was red-haired.[2]

So, could the Blemye shown on Piri Reis' map be a Neanderthal?

It was here, in Guyana that odd humanoids have been reported (the Didi and other ape-men). Coincidence or deliberate actions? (after all, those who reported sightings in the 1800s knew about Piri Reis and Raleigh's account, so they could have used them as a source of inspiration).

Lets see if we can find more information on these odd "Neanderthals" in Guyana along the Orinoco River.


[1] Harvard University (2007, October 25). Ancient DNA Reveals That Some Neanderthals Were Redheads. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2012
[2] Cerqueira, C. C. S., Paixão-Côrtes, V. R., Zambra, F. M. B., Salzano, F. M., Hünemeier, T. and Bortolini, M.-C. (2012), Predicting homo pigmentation phenotype through genomic data: From neanderthal to James Watson. Am. J. Hum. Biol.. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.22263

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia Copyright 2009-2011 by Austin Whittall © 

Sir Walter Raleigh's Blemyes

Blemyes, the headless creatures with eyes in their chests. From [3]

While writing my previous post I came across several “copy – paste” blogs and websites that are all mirror images in their content and just repeat the same thing again and again without any of their “authors” bothering to check if what they are posting is true.

An example of this is the following phrase, which I invite you to google:

In his writings, Sir Walter Raleigh made brief note of reports of large monkey-like creatures in South America

You will see that it appears 631 times! In different websites.

And what is worse, is that it is FALSE.

The truth of what Sir Walter Raleigh reported

We have all heard about Sir Walter Raleigh (c. 1554 - 1618), he was a master of many trades: warrior, sailor, explorer, courtier and, a writer who jotted down is expeditions to America.
He is well known for his role in defeating the Spanish Armada and as a close friend to Queen Elizabeth I.

He sailed to South America several times starting in 1594 and he popularized the legend of “El Dorado”, the city of gold. He sailed on his last voyage in 1616, and after returning to England was executed by King James I.

He wrote about his South American voyages while in prision in the Tower of London (1596), and in his book [1], we come across a strange reference to a group of peculiar natives known as Ewaipanoma:

likewise a most beawtifull countrey Next vnto Ami there are two riuers Atoica and Caora and on that braunch which is called Caora are a nation of people whose heades appeare not aboue their shoulders which though it may be thought a meere fable yet for mine owne parte I am resolued it is true because euery child in the prouinces of Arromaia and Canuri affirme the same they are called Ewaipanoma they are reported to haue their eyes in their shoulders and their mouths in the middle of their breasts and that a long train of haire groweth backward betwen their shoulders [1]

Below is the text, once again, from the book:


So, there is no reference to any monkey-like creatures. Instead he talks about:

  • a nation of people
  • whose heads appear not above their shoulders
  • they are called Ewaipanoma
  • They have their eyes in their shoulders and their mouths in the middle of their breasts
  • a long train of hair grows backward between their shoulders

Odd creatures but not uknown.They are the Blemmyes

Pliny mentions them [2] : “ blemmyis traduntur capita abesse, ore et oculis pectori adfixis", which means something like the “Blemmyis” lack heads and have their eyes placed on their chests.

And so does Sebastian Munster in his Cosmographia, placing them in India, beyond the Ganges. [3]

They are also mentioned in the epic poem Beowulf (from the tenth century AD), [4], in a place beyond the Brixontes River (which I have not managed to place on the map):

Then there are other islands south from the Brixontes on which there are born people without heads, who have their eyes and mouth on their chest. They are eight feet tall and eight feet wide[4]

Interestingly, the Blemyes were real, but not necessarily monstrous: Strabo, The Greek Historian (63 BC – 23 AD), mentions that among the tribes that lived south of Egypt, were the Blemyes. They inhabited along the east bank of the Nile and were subjects of the Ethiopians. He based his account on an older one by Eratosthenes c. 196 B.C.

Later Pliny would refer to them as headless beings (he lived between 23 and 79 AD), perhaps demonizing the enemies of the Roman state.

