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Australian “Theropod” Sightings and the Relict Dromornithid Hypothesis

Australian "Theropod" Sightings and the Relict Dromornithid Hypothesis  92

 

Australian "Theropod" Sightings and the Relict Dromornithid Hypothesis  93

Image paste-up showing two depictions and a skeleton of the large Anseriform relative Dromornis; I also included a depiction of the  dromornithid Genyornis due to the fact that Aboriginal traditions and other evidence has indicated a late survival for this species.

While messaging a fellow cryptozoological researcher (whose excellent blog can be found here) about sightings of alleged dinosaur-like animals a few days ago, I was reminded of a hypothesis I had formulated a few years ago. This hypothesis was that some of the reports of theropod dinosaur-like animals from Australia could possibly entail a relict species of large, flightless bird belonging to the clade Dromornithidae. The theropod-like bipeds reported in Australia are known by names such as  ‘Kooleen’ or ‘Burrunjor,’ and are often allegedly seen in areas of small human population and bountiful wilderness such as Arnhem land.1 While I now think that a large portion of these sightings (if they are taken to be reliable) could be inspired by encounters with large monitor lizards that are momentarily standing on their hind limbs, other reports which entail quickly running bipeds leaving three-toed tracks suggest that a relict dromornithid may still be in the Australian bush. It’s extremely likely that these reports do not entail relict theropod dinosaurs, but it is arguable that a dromornithid could possibly act like, and thus be mistaken for, such an animal. One species of the Dromornithidae clade named Dromornis stirtoni stood up to ten feet tall and weighed 500kg, putting it on par with the giant moas of New Zealand.2 These flightless Australian birds had massive hind legs, deep lower jaws, and stubby wings, yet were relatives of the Anseriformes (waterfowl).2  Many paleontologists feel that the size and shape of their beaks and skulls suggest that these birds were carnivores, and biomechanical studies indicate that they were powerful runners.2 Therefore, there is plenty of evidence which suggests that a descendant of Dromornis stirtoni may exhibit behaviors and a physical appearance which could be interpreted as similar to that of a theropod dinosaur. But what evidence, other than reports, suggests that these birds may still be roaming the Australian bush? Dale Drinnon has previously pointed out that large, bird-like tracks and the alleged discovery of apparently fresh eggs (which were reportedly as large as those of Aepyornis maximus) suggest birds which are around ten to fifteen feet tall, although the age of these is not certain and most of this alleged evidence (except for some examples of cast tracks) is not available for scrutiny.3 These three-toed tracks are often found in conjunction with reports of calves being stolen, which further indicates the presence of a large, predatory bird species behind some of the Burrunjor reports.

Australian "Theropod" Sightings and the Relict Dromornithid Hypothesis  94

An example of a three-toed footprint allegedly left by a Burrunjor, being held by Rex Gilroy who claims to have cast it.
Dale Drinnon feels that this is possible evidence for large flightless birds still living in Australia, although he thinks that the apparent size is not truly representational and that the animal’s foot may have skidded. Also, it is evident that the outline of the actual footprint is actually smaller than the whole cast itself, as some plaster has formed around it. A video showing the cast can be viewed here. Please note that while I feel that it is intriguing, I am not necessarily supporting the footprint cast as valid evidence for relict dromornithids.

Below is another form of evidence which I feel supports the possible survival of a dromornithid species. It is an image of aboriginal rock art which shows an animal that looks like a large, flightless bird. I have shared it here in comparison to a reconstruction of Dromornis stirtoni. The art was shown on the Destination Truth Haunted Cave/Burrunjor episode and was noted as possibly depicting a Burrunjor. The host later wrote it off as a possible Thylacine depiction, but I noted its great similarity to a dromornithid with its powerful looking and rounded beak-like mouth, apparent feathers, short and stubby tail, apparent wings, and bird-like legs with three toed feet.

Australian "Theropod" Sightings and the Relict Dromornithid Hypothesis  95
As I mentioned earlier, I think that a majority of Burrunjor reports involve large monitor lizards, as Dale Drinnon has discussed in this excellent article. However, the aforementioned aboriginal rock art and the reports of bipedally running Burrunjors which leave large, three-toed footprints fuel my continued interest in the possibility of dromornithids still surviving in the deep Australian wildernesses. Please note that I am not in full support of this hypothesis, but I simply wanted to lay it out in an article for others to scrutinize.

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Cryptozoology

Scientist finds polar bear DNA in Bigfoot

Scientist finds polar bear DNA in Bigfoot 108

British scientists examined yeti DNA and found a strong similarity to polar bear DNA. For analysis, they took the wool of a creature that was killed by a hunter in the Himalayas 30 years ago.

Brian Sykes, a geneticist at the University of Oxford, examined the DNA of the Bigfoot Yeti and found similarities to the DNA of a polar bear, according to Daily Star.

For analysis, Sykes took the wool of a creature killed by a hunter in the Himalayas 30 years ago, from which they made a stuffed animal. The result showed a match with the DNA of an ancient polar bear that became extinct at least 40,000 years ago. The geneticist suggests that the Yeti is a hybrid of a brown bear and a polar bear that arrived in the mountain range from the Arctic north many years ago. For this reason, it behaves differently from an animal of this species.

Now the professor wants to obtain samples of Bigfoot hair from all over the world in order to subject them to the most difficult DNA tests and continue research in this direction.

