Sasquatch Coffee

New Species Quiz: Name Your Favorite

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 2nd, 2008

Ben Radford, lecturing in Buffalo, New York, on Bigfoot., shown with the dubious Cliff Crook photograph.

Now and then, it is time for everyone’s cryptozoological new species awareness to be challenged.

What a better way to do it today than to have you, the readers, answer an incredibly silly statement from the managing editor of Skeptical Inquirer Benjamin Radford. Or a terrible misquote from Ben Radford.

Ben Radford, in the wake of the Georgia Bigfoot hoax, just couldn’t help himself again (or an editor couldn’t), and Discovery.com recently published a thin essay entitled “Ten Reasons Why Bigfoot’s a Bust.” I shall deal with the other reasons he cites some other time, but for today, your mission, if you decide to take it: Answer the Skeptic.

Point #8 is broad, generally cryptozoological, and needs to be addressed as a quiz.

Radford states:

8. The Katydid Couldn’t Hide.

Dozens of new species, previously unknown to science, are discovered each year. But for the most part, they are tiny: microorganisms and insects such as the newly discovered katydid [not] pictured here. Could Bigfoot really hide in such a peopled world?

“The last large animal to be found was probably the giant panda, and that was 100 years ago,” said Radford. “There has not been a single new creature that doesn’t fit the recognized taxonomy discovered in the last century, there just simply hasn’t.”

Okay, let’s look at Radford’s comment.

Was the “last large animal found” actually or “probably” the giant panda? Was that “100 years ago”?

Has there “not been a single new creature…discovered in the last century”? Is it true “there just simply hasn’t”?

What is “the recognized taxonomy” mean to Ben Radford?

Actually, this doesn’t really seem like fighting fair with Radford, as he is so badly wrong in his zoology here.

First, let’s take the giant panda. Radford’s a bit off on his facts.
The giant panda, which was ethnoknown for hundreds of years in Asia, was first made known to the Western Science in 1869 by the French missionary Armand David, who received a skin from a hunter on March 11, 1869. The giant panda was then formally named Ailuropoda melanoleuca (David, 1869), so thus it was (not “probably” but actually) “discovered” and added to “recognized taxonomy” over 139 years ago.

Perhaps Radford is confusing “discovery” with Westerners seeing, killing, and capturing the first giant pandas?

1916 – German zoologist Hugo Weigold was the first Westerner to observe a live giant panda.

1929 – Kermit and Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., became the first Westerners to shoot a giant panda.

1936 – Ruth Harkness became the first Westerner to bring back a live giant panda to a zoo.

su-lin36

The Brookfield Zoo’s original Su-Lin of 1936.

su-lin-mei

Ruth Harkness helps introduce Su-Lin to the second live-captured giant panda, Mei-Meil at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo. Photo courtesy of Mary Lobisco.

Needless to say, Asians had done all of the above for centuries before Westerners “confirmed” the “discovery” of the giant panda.

But the political undertones aside, how can Ben Radford know so little about zoology to make a statement and say that no new “large animals” have been discovered in the last 100 years.

So, Cryptomundians, let’s start of a list of your favorite “large animals” that have been discovered from 1908-2008. That’s right, despite the great examples of the okapi (1901), mountain gorilla (1902), dwarf siamang (1903) and giant forest hog (1904), all of those large new species were discovered after the giant panda, so they will be kept off the list because they were only first known in the West more than 100 years ago.

There are dozens of examples, however, so share as many as you wish.

Have at it…

About Loren Coleman
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.


54 Responses to “New Species Quiz: Name Your Favorite”

  1. harpaholic responds:

    Colossal Squid – 1925

  2. DWA responds:

    The kouprey (1937) and the saola (1992). To name just two.

    Now, of course, Radford will come on and qualify everything he said. “Recognized taxonomy” is, well, it’s just Clintonian, is what it is. [Is.] :-D And “large” is something that, wait for it, he has a sliding scale for, which will fall, WHOOPS, just a wee tad larger than a half-ton wild cow.

    That has proven elusive on a scale that makes the sasquatch look like an amateur.

    But I digress.

