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Cryptozoology

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by CZJimmy, 17 Mar 2008.

  1. oldrover

    oldrover Well-Known Member

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    Sykes, is sailing further and further over the horizon I think. He's now trying to push 'Zana's' DNA as being possibly archaic.
     
  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    mm, I've said this before in the thread somewhere (it's a long thread!) but saying that someone has a poor understanding of cryptozoology, or that cryptozoology means this or means that is rather meaningless. "Cryptozoology" is not a science - it is whatever a person imagines it to encompass under the umbrella of "searching for hidden animals".

    Zoology is a science, geology is a science, archaeology is a science. People who are zoologists or geologists or archaeologists have studied academically for years and gained actual qualifications in their field - that's what qualifies them to makes judgements and statements in that field, and what allows them to call themselves zoologists or geologists or archaeologists. More importantly, their work is evaluated by a scientific peer-review process - that is why it is science.

    A cryptozoologist, on the other hand, is any random person who wants to call themselves a cryptozoologist. Some of the people who call themselves cryptozoologists are actually zoologists and can (in theory) make accurate assessments of cryptids [Darren Naish, for example, does a really good job at this; Karl Shuker does a pretty half-assed job], but others are half a step away from being put in a straightjacket.

    What this means is that there isn't a scientific structure to cryptozoology and therefore what it encompasses is up to the opinions of the individual person who engages in it.

    For me, finding new lizards or beetles or birds isn't cryptozoology - that is just completely normal everyday zoology; but to some cryptozoologists, finding any previously unknown species is cryptozoology. Some cryptozoologists even include DNA-based species splitting in their case.

    For me, if a zoologist sees an unknown fish or frog but doesn't collect it and therefore only refers to it as a sighting - that is just regular zoology and when it is collected it will be described as per usual; but to some cryptozoologists that is "clearly" cryptozoology because it has referenced an unknown animal.

    For me, if a species of rat or lemur or antelope hasn't been seen in seventy years and then is unexpectedly (or even expectedly) rediscovered, that is just zoology as normal; for some cryptozoologists that is cryptozoology because they are "animals which were thought to be extinct", however mundane the manner of their rediscovery might be.

    What I would include in cryptozoology is the search for (or the compilation of data for) known extinct animals (either recent species such as thylacine or impossible species like dinosaurs and pterosaurs) - as opposed to animals simply being rediscovered as above - and the same for "unknown animals" such as lake monsters, sea monsters, man-apes, etc. That is not to say that I think cryptozoology is only about Sea Monsters and Bigfoot, simply that my view of what cryptozoology includes is the search for animals which fall outside current thoughts of zoology (with some cross-over for the recently-extinct) and which are based on reports of sightings/evidence of those extinct or unknown animals, or on legends and folktales.

    Now, you can say "no no, that's not correct, you're misunderstanding what cryptozoology is!" - and that is exactly the point. There is no "This Is Cryptozoology" because it is a made-up field with no scientific stand-point, and which can therefore include any kind of zoological matter you wish so long as you phrase it in the right way.
     
  3. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    Where's the like button when you need it?
     
  4. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    I guess "Ditto" will have to suffice!

    :p

    Hix
     
  5. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I also accept cheques.
     
  6. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    @Falanouc: the "glow-nosed frogs" story, though at first quite convincing, is just another of these cryptid stories that doesn't add up if you look more closely at it. So Mr. Jonathan Downes visits an animal fair in Newton Abbot, Devon, England, in July 1997 and sees some tree frogs, allegedly from Northern Cameroon, with a blue spot on the snout that supposedly glows in the dark. So far, so comprehensible; new species have been and are discovered in the commercial animal trade again and again, especially when it comes to smaller species. However:
    - Why didn't he buy any? Is £25 a piece really too expensive when potentially facing a radical new species? Maybe that's just me, but I would at least have gotten the contact data of the salesman for later correspondence.
    - No one else with a keen interest in herpetology visited this fair and bought these frogs? None of the scientists he contacted got curious and asked further questions? Really?
    - Despite (Northern) Cameroon being quite a common provider of all kinds of local fauna to the Western exotic pet market (the last Hamm expo had several Gaboon vipers brought in from there), no one has so far brought in or at least documented any more of these frogs despite their unique, commercially highly valuable feature? Neither has any field biologist studying this part of Africa.
    One could argue that just like other species of frogs, this particular tree frog was an endemic species with a tiny distribution range as well as tiny population and wiped out by habitat destruction, introduction of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis etc. right after 1997. However, I'm still not convinced...given there are other reports of equally cryptid "flashlight frogs" from other parts of Cameroon.

