Friday, 7 December 2018
Cryptozoology.Mystery Australian Big Cats?
Australia’s already home to many of the most dangerous animals in the world could be hiding another.
A large predatory cat-like animal that has been seen stalking prey in the bush since the earliest days of settlement and is something that native aboriginal tribes say exist.
What are these large predators and could there be unknown creatures roaming the outback?
Let's take a look at a few of the best sighting and a recent discovery that could help prove the idea of a surviving Australian super predator.
So what are people seeing?
There have been reports of Panther-like Creatures.
People from many areas of the Australian continent report seeing beasts from the southern highlands and far south coastal districts of New South Wales, and the whole of the New England district of northern New South Wales.
They are also rumored to have been spotted in Tasmania and New Guinea.
The witnesses say that these panther-like animals are often reported as black in colour but in New England witnesses see a larger brownish colored beast, other areas a large striped animal seen.
It has been said that this striped beast could be the "extinct" Tasmanian wolf but most would say that that is not possible as the creature is very cat-like rather than canine in appearance.
Could we be dealing with a variety of different species?
Maybe it's the same animal but the witnesses are seeing it in different situations leading to the variation in descriptions?
Before we take a look at the reports. We have to consider if the animal that is being seen could have an origin similar to other big cat reports.
Could the creature be an American mountain lion?
If it is how it did come to be in the outback?
During World War 2 the American military moved into many regions of Australia, their presence was for the prevention of Japanese invasion. These regiments often had mascots and these mascots were often animals.
Commonly cats and dogs but sometimes more exotic animals, this included American cougars.
It is on record that such animals existed on American military bases near Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns. Prior to being sent to fight in New Guinea, orders were issued to destroy the animals.
As many of us would probably do when faced with a choice of letting their pet go free or having it euthanized. We would choose the first option.
There have been tracks that have been identified as those of cougar but with the amount time that has passed since the World War 2 we would have to come to the conclusion that by chance a breeding pair had been formed from the few creatures that escaped death, this is a slim possibility but a possibility none the less.
This when sightings begin to play an important of the story back in the year 1975 a man from Megalong valley spotted a big cat. The sun was getting ready to set in the early evening when at the end of an old dirt track an animal leapt from the scrub. Described as panther like standing with a shoulder height of 2 feet and a length of 3 feet and jet black in colour.
This was claimed to be a panther but the size could make it a large domestic cat especially one which was feral.
Some 10 years on and the creature was spotted once again this by a local ranger who was out driving the back roads in his 4x4. The man almost got a picture of the animal but it managed to get to cover before the man had readied his camera. The ranger described the animal in the same way as the 1975 sighting.
From that point on it would be known as the Jamieson Valley panther
These sightings and other similar reports have dogged cryptid researchers before there was even a field of cryptozoology.
A large shaggy-haired lion was reported in October of 1955 in the Blue Mountains region.
Another sighting in the 1950s reported a fully grown lion emerging from a cave in New South Wales.
Legends of animals that were given the name mountain dogs or "Warrigals" in the local Aboriginal dialect. Have persisted for decade’s even centuries.
They tell of a shaggy-haired lion-like beast.
Moving on and into the 1960s electrical line installation men made reports of unusual big cat like prints in the ground where they worked. They speculated that they were from an animal the size of a lion.
Moving into the 80s more footprints were found measuring 15 x 17 cm these were from a lion-like creature, plaster casts were taken and they matched with known tracks the odd thing being that they matched with fossilized tracks found elsewhere in New England.
So what could these tracks belong to if they have been found dating back to a time way before the army came with their panthers or even settlers arrived with domestic cats?
One idea is that it could be the Thylacoleo a long extinct marsupial lion.
This large carnivorous marsupial was thought to have gone extinct at the end of the last ice age, over 12,000 years ago.
The Marsupial Lion shares many of the characteristics attributed to the "Warrigals" of aboriginal legend.
It had two large shearing teeth protruding from its upper jaws, imagine a rat's teeth supersize them and polish them to a sharpness that could slice through flesh like butter.
An animal matching this description was spotted and has continued to be seen in many areas through most of the country.
Often the beast is reported near or on sheep farms attacking livestock. Again a trait we see in other areas of the world that have mysterious big cat sightings.
October 1937 saw a discovery that could have been the best proof for the continuing existence of the marsupial lion when a group bushwalkers stumbled upon the decaying remains of an animal in the White dog Ridge this was said to be large, about 5 feet long and had been killed by a fall from the cliff.
The bushwalkers decided that they would leave the animal corpse and return later with a camera to get proof however when then returned the next day the carcass was gone.
Bushwalkers have continued to spot the animal often far off in the distance and with the use of binoculars.
Farmers keep finding their animal's dead weird howls growls and barks emanate from the dark bush and sightings keep being reported
Some of the best reports come from the region known as Mulgoa District.
Stories of Marsupial Lion like animals persist in the Mulgoa area. The legend grew after a lion like beast with long shearing teeth was seen killing a sheep on a local property, a farmer shot what may have been a young tomcat-sized Thylacoleo.
He presented the dead animal to Sydney University. Yet despite the totally different body structure and protruding teeth of the animal, the "experts" brushed it aside as merely "a deformed domestic.
Sounds like once again museums are more interested in hiding evidence that contradicts their own theories rather than researching these anomalies.
They do however make it a point to publish and promote their findings and funnily enough they have been doing this with the creature we are talking about.
Australian specialists have found another type of extinct marsupial lion, this beast stalked the mainland's rainforests somewhere in the range of 26 and 18 million years ago.
And still, today if you ask me!!
The new discovery of fossilized bones are said to have distinguished a new species from 19-million-year-old remains which were found at Riversleigh World Heritage Site in Queensland, these consisted of a relatively complete skull, teeth, and upper arm bones.
"It is exceptionally uncommon to get an entire skull of a marsupial lion that is this old, so this example is a genuine fortune," says scientist Anna Gillespie.
I wish a scientist that considers these remains so valuable would show more interest in researching the sightings and other evidence that has and continues to be reported if these remains are so valuable what could we say about finding a living specimen.
.if we did find a living lion we would get to see an impressive creature.
The meat-eating marsupial was part of the group Diprotodontia, one of the many scientific classifications of Australian marsupials.
The marsupial lion is the biggest meat-eating evolved creature known to have at any point existed in Australia.
The animal was a good size, a meter tall and nearly two meters in length and weighing in at around 164kg
The creature had formidable jaws and extremely strong and solid forelimbs. It had retractable hooked claws, an attribute no longer commonly found among today's marsupials.
These claws and paws were perfect for pinning prey and climbing trees.
They also had the advantage reserved for primates, semi-opposable thumbs these held a larger hooked claw, almost raptor-like.
They also had extremely powerful hind legs as is the case with many marsupials.
The tail was rigid and worked as a counterweight improving balance and making them very good climbers.
It is suggested that it also used this tail as an extra limb to stand on much the same as kangaroos do this freeing up its arms and those dangerous claws.
These Marsupial lions were deadly predator's a real threat.
The accepted history is that this super predator went extinct due to changes in the climate this has been adjusted as it was originally thought that human actions drove them to extinction.
So if the mainstream has been wrong once before maybe they are again.
Could these animals still be meandering around the outback?
Obviously many witnesses all over the Australian territories would swear that Panther like animals have been seen and are still living in the outback.
What do you think they are seeing?
What are the chances of this super predator still being alive?
What other cryptids would like to see covered?
Let me know in the comments below
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