    P.S. Sasquatch and yeti fit squarely in “recognized taxonomy,” however Radford chooses to define it. And so does the saola fall quite outside it.

    P.P.S. Ignorance has a hard time masquerading as arrogance, doesn’t it?

  3. runwolf responds:

    I read this article on discovery.com and felt the same way you did. The “idea” that there have been no large animal discoveries in the past 100 years really seemed to sit wrong with me. And at least a couple of examples follows much the same thinking as the panda, in that locals knew about the animal but “the west” did not.

    The Megamouth Shark was discovered in the mid 70’s I believe. At 18 feet in length, that is certainly a “large” animal in my book.

    The coelacanth is another water based “large” cryptid from the 30’s. Believed to be extinct, it was rediscovered (again, by the west although was well known to the locals) off the coast of Africa. Since then, I believe it has been “discovered” elsewhere as well.

    Does this count? The Takahe was thought to have been extinct in the late 1800’s, but was rediscovered as a living species in 1948.

    The La Palma Giant Lizard was recently rediscovered on La Palma. It was thought to be extinct for over 500 years. So there is another example of extinct but not.

    It isn’t large, and again was known by locals, but the Kitti’s Hog-Nosed Bat was discovered in the 1970s. It was unique in that it was the discovery of a whole new family of animals, not just a species. Which is something that Radford should have been aware of because it is so rare. I suppose that since it is a small mammal, it may not count in his way of thinking.

    I also recall some sort of Vietnam goat-antelope being discovered in the jungles of Vietnam. I can’t google up anything on it now, however.

    I’m sure there are others, but I’ve exhausted my google-fu for the moment.

  4. PsychicBigfoot responds:

    I dont think it’s “Clintonian” to specify within “recognized taxonomy.” Radford’s point is that, using the predictive power of evolutionary theory, would we expect an endemic large ape (which, according to the fossil data, evolved in Africa 8 to 6 Mya) to exist in North America? The large mammals that have been discovered do not require any biogeographical revisions in the phylogeny of any major clades.

    BUT if Bigfoot does exist, then we would seriously have to reexamine the phylogeny and biogeography of the Great Apes. It is a subtle, but important, point to Radford’s argument.

  5. marcodufour responds:

    The Vu Quang ox in Vietnam, i think circa 1996 or 1997

  6. marcodufour responds:

    Another comes to mind the Muntjac deer i think again from Vietnam

  7. MattBille responds:

    This is an astonishing, indeed incomprehensible, statement for someone like Radford who presumably keeps up with scientific news. However you define “large,” there are animals from the last couple of decades, never mind the last 100 years, that fit it. Is he somehow unaware of van Roosmalen’s giant peccary, of the 100-kg saola, of the many new cetaceans of all sizes? Of the five-meter megamouth shark? Of the many other examples easily picked up in a trawl of the Internet (or for that matter, reading my books or Karl Shuker’s)?
    Ben has done some work I agree with, but it’s hard to interpret this as anything but a gross and deliberate misstatement.

  8. Shane Durgee responds:

    Perhaps Radford is confusing “discovery” with Westerners seeing, killing, and capturing the first giant pandas?

    haha a lot of people share this view, especially in regards to bigfoot type creatures. “Then why havn’t we found them yet???”

    Well, they were never lost. Native Americans have interacted with them for centuries, and those encounters have continued with European settlers and their descendants. People ARE seeing them.

    Could Bigfoot really hide in such a peopled world?

    Ah, yes. That bustling metropolis we call Skookum Meadows for instance.

    But anyway, the saola is what… the size of a cow? Discovered by Westerners (Radford’s criteria) in 1992.

  9. Shane Durgee responds:

    Also, until this past month, this densely peopled world managed to miss at least several thousand lowland gorillas in The Congo.

  10. mike_noodles responds:

    It’s hard to understand where this author is coming from for two reasons.

