Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 24th, 2008
The extinct Atlas bear (Ursus crowtheri), above, continues to live on in dispute, even here on the pages of Cryptomundo. Today, round two in the battle between a German commentator and a French respondent.
Michel Raynal is one of the foremost cryptozoologists in Europe, the webmaster of Virtual Institute of Cryptozoology, the first French site devoted to cryptozoological research.
Raynal, pictured above, passes along some comments, below, in response to German comment maker Sordes’s claims on the Atlas bear published at Cryptomundo, which can be found more completely here:
“Around 1900 (or a bit later) bones of this animals were discovered in a cave associated with late roman artefacts”
Not around 1900: it was a discovery by Bourguignat (1867, 1870), but as no stratigraphic survey was made, the case was considered controversial.
“The Jardin de Plantes in Paris even housed a specimen which was a present from the emperor of Morocco.”
No, the specimen was sent to the Marseilles (not Paris) museum as mentioned by Loche (1867), but we have no remains of this animal (neither a skull nor a pelt), and no mention in the museum of Marseilles archives (which were burnt at one time).
“I have never heard before that the existence of the Atlas bear was ever in doubt. I made a lot of research about this animal for a chapter in my book about holocene megafauna-extinctions, and there was never any hint that there was criticisms about its existence”
I wonder what kind of research he made, as the existence of this bear was greatly disputed by such authorities as mammologist Angel Cabrera (1932) and even much more recently by Kazimierz Kowalski and Barbara Kowalska-Rzebik (1991), as stated on my own web pages, which provides the most documented analysis on the Atlas bear, including the data for the anecdotes above.
The referenced pages are in French, and can be found at Michel Raynal’s site, entitled “L’ours de l’Atlas a vraiment existé par Michel Raynal (dernière mise à jour : 08 octobre 2005)” and “L’ours de l’Atlas (dernière mise à jour : 09 août 1999).” Found at his Virtual Institute of Cryptozoology, and you will discover these French essays within his “Une discipline qui enregistre des succès (dernière mise à jour : 06 juillet 2003),” specifically here.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.