They were a bellicose bunch these Blemyes, as they would later invade Egypt and fight the Romans in the Fourth and Fifth centuries AD.

The following image shows a medieval depicton of a Blemye. And it looks rather harmless doesn't it?

Could they be a mistaken representation of a Neanderthal or some other hominid? Or, did Raleigh hear about Neanderthals in Guyana and associate the native's description with the Blemye (he must have read Beowulf and known about Pliny's work being a learned nobleman).

My next post shows a Blemye on Admiral Piri Reis' map.


[1] Sir Walter Raleigh, [1596] (1848). The discovery of the large, rich, and beautiful empire of Guiana: with a relation of the great and golden city of Manoa... etc. performed in the year 1595, by Sir W. Ralegh, knt... Reprinted from the edition of 1596, with some unpublished documents relative to that country. Ed., with copious explanatory notes and a biographical memoir, by Sir Robert H. Schomburgk (Google eBook). Printed for the Hakluyt Society. Pp.85
[2] Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia. Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, Ed. Liber V.
[3] Sebastian Munster (1552). Cosmographia. Basel. Pp. 1080.
[4] Beowulf English & English (Old English), R. D. Fulk. Harvard University Press, 2010. Parra. 55. Pp 23.

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia Copyright 2009-2011 by Austin Whittall © 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ape Men (Neanderthal?) sightings in South America

nondescript ape-man
The human-like "Nondescript", an ape-man from the early 1800s, former British Guiana, South America. From [1]

There have been many posts in this blog aiming at supporting the idea that perhaps some of our distant relatives, either Homo erectus or our close cousin, Neanderthal, somehow got into America long before modern humans did, and survived until recent times, and in the process, gave birth to the many native American myths about "ape men".

Today I will write about South American ape-men. Note, not the Canadian - American bigfoot, but instead, a creature sighted in South America, closer to Patagonia than those North American beings. Lets cover the strange nondescript ape-man.

Human like ape beings have been reported in South America since it was discovered. Today I will focus on the region of Guyana:

First Report, 1769

English naturalist Edward Bancroft wrote about them in 1769, [2]. He mentioned the creature that All the natives called “Wild Man” and it is clear that they were not “Apes”, which he dealt about in the following paragraphs.

These Wild Men were about 5 feet (1,5 m) tall, the walked in an upright position and had “human form, thinly covered with short black hair” the “Indians” “greatly dread them and instantly flee as son a sone is discovered”. They share some features with the Trauco hominid found in Patagonia: “they will attack themales, and ravish the females of the human species.” [2]

Second Report and a specimen

British naturalist Charles Waterton (1782-1865) described his four voyages to America in his book Wanderings in South America (1825) which has many observations of the American fauna. Among these creatures was one very peculiar one, an “ape-man” which he named “Nondescript”:

I also procured an animal which has caused not a little speculation and astonishment. In my opinion, his thick coat of hair and great length of tail put his species out of all question; but then his face and head cause the inspector to pause for a moment before he ventures to pronounce his opinion of the classification. He was a large animal, and as I was pressed for daylight, and moreover, felt no inclination to have the whole weight of his body upon my back, I contented myself with his head and shoulders, which I cut off, and have brought them with me to Europe....

[Footnote: My young friend Mr. J. H. Foljambe, eldest son of Thomas Foljambe, Esq., of Wakefield, has made a drawing of the head and shoulders of this animal, and it is certainly a most correct and striking likeness of the original.]

The drawing is the one shown at the begining of this post.

This incredible speciment which he brought with him to the UK, was obtained during his fourth voyage to America in 1824, when he visited the Demerara River in what is now Guyana.