    1. Did he do any research?

    2. How big does an animal have to be to be considered large? Bigger than a person? a dog? a cat?

    Since 2000 alone Wikipedia states that 16 lemurs, 9 monkeys, 5 marsupials and 6 ungulates have been discovered. That’s 36 mammals alone!!! Now I understand that the primates and marsupials are mostly smaller animals, but the Australian Snubfin Dolphin and Perrin’s Beaked Whale are not small animals. (And what about the river dolphins of South America, I think they were discovered in the 40’s or 50’s and would fit the bill of an unknown taxonomy)

  11. Shane Durgee responds:

    Well, this is of course where “recognized taxonomy” is going to come in as the central defense for his opinion.

    All of these animals do fit the recognized taxonomy of the region. There are other animals similar to them, near them.

    My counter to that would be that these creatures in fact do fit the recognized taxonomy if you include homo sapien.

  12. Ceroill responds:

    Everyone else is doing such a bang up job here that I’ll just sit back and watch the fun for a while.

  13. planettom responds:

    What about the civet in Borneo? Though not “large” when compared to a deer or cow, this animal most certainly is not “tiny.”

    I do believe it is still being debated on whether it was a new species or a rare “re-discovered” species.

    Nonetheless, it was caught on a camera trap and previously thought extinct if it is not a new species.

    I believe this one was found in 2005.

  14. Alton Higgins responds:

    The pertinent quote was, “The last large animal to be found was probably the giant panda, and that was 100 years ago,” said Radford. “There has not been a single new creature that doesn’t fit the recognized taxonomy discovered in the last century, there just simply hasn’t.”

    I don’t know what Radford meant, but I don’t think it had anything to do with regional fauna.

  15. Tamarack responds:

    And let’s not forget the Bili Ape which Wikipedia says “The mixture of traits has led to questions of taxonomic classification”.

    Once again known to the local population as cat eaters but not seen by ‘western eyes’ until 2003 by Shelly Williams, but of course eye witness reports by Radford’s standards are not proof. Try telling that to Shelly Williams who was charged at by 4 Bili Apes at one time on her first sighting.

    Ms. Williams also is well versed on ape behavior as she stated “We could hear them in the trees, about 10 m away, and four suddenly came rushing through the brush towards me. If this had been a mock charge they would have been screaming to intimidate us. These guys were quiet, and they were huge. They were coming in for the kill – but as soon as they saw my face they stopped and disappeared.”

    Sounds very similar to many a Bigfoot sighting to me.

  16. alexiswing responds:

    First of all, anyone that wears a home-made button that says “Skeptic” with pride should be dutifully avoided in polite society.

    Secondly, new species of both plants and animals are discovered all the time… being close minded is embarrassing and harmful. Shame on you, Benjamin Radford!

    Thirdly:

    The white-lipped keelback (Amphiesma leucomystax) is a non-venomous snake native to Vietnam.

    On September 26, 2007, the World Wide Fund for Nature reported discovery of the species in the region known as the “Green Corridor” of Vietnam’s Thua Thien Hue Province.

    According to the press release, the snake “tends to live by streams where it catches frogs and other small animals. It has a beautiful yellow-white stripe that sweeps along its head and red dots cover its body. It can reach about 80 centimetres (31½ inches) in length.”

  17. DWA responds:

    “Recognized taxonomy” seems a red herring to me. (To say nothing of Clintonian.)

    Speaking a bit too soon, I must admit, on our missing hairy hominoids. We don’t know what they are, yet; if the dinosaurs are warm-blooded reptiles, Patty could be a tailless monkey. Or, heck, a hairy fish. ;-)

    But my point. Taxonomy isn’t the sine qua non of discovery.

    The kouprey – one of the most famous large-mammal discoveries in history – was just another Bos (Latin for “moocow.”) The coelacanth was known, and classified, if only from fossils. Many new species have just tacked on to existing genera; this didn’t make their discoveries boring, expected, or unchallenging to scientific notions. There’s much talk that the sasquatch’s nearest known relative is the mountain gorilla (1901). Nothing (too) new there.

    Okapi (1901). Anything in the 20th century counts. My rule. Pile on! Who sez Ben gets to make the rules? He doesn’t even do his homework! :-D

    Bili ape (2003…?)

    Orang pendek (orang pending).

  18. Gary the Cat responds:

    I am not a Bigfoot fetishist, but having read the article a day or so ago, I think Mr Radford’s arguments are just plain….silly.