In 2019, the FBI released documents revealing the results of analysis of hair and biologic tissue allegedly belonging to Bigfoot. The samples were sent in 1976 by yeti hunter Peter Byrne. Research results showed that they belonged to a deer.

Bigfoot is a large humanoid creature from modern folklore, which is believed to live in forest or mountain areas that are inaccessible to humans. It is believed that it is an ancient hominid that has survived to our time, but scientists are skeptical about the likelihood of its existence. In particular, all cases of its observation or possible traces are explained by hoax or mistaken recognition of animal tracks.

When was the last time a Bigfoot was seen?

In 2020, the appearance of Bigfoot was noted in Australia, the relic forests of Canada, in the west of the USA, in the north of Scandinavia.

In the spurs of the Himalayas, wild hairy people of small stature were seen, resembling a Flores man (fossil dwarf species of people. Also known as the “hobbit” by analogy with the creatures invented by J. Tolkien. – Ed.).

In October, locals informed that in the jungle of Africa, in the Congo region, there is an upright creature similar to a Yeti.

Traces of Bigfoot, his refuge are regularly found in Komi. Yeti visits have recently been reported from eyewitnesses from the Karelian Isthmus and the border zone near Vyborg, where there are dungeons and a huge bunker near an abandoned military airfield.

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Cryptozoology

Strange photo was taken by tourists near Loch Ness

Strange photo was taken by tourists near Loch Ness 109
Mary Evans Picture Library

Inverness, December 23. A new photograph of a mysterious creature “the size of a very large seal” in Loch Ness has been announced as another official sighting of the Loch Ness monster.

Tourist Karen Scott, returning from Aberdeen, noticed a strange creature in the Scottish Loch Ness. The woman managed to capture her observation in the photo. At first, Scott took what he saw for a big bird, she admitted to reporters. According to the traveler, while she took out the camera, the mysterious creature managed to submerge itself under the water.

Strange photo was taken by tourists near Loch Ness 110

“By the time I turned on the camera on my phone, it was slowly submerged under the water and then reappeared at a short distance,” she shared.

Scott and her friend compared the creature they saw to a large seal, but workers at the lake have denied this assumption. According to experts, seals rarely get that far into Loch Ness.

The tourist flow to these places in 2020 was much lower than in previous years due to the coronavirus pandemic, experts studying Nessie noted. Despite this circumstance, during this year, travelers recorded a large amount of evidence of the existence of the Loch Ness monster, scientists were surprised.

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Cryptozoology

In Africa, some tribes still believe in the existence of a dinosaur on the Congo River

In Africa, some tribes still believe in the existence of a dinosaur on the Congo River 111
pixabay.com

There are already a great many cryptids in our world. But at the same time, we do not have any evidence of their real existence, except for legends and eyewitness accounts. Of course the ocean is still a very unexplored sphere of the Earth. There may indeed be some prehistoric cryptids preserved there. For example, there is one horseshoe crab, which is almost 500 million years old. 

But in Africa there has long been a belief about a certain Mokele-Mbemba, who lives in the Congo basin. This legend confuses scientists. If the most ancient creatures can still be preserved in the ocean, then they could hardly remain on Earth, especially when it comes to dinosaurs.

Judging by African beliefs, dinosaurs on Earth are not yet extinct?

However, judging by the descriptions of local residents, either some sauropod from the Jurassic period or a real plesiosaur lives in the Congo. It is not known exactly who it is about. The appearance of this creature, described by eyewitnesses from Africa, often resembles the Loch Ness monster. 

Mokele-mbemba is credited with a long neck, a raptor’s head and aggressive predatory behavior. According to some tribes, a mysterious dinosaur can hunt hippos that are afraid of him and go away. According to other sources, he is a herbivore. No matter how many expeditions were organized to the Congo to search for this creature, not one of them was crowned with success. None of the naturalists have come across a mokele mbembe. This sometimes gives the impression that this creature is just a product of the mythology of local residents.

In 2001, the BBC and Discovery Channel filmed an entire movie dedicated to the search for the mysterious Mokele Mbembe. From conversations with representatives of tribes, experts found out that the mysterious creature could be …. A common rhino. 

The fact is that there are practically no rhinos in the Congo basin. Local peoples are usually not fond of distant travel. But rhinos could well have lived in these lands centuries ago. From all this, naturalists concluded that by mokele-mbembe they mean any of the African rhinos. 

Moreover, when one of the experts showed the local a photograph of a rhinoceros, they replied that it was the same mythical monster. Therefore, scientists thought that the legend was created by those who personally saw these giant pig-like animals in distant times. In addition, the mysterious traces of mokele-mbembe,

Judging by African beliefs, dinosaurs on Earth are not yet extinct?

True, it is worth considering the opinion of cryptozoologists who are looking for outlandish creatures on Earth. Over a century of this entire cryptozoological campaign, researchers talked to many locals in the Congo and received very mixed information. 

Some Africans said that the mokele-mbembe has a very long neck, more characteristic of a dinosaur, as well as the existing scales. Moreover, there was information about the carnivorousness of this beast. In this case, this animal can no longer be equated with a rhinoceros. Almost nowhere was it reported that the beast had a giant horn.

 A biologist named Roy McCull undertook two expeditions to find the mokele-mbembe and failed. But he is still sure that the mysterious creature is not a rhino at all, but a real sauropod that has survived to this day. 

McCull strongly disagrees that the mokele-mbembe could be a mammal or an amphibian. But the official science does not recognize the existence of surviving dinosaurs at all, and calls the legend of the African “dinosaur” an ordinary fantasy

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