The embalmed specimen can be seen at the Waterton Gallery at Wakefield Museum in Britain. [4]

According to the museum, the “Nondescript” was created by Waterton, who used his specialised taxidermist skills to fashion the head and shoulders from a howler monkey carcass. He worked on the face so that it looked just like the face of a customes officer who inconvenienced him when he returned from his 1821 trip. The man is said to be named Lushington.

ape-man specimen
Nondescript at Wakefield Museum. From [4]

Third report, 1868. The “Didi”

It was forty years later later, in 1868, that a British surveyour, who worked for the government of the colony of British Guiana, Charles Barrington Brown, reported these “ape men” once again, this time they were called “Didi”:[3]

The first night after leaving Peaimah we heard a long, and most melancholy whistle, proceeding from the direction of the depths of the forest, at which some of the men exclaimed, in an awed tone of voice, "The Didi." Two or three times the whistle was repeated, sounding like that made by a human being, beginning in a high key and dying slowly and gradually away in a low one.…

The "Didi" is said by the Indians to be a short, thick set, and powerful wild man, whose body is covered with hair, and who lives in the forest. A belief in the existence of this fabulous creature is universal over the whole of British, Venezuelan and Brazilian Guiana. On the Demerara river, some years after this, I met a half-breed woodcutter, who related an encounter that he had with two Didi—a male and a female—in which he successfully resisted their attacks with his axe. In the fray, he stated, he was a good deal scratched.

Closing comments

So here we have some true and maybe some false reports concerning ape-men in Guiana, in north eastern South America. They are not the run of the mill South American monkeys, these are ape-men. Perhaps the remains of the original Neanderthal or H. erectus people that reached the Americas long ago.

[1] Charles Waterton, (1825). Wanderings in South America, the north-west of the United States, and the Antilles, in the years 1812, 1816, 1820 and 1824: With original instruction for the perfect preservation of birds &c. for cabinets of natural history .(Google eBook). Mawman. pp 293.
[2] Bancroft, Edward, (1769). An essay on the natural history of Guiana, in South America: Containing a description of many curious productions in the animal and vegetable systems of that country. Together with an account of the religion, manners, and customs of several tribes of its Indian inhabitants. Interspersed with a variety of literary and medical observations. (Google eBook), T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt. pp 131.
[3] Charles Barrington Brown, (1876). Canoe and camp life in British Guiana
[4] Waterton Gallery at Wakefield Museum.

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia Copyright 2009-2011 by Austin Whittall © 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Neanderthals in America. What to look for?

A paper by Morin Laroulandie [1] suggests that Neanderthals wore ornaments made out of eagle talons. The evidence is that there are some very strange cut marks onthe upper part of some raptor talons found in association with Neanderthal sites.

The cutting is what would be expected if the talons were to be removed from their sheaths.
As thes marks are only found on eagle talons and this happens at different sites and is spread out over a very long period of time... it seems that they used the talons for some reason. The authors write:

Although the sample size is small, the fact that all the terminal phalanges that show cutmarks are from eagles argues against their utilization in strictly non-symbolic contexts. This last pattern is noteworthy because eagles are among the rarest birds in the environment, a pattern explained by their high trophic position in the food web.
This bias toward large and powerful diurnal raptors possibly indicates that the claws were used in symbolically-oriented contexts by Neanderthals, although the latter contexts remain to be more precisely defined. One possibility is that they were used as ornaments...

So if we find these talons in America, then we could suggest (if their age is appropriate) that they were of Neanderthal origin.

Eagles in Mesoamerica
Regarding the "context" mentioned above, it is not too surprising to find that eagle talons had a place in Aztec magic rituals [2].

They even had a special name, Cauhtetepontli, (actually applied to the whole claw), the talon itself was used during birth to assist women and protect them and the child. The talon is a symbol of victory of man over the forces of nature.

I cant tell if this is a myth that came from Neanderthals and was taken up by modern humans or was created separately by them. But it is interesting.


[1] Morin E , Laroulandie V. (2012) Presumed Symbolic Use of Diurnal Raptors by Neanderthals. PLoS ONE 7(3): e32856.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032856
[2] Carlos Viesca and Ignacio de la Peña La Magia en el Codice Badiano pp.275.