    All of his points have been argued quite convincingly in Bigfoot’s favour over the years and from the author of a book on Lake Monsters, which are a far more unlikely possibility, it does his own credibility few favours.

  19. sschaper responds:

    Gary, this isn’t a fetish site. This is the Explorer’s Club.

    Didn’t the explorer in the SE Amazon jungle also discover a large wild peccary in the past 20 years?

  20. Galea responds:

    I would have to say that the best would be a 60ft tall palm tree. Tahina spectabilis, discovered in 2008.

    We couldn’t’ find a 60ft tall immobile object and you’re saying it’s impossible for an 8ft tall intelligent creature to avoid detection.

  21. Ranatemporaria responds:

    Good points

    Since 1980, 38 species of monkeys have been discovered worldwide.

    Also the snubfin dolphin (Orcaella heinsohni) spings to mind.

    Though granted some may be due to the trend for ‘splitting’ and so called taxinomic inflation. However, they are all distinct species. Then i gues this depends on what species definition your working with! Quite Subjective.

  22. Shane Durgee responds:

    We couldn’t’ find a 60ft tall immobile object and you’re saying it’s impossible for an 8ft tall intelligent creature to avoid detection.

    haha

  23. mystery_man responds:

    I’m flabbergasted. Can he have really meant what he said? Can he be that off on zoology and expect credibility to not drop a little? This reminds me of the time he patly said something like “there is no footage of a baby giraffe being born, yet I know they exist.”, after which I promptly posted the footage after a 30 second Google search. Unbelievable. Nothing was said here that a little homework would not have fixed. I would say do some research before coming out with these kind things. The statements by Radford here are so outside of reality and the facts so wrong, that I am having a hard time figuring out if I should even take the time to respond to this. Once I get onto taxonomy, I could usually go on for some time, but I’m actually speechless. I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s just say that he’s wrong on several levels. Making scientifically inaccurate statements like this that masquerade as truth is very irresponsible.

  24. Jjm3233 responds:

    Spade-toothed whale (Mesoplodon traversii) – They have found teeth but no live animal yet, but still bigger than a katydid.

  25. Munnin responds:

    Radford appears to making two distinct statements here, but melding them together into a single utterance. Who knows why? Maybe he does. Or maybe the two statements were originally made separately, each in a context that better conveys his message; but in editing the article the two quotes ended up squashed together in a way that makes them seem related. First we have: “The last large animal to be found was probably the giant panda, and that was 100 years ago,” said Radford.

    Well, one could start one’s refutation of this with two large mammals found in Viet Nam late last century: Pseudoryx nghetinhensis and Megamuntiacus vuquangensis. There are others just from South East Asia, not to mention other animals already cited by commenters here; cetaceans, mollusks, etc. So this seems like a bogus statement right out of the gate. Still, like others, I wonder how large Radford means by “large.”

    Then there is: “There has not been a single new creature that doesn’t fit the recognized taxonomy discovered in the last century, there just simply hasn’t.”

    That’s a tougher one to interpret. As other commenters seem to be, I am confused about what “fit,” and “recognized taxonomy” are supposed to mean here, exactly. Naturally, if a previously unrecorded species is confirmed to science, it doesn’t “fit the recognized taxonomy,” since there is no previously existing categorization for it in the catalogue of binomial nomenclatures that scientists use to list all the creatures we know of at any given time. It’s new, so how can it fit? That can’t be what he means, can it? If not, is Radford saying that all the “new” species found in the last 100 years are not new species at all, because they already did “fit the recognized taxonomy?” That can’t be right either.

    What about the entire communities of life forms which are centered around deep sea thermal vents, first discovered in 1977? There are more than 300 species living in these communities that were previously unknown to science, including both plants and animals; even some “large” ones, like the The giant tube worm. Many of these must have been interesting to taxonomists, to say the least. But did they “fit the recognized taxonomy” or not? Once we know what this means, we’ll know whether they did. Hopefully.