    As for what Chli wrote: I do agree.
     
    Last edited: 21 Sep 2016
  7. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Good summary. For me the problem with 'Cryptozoology' is that it lumps together the worlds of fantasy and reality- embracing as it does, weird and wonderful creatures and 'monsters' that obviously do not exist, along with certain 'lost' or unknown genuine species.
     
  8. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    yeah that's exactly it, and so many cryptozoologists are of the "all or nothing" mentality and just believe everything. And then there's the complete lack of logic in many arguments (especially along the lines of "this animal exists/was rediscovered and therefore that equates to that other completely unconnected examples must be the same").

    I love cryptozoology, I think it's great. There are all sorts of cryptids which could conceivably be real animals. I especially like discussions on how ancient cave drawings/paintings/artifacts could be late-surviving extinct animals (that would make an interesting thread!). But the lack of rigour in the field just kills it because it is so full of utter nonsense.
     
  9. Falanouc

    Falanouc Well-Known Member

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    I agree. My previous reply was more of a knee-jerk reaction in defence of something that I've grown up loving. My apologies if it came off as rude.
     
  10. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    Well, when it comes to cryptids, NZ also has plenty to offer, may it be sightings of ABCs (got those from the UK, eh? ;) ), extant moas, globsters, the waitoreke ...

    The story of the discovery of the Kawekaweau (Hoplodactylus delcourti) is a nice one, too; too bad the species is no longer alive.
     
  11. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    yep, and the moehau (a sort of NZ Bigfoot).

    Some even like to keep bringing up the Zuiyo-maru plesiosaur still.
     
  12. Pootle

    Pootle Well-Known Member

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    I didn't want to interrupt something ....
     
  13. Alex Bensky

    Alex Bensky Well-Known Member

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    I am a big Loch Ness monster fan and I was very disappointed when I had to conclude on all the evidence that it doesn't exist.
     
  14. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

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  15. Zygodactyl

    Zygodactyl Well-Known Member

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    I was fascinated with cryptozoology as a kid. I believed that the coelocanth and okapi proved that anything is possible. As an adult, I've come to accept that we probably won't discover anything new which is much bigger than a cat, and it probably won't be in clades more than a megayear or two old, at least not on land or the upper parts of the ocean.

    On the other hand, that still leaves a lot of room for neat stuff to be discovered. I remember being really excited when the Laotian rock rat was discovered.

    And I never lost faith in the rediscovery of the night parrot (after all the kakapo was once also thought lost, and kakapos are much less shy of people). Now that it's been found, I'm more optimistic than ever that the New Caledonian owlet-nightjar--which is also ground-dwelling, nocturnal, and cryptically plumaged--might still be out there somewhere.

    I still hold less realistic fantasies that we might rediscover the lesser bilby or pig-footed bandicoot deep in the vast deserts of Western Australia. Or maybe we'll discover a living gondwanathere in burrows deep in the Amazon! Those are certainly a stretch, but less of one than the thylacine or ivory-billed woodpecker, which were relegated to small areas which have been thoroughly searched, or the giant ground sloth, which seems too large to escape detection.
     
  16. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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  17. Swampy

    Swampy Well-Known Member

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  18. SealPup

    SealPup Well-Known Member

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    If there are uncharted tribes in the Amazon there can be things like mapinguari in theory. But where there are trailcams not a chance for anything that size.

    In PNG the thylacine is known as dobsenga and is thought extant by the natives there. Though as in Australia pariah dogs might have been expected to replace the thylacines. In ethnohistorical times there were pariah dogs besides the NGSD there: the mysterious Canis papuensis on the coast.
     
    Last edited: 23 Feb 2017
  19. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I've tried various types of searches using different key-words on the newspaper site and on google, and the only result I can find is that one article which vogelcommando provided.
     
  20. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    As I said, something for cryptozoologists ;) ! Did myself a quick search in the old dutch literature but didn;t find either much usefull info, will give it a try again later today when I'm back from work.