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia Copyright 2009-2011 by Austin Whittall © 

Neanderthal navigating the seas

N eanderthals stone tools were unique to them, their Mousterian technology was their hallmark. Find one and it is proof that Neanderthals were there.

A recent paper [1] strongly suggests that Neanderthals mastered the art of crossing the sea in boats because their tools have been found on islands located between 5 and 12 km (3.1 – 7.5 mi.) from the mainland, in Greece.


This paper summarises the current development in the southern Ionian Islands (Kefallinia and Zakynthos) prehistory and places it within the context of seafaring. Archaeological data from the southern Ionian Islands show human habitation since Middle Palaeolithic going back to 110 ka BP yet bathymetry, sea-level changes and the Late Quaternary geology, show that Kefallinia and Zakynthos were insular at that time. Hence, human presence in these islands indicates inter island-mainland seafaring. Seafaring most likely started some time between 110 and 35 ka BP and the seafarers were the Neanderthals. Seafaring was encouraged by the coastal configuration, which offered the right conditions for developing seafaring skills according to the “voyaging nurseries” and “autocatalysis” concepts.

Ok, maybe they were long distance swimmers, but some similar stones have been found in Crete, more than 40 km from any other piece of land.

The oldest evidence of Modern Human “sailing” dates back to only 50.000 years ago, when they entered Australia. So these Neanderthals and their boats dating back to 100.000 years ago are proof that humans had clearly learned how to move about in boats long ago.

Perhaps they used this ability to cross the sea and reach America.


[1] George Ferentinos, Maria Gkioni , Maria Geraga , George Papatheodorou (2012). Early seafaring activity in the southern Ionian Islands, Mediterranean Sea. Available online 10 February 2012. Journal of Archaeological Science.

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia Copyright 2009-2011 by Austin Whittall © 

The North Atlantic Route into America


I read in the March 10,2012 issue of New Scientist (in Brief, page 20) an article (First Americans – Iberian not Siberian) which mentions a book by Bruc Bradley and Dennis Stanford titled Across Atlantic Ice.

In their book the authors argue that Modern Humans from Europe crossed the North Atlantic in boats using technology that the Inuit use till this day, and brought their Solutrean stone technology with them. That is why it is found in some Eastern US sites.

The Solutrean idea is not new as anyone can see in Wikipedia, but since I have posted about this issue (north Atlantic entry into America) but, involving Neanderthals and not Modern Humans, and also, the southern route of entry: Neanderthals into America via Antarctica, I wanted to share it with you.

My next post will look into the Neanderthal's sea faring abilities...

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia Copyright 2009-2011 by Austin Whittall © 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Book


Yes, it is taking some time. Well, things sometimes take longer than expected.
So, I just want you all to know that we are in the, how should I phrase this?... the final throes, the closure of the book.

Yes, it is about to go to print. So please bear with me a little longer and then, rush to your bookstore to buy it!!

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia
 Copyright 2009-2012 by Austin Whittall © 

Huemul, the endangered Patagonian deer


Today, I received an e-mail which touched me. It was about our endangered Patagonian deer, the Huemul. I have never had the chance to see one, though I have read about the killings of these rare deer by the early Patagonian explorers.

They believed that their rifles were a road towards enlightenment and progress. Regrettably history has proved them wrong.

I am currently in South Africa and have seen with my own eyes the remnants of the megafauna here, in Africa (rhinos, hippos and elephants) and it is quite impressive. It brought to my mind how the world might be if we, humans had not exterminated so many species

The fate of the Huemul now depends on us, so, please read on:

The text of the e-mail

Dear Austin,

I have come to your patagoniamonster site several times, always by some search on huemul or deer in general.

This time I went into it a little more, like your profile. We must be of the same 'generation' and likings, based on Genesis, Supertramp, Jazz.

You are probably better read im non-science books, and better versed in films, as we never had a TV and rarely watch a film on our video player. Our own science library now contains 10'000 registered articles and some 650 books, mainly on deer and deer-related stuff.