    In any case, Mr. Radford does seem to make sweeping statements here, which are either grossly misleading or simply untrue; perhaps in the hope that few people will be willing to refute them, or will be capable of doing so. Or perhaps he is as woefully ignorant as these statements suggest on the surface, which would be very surprising to me indeed.

  26. mystery_man responds:

    Munnin- I also think that “recognized taxonomy” would imply known animals that have already been catalogued and it would stand to follow that any newly discovered species would by definition not fit into this “recognized taxonomy”. Maybe what Radford meant by “recognized taxonomy” was animals that are closely related to animals already known to exist rather than something completely new, like a new type of dolphin or monkey? At any rate, even then he’s still wrong. I do wonder what he was getting at.

    Good example of the deep sea ecologies that have been found. There are thermal vent and whale fall communities that are completely sulphophilic, meaning that they rely on sulphur rather than photosynthesis to drive them. While the whale in whale falls and the oxygen that even thermal vent life need derives from photosynthesis, they are more or less self sufficient from the sun in all other respects. I would say that not only do these organisms not fit any “recognized taxonomy”, they did not really fit into life the way we knew it before. They were a completely new type of ecology.

  27. Ceroill responds:

    Odd thought here: What if Ben is acting under pressure from somewhere, rather than on his own? Not terribly likely, admittedly, but I’m trying to find some reason for this odd behavior.

  28. Artist responds:

    We seem to be missing some “definitions” here – should be interesting to see what Ben has to say, if he ever chimes in.

  29. marcodufour responds:

    While we are on the 60ft palm tree, so to speak, there was also some form of prehistoric pine tree discovered in the Blue mountains, Sydney, Australia I believe in the late 1990’s or early 2000.

  30. Terry W. Colvin responds:

    Wollemi pine is the tree around for 200 million years.

  31. Loren Coleman responds:

    Thanks to everyone for the incredible list of your favorites of the species of new zoological discoveries.

    Just one footnote: Trees are plants, and plants are not “large animals.”

    I figured I might as well say it before a skeptic feels a need to avoid the good remarks above and instead mention that one here. :-)

  32. schreiberosa responds:

    Here’s my vote for large animal discovered fairly recently:

    The Komodo “Dragon” discovered around 1912. Or how about the herd of pure Wood Bison that was discovered in Canada where none were thought to exist?
    Come on, Ben!

  33. DWA responds:

    As to “fit the recognized taxonomy,” if I were ever to specify such a thing as being a disqualifier (and as I have said above, it’s not), I would say this:

    New species, existing genus “fits.”

    Creation of a new genus or any zoological classification above that: now the new discovery “doesn’t fit,” i.e., we couldn’t slot it into an existing category.

    In taxonomy, I think of the species as the “individual,” and any classification above it as the “group.” If you have to make a new “group,” you have a discovery that “didn’t fit.”

    But that’s as far as I would care to go. Because my example – to say nothing of mystery_man’s above – shows how open to interpretation the term is.

    New is new. If the sasquatch is Gigantopithecus or Gorilla, does that make it old hat? I’d think not.

  34. dougp responds:

    You might all remember this from a couple months ago:

    The experts at London’s Natural History Museum pride themselves on being able to identify species from around the globe, from birds and mammals to insects and snakes. Yet they can’t figure out a tiny red-and-black bug that has appeared in the museum’s own gardens.

    I know it’s just an insect but it stresses the fact that sometimes people find things right under their noses.

  35. DWA responds:

    dougp:

    “sometimes people find things right under their noses.”

    And miss them, too.

    Which is why neither taxonomy nor size are the point here.

    People do not see what they are not prepared to see. And people can miss things for a long time, because they don’t look.

  36. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Good pointing on all the discoveries of extremophiles, not only on the underwater thermal vents, but also in places like the Rio Tinto in Spain, and even the geisers of Yellowstone park, not to mention all the hidden ecosystems of the Arctic regions.

    And as for large animals, everybody beat me to my favorite ones ;-)

  37. MattBille responds:

    Two of Radford’s points – that nothing significant has been added in 100 years and that “a few dozen” small new creatures are found each year – are very far from the truth.

