November 15, 2007

No Mystery In These Photos

Over the last two days, I’ve been getting inquiries about the identification of two objects in some recent photographs.

One supposedly “cryptid” that has been shown to me is this animal (below) being featured in the Russian media. Said to be a “Prehistoric Fish,” it reportedly was “found in Russia, during construction near an underground river in Chelyabinsk city. The workers killed it and these are the remains.”

pravda mystery1

pravda mystery2

pravda mystery3

Apparently, someone is having a little fun with pictures and sizing. This animal is actually a small species, the Triops (notostracans), the so-called tadpole shrimp or shield shrimp. While an aggressive predator, they are smaller than what Pravda (hardly the “truth”) would have us think.

The Triops grows to an upper limit of 22 millimeters or 0.8661417314 inches in length. The Pravda photographs give an illusion this animal is much bigger.

Triops or notostracans are intriguing, no doubt about it, though. I like what it says here in their description: Triops cancriformis may therefore be the “oldest living animal species on earth.” Here’s a less dramatic photograph:



Other emails have contained questions about what that skull is in the foreground of this photograph of me by Amber Waterman:

International Cryptozoology Museum

The skull is the John Weisgerber replica made for Valley Anatomical Preparations of the Australopithecus aethiopicus . The original was discovered by A. Walker in 1985 on the west shore of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya. The skull is commonly referred to as “The Black Skull,” due to its blue-black color caused by the manganese-straining of the cranium. It has been dated to 2.5 million years ago.

Various replicas, such as the Bone Clones one of Australopithecus aethiopicus Skull KNM-WT 17000 (below), are also available.

Black Skull

“The Black Skull” is an attractive hominid fossil, and I enjoy the easy-to-identify (for students and the media) example of its sagittal crest.

Hope that clears those two things up.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. 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. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

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