Besides working on the issue of exotic red deer, the huemul has been a center subject since about 1988. It is by default a conservation topic, although as scientists we are very interested in the species, as so little is known, and they do have some very unique features. They are difficult to study because there are so few left, and very difficult burocracy.

Over time we came to understand that most likely the general common view about huemul, which was our guide intitially as well, is all wrong. It stems from looking at huemul based on the actual situation, while ignoring history, and lack of comparative knowledge. So over the yrs we put together as much info from the past and published several papers which should help to look at huemul differently.

This has important conservation implications, barking up the wrong tree is likely what has happened for the last 3 decades, and explains why in Argentina huemul has kept going down. We are at 350-500 deer in total.

If you are interested, you might look at some papers, and I would be very interested in your comments on those parts where we discuss the history of huemul. I decided to write this because you seemed to also have covered past info, and maybe there are additional pieces which would be important to know. We are still quite far away from other colleagues accepting our views, it is like a silent debate as the 'other side' never published to refute our views, but they keep having meeting, where 'experts' vote on the importance of what is important to huemul!
Democracy is so great, anyhow, only around huemul have I seen that science is driven by voting.

All papers are downloadable on
I wanted to attach some, but our connection would presently not send these.

2011. Osteological comparisons of appendicular skeletons: a case study on Patagonian huemul deer and its implications for conservation. Animal Production Science, 51(4):327-339. Here we show that it is a misconception to claim that huemul is a mountain deer. This stems from tha fact that they only were left there when first written accounts began.

2008. Age-independent osteopathology in skeletons of a south American cervid, the Patagonian huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus). Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 44(3):636­648. We document high prevalence of bone disease which indicate possible nutritional problems.

2011. Recent advances in the nutritional ecology of the Patagonian huemul: implications for recovery. Animal Production Science, 51(4):311-326.

This explains why huemul in refuge areas today might be suffering from nutritional problems. A basic reason could be that they no longer have access to nutritionally better areas, which are valley bottoms and winter ranges, which all were the first place to be settled by humans, and today are so full of livestock, people and dogs that no huemul can survive.

2011. Huemul heresies: beliefs in search of supporting data.
1. Historical and zooarcheological considerations.
2. Biological and ecological considerations.
3. Reproduction. Animal Production Science 51(4):cxl-clxxix.

Here we analyse several misconceptions, and particularly go into past distribution, influence of Indians, horse etc.

All the best for now,


I believe that those concerned about how we are handling the environment should go to the website. Thanks Werner!!

More on the Huemul at Patagonian Monsters

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia
 Copyright 2009-2012 by Austin Whittall © 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Whales safe from Japanese killing

Japan cut their whale killing season short and instead of massacring 900 minke whales, they had to content themselves with less than a third of that figure.

Japan has ended its whaling season with less than a third of its annual target, said the country's Fisheries Agency.
The whaling ships headed home from the Antarctic Ocean this week with 266 minke whales and one fin whale, falling short of its quota of about 900.
The agency blamed "sabotage" by anti-whaling activists for the shortfall.

Their "scientific research" this year seems to have been hampered by the activists' activities. The Japanese say they kill whales to study them (ehem).

Japan conducts "legal research" on whales each year, but activists say it is a cover for commercial whaling banned under an international treaty. The official Japanese agency said that poor weather and sabotage by activists caused the reduction in whales taken.

Good news indeed!

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia
 Copyright 2009-2012 by Austin Whittall © 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Stingray - El Cuero

Sting Ray at an aquarium. Copyright © 2012 by Austin Whittall

I have posted that the Cuero, a mythical lake creature that is said to inhabit Patagonian lakes is a freshwater stingray.
I got to see one recently during my vacations (not in Patagonia or Argentina by the way), swimming in a salt water aquarium.

I took some photographs, one of them is posted above. It is quite an impressive being, moving slowly, gliding through the water. Notice that it has had its barb cut off to avoid harming the keepers.

It is quite likely that a creature such as this gave rise to the Cuero myth.

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia
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