    Just for the record, in recent years scientists have added about 13,000 newly described species per year to the “recognized taxonomy.” Not a “few dozen.” Thirteen thousand. Yes, the vast majority are tropical insects, but, as noted above, this includes a considerable number of mammals, birds, sharks, etc. Even if you throw out splitting/reclassifications of known species, throw out rediscoveries, and set a lower weight limit of 20kg or so, it’s still quite a few, with Pacific cetaceans and the terrestrial mammals of Southeast Asia leading the parade. You also have the discovery of significant populations of VERY large terrestrial animals in the last few years, which are not new species but still add tremendous weight to the probability of large new species being found. The ones that come to mind are a huge population of elephants in the Sudan, the new gorillas, and the mainland population of the Javan rhino.

    Ben, I respect you, but come on. Making your point with incorrect statements isn’t intellectually honest. Anyone representing an organization with “Science” in the title owes it to science to do the research.

  38. CalebKitson responds:

    Was the “last large animal found” actually or “probably” the giant panda? Was that “100 years ago”?

    Has there “not been a single new creature…discovered in the last century”? Is it true “there just simply hasn’t”?

    The confirmation by Westerners of the existance of the Pygmy Elephant in 1990 comes to mind…As well as the Komodo dragon in….was it 1912, or 1913? And Komodo dragons are around 10 feet long, and several hundred pounds! And I am sure he is also forgetting the video footage taken, and footprints discovered on October 20, 1967 at Willow Creek ;)

    I don’t understand the “recognised taxonomy” question…??

  39. DWA responds:

    Matt Bille:

    Thanks.

    Nice to hear occasionally what a real skeptic sounds like.

    Real skeptics don’t have to distort to make their points.

  40. mystery_man responds:

    DWA- It certainly is open to interpretation, isn’t it? Perhaps he means the new large species that were found as a result of splitting an that was once thought to be a single species into two, such as the newly recognized Borneo pygmy elephant or the Himalayan wolf? That could be what he means by fitting into recognized taxonomy. Ah, even then he’s still wrong.

    I’d also like to know what his definition of “large” is. If he means animals of comparable size to sasquatch, then there are discoveries along those criteria even in the last decade, let alone the last century. Some that spring to mind are the Bili ape and several new species of zyphiids (beaked whales). Unquestionably large animals.

    There have even been whole new thriving ecosystems where none were thought to exist before, such as the thermal vent life already mentioned as well as a whole plethora of new species in Antarctica. While many of these are not super big, still, it’s a whole new community of animals we didn’t know about before.

    I like Matt Bille’s point about previously unknown populations of known species. Although these species were known to exist, it nevertheless adds to the argument that large animals, let alone very intelligent ones, can remain hidden in some places. When you come up with a species of rhino or elephant living in an area where you previously thought there were none, that is pretty remarkable.

    I agree, skeptics shouldn’t distort their points. I hope I don’t ever come across that way! I am quite the skeptic myself, and I do sometimes see Radford’s points (he often has good insights, I feel), but intellectually dishonest arguments like those seen here get us nowhere. Scientific arguments need to first have the benefit of recognizing actual science in this reality.

  41. springheeledjack responds:

    Got in late on this one,…and can’t really say anything that hasn’t already been said…:)

  42. Sergio responds:

    I cannot believe that people are going on about this as though Radford should know better. He never had any credibility to begin with, except that which he assigned to himself.

    Time for school, Radford:

    Arunachal Macaque

    Giant Muntjac

    Sumatran Rhino

    Megamouth Shark

    In 2006 alone, 1,012 new species of vertabrata (mammals, reptiles, birds, fishes, amphibs) were discovered. How large is large?

    Homo floresiensis (extant?)

    Bili ape

    Titi monkey (of the genus Callicebus)

    highland mangabey

    66 primates have been discovered since 1990.

  43. sasquatch responds:

    Wasn’t it just a year or two ago when a guy found a pymy version of a manatee in South America somewhere?
    But Yeah, Komodo Dragon! 10 feet long several hundred lbs’
    Megamouth Shark! 18 feet long several hundred lbs.!
    2 vietnamese deer -one with tusks!
    The Okapi!
    Coelecanth! quite large and thought extinct-UNCHANGED FROM FOSSIL! etc. etc. etc…
    Come on Ben…I’m getting more skeptical about the skeptic all the time.
    The Biscardi of skeptics?
    You know, I think attention hounds come in all shades and persuasions…
    I propose a new (un) scientific name for them; BiscRadfordenseisjiveturkeyensis.

  44. Gollum responds:

    OOOPS! Almost forgot the additions:

    Tridacna costata- Red Sea Giant Clam

    Epinephelus quinquefasciatus- The 1000 pound Grouper

    Best-Mike

  45. DWA responds:

    From Matt Bille, picked up by mystery_man as well:

    “You also have the discovery of significant populations of very large terrestrial animals in the last few years, which are not new species but still add tremendous weight to the probability of large new species being found. The ones that come to mind are a huge population of elephants in the Sudan, the new gorillas, and the mainland population of the Javan rhino.”

    This is just like, no, it is just like, finding a population of a thousand sasquatch in the Jersey Pine Barrens.

    (No it IS, and if you don’t think so, you need to read up on the Pine Barrens. Not to mention the sasquatch.)

    OK, fine, that is my opinion and not Matt’s or m_m’s. There. ;-)

    As Matt and m_m note, it makes no difference that the animals themselves are known to exist elsewhere. When I think of the Sudan (not just elephants, but huge concentrations of other herbivores, specifically antelope, not previously known to science), I think of a barren desert full of starving people, living hopeless lives punctuated by continuous explosions covered by a helpless Western press.

    Um, obviously not. But many people have similar misconceptions about many places, including our own US of A.

    A lot of big dumber-than-sasquatch animals, in a place they were never expected to be, says to science: you are not paying attention. Not here, you weren’t, and odds are, not in a whole lot of other places either.

  46. srich83 responds:

    Mindoro Stripe-Faced Fruitbat 2007 phillipines

    did anyone mention that yet? I ran out of time to read all the comments.

    its a very cute bat, I know its not a large species, but again the locals knew about it for years, but a western scientist told the locals what they saw didnt exist until they caught one for him.

    There are sightings of bigfoot like creatures all over the planet. If bigfoot was in one place, then yeah, might not be real, but on saying its faked on every continent? cant happen.

    Whats the fun in thinking we know everything already? I personally like thinking “what if?”

  47. Munnin responds:

    mystery_man wrote:

    “Maybe what Radford meant by ‘recognized taxonomy’ was animals that are closely related to animals already known to exist rather than something completely new, like a new type of dolphin or monkey?”

    Good point! The Bolivian fresh water dolphin, Inia boliviensis, was disovered quite recently; but it is in the same genus as Inia geoffrensis, which has been so classified for more than 100 years.

  48. Benjamin Radford responds:

    Hello all. I’ve been out of town, away from Cryptomundo, and down with both a stomach and a computer virus, so until Loren mentioned I was being bashed here, I had no idea.

    Loren, better than most people on Cryptomundo, knows just how unreliable media story quotes are, and I find it amazing that posters here seem to assume that what is quoted above is 100% accurate and in context.

    I have a news flash for Cryptomundo posters: don’t believe everything you read.

    Just a few weeks ago, I was quoted in a news media story as saying that I believe ghosts exist!. Actually, what I said what that it was POSSIBLE that ghosts exist, just as I have always said that it’s POSSIBLE that Bigfoot exist. Reporter translates that into saying I think ghosts are real. That’s how journalism often works, folks.

    I am well aware of the examples of the vu quang ox, the lowland gorillas, giant pandas, etc. I talked to the reporter for 40 minutes, and she pulled a handful of quotes from that, few in context and some more accurate than others.

    I find it telling that Loren and other posters are so quick to pounce on an alleged mistake or generalization, while conveniently ignoring the larger, accurate points about how newly discovered terrestrial animals in the last century have been 1) relatively small; 2) in very remote places; and 3) part of well-established species. Bigfoot fits none of those.

    So go ahead, take your cheap, red herring potshots at my misquote while carefully refusing to address the larger points.

  49. Ceroill responds:

    Mr. Radford, sorry to hear you’ve been under the weather of late, and it’s good to see you back up and around.

  50. Loren Coleman responds:

    I too was sorry to hear Ben was having health and computer issues, and privately alerted him to our having some sport with his apparent misquotes.

    Ben and I will be doing the panel thing next Friday, in Kentucky, so hopefully, we’ll see some of you there.

    As to his current rebuttal, I shall have to respectfully disagree with Ben even about his “larger point,” as I find the number of “large animals” discovered in the last century, indeed, uniquely surprising and enough to give hope for more interesting finds.

  51. Munnin responds:

    Mr. Radford, I am happy to know that you’re over the digital and biological virus trouble. Thanks for posting and addressing our concerns here. I’m sure I speak for many when I say that this is much appreciated.

    “I find it telling that Loren and other posters are so quick to pounce on an alleged mistake or generalization, while conveniently ignoring the larger, accurate points about how newly discovered terrestrial animals in the last century have been 1) relatively small; 2) in very remote places; and 3) part of well-established species. Bigfoot fits none of those.”

    Thanks for the clarification. In re-reading the post and quotes above, I do not see there the distinction you make now between “terrestrial” animals and others, nor the point about “very remote places;” but it is helpful to know now that this was your intent. However, in rereading the two quotes in the post yet again, they don’t come across as generalizations, but rather very specific prounouncements. If these were misquotes, and you actually said something else, then I hope our confusion about your points is somewhat forgivable.

    Also, at least some of us – including Mr. Coleman – did indeed suggest that you may have been misquoted, or that your statements were reported in a way that made them easily misconstrued.

    I now understand better what you meant by “…fit the recognized taxonomy…” It was not at all clear to us in the quote on this post. But when you say here in your comment “..part of well established species,” I think I understand better what you mean. I must point out, however, that not only new species (albeit similar to existing ones) of terrestrial animals much larger than insects (yet still relatively small, perhaps) have been found, but in at least one case (probably others) a new genus has been established; that of the African monkey Rungwecebus; although it is only represented by one species so far. And an entire new family of Gecko, Phyllodactylidae, comprised of 8 genera and 103 species, was described just this year. So perhaps “part of well established species” still does not quite convey exactly what you mean to say.

    “So go ahead, take your cheap, red herring potshots at my misquote while carefully refusing to address the larger points.”

    I’m sorry you’ve gotten such a negative impression from the comments on this thread. I appreciate that you read and post here when it’s clear that many commenters do disagree with your assessment of the subjects at hand; and I hope that you will be good enough to continue to do so in the future. Thanks again for that, sincerely.

  52. sasquatch responds:

    Megamouth Sharks, Komodo Dragons, etc. are not relatively small…
    And; Are they more different from other sharks, and lizards than Bigfoot may be from gorillas? Maybe, maybe not.

  53. Patrick Bede responds:

    Very remote places?

    Judging from that statement, you really truly have no idea about this continent and just how remote much of it still is.

    Pity.

  54. DWA responds:

    “I find it telling that Loren and other posters are so quick to pounce on an alleged mistake or generalization, while conveniently ignoring the larger, accurate points about how newly discovered terrestrial animals in the last century have been 1) relatively small; 2) in very remote places; and 3) part of well-established species. Bigfoot fits none of those.”

    The larger point here is that some people need to do some reading.

    The kouprey (1937)? well over a ton, bison-size or bigger, in a small country that has been civilized for thousands of years. Not a part of any well-established species; a completely new member of its genus.

    The saola (1992)? About the size of an NFL linebacker or big running back, in a densely-populated region that we just got finished bombing back to the Stone Age, remember? Ethnoknown (like the kouprey, and also like the yeti and sasquatch) for a very long time. A completely new genus, never mind species.

    The okapi (1901), the mountain gorilla (1902) and the giant forest hog (1904)? In between the above two in size. All new species.

    Do not ATTEMPT to pull that 100-years technicality on me. Not unless you can show you know something.

    No larger points are being missed. As happens every time Radford comes on here: target identified, precisely, and destroyed, utterly.

    Am I the only one here who thinks this feels like Whack-A-Mole…?



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